Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, Imaxtree

It’s really quite simple to take on a trend. Just follow this smart advice from InStyle’s Cindy Weber-Cleary. 

Cindy Weber-Cleary
Aug 28, 2015 @ 2:15 pm

As the old expression goes, “Money talks.” And, well, so do clothes. They tell stories about our personalities, our income, our dreams. Even the fabric has something to say. Take brocade, an embossed woven-silk material shot through with metallic threads, which has been worn to convey social status for centuries in places such as Byzantium, China, and Italy. These days it’s available in a wide range of prices, but the takeaway is still rich—you can bank on it.

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3 Style Tips to Abide by:

1. You may think it’s strictly for evening, but brocade dresses down quite nicely. I own a gorgeous midnight blue coat that I can wear to a black-tie event with an LBD and strappy heels or to the office over a black turtleneck and trousers. It even works on the weekend with a T-shirt and faded jeans.

2. Watch out: Too much volume can make you look like an overstuffed armchair. Instead, go for clean, structured lines in modern shapes such as a pencil skirt or blazer. No tufting or gathers!

3. Try just a touch of the trend with a shoe or bag. It can transform a gray suit from a boring banker’s uniform into an elegant after-hours look.

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Brocade Must-Haves

Photo inspiration at top: Dries Van Noten Fall 2015 (left); Amanda Seyfried in Oscar de la Renta (right).

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