'I used to be a slave to fashion trends. Now I invest in these 5 things instead.'

I'm a full-time fashion writer who absolutely hates fashion trends. Yes, you read that right.

Despite reporting on fashion trends being 99 per cent of my job description, when it comes to actually buying them, I opt out altogether.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t always hated trends. In fact, there was a time when many would refer to me as a trend-acholic. From Zara’s latest bargain to Marc Jacobs’s newest snapshot crossbody bag, you name it; I had it.

Working within an industry so heavily driven by both material objects and social status, it was not uncommon for me to spend hundreds of dollars on the trendiest garment, shoe, or accessory.

The question of whether I actually liked or wanted what I was purchasing never crossed my mind. In my eyes, all that mattered was that the item was trending, and a trending item was an item I had to have.

I believed that in order to be accepted and ‘fit in’ to this so-called elitist world, I had to wear and spend excessive amounts of money on what our millennial Zeitgeist was telling me to.

Watch: Mamamia's Clare Stephens tries out a latex bodysuit. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

It was not until much later in my career that I learnt that trends were not created to be copied or followed, but admired and appreciated. Trends are a direct reaction to popularity, and just like the popular girls in high school, one can be deemed uncool and outed in a matter of minutes.

Aside from their short lifespan, trends are also one of the leading factors behind fast fashion’s success. With rapid demand follows rapid production, so I say the earlier you can quit trends the better.

I started 2022 with a mission: only invest in garments and accessories which I one hundred per cent like – popular or not. Opting out of the industry’s fast-fashion trend cycle did initially feel strange, but saying farewell to seasonal sales and fast-fashion retailers has - and continues to - benefit both my purse and our planet.

To satisfy my shopping sweet tooth and avoid falling back into the evolving ecosystem of trends, I separated my wardrobe into five core categories: Statement Staples, Vintage Bargains, Unique Accessories, Basic Mainstays and Dopamine Delights.

With each category focusing on a specific long-term essential, I now have no reason to invest in a seasonally trendy garment. Why waste money on fleeting items when I can invest in personal pieces with longevity?

Here are the 5 fashion categories shaping my wardrobe today.


Statement staples.

When I say statement staples, I’m talking about those chic and sophisticated buys that make you feel instantly put together. They are the types of clothes that do not demand attention, but just so happen to receive it.

Statement-making staples are typically not bold nor bright, but rather simple and streamlined.

When I first said goodbye to fast-fashion trends, staples – particularly great quality ones – became my foundational fashion backbone.

For my wardrobe to remain versatile, I have curated it to include a selection of staples that are ideal for more than just one season. Right now I am rotating both my matching Ralph Lauren tracksuit and shin-grazing Forever New coat.

Image: Supplied/Mamamia.


Vintage bargains.

I can confidently say there is nothing I love more than a great vintage find.

From my floral Steve Madden wedges to my baby blue brandless sweater – I bought it without a tag – hunting for pre-loved vintage has become part of my DNA.

Vintage pieces are not only valued for their exclusivity and heritage but their ability to add personality and character. When I initially moved away from investing in trends, vintage garments were how I found and reflected my sense of style.

Because they were designed and produced many moons ago, vintage garments will typically look very different to other apparel in your wardrobe – but that, my friends, is the best part.

Image: Supplied/Mamamia.


Unique accessories.

Original accessories have the power to make you and your outfit instantly stand out.

Some of my favourite, distinctly different accessories have come from spontaneous visits to small boutiques, businesses, and flea markets.

Sometimes the most unique accessories are found in the least trendy locations, so don't rule out your local Vinnies.

Image: Supplied/Mamamia.


Basic mainstays.

Like many busy women, basic mainstays occupy roughly half of my wardrobe – and so they should. When investing in basics I look for quality-made, low-maintenance pieces that will last from season to season.

Despite their name, basics can help elevate almost any outfit, so don’t skimp on quality, craftsmanship or functionality.

Thanks to springs’ unpredictable climate, this season I'm relying heavily on my favourite trans-seasonal classics, including my aqua A-line skirt and structured black blazer.

Image: Supplied/Mamamia.


As a woman in her twenties working in the fashion industry and not particularly fond of ironing, fuss-free staples are essential.

Dopamine delights.

With bold and bright garments more in demand now than maybe ever before, we've seen a rise in some pretty out-of-the-box fashion trends – 'dopamine dressing' being one of them.

Although I'm not wearing a neon suit to the office, I do think it's important to have a selection of expressive pieces that, as Marie Kondo would say, “spark joy”.

I love injecting personality into my outfits wherever possible, and prefer my dopamine-inducing garments to feature my favourite colours, textures or fabrications.


Take my blue Kate Spade wrap skirt or Dyspnea silk cami for example (pictured below) - they are both a statement as much as they are a nod to my personal style.

Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

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