I was watching clips of New York Fashion Week, and experienced a sickening in my stomach. What my eyes kept seeing, I could not hide from. It was a twinge of pain followed by a heavy sigh. Shoulder Pads.
In all fairness, I knew that they would be coming back, as styles tend to do. But shoulder pads?? Now?? The figurative cherry on top of all of the other flavors of dread that have piled into this ice cream Sunday we call 2020, is, of course, shoulder pads.
Now, personally, I already know to my core that shoulder pads are a bad option for my athletic build. But this feeling of dread was not due to visions of me cutting shoulder pads out of my own clothes. Nope, I know better.
The feeling was a cumulation of more than 2 decades of consulting experience with clients. I have to stay ahead of the trends for my clients, they are on television, and many people see them. And just like every other trend that flies in with the Fall season, and is dead by Spring, shoulder pads will likely follow suit. (Although the last time these tufted wonders filled the racks and piled on to dressing room floors for 18 months..... Eight Teen.)
What is the problem with shoulder pads, bell sleeves, and other hot trends? They don't work for everyone, yet by popularity, demand, and production schedules they quickly become one of the only options to purchase. All it takes is one happy-go-lucky department store buyer to max out the sales floor on "a good hunch". This can be devastating to a media client. Needing to keep a fresh updated wardrobe requires one to make at least quarterly purchases of new clothing to look current on air. Pretty soon, shoulder pads will be one of our only options.
Clothing wears out, and starts to look dated season to season. I always recommend to find quality, timeless pieces for the bulk of wardrobe selections, as long as they are in the true style profile for that individual. But we still need to keep things fresh.
Industry Secret 🤫🤫🤫
Seasonal trends are meant to make a statement. On average, there are 3 updated seasonal statement trends for women. Further more, on average, each of these trends proportionately work for 10-15% of the individuals that they are marketed to. If you are in that 10-15% you will be fine. If you are in the other 85-90%, you are best to stay away from wasting your money on something that will likely sit in your closet.
Now, for on air talent, purchasing one of these hot items can feel like a rush. Sprinting from lunch break to the dressing room, barely any time to clip the tags. Being the first in the market on television with the latest trends is a huge motivator. Until they see the playback of what they truly look like with shoulder pads. You've got to ask yourself....were you in the 10-15% proportionately?
Chances are that you have seen someone on the news, and thought....."Wow, they really need a stylist,"...or..."Who the heck is their stylist." I'll let you in on another little industry secret---Most news stations do not have a stylist, or branding expert. Even in some larger markets. Many in media are subject to having little to no help in making decisions about hair, makeup, and wardrobe.
Those on camera are not the exception. So what does this mean for you? You have the exact same percentages either working in your favor, or against your favor. So don't feel bad if one doesn't work for you. Don't allow yourself to feel like you or your body doesn't measure up. You only had a 15% chance, at max for it to work for you. Then you have to take into account the fabric content. Then consider the cutting, sewing and textile practices of the manufacturer. I've said this before, but I think it's a good reminder. Clothing manufacturers are not responsible for making clothing that fits, they are simply responsible for manufacturing clothes.
If nothing else, I want you to know that it is ok to avoid one, or even all, of the current trends. You don't have to rush out and grab the newest, greatest, hottest trends of the season. You certainly don't have to be the first kid on the block with shoulder pads.
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📷 Credit- Stock Image from Veronica Beard at Neiman Marcus. Love the blazer? Shop It Here
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