There's nothing wrong with wanting to be like the people in the magazines. Celebrities are trendsetters, often defining how people will look, right? Stores change their inventory based on what they see popular influencers carrying, because it will increase the chance that they net some profit from fans trying to mimics their looks. Entire award shows are created around the idea of showing off ensembles. Billion dollar industries thrive off fashion, with cloth finery serving as an indicator of status.
What if I told you that you can predict what the stars are wearing before they wear it?
The truth is, modern stars aren't the trendsetters. We are, and the stylists for stars base the outfits that they're going to dress celebrities in off of things we like. Let me explain.
The key to setting off a trend is reception. If people think you look ridiculous, then they're not going to want to dress like you. A lot of the styles you see circulating in magazines are already extremely popular, the creators just don't have the money to boost their creations to a national audience. Or, a trend is a result of a subcultural phenomenon that only become popular when light is shed on that culture. See Timberland's and the urban community getting boosted b the celebrities that came from it.
So if you want to be a thrifty trendsetter before your favorite trendsetter's, you're going to have to stop paying attention to them. Get a notebook, put your favorite magazine's to the side and open up Instagram.
If you're not really a social media person, don't worry, you're not going to have to interact with anyone. You can ignore the selfies or celebrity sponsored posts. You only have to pay attention to small accounts.
Search for fashion hashtags and pay attention to the ones with only a few thousand entries. By having a few thousand entries, you can tell if something is popular. But if it's well under a hundred thousand, then you can make a good bet that's it's undiscovered. Bonus if the niche is in another country.
Get your notebook and start jotting stuff down, starting with the names of actual items you see to trends. Are furs really popular? What about a foreign brand? You can replicate the look in a consignment shop. Feel free to save photos as references, adding them to your trend notebook to create your very own trendsetting guide.