The Best Fashion Trends of 2016
Trends often have a short lifespan, and often for good reason. Anyone remember patterned tracksuits, popped collars, and fanny packs from the ‘80s? Everyone is guilty of following a trend that seems like a major faux pas now. But every so often, a few pop up—or come back around—that have a little more staying power. In fact, we’re still seeing some trends from the ‘80s come back into our closets (think high-waisted jeans, off-the-shoulder tops, and spandex in the form of athleisure). If some lasting trends tend to come back around years later, you might want to keep what was stylish in 2016 tucked away in your closet to wear again (or pass on to your daughter). The good news is 2016 was a prime one for versatile, actually wearable trends that we predict will still be in style for seasons to come. This year we saw some classic looks, like chic block heels and ladylike bags with statement straps both in stores and in street style. It was also a year for some old trends to become new again, with bomber jackets, chokers, and vintage-wash denim (plus, let’s not forget about ripped jeans, too) on everyone’s shopping wish lists. With the New Year approaching soon, we’ve rounded up our favorite trends from 2016. These are styles you’ll want to keep wearing in 2017—or if you haven’t gotten on board with them yet, you might want to acquire a few of these pieces on your next shopping trip.
This laid-back jacket comes in every iteration you can possibly think of—oversized, cropped, minimalist, embroidered, sequined, lightweight, cozy, the list goes on—so you can personalize this particular trend to your own taste and style. Pair it with jeans and a t-shirt for a casual look, or wear it with a dress for a night out with friends. It’s also a great piece to wear during the transition between seasons (think fall to winter, or winter to spring). What’s not to love about this versatile piece?
To buy: Velvet by Graham & Spencer “Viviette” grommet bomber jacket, $238; velvet-tees.com.
From pumps to sandals to ladylike Mary Janes, we’ve seen the block heel on just about very type of shoe—and we’re not complaining. After suffering through years of teetering-too-high platforms, and tottering around on pencil-thin stilettos, this refreshingly walkable style is an obvious crowd-pleaser. Since this retro-inspired style offers a bit more support than others, you can easily wear this all day at the office and keep them on for date night without having to swap them out for flats.
To buy: VC John Camuto “Tasha” Block-Heel Pump, $198, vincecamuto.com.
Off The Shoulder Tops
This is when it’s okay to give someone the cold shoulder. The unexpected smash hit of the summer (well, at least as far as blouses are concerned), has continued into the cooler months with updates like heavier, more structured fabrics and sweaters featuring cut-out shoulders. Sometimes it’s nice to mix them up with your usual winter sweaters and blouses by dressing up a pair of jeans with a long-sleeved version. Come Spring 2017, we’re betting this baring trend will still be going strong.
To buy: White House Black Market Pink Off-the-shoulder Bell-sleeve Poplin Top, $88; whitehouseblackmarket.com.
Maybe you thought you’d never wear a choker again after you said goodbye to the ‘90s, but now they’re back (and more stylish than ever). Whether you prefer them in stiff metal collar form, as a slim strip of velvet, or this chic tie version, a tight fitting necklace accentuates the neckline of top the same way earrings frame a face, and makes the best base for layering different lengths. This versatile jewelry piece can be worn with both daytime and nighttime outfits, and for all seasons (just change up the material).
To buy: Urban Outfitters Vegan Leather Wrap Choker Necklace, $24; urbanoutfitters.com.
For those who like to experiment with bold fashion choices, but need an appropriate everyday bag for work that’s not too distracting, this one’s for you. A perfect marriage of the classic minimalist leather handbag and essential statement-making accessory, the embellished strap trend still feels fresh. We’ve seen it on handbags, totes, and even mini crossbody versions. The best part? Most bags that fall into this category come with a more basic strap as well, so should this trend ever die down, you’re not out of luck.
To buy: Zara two-tone city bag with chain, $70; zara.com.
Destroyed denim is nothing new, but the current focus on vintage fits, washes, and “lived-in” hems is de riguer. This denim trend is pretty universal—we’ve seen versions of it on different styles from high-waisted and skinny, flared, and of course, the ever-popular relaxed boyfriend fit. Keep it casual with a t-shirt, or try it with a dressy structured or boho top. Don’t have the patience to distress your own? Plenty of on-trend brands have artfully done all the dirty work for you.
To buy: Mother “The Flirt” fray rigid jeans, $265; shopbop.com.
Nothing says “effortless style” like these breezy, easy-to-wear frocks. It’s all about comfort and versatility with these—you can keep them in your wardrobe rotation all year long. For winter, they work like a layer, over a thin turtleneck and tights. In warmer weather, pair them with flat sandals and a slouchy bucket bag. The flowy style is flattering on just about every body type—you can cinch with a belt for a more structured look, or keep it loose. Plus, these are ideal to bring on vacation as a dressier look, since they are lightweight and won’t take up too much space in your suitcase.
To buy: Mango Flowy Long Dress, $150; mango.com.