I tried on the most daring fashion trends of 2022, from cargo pants to retro sunglasses

The fluidity of fashion is what makes it fun and keeps us on our toes. Yet, as trends come in waves, it can be difficult to decide which ones are worth investing in and which ones to ignore. Personally, I have always stayed true to the essentials. If you took a peek at my wardrobe, you’d be surprised how many different variations of the same button-ups, tank tops, and vintage jeans I’ve crammed into my tiny NYC closet. These staples are easy to wear and guaranteed to look great together; that way I never have to worry about not having an outfit. But, strolling the streets of New York or browsing my daily Instagram feed, I always find myself envying the more adventurous women who confidently tout the fashion trends dominating 2022 – see-through clothes and cargo pants, for example, have been all over town. street style scene lately.

As I started to focus on what’s buzzing among those in the know, I found there was a disconnect between what I want to wear and what I actually wear. For example, I unwind in the evening by scrolling through my favorite retail sites (we all have different guilty pleasures!) and curating a basket full of trendy, sometimes over-the-top clothes. Then, the moment I pull out my credit card to click buy, I give up on my mission because I just can’t imagine wearing the IRL pieces. To scratch that shopping itch, I’ll then turn to my go-to sites and add yet another button to my wardrobe and think: maybe putting it in stripes will spice things up?

But, lately, the fashion trends of 2022 are tempting me more than ever – all the see-through clothes, quirky shoes and retro-inspired accessories are just calling my name. So I decided to take on a challenge: wear pieces that make the buzz in public, one item of clothing a day for a week, and see what happens when I step out of my comfort zone. Join me on my journey ahead!

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Day One: Retro Sunglasses

After being out of town for a week, I made plans with my 22-year-old sister and her best friend for drinks and dinner—we had a lot to catch up on, of course. I decided this meal would be the perfect opportunity to start my challenge, because Gen Z girls are probably the least likely people to judge me for wearing retro alien-like sunglasses.

try on my sunglasses Lexxola, I felt like the only way to wear them in public would be to channel my style icon Hailey Bieber; she is known for wearing a stylish pair when strutting around New York. I decided to copy his formula of an oversized blazer and neutral hues so my glasses had plenty of opportunity to shine. But as I slipped into my dark Zara blazer and Mango tube dress, I started to get angry. I thought “that’s not me” and my stomach was in knots (maybe dramatic, but that look made me feel like I was sinking into the depths.)

My solution? I contacted the girls for much needed support and they told me that I had do a slicked up bun to get the complete street style look. I agreed. They walked me through how to do it (the key is lots and lots of hair gel) and I was ready for my photo shoot. Thankfully, I had the shades to feel a little less naked, as they shielded my eyes and distracted me from the unfamiliar hairstyle. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “Who is she?!” But at the same time, I felt like I was making Mrs. Bieber very proud.

My takeaways: If you’re trying something new, get started channeling someone whose style you admire (for me, of course, it was Hailey Bieber). Even if you’re not someone who usually dresses like that celebrity or influencer, tell yourself that you’re going to try your own version of their look. That way, if it doesn’t feel comfortable, it’s not your style – it’s theirs.

Second day: cargo pants

Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Kendall Jenner have all been wearing cargo pants lately, making them one of the hottest pants styles for 2022. The garment, however, has received a bad rap, as they are commonly associated to putting function above fashion. But recently, pocket-covered pants have become a celebrity staple and, in my opinion, they’re a playful and quirky way to spice up your bottoms collection. Honestly, this style seemed the least intimidating to me because Reformation had a pair that looked like the balance between full cargo and denim – so thanks, Ref!

As I ran for a caffeinated afternoon, I grabbed my new cargo jeans and styled them like I would for a normal afternoon in the neighborhood. Plus, I was wearing a baby graphic t-shirt (it’s actually of the reform, too) which just showed my belly a bit since the pants were mid-rise. Then I kept the edgy feel by completing the look with my white Classic Old Skool Vans.

My takeaways: Embrace trendy clothes by finding options that don’t feel too far from your normality. If you’re looking to wear cargo pants for the first time, try a pair of denim (like mine) or a pair of smart pants to help you get the look without overcommitting.

Day 3: transparent skirt

When I saw Kate Moss’ iconic metallic sheer dress from the 90s, I immediately became obsessed with the sheer trend. What I like about transparent clothes is that they reflect a lot of confidence. But, as much as I admire when other women wear see-through pieces, I always felt like it was too much for me to try. Of course, it was this hesitation that pushed me to throw myself fully into this challenge.

I decided to go with a sheer skirt inspired by the fashion editor Laura Reillywho wore a bright orange sheer skirt with a plain tank top during the holidays. Her outfit was so good and relatively simple to recreate – so I decided to copy her for a happy hour by the beach when I headed east to the Hamptons for a weekend with my family. Before I left, I gathered all my bravery and grabbed my sheer mesh midi skirt from home. Frankie Bikinis (which has a super cute glitter logo on the back). Under the statement piece, I wore a simple black thong from CUUP which gave me some coverage thanks to the mid-rise silhouette. To finish the look, I went with my black Aritiza tank topplatform flip flops Okayand carried my shimmering Frasier Sterling shoulder bag.

Did I feel naked (and every slight breeze)? Absolutely. Was my father upset that I left the house like that? You bet. (I did it in the name of journalism anyway!) But I was surprised at how confident I truly felt once I walked through the front door. “I really do,” I thought.

My takeaways: Sometimes all you need is an inspiration photo. Look for ideas on your favorite influencer’s Instagram feed or on a dreamy Pinterest board. Once you’ve decided on the vibe you’re going for, use the photo as a roadmap, but don’t forget to add your own personal touches if you can.

Day 4: Hooves

For the fourth and final day of my styling challenge, I opted for chunky clogs — you’ll find similar pairs in the wardrobes of Kendall Jenner, Dakota Johnson, and Katie Holmes. What makes these “ugly” shoes so popular with celebrities? I think it’s because they’re easy to put on but feel elevated compared to a simple pair of sandals or sliders. And while I usually stick to leather mules with a criss-cross vamp or my Birkenstocks, I loved my new chunky mules from Reike Nen, a South Korean brand that sells custom-made shoes right off the bat. I felt like the neutral beige color would fit right in with my relatively minimalist wardrobe while still giving off a certain goofy, cool aesthetic.

When selecting the rest of my outfit, I considered the activity at hand – which, in this case, was heading to the farm stand to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. (I’m not sure that exact makes sense, but when I saw these shoes I thought “these are farm-appropriate”.) To create the look, I kept things casual with my high waist paige denim shorts and a semi-sheer Zara crochet top with a CUUP bra underneath. Really, the shoes were the easiest part – I just slipped in and was off.

My takeaways: Select your shoes according to the occasion, even if it is something small. For me, I had to imagine my new shoes in one place (the farm) in order to decide how best to style them. By placing them in a vibeI could then organize the rest of the outfit according to the mood of the outing.

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