I love New York Fashion Week; that’s a given. The sartorial innovation, the celebrity gaze, and the whole day of uninterrupted quality time with my fellow editors—it’s a marathon that always makes me feel grateful for the career I’ve dreamed of since childhood.
Honestly, though, the part I’m most excited about is how my wardrobe is transforming. Although I always stay true to my style, NYFW is the one time a year when I feel completely free from society’s expectations (coordinating with office dress codes, the feminine desire to go unnoticed in public due to self-preservation) and I feel wilder. artistic urges. I wear tights and tie-dye underwear during the day, weird body armor and layering with clashing prints. During Fashion Week, no one judges you. It is a place of total creative freedom.
With that in mind, I challenged my colleagues—and myself—to wear some of the most polarizing trends on the market, from leg warmers and dresses over pants to the mirrored sports sunglasses I once swore I’d never wear. I never touched them. I hoped this challenge would push their personal style to new heights—and I’m thrilled to report that it did.
Ahead, Bustle’s most stylish editors prove that even the most intimidating trends can look stylish if you feel empowered to embrace them.
Dresses over pants
“Admittedly, I was a little nervous at first without hanging pants under a dress (hot pink pants are definitely a statement), but once I put them on, the look fell 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 pop. My favorite aspect is the movement of the fabrics and the way the slits in the dress give a glimpse of the fuchsia underneath.” – Abby Lebet, Associate Manager of Editorial Operations
“I’ve always been a big fan of clogs, but I haven’t owned a pair since I was a kid, so I was excited to incorporate a pair into my adult wardrobe. I wanted one that had a maxi element to it, like this pair of platform shearling, and I styled them based on the fuzzy, brown exterior that suited the fall outfit. I layered sophisticated, tonal pieces like a white tank with a beige button-down and loaded pants, and tied the look together with black accents, including a blazer, bag, and socks.” — Copelyn Bengel, Fashion Market Editor
“Leg warmers are a trend I’ve fallen and fallen out of love with over the years. As a kid, I always wore leg warmers with my school uniform (due to my Lisa Frank obsession and 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, velvet platform boots and a pleated black mini. I think my youngest would love this look.” – Eunice Bruno, Fashion Market Assistant
Jumpsuits, like any other outfit, are easy to wear – but styling them the wrong way can make you look like a child. For this intricate trend, I opted for a minimalistic approach by pairing it with a classic white tee and heeled sandals. To keep it from feeling like a costume, I left a belt undone for a cool, casual vibe.” – EJ Briones, Executive Editor, Fashion Market
“Growing up in a small town, surrounded by Oakley-wear, Midwestern f*ckbois, the sight of athletic shades gave me a visceral reaction. But I can’t deny it, the mirrored lenses, shimmery oil tint and dramatic shape give my outfit a shocking ferocity. I added them to this weird, weird girl look I wore for the Collina Strada show to make it feel a little more futuristic-cool. Mission accomplished.” — Kelsey Stiegman, senior fashion editor
Low rise jeans
“I can’t remember a time when my trouser line wasn’t above my belly button, so you can imagine my nerves when trying this scary 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 white tee and accessorized with some of my favorite things – including a versatile mini bag and a silver chain belt.” — Ariel Bielsky, Fashion Bookings and Production Manager