17 Trends from Last Year That Changed the Way We Dress
So many trends, so little time. 2016 was defined by more Instababe-approved fads and celebrity copycat looks than we could keep up with. If it involved the Kardashians, then you best believe it got people talking. With the exception of a few flops (just say “no” to harness belts and fuzzy steppers for the foreseeable future, please), the last 12 months have set the groundwork for what’s to come in this new year. In the midst of fleeting fashion trends, there are certain style essentials that will likely be back by popular demand (round two, if you will). C’mon, you didn’t think you could get rid of bomber jackets and daytime metallics that easily, did you? Ahead, we’ve compiled a list of the most Instagrammed trends of 2016 that will totally impact the way we dress in 2017. But then again, who *knows* what the new year will bring. Dressing like a martian could be the next big thing (let’s hope not, though).
1. Daytime Metallics: YAS. Daytime metallics are finally getting the attention they deserve. Can we get an amen? Not just restricted to after-hours (or full-fledged bloggers), rolling out in clothes once only deemed appropriate for the p.m. became just as acceptable for your morning commute. Blair Eadie demonstrates how it’s done here by juxtaposing a goldenrod sweater with a swishy accordion pleat skirt and a matching metallic fuchsia cross-body bag.
2. ‘90s Comeback: If you’ve been anxiously waiting for an excuse to pull out your Doc Martens, slouchy knit beanies, biker jackets and fishnet tights, then this was your year to shine. We’re talking about none other than the ’90s revival that none of us saw coming (tattoo chokers, anyone?). We’re low-key obsessed with this babe’s throwback Tommy Hilfiger logo sweatshirt, old-school kicks and all-around laid-back demeanor.
3. DGAF Style: What sartorial rules? Enter the era of DGAF style — AKA nothing’s off limits as long as you’re honing your personal style. Ada of No Ordinary She is a true creative visionary who’s not afraid to pull out all the stops. Shown here, she’s flaunting a bright red turban alongside a printed botanical dress and a black faux fur topper. The result is nothing short of groundbreaking.
4. Power Suit: 2016 was the year of the nasty woman, that’s for sure. Gender lines were blurred as rocking power suits to the boardroom (and beyond) became the new thang. Anything but stuffy, this blogger babe’s berry-hued pants suit looks amazing teamed alongside a cable knit sweater, a bejeweled statement necklace and leopard print pumps for a getup that says werk it.
5. Party-Ready Sleeves: With the exception of overly exaggerated sleeves (hard pass), party-ready tiered sleeves and throwback bell sleeves became the new pieces de resistance in many a fashion girl’s wardrobe. Julia Engel dazzles with her ultra-glam ensemble consisting of a sequined skirt, a pink clutch and cha-cha-cha-ready ruffled sleeves. Can you say holiday style done right?
6. Athleisure: The fact that “athleisure” was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2016 speaks volumes about the prevalence of gym clothes (think: sleek track pants, oversized hoodies, stirrup leggings and trainers) being worn on the streets. Whether you were running errands like this babe or actually heading to the gym, an #OOTD consisting of a lazy girl-approved sweatshirt and tangerine culottes would have fit the bill just fine for a double-tap-worthy lewk.
7. P Is for Puffer Jackets: Yes, dressing like a big ol’ puffy marshmallow is actually considered en vogue these days. We definitely didn’t see that one coming. Delivering unconditional warmth and limitless cool-girl potential, toasty puffas were welcomed with open arms in 2016 as the fashionable crowd paired theirs alongside evening gowns, high-performance leggings — you name it. We’re partial to this Instababe’s bright red quilted jacket that can undoubtedly be spotted at least a mile away.
8. Adult Overalls: Proof that fashion is a never-ending cycle, this past year saw the rise of adult overalls and school-girl pinafores alike. Striking the perfect balance between functional and chic, these one-piece wonders reigned supreme when it came to adopting a tomboy-inspired look on the streets. Check out how this Instababe styled her flared denim overalls alongside a black and white striped turtleneck, an ochre-hued sweater and a hands-free crossbody bag for a ceaselessly chic getup.
9. Frayed Denim: Chic happens, y’all! In the midst of high-waisted mom jeans, classic skinnies and flea market flares, frayed denim was added to the mix. It didn’t take long before every fashion girl on the block had snatched up a pair of these playful fringe-tastic bottoms. Bonus points, ‘cause this babe even styled hers with a pair of metallic gold block heels FTW.
10. Pajamas IRL: Yes, we’re dead serious. If you haven’t jumped on board the pajamas IRL bandwagon, then you may want to snag yo’self a pair (or three). Whether you go full-on Man Repeller on us by test-driving a silky PJ set with power pumps for your morning commute or team a menswear-inspired pajama shirt with cropped denim flares and ugly-pretty glove shoes for your nine-to-five, the staying power of your everyday jammies won’t fail you in the new year. Chiara Ferragni took it a step further by tossing several layered statement necklaces into the mix for an alternative edge.
11. Strategic Layering: In 2016, street starlets didn’t just get more stylish — they got a whole lot smarter all thanks to some next-level layering magic. In other words, you now have free rein to transition all your summer slips well into the dead of winter simply by utilizing an old turtleneck or basic layering piece to maximum impact. Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior exhibits how it’s done by layering an airy yellow summer dress over a crisp button-down for a brand spankin’ new look.
12. Embroidered Denim Jackets: Right next to bombers, embroidered denim jackets became a staple in what seemed like every blogger, Instababe and celeb’s off-duty wardrobe (we’re looking at you, Gigi and Kendall). A far cry from the blue jean jacket you had in grade school, 2016 marked the revival of denim jackets dressed up in iron-on patches, slogans and emoji-like pins galore. Aimee Song channels nothing but good vibes with her personalized denim-on-denim look.
13. Rad Bombers for Day and Night: Day or night, work or play, every HBIC had at least one of these hero pieces on standby in 2016. (A pair of Gucci’s coveted shearling mules may or may not have been too far behind.) Cue the trusty, wear-everywhere bomber jacket that you didn’t want to take off. Between patched varsity bombers and metallic street-style bombers, there was no shortage of ways to incorporate the boss babe jacket of the year into your stylish repertoire.
14. Blinged-Out Trainers: See earlier point about athleisure being all the rage in 2016. Blinged-out trainers were simply an extension of this sporty movement that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Gaining traction among the high-fashion crowd (and trickling down to the masses), sneakers-over-anything-else will likely be the mantra heading into the new year. Check out these jewel-encrusted babies from Golden Goose Deluxe Brand being so expertly modeled by Julie Sariñana, of Sincerely Jules. Kickin’ it cool has never looked so good.
15. Brooches and Pins: Personalization was key in 2016, and for good reason. For once, you didn’t have to splurge on the most double-tap-worthy item of the season — instead, you could customize it with your own individual flair. Whether you transformed the lapel of your trench coat with a slew of OTT pins or DIYed your very own patched denim jacket with rock ‘n’ roll-inspired iron-ons, hacking a one-of-a-kind look was as easy as taking a trip to your local arts and crafts store for slay-worthy embellishments (give or take the actual crafting part).
16. Millennial Pink: From Glossier to Mansur Gavriel, millennial pink might as well have been the “unofficial” color of the year. We definitely don’t hate it. In fact, we’re more than guilty of Instagramming the heck out of this sophisticated peachy-petal pink hue. Less Malibu Barbie, more cool-girl-in-training, millennial pink will only continue to rise in star power in ‘17 as you proceed to adopt an all-millennial-pink-errthang uniform. We’re calling it NOW.
17. Next-Level Denim: Sometime over the past 12 months, denim customization entered the scene. Rad patches, frayed hems, tongue-in-cheek monogramming, distressing that Grammie would disapprove of and rainbow bows (!) were just a few of the stylish add-ons we spotted. If there’s a way, then you betcha someone came up with it.
Which trends from 2016 impacted your style the most? Follow us on Pinterest for more style inspo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.