When it comes to fashion in the U.S., New York Fashion Week is the place to be. Having access to exclusive designs and up-and-coming international trends puts you at the forefront of the fashion world. However, packing your bags for countless events, meetings, and runway shows, all of which mandate a Vogue-worthy wardrobe, can get exhausting. The looming “What am I going to wear?” dilemma can give a girl some serious anxiety. In addition to considering the season at hand, fabrics are everything. You want to pack garments that are versatile, durable, and easy to care for, which is why sustainable cotton is a great candidate. For more info on what sustainable GMO cotton actually means, check out GMO Answers.
This season’s NYFW festivities began on September 7th and will run through September 14th. Whether you’re going for one event or for the whole week, keep reading for a breakdown of the industry’s best-kept fashion show styling tips plus ten NYFW-inspired outfit ideas.
1. Celebrate New Trends
When you start thinking about what to wear to a fashion show, consider what’s trending. Are there any particular trends you love? Now’s the time to have fun with them! For example, I went crazy for bell sleeves when they first hit the runway. While they’re a little too dramatic for daytime wear (for me personally), I couldn’t wait to wear this chic ruffle sleeve top to a bridal fashion show in Central Florida. Additionally, statement blouses are perfect, since they can be styled so many different ways for different events. If you’re hoping to repeat some garments during a longer event, like a week-long stay at NYFW, it’d be wise to pack as many versatile fashion-forward tops as you can. The Style Collective also recommends utilizing rental services, like Rent the Runway, when luggage space is limited. “You can order your items and have them shipped to the hotel!”
2. Analyze Seasonal Tones
The “live colorfully” mantra shouldn’t be reserved for spring and summer. If you love color, analyze which seasonal tones are most appropriate for the occasion. According to Pantone, the color palette for Fall 2017 leans more towards warmth. For NYFW in particular, classic autumnal shades like navy, marsala, neutral gray, and maple are very much on trend. And, when all else fails, wear black. Especially if you’re unsure which tones fall on a particular seasonal color palette, black will always be in style.
3. Choose Breathable Fabrics
As you’re packing or getting ready, choose particularly breathable fabrics, like cotton. Cotton didn’t become America’s favorite fabric by accident. It’s durable, versatile, and it breathes easier than synthetic fabrics, like polyester, nylon, latex, etc, which is why it’s such a smart option for occasions when you may feel flushed. It’s also a responsible, sustainable, and practical option for the environment, as well. Made possible thanks to improved growing practices, new technology, and the willingness of the industry to produce eco-friendly products, sustainable GMO cotton can be produced year-in and year-out without harm to the environment. So basically, you can look good, feel good, and do good by wearing it.
I researched sustainable GMO cotton a few weeks ago, and my mind was completely blown. For reference, an American-grown bale of sustainable cotton weighs around 500 pounds. One bale alone can produce 215 pairs of jeans, 250 single bed sheets, 750 shirts, 1,200 tees, 2,100 pairs of boxer shorts, 3,000 diapers, 4,300 pairs of socks, or 680,000 cotton balls! How crazy is that?! Also, cotton provides more than just apparel and home furnishings, making it one of the world’s most important crops. Every part of the cotton plant can be used. For example, its long cotton fibers are used to make cloth, and its short fibers are used to make plastic, paper, and padding. The seeds of the cotton plant can be used to make oil, margarine, soap, cosmetics, and rubbers. The leaves and stalks of the cotton plant are plowed into the ground to produce higher quality soil. Literally nothing goes to waste. It’s pretty incredible.
Obviously, there’s a lot of buzz around the topic of GMOs, and the only prudent solution is to educate yourself. If you ever have any questions, GMO Answers is an online resource that exists solely to answer them. If you’d like clarification on what GMOs are, how they’re made, and how they impact the world, its team of independent experts offers an incredible resource.
4. Don’t Sacrifice Comfort
Wear something chic that allows for mobility. Wear something you can breathe in. You want to enjoy your time at the fashion show, not be adjusting yourself and wiping away sweat all night. Depending on the weather, wrap dresses, maxi dresses, and hybrid wrap maxi dresses make great outfit options. Breezy rompers, jumpsuits, and leggings are also chic yet generally comfortable options. A tailored pair of dark wash denim is always a safe bet, too. Further, Who What Wear suggests, “Unless [you’re dressing for a] formal event, keep a casual feel to your look. If you will be working during the occasion, you’ll want an outfit you can move around in.” One of the main reasons I recommend wearing cotton is because it’s universally comfortable. Since it’s one of the world’s most popular fabrics, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort, either.
5. Carry a Clutch
At most fashion shows, you won’t have a whole lot of leg room or personal space. Plus, a lot goes on in a short amount of time, and having to constantly keep an eye on your designer handbag gets frustrating. Preemptively eliminate spatial frustration with the most practical option– a clutch or small crossbody bag. Not only are small bags convenient, they’ll also deter you from bringing anything but the essentials with you.
6. Mind the Weather
Considering seasonal trends is hugely important when deciding what to wear to a fashion show. However, the weather doesn’t always match up with the fashion. For NYFW in particular, you’ll be hanging out in the Big Apple in September. The Style Collective advises, “The weather is erratic this time of year. You could have nice 70-80 degree days OR hot, humid, sticky 90 degree days.” So, while you’re styling an outfit for fall, you should be dressing for summer. Simple ways to give off a fall vibe with a summer wardrobe are to wear brown or black leather boots (like so), throw on a light scarf, and wear a darker-colored lipstick. Light blazers are a great option for cooler evenings, but leave your coats at home. If you’re going to layer, you’ll want to pack particularly breathable fabrics, like cotton.
7. Tailor Your Denim
Consider your schedule. If your participation in the fashion show is work-related, you may be running around way more than you anticipated. This is when a trusty pair of jeans is key. Since ripped or light wash denim can have a tendency to look more casual, make sure you wear a well-tailored pair of darker wash jeans. They shouldn’t be too tattered or frayed, and they should look like they fit you. Also, remember to dress up your denim with a statement blouse or blazer to add some fashion-forwardness to your look.
8. Choose Your Shoes Wisely
Again, you should assess your level of anticipated activity during any major fashion event, especially NYFW. How much walking/running/standing/carrying will you be doing? Even though we all want the two extra 2 inches that come with a pair of stilettos, wear some comfortable shoes. I’ve made this mistake more times than I can count. I’m definitely not saying to ignore the aesthetics of your footwear, though. For a hybrid between style and comfort, opt for a classic pair of block heels (like these nude sandals), chic flats, or boots. You’ll be so thankful you did.
9. Remember Classic Is Always Fashionable
Iman once said, “In a world full of trends, I want to remain a classic.” Shouldn’t we all? If you’re in a bind and you can’t decide on a new outfit, re-wear something classic. In the fall and winter months, you literally can’t go wrong with houndstooth, black and white colorblocking, or a simple LBD. Who What Wear also recommends taking a “less is more” approach. Their advice? “Think classic and polished.”
10. Be Fearlessly You
Diane von Furstenberg says, “Personal style is accepting who you are.” It’s smart to dress the part, but don’t succumb to any pressure to conform to the norm. Unapologetically let your personal style shine. Just because something’s not currently trending doesn’t mean it’s off limits. In fact, nothing is off limits when it comes to curating your NYFW wardrobe. The bottom line is that you should wear whatever makes you feel most confident.
Lastly, I also want to reiterate how important it is to educate yourself– and not just about the sustainability of cotton. Unsure how you feel about any GMO crops and have questions about GMOs or biotechnology? Please visit GMO Answers. Since 2013, they’ve answered over 1,300 questions on all biotechnology and agriculture topics. They’re here for you. Utilize them! Who’s heading to New York this week? If so, which designers are you most excited to see?