Avoid Becoming a Fashion Victim

A fashion victim is a slave to fads and trends, regardless of how they look. Not every trend looks good on everyone, and what works for your best friend might not be the best option for you. By adapting trends sensibly, knowing when you've outgrown old trends, and learning which trends compliment your body type, you can avoid becoming a fashion victim.


Following Trends Sensibly

  1. Resist blindly following trends. While the celebrities might look great in their latest get-up, it’s not necessarily a look that will work for you.[1] Remember the low-rise jean fad? If you had a body reminiscent of Christina Aguilera in the early 2000s, the trend may have worked for you. For most everyone though, it was rather unflattering.
    • Give the fashion mags and blogs a break, and resist the urge to buy the latest trendy item if you don’t see yourself actually wearing it more than a couple times.
  2. Set a trend spending limit. Setting a limit to prohibit the purchase of too many non-basic items can help you avoid becoming a fashion victim. This will help you avoid being a fashion victim with the added benefit of saving you money. For example, you could set a maximum of $40 per month for the purchase of trendy items.
  3. Let trends be an inspiration, not a fashion dictation. You never want to copy someone’s look from head to toe without adding any of your own personal touches. Instead, let the trend inspire you to think of ways to incorporate it into your existing look.
    • If camo print is trending, you wouldn’t want to dress head to toe in it. Instead, try incorporating a camo jacket with your favorite pair of black skinny jeans and neutral tank top. This is an easy way to take a piece of the latest trend and apply it to your individual style.
  4. Follow trends that are comfortable for you. Stick with trends that you feel good wearing and can be comfortable in.
    • We look best in clothing we feel confident in, so it is always important to make sure you feel comfortable in your clothing. Remember to dress how you want to feel.
    • Some trends can actually cause damage to your body. Skinny jeans that are too tight can cut off circulation, and high heels worn too long, too often, or in inappropriate settings can cause damage to your feet. Only wear what is right for you, as any of these mistakes can quickly turn you into a fashion victim.
  5. Invest in timeless classics. Come spring, choker necklaces could be a trend long forgotten. If you want to be nice to your wallet and never fall victim to outdated fashion, focus on trends that you know never really go out of style.
    • For example, almost everyone looks good pairing blue jeans with a white top, and every woman can benefit from a properly fitting black dress for special occasions. These are two outfits you can count on to always be in style.
    • You should also invest in a good neutral blazer in black, beige, gray, or brown. This piece pairs well with jeans or khakis, and adds a touch of professionalism and class to any outfit.
    • A pair of comfortable black or nude pumps can be worn with just about anything and look amazing paired with jeans or flouncy skirts. Stylish bags, jewelry, and scarves are always an easy way to complete a timeless yet still trendy look (as well as to stick to your trend budget!).

Purging Your Closet

  1. Know when to let go of a trend. The fashion industry is designed to routinely make you feel out of style. They’re in the business of selling clothing and the best way to do that is to constantly change what is trendy.[2] An easy way to fall victim to fashion is to hold onto a look that fell out of style long ago. If your favorite trend is a decade old, and has yet to come back into style (like high waisted pants) it’s time to update your look to something more current.
  2. Condense and update your wardrobe. A good rule of thumb is to retire an old trend whenever you pick up a new one. This prevents unnecessary crowding of your closet and lets you focus on the current trends. It’s also a good idea to rid your closet of items you haven’t worn in the last 6 months.
    • A fast way to gauge unworn clothing is to hang everything “backwards” on the hanger at the start of a season. When you wear and wash something, put it back in your closet facing the opposite direction. At the end of the season, everything that is still hanging backwards needs to go.[3]
  3. Get rid of any ruined clothing. Throw out anything stained, stretched out, damaged or ill-fitting. Wearing anything along these lines will make you an instant fashion victim. Sometimes we hold onto clothes for sentimental value, even though they’re 2 sizes too small and we should never be seen in them again![4]
  4. Reject the wrong hand-me-downs. Hand-me-downs are a great way to change your wardrobe on a budget, but if a hand-me-down is too worn, the wrong size, ugly, or out of style, do not add it to your wardrobe. Accepting them is an easy way to clutter your closet again.

Finding Trends That Fit Your Body

  1. Buy clothes that fit you well. Buying a trendy piece that doesn’t fit right is a quick way to become a fashion victim. If you are in any way uncomfortable in your outfit, chances are it doesn’t fit properly. When in doubt, take your clothes to a tailor - they'll be able to fix your beloved items so they fit you well.
    • You should be able to fit two fingers in the collar of a dress shirt. If your shirt is supposed to be tucked in, it should be long enough that normal bending movements don’t cause it to come untucked. Shoulder seams should rest on the edge of your shoulder, and long sleeves should cover your wrist bones.[5]
    • Button down shirts should be large enough that there is no buckling between the buttons revealing your undershirt.
    • Pants should fit snug, but with enough room at the waist to comfortably fit two fingers. Skinny jeans should be a tighter fit, but not a constricting one.
  2. Accent your body type. An easy trick to remember is to balance out the thicker parts of your body by accentuating and drawing attention to the thinner parts.
    • If you’re wider in the middle, avoid clothes that draw attention to your waist. Trade high-waisted pants for clothes that are blousy in the middle, such as empire waist shirts and shift dresses. Avoid loud prints and stick with monochromatic palettes.[6]
    • If you’re bigger on the bottom than on the top—swap your skinny jeans for some wide-legged pants, and accent your trim top half with fitted shirts and jackets.
    • If you have the curvy hourglass figure, wear things that accentuate your thin waist. Wrap dresses, high-waisted pants, and outfits that color block at the waist are your best bets.
    • To dress a “boyish” figure—do what you can to make your bust and hips look bigger. Accentuate your waist with belts, try some flared skirts and boot-cut jeans.[7]
  3. Consider your lifestyle. You wouldn't want to fall victim to fashion by buying trends that contradict your lifestyle. If you're a person who spends most of their time outdoors, you might want to reconsider the trendy stiletto boots before you go sinking into the turf. Conversely, if you're a professional and devote most of your time to business meetings, the latest yoga pant fad may not be in your best interest.

Putting Your Outfits Together Tastefully

  1. Know your style personality. What type of outfit do you feel most comfortable and stylish in? Those are the trends you should follow. If you don’t feel comfortable tottering around on super high heels or wearing drop-crotch pants, stay away from those trends.[8]
  2. Avoid mismatching colors and styles. Make sure your stock wardrobe includes plenty of neutral-colored pieces as well as a few nice printed pieces for proper balance.
    • For example, try white pants and jacket with a red shirt, or a cream colored dress with an olive cardigan or scarf.[9] Just be sure to keep your outfit to a maximum of three colors.
    • If you struggle with matching clothes, consult a color wheel and stick with complementary or analogous colors for the most appealing match. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. Analogous colors are three colors next to each other on the color wheel.
    • You wouldn’t want to mix a button-down dress shirt with running pants, or a sweatshirt with slacks, just as you’d never want to wear more than three prints at once.[10]
    • Keep athletic wear for the gym and pajamas at home. Nothing screams fashion victim like wearing your fuzzy pajama bottoms to the grocery store, or pairing athletic leggings with a nice blouse.
  3. Remember, less is more. Too much of anything - trendy items, make-up, jewelry, revealed skin—will put your outfit on the fast track from tasteful to tacky. Stick to dressing in a classic manner and throwing in one or two trends tops to avoid overkill.
  4. Try it before you buy it. The easiest way to make sure you’re able to put trendy outfits together is to try them on before you buy them.
    • Try on items in the combinations you plan to wear them. Study yourself in the full-length mirror with an objective eye until you have a clear opinion of how it looks. This way you can see if the printed shirt you planned to wear under the blue blazer you want to purchase will actually go together.
    • Take along a fashion-conscious friend whose style you trust when you go shopping. When left to ourselves, it can be easy to talk ourselves into—or out of—just about anything. Your friend can provide you with a second opinion on the clothes you try on.


  • Stick to your style and wear it confidently.
  • Wear the right undergarments. Select white or nude shades to wear under light colored clothing, and go with seamless undergarments if you're wearing thin, clingy materials. Most importantly, select undergarments that fit your body properly.
  • If you just can’t bear getting rid of a favorite item, place it in a bin and store it. You never know—the trend could come back in style.
  • Do a little shopping at a time. Giant shopping sprees can be fun, but many individuals find them overwhelming.

Sources and Citations