If fashion is a form of self-expression, then at this moment my outfit is currently screaming, “tired working mom who got dressed in the dark.” In fact, I think I’m still wearing the same outfit from yesterday. Sloppy, dirty clothes-wearing mom isn’t necessarily what I want to convey to the world. I admit that generally speaking, I’m no walking VPL (that’s “visible panty line”) sporting, graphic tee with insert-statement-my-inappropriate-uncle-would-say-after-five-beers-wearing fashion faux pas. On the other hand, despite how many fashion bloggers I religiously follow on social media, my OOTD deserve more of a #meh than a #swoon. This girl could use some help.

In case you missed our June story on Buffalo Exchange and/or you’re just not in the know, let me get you up to speed-Buffalo Exchange is a consignment store that buys, sells and trades new and gently used men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. There, you can find current trends, designer labels, denim, basics, vintage and unique pieces all priced at much lower than retail cost. A bonus and my favorite thing about them? They’re all about individuality. Buffalo Exchange manager Al explains, “Buffalo Exchange is very much about diversity-showing who you really are as a person. We want you to express yourself. That’s why there’s no work dress code here-you wear whatever you want and that’s the fun about being here, too.”

So, who better to answer my SOS than the super-stylish, individuality-embracing Buffalo Exchange team in Costa Mesa, California. In exchange for a deliciously fancy-schmancy spread of Sidecar Doughnuts, the Buffalo Exchange staff gives us their take on individual style, favorite fashion eras, current trends, and former trends they hope to never see again.

Zoe (Stylist):
Favorite era in fashion: The 70’s—I love the free spirit of that whole era. Everything’s so elegant. Everything fell so naturally…their hair, the dresses…I’m all about natural. Cher’s my girl!

Trend that should never return: Leggings as pants!!! Specifically, leggings as pants when they don’t cover their butts. Now a long top with leggings and high-heeled boots—that’s classy.

Craziest item a customer has tried to sell: A Mickey Mouse dress—the dress of the shape was just big and the Mickey Mouses were all over the dress!

Mary (Stylist):
Favorite era in fashion: The 80’s! It went wild with color, texture, graphics, shine—it was loud, it was rebellious. The shoulders on women, the angles, the shapes were great in the 80’s. Some people think the 80’s was an era of bad fashion, but I think it was so good—the rock, the heavy metal, the punk…

Trend that should never return: Crocs and those comfy water shoes…and I’m not a fan of UGG boots with shorts—it’s a walking contradiction. By the way, I’m over people saying leggings aren’t pants. I think leggings are really fun and can be very well done!

Al (Manager):
What’s the trend this summer? Gladiator sandals, over-the-shoulder blouses, ankle-length mom jeans, Levi’s 501’s, denim jackets, bandanas tied around the neck, overall shorts.

Is there a trend someone over a certain age, let’s say 35, shouldn’t be wearing? No, I think you can wear whatever you want. Age is just a number. As long as you have confidence you can wear whatever you want.

Thank you to the wonderful team at Buffalo Exchange for the fashion tips and for styling me up. Hopefully, you guys have just saved me from potentially making any worst dressed lists (no guarantees), but more importantly, for encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone and comfy clothes.

The biggest message I got from my time with the good people of Buffalo Exchange is that while trends may change, your style is uniquely you and deserves to be expressed. So, go on, guys be bold with your wardrobe and personal style – flaunt it, own it, be you.

Donna Estudillo

Donna Estudillo

RN and associate program director for a non-profit charity, plus mom who's working on being the hardest spiritual gangsta around, living the YOLO life and enjoying mishaps along the way. Current vibes: only positive ones -- which have led to her blog (www.AmI40yet.com). "Am I 40 Yet?" is an idea conceived after turmoil, inspired by a determination to get her sh*t together, and launched at the start of her 38th year. She writes, she learns, she shares…and hopefully, she entertains and inspires.
Donna Estudillo

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