Help! You scream as the change of another season comes and there is the newspaper headline - Real Trends for Real Women - and it has the top 10 trends for the coming season. Only 10, you think sarcastically. You read on and there is an eleventh one in there as well as five more fashion trends in another article in the newspaper supplement.
No wonder you are confused about what to buy to feel modern and look good without converting your spare bedroom into a giant walk-in wardrobe.
Here is my no-nonsense guide to help business and professional women over 40 interpret new season fashion trends.
Do Not Believe All the Words
These types of articles often tell us to forget fads and unwearable runway trends. Ten seems to be a favourite number. So off they go to find examples of how to interpret their chosen trends for the coming season. Sounds helpful but in order to get ten of them they mix trends with fads and classics.
A fad is a short-lived, one-season fashion or colour that suits only a limited number of women. It is definitely aimed at the young and slim or women who can wear that season's particular colour.
A trend is a fashion or colour that looks good on most women and stays around for one to three years. It changes from a fad to a trend in its second year.
When a fashion suits every woman and can be interpreted in many different variations, it becomes a modern classic like crossover styles. These are the modern dressing skills that every business and professional woman needs to learn.
Fashion writers prefer to call most fashion ideas trends rather than fads because women will buy a trend. We convince ourselves that it is a good financial buy because everyone is wearing it. When someone close to you asks you why on earth you bought that, you can reply that you will get lots of wear out of it as it is a modern and trendy.
Go Beyond the Hype
When you see and read these articles, be critical and go beyond the hype. If there is a colour of the season eg gold, it is because gold is a colour that those with warm colouring can wear well. Choose carefully - gold skinny jeans are a fad whilst gold accessories are a classic look that suits most women.
Ask yourself these two questions. Will I be happy wearing this next year and the year after? Are the women whose fashion sense I admire wearing this?' If you can answer yes, to both questions, buy them. If you answer no, put them back. Life is too short to waste money on clothes with no real value. You want versatility so you can wear the new item with a number of other clothes currently in your wardrobe.
Find the Real Treasures
The real fashion treasures are not fads or trends. They are modern classics or old classics worn in modern ways. This is where you learn and apply modern dressing skills to your professional and business dressing.
An often overlooked classic is the Trench Coat. If you do not own one, look for one in a colour other than black that will go over your dresses or skirts/pants and tops. A red or beige trench coat will look smart for years and years. Wear your old or new trench coat with a narrow or medium width matching or contrasting-coloured leather belt as an alternative to the cloth belt that comes with the coat.
Sheer material jackets are also a modern classic. They can be interpreted differently for various seasons. The material adds interesting texture, it allows the colours underneath to shine in a new light and it covers but does not completely hide your arms - good for those worried about saggy arms and wrinkles.
By all means, read and look at any article on each season's top trends. Do not believe all the words. Go beyond the hype. Find the real treasures. Let your real personality shine.