Want to keep up with fashion? Then wait six months to try a trend | Women’s trousers

Tit’s the end of the year quiz season, so here’s my Quickfire version. Actually just one question and there are multiple choices. It’s the best time to start wearing a new fashion trend (a) before anyone else, (b) when Kate Moss/Bella Hadid (delete as age-appropriate) starts wearing it, or (c) no rush – six months later works late.

The answer is c. Yes, you read that right. The best time to jump in with a new look isn’t when it’s new, but a season or two later. A trend delay is not only acceptable, but positively recommended. There are no prizes for being first to the finish line in fashion. Instead of jumping right into the first wave of a trend, it’s much more chic to hold your horses.

This feels like it goes against everything fashion stands for, doesn’t it? Isn’t the point of following fashion to be in the know before anyone else? Isn’t the honor in being the first guy in your gang to start wearing wide-leg, front-pleated personal trousers like these? Well, not really. Do yourself a favor and watch and study for a while.

Consider fashion a spectator sport during the first few months of any trend, resisting the temptation to dive right in. On the side, you can pick up tips at your leisure without spending your hard-earned money and without exposing yourself to what could turn out to be a fashion red herring.

The kind of trends that come and go in the blink of an eye and you’ll miss it are exactly the kind of trends best avoided. Real fashion—by which I mean fashion that’s visible in the real world, not a bunch of paid-to-post influencers whose job it is to pretend to cross paths outside fashion shows in the hopes of being photographed—moves on -slower than you think. Go too early on a trend and your cool new look will be lost on 90% of your audience.

Take these pants. For a year and a half, I’ve been thinking about how you should ditch the maxi skirt, ditch the skinny jeans, and wear fine pants as the centerpiece of your look. But if you had followed my advice back then, the effect would have been lost on most people, because unless you watched fashion pretty closely, you wouldn’t have noticed it as a trend. And I understand that while my job is to follow these things at a granular level, most people have different jobs. It was only now, much later, that the individual pant appeared on the general radar.

These pants read as current now, much more so than when they were first trending. The impact of the modern fit is greater, not less, if you keep your powder dry and wait a while for the world to catch up.

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