How I Outsmarted the Trend Cycle and Overcame the Need to Buy It All

The speed at which trends emerge and then dissipate is pretty alarming. In the age of Instagram and social media celebrities, there's an immense pressure to keep up with the newest It item, be it a new bag, shoe trend, or a new denim shape. After all, we live in a "see now, buy now" culture where everything is made available for purchase the instant you first see it. This kind of trend whiplash is exhausting both mentally and financially—who has the budget to be shopping all the time?

It's something I call "trend anxiety", and I'll bet you've also felt it at some point too. It's the feeling I get when I see someone über stylish and automatically feel the need to have a version of what they're wearing right this second. When I experience "trend anxiety", my brain does this fun thing where it puts together outfits from what I already own with the missing piece I'm lusting after.

I've found a trick for cutting through all the trend noise and overcoming the need to buy everything in sight. It's saved me tons of times from making an impulse purchase, and luckily, it couldn't be simpler to implement.

Keep a wish list

What I've started doing is keeping a running list of the things I've been eyeing. So when I see someone wearing an enviable item, I open up the notes on phone and add it to the list. And then I wait. My general rule is to keep the item on my wish list for at least two weeks, but sometimes I'll keep it on the list for up to a month. After that period of time, I look back at my list and check in with myself to reassess how I feel about each item. If I feel strongly about an item, I'll move it to the top of the list so that it's clear which have fallen to the bottom (and thus have lost their luster).

Shop smarter

It's easier said than done, as you can imagine. I still make purchases all the time that completely sidestep my little list. When cult sites like Net-a-Porter and, of course, Zara have massive mid-season sales, I'm rarely consulting my shopping wish list. But overall, it's really helped me to prioritize and budget for the items that I actually need to build up my wardrobe and not just the items I want. By keeping a list, I've learned to tell the difference between items that will add value to my closet (like a pair of versatile black jeans) and those that are just attempts at making me happy in the short-term (like a crop top or tiny sunglasses).

Ahead I'm sharing each of the wish list items that have passed my two-week test. From an investment-worthy black blazer to minimalist jewelry staples, here's everything I've deemed worthy of investing in. To be honest, I'm itching to check off my shopping list badly enough that even writing about it is bringing me dangerously close to hitting "order". But hey, they've passed my test, so now I know the love is real.

To me, this is the epitome of a chic black blazer—sleek and unstuffy.

Available in Australian size 12.

I've been looking for one with a cropped hem because I like how it gives the classic jacket a fresher update.

Available in sizes 0 to 3.

I'm well overdue for another pair of ink-black jeans since my current pair has been nearly worn to the ground.

Available in sizes 24 to 30.

With all the buzz about the baggy jean shape, I've been itching to swap out my more fitted denim for a pair.

Available in sizes 23 to 32.

I'm a big fan of what NYC-based designer Sandy Liang is up to these days. Truth be told, I'm coveting just about every frilly yet subversive piece in her collection.

Available in size 8.

I think it's pretty self-explanatory as to why I have "little black dress" on my shopping wish list (it's a staple for a reason). I love the way the itty-bitty straps and square neckline on this one give off '90s vibes.

Available in sizes XS to L.

After a lot of searching, I'm certain that this knit top–and-pants set is the answer to a comfortable yet elevated airport ensemble.

Available in sizes XS to M.

I've dreamed up enough outfits to go with a pair of white glove pumps, so I think it's finally time to introduce them to my closet.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT42.

Behold the item that's been sitting on my wish list for longer than anything else. Ah, those clean lines and minimal straps.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT41.

I consider these to be the holy grail of white sneakers.

Available in sizes IT34 to IT42.

Is it cheating if I already purchased this one? 

I consider investing in a luxury wallet to be the milestone of adulthood (is that cheesy?). I'm drawn to this quirky shape because I know it's one I'll be able to find at the bottom of my bag. Plus, it's just cute.

My ears are pierced all the way up with thin gold hoops that hug the side of my ears. I have my eye on this pair to wear stacked up with the rest of them.

Lately, I've been working on building up my jewelry collection. I'm not much of a ring person (see earring obsession above), but this sculptural shape stands out, and I'd want to wear it on my pointer or middle finger.

Now you're better equipped to decide which pieces are really worth investing in.