Recently I observed some of these friends to pick out their pattern.


Not only are they confident wearing a brown paper bag, there are key factors in how they shop.  Even if it’s that advantageous friend who went to fashion school and can make their own stuff; or that seemingly rich friend who has the best of everything in their closet; or even the friend who you know little about other than they can seriously dress, they share the common factor of having a boundary while shopping.

The first friend I observed shops within a certain color scheme or material (she’s a more fashion savvy friend, I admit, so she makes some of her clothes).


The second friend I took note on shops for a particular fit. If it doesn’t have a specific cut, it has to be able to be cut a particular way.

The third friend I watched remarked, “Girl, $3 at Walmart,” when I complimented her pants.

This statement summarized it all for me:

budget. Could it really be that simple? I questioned it myself, too. Then I compared each friend and their commentary while shopping.

“I’m not paying that much for . . . “

“Oh, no, I could make this for cheaper.”

“This is cute but I can get this at the thrift store for a better price.”


That brings me to my next point. Thrift shopping is the hidden gem of trend setting. Yes because it is cheaper, also because most items you find there are not going to repeat in anyone’s closet. Thrift stores do not sell items in bulk which allows some individuality. It’s genius. Trends tend to repeat with variations, anyway. (There is nothing new under the sun.) Originality in spite of this cliché means adding your own flavor to an item. I have seen a friend turn an Elvis Presley shirt into a bathing suit.

The trendsetting friends I know are inspired by their lack of funds, old garments that get no use and a good sale. Their concern is not who follows their fashion sense or even who pays attention. Their goal is to look good and feel good. That sentiment does not involve others. So the secret to trendsetting goes beyond budgeting; it is simply translating yourself into color, shape and material making up the “you” element that cannot be replicated.

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