Monday, October 29, 2012

Chasing Trends

Have you noticed the trend toward colorful athletic shoes? While purple is my favorite color, there's a lot to be said for basic black and white. A recent shopping trip left me frustrated and wondering what's happened to the classics.

I'm not against the latest fashion fads, but usually catch them as they're fizzling out. For example, jumpsuits were once quite popular. By the time I adjusted to the look and purchased one, they were declared extinct.

Books also go through cycles in the popularity game. When I first began writing, Chick Lit was super hot. Whoever hears of it now?

When a genre gains popularity, how can we tell if they will be the next literary phenomenon or a short-lived blip on publishing's radar? I'm sure few people believed the Amish craze would last this long.

I've thought about this, and here's my take on the subject:

1.  A classic can withstand a bit of updating, while a fad is so far out it defies alteration.

2.  Timeless themes on the human condition will always be in style. Romance, good versus evil, and  championing the underdog never fail to rivet us.

3.  Originality is a key element. Authors who can breathe new life into a time-tested storyline will have readers beating a path to the nearest bookstore or online outlet.

Writers: What are your thoughts on classics versus fads?

Readers:  What fashion trends do you remember either with fondness or horror?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - I hate fads and don't follow fashion. I do get frustrated as I can't find the originals .. so I totally agree with you on that. I think it's the marketeers, brands, shops just reproducing things for the sake of it sometimes ...

Re books - each to his own, but some will always stand the test of time ... or as now be reproduced with a modern flavour - eg Grimms Fairy Tales ...

Sci Fi and Steam Punk seem to be favourites at the moment .. though chick lit is still there - as is Mills and Boone some what to my surprise!

Cheers and have a good week .. Hilary

Dorothy said...

nd of fads either. I've always preferred classic fashions to latest trends. I remember when clogs were 'in' back in the 80s. All the girls in my youth group had them but I thought they looked ugly. No surprise when they were not seen a season later.
As for books... give me romance any day! I tend to lean towards pure romance these days, historical if possible. I guess at heart I really am an old fashioned girl in every sense of the word.
Have a great week, Susan. xx

Karen Lange said...

I'm more of a classics kind of girl when it comes to fashion. I agree with you; timeless is always in style. :)


Rhonda Schrock said...

I'm like you - by the time I'm halfway used to a new fashion style, it's about to go out. What am I supposed to do with that?! LOL.

Glad that, as Karen mentioned, 'timeless' is always stylish.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I enjoy classics and don't mind a few new fads as long as they aren't too far out there. Writing to keep up with the trends is a risky thing for me. I usually wait until it's caught on and then, like you, it's basically almost already out of style.

Jessica Nelson said...

What's a classic? *grin* I tend to read commercial fiction mostly and so if there's a fad, I probably don't notice since I'm in the midst of it.
I never read chick-lit though...I tended to not care for the heroines.
Good post! And good luck finding some "normal" shoes. :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary - I'll usually buy one or two trendy items, but mostly stay with a classic look.

Hi Dotti - One of my gripes with fads is the cost factor. If I love an item, I want to wear it for years.

Ah, historic romance! It's also a favorite of mine.

Hi Karen - No wonder we work so well together. :)

Hi Rhonda - When I buy a trendy piece, I get frustrated that the next season it's gone. I really liked that flowered jumpsuit. Sigh.

Hi Cindy - One of my problems with writing for the market is the "me too" effect. If you're not one of the first to publish, you risk getting lost in the deluge.

Hi Jess - Thanks! My mother had a pair in my size that she no longer wanted. So, I'm all set for now. When these wear out, I'll resume my search.

Susan :)

quietspirit said...

I prefer the 'classic' look. I notice kids at church all seem to have the latest in shoes-those with the lights in them. I think they are neat but I also know they are short-lived.

When I was getting ready to go to college, my mother and I bought me two pairs of shoes, one pair of flats and one pair of heals. They were colored patent leather. I really liked them. The material on one of the heals started splitting on the top of the shoe. I went to the shoe store to ask if they had any others. NO, it was a fad.(not their words.)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Yes, that's one of the problems with fads. If you get attached to them and want more, they're unavailable.

Susan :)

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

No fads, no fashion for me. I can't keep up and I don't want to keep up. Makes life much easier :)
I like your 3 points!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja -

I'm much too frugal to chase fashion trends. What a waste to wear clothing for one season and then get rid of it.

I'll buy a piece or two, but no more. I'd rather stick to the classics.

Susan :)

Sarah Forgrave said...

I tend to avoid extremes in fashion and books. If it's a huge fad (vampires, anyone?), I tend to rebel and go the other direction. :)

Unknown said...

Loving the analogy between fashion and publishing trends. Remember double-knit? Yuck! How about banana clips for hair. Wow - does that date me?

Good points when it comes to classics and other works that are short-lived.

Have a blessed weekend, my friend!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah - I don't understand how vampires can be equated with Christian Fiction. I steer clear of anything that is occult or borders on it.

Hi Maria - I'm right there with you! Remember bell-bottom pants?

Susan :)

Chatty Crone said...

I love your new skin!

Now if you want a header you pick one and you have to put it where you save your photos and you can work on them by adding words.

I have picasa. When I put something in that I can add words to the picture/header.

Very soft and delicate like I think of you.



Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Chatty -

Thank you so much for your help. You gave me the confidence to make the change.

I'll have to check out Picasa. I've heard of it, but that's about all.

Susan :)