How To Decode Dressing In The Digital Age

Every day we are exposed to new images of actresses, musicians, or any one of the digitally famous, sporting a more daring look than the last. To further the confusion of us mere mortals, fashion faux-pas are no longer always fashion faux-pas, but rather covetable items necessary to any It girl wardrobe. Rules are no longer black and white, but rather an abyss of grey. What are the boundaries and how do you navigate the good from the ugly when the current agenda of the season is to outdo the next, and acquire the most ‘likes’ on whichever social media platform you choose to frequent?

That elusive fine line between daring and fashion faux-pas seems to become thinner with each passing season, but it’s not merely the perceptible changing of seasons and the looks that are associated with it. With the digital era and the rise of technology, we got fast-fashion and the insatiable desire to try more and have more. But, what about the proverbial saying that less isn’t always more? Your Instagram or Snapchat feed would tell you otherwise, with new images of the Kardashian/Jenner or Hadid clans outdoing themselves, endlessly pushing the imperceptible limits, with each passing day. Many items or styles that we previously would have disregarded as said ‘fashion faux-pas’, are becoming increasingly mainstream. In a time where social media is a barometer for trends, and it feels that styles are changing quicker than news headlines, decoding dressing in the digital age is an increasingly difficult task. In an attempt to curb unnecessary spending and frustration, here are ‘the new fashion rules’:

Just because Kendall Jenner can wear something doesn’t mean you should.

Creating a wardrobe and formulating—I say formulating because honestly, I think I speak for every woman when I say, nailing down your sense of style is a minefield (Insert embarrassing sartorial choice here)—your sense of style is something highly personal. It’s an interpretation and an outward expression of your personality. So, when I say that just because Kendall wore something and it doesn’t mean you should, it comes more out of a place of being self-aware than ripping on the current face of high-fashion.   

The prominence of the digital era shouldn’t make us forget the classics.

Metallics, sheer tops, cropped and flared jeans with frayed hemlines. None of these items are meant for the faint of heart. Whether you’re one to face the sartorial challenge, or you’re one to shy away, it doesn’t matter because classics are classics for a reason. There’s the day for chain-mail (vis-a-vis former First Lady Michelle Obama and Kendall Jenner at her final State Dinner and the model’s 21st birthday party, respectively), and then there’s the day for classics. Never underestimate the value of a classic black bag, with classic black heels and a classic leather jacket. The season’s most sought after styles will undoubtedly provide you with a fabulous look or two, but when in doubt, go back to your closet staples and channel your inner old-Hollywood icon. 

Know when to trust your instinct over digital influencers.

No matter how prominent the digital influencer and how often they may ‘slay’, it doesn’t preserve them from the inevitable wrong turn, resulting in a less than covetable outfit. Trust your instinct on what styles you decide to embrace and the others you decide, simply put, aren’t for you. Even if the look aligns with the latest perusal of fashion magazines, runway shows, or your favourite blogger, it doesn’t mean you need to follow it. True sense of style comes from deciphering which of the latest looks you actually find worth investing in.  

As the fashion industry and the digital realm only continue to intertwine, navigating trends and determining the ‘rules’ will become ever-complex. Focus on what makes you comfortable and only embrace what feels right to you. It’s my personal belief that those in the spotlight are gifted a particular sartorial license, meaning rules don’t fully apply. Who else is going to have swagger in a vividly sheer top or bare their stomachs that much 6 out of 7 days of the week, besides Kendall Jenner? Sometimes it’s about learning how to adapt things for our own wearability.