I love New York Fashion Week; that’s a given. The sartorial innovation, the celeb-spotting, and the nonstop, all-day quality time with my fellow editors — it’s a marathon that always makes me feel grateful to have the career I dreamed of since childhood.
Honestly, though, the part I get most excited about is the way my wardrobe transforms. Although I always stay true to my style, NYFW is the one time a year when I feel completely free of societal expectations (coordinating with office dress codes, the feminine urge to go unnoticed in public out of self-preservation) and give into my wildest artistic urges. I wear tie-dye tights and lingerie during the daytime, kinky body harnesses and layers of clashing prints. During Fashion Week, no one judges you. It’s a place of total creative freedom.
With that in mind, I challenged my co-workers — and myself — to wear some of the most polarizing trends on the market, from leg warmers and dresses over pants to the mirrored athletic sunglasses I once swore I’d never touch. I hoped this challenge would push their personal style to new heights — and I’m thrilled to report that it succeeded.
Ahead, Bustle’s most stylish editors prove that even the most intimidating trends can look chic if you feel empowered to embrace them.
Dresses Over Pants
“Admittedly, I felt a little bit unhinged layering pants under a dress at first (hot pink pants are definitely a statement), but as soon as I put them on, the look fell right into place. This shift dress felt a little shapeless, so I added a belt to define my waist and some minimal silver jewelry to let the colors really stand out. My favorite aspect is the fabrics’ movement and how the slits in the dress give a peek at the fuchsia underneath.” — Abby Lebet, Associate Manager of Editorial Operations
“I’ve always been a big clog proponent but haven’t owned a pair since my childhood, so I was excited to incorporate a pair into my adult wardrobe. I wanted one that had a maximal element, like this platform shearling pair, and I styled them based on the fuzzy, tan exterior which lent itself to fall dressing. I layered sophisticated, tonal pieces like a white tank, beige button-down, and statement cargo pants, and tied together the look with black accents including a blazer, bag, and socks.” — Copelyn Bengel, Associate Fashion Market Editor
“Leg warmers are a trend I’ve fallen in and out of love with over the years. As a child, I always wore leg-warmers with my school uniform (due to both my Lisa Frank obsession and to freezing Boston winters), so I decided to bring them back for Fashion Week. I went with a more neutral color palette and played with texture, adding a short suede trench, platform velvet boots, and a pleated black mini. I think my younger self would love this look.” — Eunice Bruno, Fashion Market Assistant
“Overalls, like any other one-piece, are easy to put on — but styling them the wrong way could leave you looking like a toddler. For this tricky trend, I opted for a minimalist approach by pairing it with a classic white T-shirt and lug sole loafers. To avoid it feeling costume-y, I left one strap unhooked for a cool, casual vibe.” — EJ Briones, Executive Editor, Fashion Market
“Growing up in a small town surrounded by Oakley-wearing, Midwestern f*ckbois, the sight of athletic shades used to give me a visceral reaction. But I can’t deny, the mirrored lenses, oil-slick tint, and dramatic shape give my outfit a shocking pop of edginess. I added them to this whimsical, weird-girl look, which I wore for the Collina Strada show, to make it feel a little bit more futuristic-cool. Mission accomplished.” — Kelsey Stiegman, Senior Fashion Editor
“I can’t remember a time when my pant line wasn’t above my belly button, so you can imagine my nerves when trying this daunting trend. I wanted to make sure the outfit still felt like me, so I kept it very simple. I paired low-rise cargo jeans with my go-to white tank top and accessorized with a few of my favorite things — including a versatile mini bag and a silver chain belt.” — Ariel Bielsky, Fashion Bookings & Production Manager