Who needs an invitation to Paris Fashion Week? The truth that no one tells you is that the real show isn’t what’s behind closed doors, but what’s walking around outside on the street.

My experiences at Fashion Week were more fulfilling than one would think considering I couldn’t even enter an actual show. Yet what I saw during those few fateful days were exciting, interesting and — more importantly — insightful into what is really considered fashionable in these ever-changing times.

From elongated silhouettes emphasized by maxi pleated skirts, to studded leather jackets and biker boots galore — today’s style really seems to be all about extremes. On one spectrum, you can go soft — light colors, loose knits, beanies, scarves, paired with oxfords or comfortable loafers. On the complete other side is going for something much sharper and edgier — leather jackets with needle thin heels, bright red lipstick and electric blue pants.

The amalgamation of combinations is what makes fashion these days exciting; when it comes to making a statement with what you wear, there isn’t much of an in-between. Every desired, final look lands somewhere off the beaten path, and that’s surely something to be appreciated. Even a relaxed look (yes, even the coveted modern beatnik street-style of Guy Vernes) requires effort to achieve that classic, polished, final result when you look in the mirror.

So whether or not you’re a celebrity or just someone walking in the street, it’s good to keep in mind that the best way to be eye-catching is to avoid what’s simple. Make a statement with what you wear, whether it’s with a bold color or a standout accessory. Life is too short to be plain.