By Hailey McCormack

The ever-changing fashion industry is as alluring to watch as it is intimidating to follow. The designer handbags, bold color and pattern combinations, and seemingly unattainable street style can be a lot to take in. It may seem difficult and expensive to replicate fashion influencers, bloggers and celebrities, but in just three easy steps, you’ll realize how easy it is to stay on trend while sticking to your budget!

Establishing a budget is key. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a brand new wardrobe every single season. Buying three to five trendy pieces each season is enough to keep you feeling up-to-date! With the easy access and availability of fast fashion brands and thousands of online resources, it is so easy to do trend research on your own. Trend research consists of visiting online fashion sites and reading fashion magazines to learn about what colors, patterns and styles will be popular in the upcoming season.

Always remember that you should fill your closet with staple items, and then use your new, trendy clothes and accessories as the “pop” to your outfit. For example, you may want to pair your staple nude trench coat with a poppy-red colored cowl neck sweater. Similarly, maybe pair your bright pink crossbody bag with a more simple, dark outfit. This takes away the stress of wondering how you’ll pair your new, trendy, bright colored clothes with other bright colors. Less is more!

Next comes trend research. Be sure to look at upcoming styles and patterns as well as colors. Pantone is a great resource when researching next season’s colors. You can download their Fashion Week color analysis documents, and pick which colors you want to focus your wardrobe on for the upcoming season. There are some GORGEOUS colors for the Fall-Winter 2018-2019 season. These include Quetzal Green, Nebulas Blue, Valiant Poppy and the Pantone 2018 color of the year, Ultra Violet. As winter approaches, these colors will become more popular. Another useful tool on the Pantone mobile app is the availability of the Pantone Studio, which allows you to create color palettes and save them to your phone. Doing this can help you map out which trendy colors to use, and what colors complement them.

Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Alice Magazine are all great resources when researching patterns and looks for the season. This year, we are expecting fringe, metallics, animal print and holographics to be a big hit. Following fashion bloggers and influencers can also be a huge help with your research. In addition to tagging every clothing item they post about, they also tend to post duplicates or “dupes”, which is a less expensive, similar piece to what they are wearing so that everyone can enjoy being fashionable. These influencers can also inspire you to stay true to your personal style.  While being on-trend is fun, you don’t want to conform to how everyone else looks. Be sure to add your own personal touch to your wardrobe!

For your third step, go shopping! Now that you have color palettes saved to your phone along with an idea of what patterns and styles will be popular, you are ready to embrace your new knowledge of trend research!