The difference between trends and updating is simple. I'll use shoes as an example. A big trend in shoes right now is embellished flats (flat shoes with buckles or studs, other forms of hardware on them). A shoe update would be to switch out a pair of chunky-heeled penny loafers (which have probably been in the closet for at least 5 years) for a pair of simple black ballet flats. This way, you will look modern without having to buy a new pair of flats with different embellishment every season.
By now, your closet should no longer house such outdated (to put it nicely) items as tapered pants and ponchos. Once you have the basics of your wardrobe figured out, you can update a few key items every couple of years so you'll look fresh and pulled together.
- Shoes - Once you notice a style has been in the stores for a few seasons, figure out what makes it special (is it flat, is it a kitten heel, equestrian-style boots) and try to find a pair that fits your personal style. Metallic heels have been gathering momentum and probably aren't going anywhere for a while; snag a pair in a classic shape for an easy (and long-wearing) update.
- Jewelry - The great thing about jewelry is that it's easy to find at affordable prices, and it's extremely cyclical. Wear strands of colorful beads throughout the tropical Summer months and then switch them out for sophisticated gold and gemstone accents come Fall and Winter.
- Nail polish - This might sound a little strange, but nail polish is also cyclical. Spring and Summer are the perfect times to wear a more vibrant shade of polish - think hot pink and coral, or polish with a little sparkle to it. Throughout the colder months, paint on a darker color (like the inky purples that have been everywhere the past few years) or a light neutral nude. Or keep it simple and wear red year-round!