2016 Trends For The Fashionable And Thrifty

Today’s post is written by guest contributor, and my long time bestie, Laurie Sanford. Laurie and I have been friends ever since college, where we bonded over music and one particularly silly yoga class. She continues to fill my life full of great clothes, laughter, and fun. She is a talented designer and has impeccable taste in food, clothes, and of course, friends ;-). Enjoy!

Ikat pattern (design)
Florals (fashion)
Strong Graphics (fashion)

Slow cooker recipes (food)
Elderberry liquor (cocktails)

I kind of shy away from the word “trend.” It seems so disposable in a world where I’m looking for permanence. It’s also not what I would consider a cost-effective word. When I purchase home items, accessories, clothing, beauty items and everything else under the sun, I’m looking to get bang for my buck and something that lasts. So when I hear “trend” I think it’s something I’ll get tired of quickly, will cost money to replace, and if I don’t have money to replace, I’ll just look out of date and everyone will laugh and point at me and I’ll be shamed just like I was in sixth grade for my Skechers that were an iridescent yellow. Young Laurie liked to go by the name her mother gave her, not Banana Shoes.

Over time, I’ve grown my personal style and learned how to incorporate trends into my fashion and home in a lasting way. I would call my personal style “classic with a twist” at a 70/30 ratio. 70% classic, timeless, basic staples and 30% pops of color, pattern, funky things I’m digging at the moment. So here are some of my favorite 30% trends and pieces, and some ideas for wearing them more than once.


Can this pattern do no wrong? It works with every color scheme imaginable, blends into basic patterns and pieces like a lazy sea breeze and gives a graphic edge the designer in me craves. If you’re looking to use this pattern in your home, go bold. Big. I chose living room curtains from World Markets Black Friday sale.  At first glance they look nuts and a little crazy (but hey, so am I). The key for me was balance and careful color selection for the rest of the room. I have dark-stained wood floors, a brown couch, wood and metal coffee table and media stand and some assorted throw pillows. The great thing about all the wood and brown is it’s actually just a darker shade of the tan background of the curtain. Having all of that really grounds the pattern and prevents it from being overbearing.

The real kicker in putting this ikat curtain in the main room of my home was the wall color I chose. I took a curtain panel to Sherwin Williams and had them color match a darker green for my paint color. The trim, baseboard and fireplace were all white so I was ok going bold here. Two coats and one day later, I was absolutely in love with my room. The great thing about it is when I grow tired of these deeply discounted curtains I can throw up a solid neutral or the next pattern of the season. My couch, floors and walls can all stay the same for years because of their basic characteristics.laurie.trends.1


Spoiler alert: spring 2016 is going to be full of florals. Some might remind you of your dear old gramms’ davenport, but some are going to really amazing and beautiful and punchy and make you get feelings downstairs. But before you go nuts throwing bouquets of fabric over every inch of your body, keep in mind how long you want your piece to last and how often you think you’ll be wearing it. That is to say, if you grab a dress, think about layering for this time of year in Ohio. Can you put a cute denim jacket over it and pair with booties? Great. Getting warmer? Can you belt it and wear with sandals? Even better. See what I’m doing here? Knowing this is a trend that will likely fade, I’m going into purchase mode planning all the ways to layer with basic items I already own. I can make a $30* dress into five different outfits to wear about fifteen times before I get tired of it or feel lagging in the fashion world. $30 for lots of compliments for six months? Yes, please.

*I said $30 because I am a thrifty shopper and don’t like to pay a lot for clothes. I frequent warehouses, factory outlets and clearance items. I work for a retail brand and still buy closeouts at the factory rather than the website I work on. I’m really dedicated to saving my money for food and travel.laurie.trends.2laurie.trends.3


Laurie Sanford is a graphic designer and calls Columbus, Ohio, home. Her dog and cat keep her warm at night, but thoughts of food, drink, art, travel and general musings keep her up all night.


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