WARDROBE THERAPY: Timeless Vs. Trendy

Let’s be honest…the word “trend” has developed a bit of a bad rap over these last few years. As our knowledge and need for sustainable fashion has increased, the idea that we need certain clothing pieces season after season has become less relevant.

One of our favorite things to do collectively is to curate our Trend Report for fall and spring each year. As we were analyzing runway shows and fashion news last fall, we noticed a shift in trends. Designers’ collections were less about fresh new silhouettes and more about the styling of timeless pieces. This got us thinking: Are trends over?

As fashion enthusiasts, we love the conversation surrounding trends. Although they might seem short-lived to most, seasonal trends have a tremendous impact on fashion at every level. Meryl Streep’s famous dialogue as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada explains this idea best:

“This stuff”? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet, and you select, I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets?
And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs. And it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room… from a pile of “stuff.” –Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada quote via IMDB

As Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep), not to delicately put it, trends are not always short-lived consumer products but rather a timestamp showing us the state of fashion at that moment. Although trends come and go, they also serve as a translator between fashion and society. There is a fine line between trends aligning with your personal style and trends consuming your style. As stylists, we love playing with trends as they overlap with clients’ personal styles, but trends are absolutely not necessary when building a functional wardrobe.

When our team met to discuss our findings for our Spring 2024 Trend Report, we started with a prompt: ” What trend did you resonate with as a child that has formed your style today?” As a fun addition to this week’s blog, we wanted to share how past trends and moments have shaped our personal style today.

The first picture was taken 18 years ago on the night of our wedding engagement! I love a monochromatic moment then and now, whether it’s all neutrals, blushes, black, or chocolate. It’s still a go-to for me!


The ballet flat is having a moment of all moments. I truly feel it’s the new “white sneaker” as it’s being worn with EVERYthing from denim to column skirts, dresses, and trousers. I can’t wait to wear mine soon with summer shorts sets!


Growing up, I spent my life in the dance studio. Naturally, I found a lot of comfort with a black leotard and some layer (or a cover-up, as we call it in the world of ballet). As an adult, I find myself frequently reaching for some sort of fitted knit to tuck into denim and top off with a cozy layer! It just feels right—it feels like home.


I’ve always worn a vest, especially when I was little. As a kid, I loved to look nice, and wearing a vest made me feel extra special. As I grew older, layering became a big part of my style, and the vest, both sweater and suit, is a big part of that. I think about this 4th-grade version of myself a lot and how good he felt when he donned a vest.


I love the recent resurgence of the bow trend, but I’ve always been a girly girl and have consistently pulled feminine elements into my wardrobe. From bows and pigtails to my early days in cheerleading, the bow trend incites a bit of nostalgia and now offers a delicate accessory to complement a classic look or can balance an edgier piece.

I know we all fell for the low-rise, hip-hugging trend, but I’ve always been a fan of a mid- or high-rise. I think they are more timeless and have transcended their vintage roots to become a modern wardrobe staple for people of all ages. It’s a testament to their versatility and universally flattering fit. Here is me in my early 20s. Yes, that’s a payphone! (Note the denim on denim as well!)


I attended Catholic grade, middle, and high school. With that comes a uniform, always involving some variation of a collared shirt. As I sorted through old pictures, I realized these uniforms have had a big impact on my personal style as an adult. Most days, you will see me wearing a button-down. I love the versatility they offer. From wearing them open with a tank and jeans to layering them under a blazer or jacket or wearing them buttoned up and tucked in, I feel most myself when I’m wearing a button-down shirt. You can imagine my enthusiasm when I see inspiring designers styling button-downs on the runway. Brands like The Row and Tom Ford have modernized the button-down in the coolest ways. I might even explore a button-down with a shoulder pad next!


While it’s not necessary to invest in most trends, don’t be afraid to dip your toe into new styles you resonate with! Who knows, they might become a staple you reach for daily.





Read about our take on this spring’s fashion trends.

Access our Spring/Summer ’24 Trend Report here!

Keep Making Everyday a Runway!

Elizabeth Bean Smith

Elizabeth is the Founder & Co-Owner of Wardrobe Therapy. She founded the company in 2006 for individuals seeking help with their personal style and image.

Reader Interactions


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *