You know that moment when you suddenly don’t love ____ anymore and find you have a dozen versions there in your closet awaiting the inevitable purge?
In the late 90’s I’d somehow managed to amass a very sizable floral print dress collection. Never mind that florals aren’t really me to start with, but unearthing over a dozen when I went to assess things in late 2010 really hit home that I had gone too far. Who needs a dozen floral dresses??
I decided that I do not want to repeat that scenario. It’s fine to play with a new trend or silhouette. No, it’s better than fine, it’s a wonderful way to refresh your wardrobe. But these days I tread lightly. I dip my toe in before jumping in the deep end. I’ve discovered a rule of three that works in most every clothing category.
One dark neutral – One light neutral – One color or pattern
Around the same time that I found the plethora of floral dresses, and weeded (ha!) through them, I had discovered the newly trending ballet flat. They were everywhere. And I wanted to join in on the fun. So, I went ahead scoping out some for my closet. This was my first foray into thinking about how I was shopping. I hadn’t made the concrete rule of 3 yet but was formulating the basis for it.
I started with a pair of black zipper detail flats. The zippers gave me a bit of rock ‘n roll edge so I didn’t feel so like a suburban mom. No offense to moms in suburbia, but that’s just not me. Then I got a cream pair of Dr. Scholl’s on deep discount. A bit of an impulse purchase because of the sale price, but they were still on my mental list of wants for that season. Lastly, I got some red patent peep toes with silver heels. I felt the metallic gave me, again, that bit of edge. Then I stopped.
That is where things changed from previous years. I had one dark neutral, light neutral, and bold color. I was good. These covered just about any and every outfit I’d want to put together with a ballet flat. And they all got wear. One pair came out as the fave, and one became a semi-orphan but still got at least a few wears every year. For about 3 or 4 years they got pretty good closet rotation. And then they didn’t.
Late 2013 the fashion sneaker was coming around and the flats started to get pushed aside. I began to realize they were a little ‘delicate’ for my true style and ended up selling off 2 of the 3 pairs at consignment. I still have the black zipper detail ones. I’m a sucker for zippers, what can I say?
Buying just the limited number of this trend allowed me to fully embrace it, but not feel I was overhauling half my shoe wardrobe when the fancy passed. I was comfortable with ditching the 2 pairs. They’d allowed me to play; given their service to my wardrobe, if you will. And then it was time to move on. No biggie.
Had I continued whole hog and amassed 8, 10, 12 pairs of ballet flats in the myriad textures, patterns and colors that were out at the time, I’d be singing a different tune when I fell out of love in favor of my new attraction, the fashion sneaker.
This rule of 3 can be applied to several trends I’ve tried this year. Swing tanks (black cutout, white split tail, dalmatian print), loose silky button fronts (black faux Equipment, white drape front, bright blue split tail), and booties just to name a few.
Try it and see if you can’t get a ton of mileage trying out a new trend, without going all in only to regret it a few seasons later when you find yourself purging _____ that was so 2014 lol!