A couple of weeks ago, our Social Media Editor, Abigail, sent our office a picture of a purse that was sold out and asked if anyone knew of anything similar.
Immediately, my mind went through an inventory of five different nearly identical ones that are available right now—there was one at Topshop, one at Nordstrom, one at Mango that was similar but not quite the same size. It took all of 30 seconds for me to find an almost exact replica of the nude, boxy, top-handle bag.
My point? Half of my mind consists of fashion and trends and what’s on the market and what’s dwindling out. I spend my work days researching trends and writing about them and styling outfits based on them, and I spend my after-work hours scrolling through Instagram and seeing even more content surrounding it.
All of this obviously affects how I dress too. While I definitely pick and choose which seasonal trends I’m going to go all in for, there are some consistencies I’ve noticed in things I used to wear, but now consistently avoid; it hasn’t happened overnight, and they aren’t items that are necessarily considered strictly out of style either. All of my has-been go-tos just couldn’t hold up to updated, similar versions that came along.
These are the pieces I no longer wear, and what I’ve replaced them with instead:
I’m the first to admit that sometimes I’ll see someone in ballet flats and think they look chic as all hell, but when it comes to what’s in and what’s not, other flat shoes have undoubtedly taken the reins. (It’s also hard to put a pair of ballet flats on my feet and not reminisce about wearing them every day of middle school.)
What I Wear Instead: Loafers
Loafers are kind of like ballet flats half-sister, but they’re the successful business-woman sister running into Thanksgiving late because she had a meeting she had to fly out for last-minute instead of the cute, innocent one making the pumpkin pie. Both have their strong suits and admirable qualities, but time and time again, I choose the former—especially for my day-to-day life.
I wore skinny jeans exactly once over these past six months, and they made me feel … wrong.
There is absolutely a time and a place for skinny jeans. They can easily tuck into boots and are tempting to wear with tops that are more oversized to balance out proportions, but there are other jean styles that have taken over our lower halves over the past couple of years.
What I Wear Instead: Straight Jeans
A straight-leg jean can do something to your outfit that skinny jeans just can’t. They somehow make everything look more intentional and thought-out and make an outfit look like, well, a look, rather than something you just threw on. There are a million shapes and fits and lengths of straight-leg jean options available, and with a little bit of trial and error, you can find the perfect pair for your body (and once you see the wonders they do for your booty, you won’t look back).
Off-the-shoulder tops had their moment a few years ago, and while it was fun and left everyone a little chillier than they’d prefer, other out-of-the-box sleeve styles have left off-the-shoulder options feeling lackluster.
What I Wear Instead: Puffy Sleeves
At this point in my life, there is seldom a day where the shirt I’m wearing does not also have puffy sleeves. If I’m getting dressed and pick up a shirt with regular sleeves, I toss it back into my closet and gasp in horror at the mere thought of wearing a shirt that does not have puffy sleeves. It is a joke amongst all of my friends. I have Instagram followers respond to my posts and stories with comments like “more puffy sleeves?”
In all seriousness, they are an incredibly easy trend to incorporate into your wardrobe. By swapping a regular tee for one with some dimension, you add structure and shape to your body in ways you wouldn’t ordinarily have.
Let me be clear: I will never not have a denim jacket in my closet. There are chilly nights and casual days where my go-to, oversized denim jacket is exactly what the doctor ordered; but I find myself reaching for it less and less in exchange for its cooler cousin.
What I Wear Instead: Leather
While a leather jacket is nothing groundbreaking, 2020 has brought leather in different silhouettes and colors that are a complete look in themselves. Whether you want to go for a classic moto jacket or a trendier option like leather overshirt of blazer, throwing one of these options on over jeans and a tee instead of your jean jacket is an easy swap that makes all the difference.
Shoe trends can be tricky—while they evolve from season to season, they’re also something that can’t change that much. Because of that, subtle details—like the shape of the toe—are a make-or-break factor.
What I Wear Instead: Square Toes
We saw square toes pop up into the boot scene in 2019, but they’re gaining even more traction in 2020. This spring and summer, I’ve swapped my go-to sandals for similar, square-toed options.
Wide-leg pants had their time to shine in 2019. They were nice to throw into my rotation of pants and replace my jeans with every few days; but in 2020, I’ve come to a realization: they just aren’t really that flattering.
What I Wear Instead: Leather Pants
This year, the leather craze isn’t just about jackets—it’s about pants too. Instead of my wide-legged pants, leather trousers are my new go-to pants option. They immediately up any outfit, and let’s be real: it’s impossible to not look cool while you’re wearing them. Instead of choosing a skinny, Sandy-esque pair, I’m opting for a looser, trouser version.
This winter, we saw cropped, chunky cardigans enter the sweater scene, and that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the long, open, duster-esque knitwear. I have a few in my closet, but they didn’t see the light of day in 2019.
What I Wear Instead: Shirt Jackets
Sometimes, a longer layer on top of your outfit is what you need to make it complete. Rather than reaching for my cardigans, I’ve been wearing shirt jackets for a similar effect, but with more of a statement.