Loving the experience of shopping at Target is not exactly rare. There are entire meme categories dedicated to Target. There are Facebook groups. There are Reddit threads about finding the best deals. But I like to think that the particular thrill I get from finding exactly what I need at the store and then directly after buying 12 - 23 things that I don't need at all is... unique. I've always loved Target — but living in New York City means I don't get to shop there quite as often as I like. Hauling five XL bags of journals and avocados and 12 candles (they were on sale, OK?) isn't exactly easy when you don't have a car. So when I do get to go to Target, I appreciate it that much more. When Dove asked if I wanted to go shopping at Target with the brand's celebrity stylist Zerina Akers, aka someone who has dressed celebrities like Beyoncé, I couldn't have said yes more quickly.
Dove works with Akers and trend forecasting group Fashion Snoops to learn about the brightest trending colors of the year and ensure Dove's Invisible Dry Spray Antiperspirant won't show up on clothes in these hues. Akers and Dove would come together to walk me through the store and help me pick out some of the trendiest, bright pieces of the season. I was thrilled.
But soon after I said yes, I started to panic. A simple fact that I've always known but rarely dwell on started to pop up in my mind. "But you are... not Beyoncé," I told myself repeatedly. In the days leading up to the shopping trip, this I-am-not-Beyoncé anxiety started to rise in my chest. I worried that Akers would pick out things that I couldn't pull off or, worse, couldn't fit into. Eventually, though, I managed to calm down. Akers was a professional, I rationally reminded myself, and worst case scenario I would learn a lot about the trending colors of 2018 and leave with no clothes. As soon as I entered the Target, though, my anxiety melted away (not the first time the store has had this effect, to be fair). Akers' calm and friendly demeanor, and interest in my own personal style supported what I already knew deep down — that I had nothing to worry about.
As we walked through the store, Akers pointed out a variety of different options that played into the top trending colors for 2018. Whether you're worried about deodorant marks or not, trying different colors on can sometimes be intimidating all on its own. Even for me, someone who loves experimenting with fashion, Akers encouragement to try colors that were a little outside of my style comfort zone — deep yellows and oranges, in particular — helped me pick new, bold items.
After trying on roughly 15 different tops, bottoms, and accessories, we landed on a few winning items. The best part is that each and every one is still available to buy at Target — and nothing is over $35. In fact, the most affordable item we chose also ended up being my favorite. Playing in the current trend of deep, saturated yellows, Akers picked up a pair of satin sandals and I was immediately in love. As an added bonus, they're also comfortable AF.
Next, we decided on a two-piece set of khaki culottes and a matching jacket. This look was far, far outside of my comfort zone as someone who never wears anything remotely suit-ish, but the more I played around with it at home and paired the pieces with bright, saturated colors (especially reds and yellows that are trending in 2018, according to Akers) the more I liked the set.
For my final item, I chose something I would have never, ever tried if it weren't for Akers' pro tip that choosing pieces based on quality of fabric is the way to go in places like Target: A pair of silk, bright pants. This tip doesn't necessarily mean that these pants are more expensive or require more care than another pair (they're made from mostly polyester), but when you move beyond just cotton it's amazing at how much more luxurious items look and feel. And how much texture and depth it brings to a look.
But now that I own them, I am never going back. I immediately brought them home and styled them with an oversized white shirt dress and the yellow slides above. The pairing of the trending yellow-oranges and the crisp shirt was so me, and I was so grateful that Akers had pointed me in the direction of the pants despite my hesitation.
Shopping at Target with Akers forced me to look at an experience that I've had many, many times before in a totally new way. Instead of going to my go-to silhouettes that were firmly in my comfort zone, I followed her lead and tried fabrics and colors that were sure to last me all season. I'm still not Beyoncé but, I like to think I now own yellow silk pants that Beyoncé might wear, too. And, you know... that's good enough for me.