Daniel Day Lewis versus Flared Pants

Hello, haute hotties!

I frequently am asked a question that I think has great merit - "how do you know when a new look will become a classic versus just being another 'flash-in-the-pan' trend?" For example, how do we know that flares will always be a go-to standard, while cropped skinnies will come and go time and again? I evaluate looks in much the same way I evaluate movie stars (although with a lot less emphasis on the butt!). How do you know that Christian Bale will still be a box office draw in 20 years while Robert Pattinson is hopefully banking his cash against the day he stops being a teen idol? The answer, for me, lies in the broad range of the piece's, or the star's appeal.

Add Daniel Day Lewis
To me, Daniel Day Lewis is like a pair of bootcut jeans. He takes on a wide variety of roles, BECOMES each part to the extent that an audience forgets they're watching him and believes him to BE the character.  His age and looks (yum!) have little to do with the part (although, I dare you to watch Last of the Mohicans without oohing and aaaahing) except as they make it more believable. When backed by a good cast and a well written script, Daniel Day Lewis IS the movie. Similarly, a classic item of clothing like a pair of well made bootcut jeans is the foundation of an outfit. Paired with dressy pieces and accessories, it becomes an elegant ensemble. When put together with casual accoutrements, it is a go-to everyday look. How long its been in your closet or on the store racks doesn't matter: the classicism of the line and the fact that it blends with anything is what makes it a classic versus a trend.

The same can't be said for cropped plaid wool slacks or The Situation. Both are a hot topic in fall/winter 2011 but neither will become a classic along the lines of ballet flats or Clark Gable because you can never forget that they are what they look like - temporarily interesting but easily replaced. An outfit created around the cropped plaid slacks is like a TV show with The Situation...SO 2011. Compare that to flared, fitted wool dress slacks or Johnny Depp and it's obvious why they are enduring and seasonless - either one can carry an outfit or a picture alone but is a great addition to an ensemble, with pieces or actors of any age.

So, the next time you're trying to evaluate an article of clothing to determine whether it's a classic of a trend that you don't want to spend too much on, look at it this way. Is it the equivalent of high heeled black pumps, a pencil skirt or a khaki trench coat? Or is it Lindsay Lohan in 3-inch long satin shorts?  The answer will tell you if it's trend, which is today - or style, which is forever.