- Fashion and style are always changing.
- Though you may be wary of trying new trends, experts say you shouldn’t fear these ones.
- Monochromatic outfits wear just as well on the footpath as they do on the catwalk.
- Bodysuits are easy to style and excellent for layering.
As 2018 draws to a close, fashionistas take this time to reflect on last year’s trends and to start placing their predictions for 2019’s big style hits. From the resurgence of 1970s and 1990s fashion to the continuing popularity of athleisure, 2018 saw plenty of action on the trend front. But how many of these Instagrammable looks actually work in real-life wardrobes? The answer: more than you think, as long as you’re willing to take a chance.
We asked 12 stylists to weigh in on the present-day trends that you shouldn’t be afraid to take for a test drive, and we’ve got their 10 favourites here.
Oversized “grandpa” sweaters look super chic when paired with skinny jeans or leggings.
The oversized sweater trend is still going strong these days, thanks to brands like Balenciaga. However, it can be tricky to incorporate these cosy layers into a polished look (as opposed to a lazy laundry-day ensemble). According to Ann Arbor, Michigan style blogger Leah Little, the secret lies in the balance.
“I would love to encourage more women to try the oversized grandpa sweater trend. The common fear with this trend is coming across as frumpy. So, balance the large sweater on top with leggings or skinny jeans. Pull your hair up in a top knot or wear it in long waves if the sweater is more ‘masculine.’ Add booties to complete the look!” Little told INSIDER.
Venturing away from the classic diamond engagement ring is an easier move than you think.
When it comes to engagement rings, many people subscribe to a “diamonds or bust” philosophy. Recently, however, influencers and trendsetters started flashing alternative rings with colourful gemstones as their focal points. Your engagement ring should reflect your personal tastes, and if you prefer a brightly-coloured gem over a classic diamond, you should feel free to explore those possibilities.
Alicia Davis, the VP of merchandise for Shane Co. jewellers, encourages ring shoppers to consider one colourful gemstone in particular: the sapphire. “Celebrities and influencers alike, from Lady Gaga to Mary-Kate Olsen to the royals, have been daring enough to choose sapphires as a diamond alternative for their engagement rings. It can be hard to break [with] tradition, but with the full rainbow of colours and shapes that sapphires come in, it’s truly an opportunity to have a ring that reflects your personality and style,” Davis explained.
Animal prints are here to stay.
Animal prints represent a notoriously divisive style aesthetic; some appreciate their ability to jazz up an otherwise-tired outfit, while others aren’t into it. But if 2018’s style landscape can teach us anything, it’s that the enthusiasm for leopard, zebra, and other wild prints isn’t fading any time soon.
Stylist Patty Soltis of STYLEdge in Tampa, Florida calls animal prints “forever trends” that can withstand the test of time. “There are many trends that are ‘forever trends’. One of them is animal prints, [and] these come from a variety of animals, from leopard to giraffe to zebra to cattle. Based on how the print is made, they can be scaled [to fit] any item of attire, from clothing to accessories to shoes to handbags. Add them into your wardrobe and mix and match them with a pop of colour to be forever current,” Soltis told INSIDER.
Nashville-based fashion director Jordan Soderholm of ethical lifestyle brand ABLE agrees with the tremendous potential of animal prints, especially her personal favourite, leopard print. “Leopard print is all over our Instagram feeds, with women [layering] leopard on more leopard or mixing it with [other] patterns and prints. My mantra is that leopard is neutral if you’ve got the right muted print, and you shouldn’t be afraid to mix leopard with bold colours to really make a statement. An easy way to try this trend is with your shoes because your footwear can provide that little something extra to elevate your look without being the focal point of an outfit,” Soderholm advised.
Velvet’s been all over magazine spreads and social media this year, and the cooler winter months provide a perfect opportunity to try it out.
Plush, luxurious velvet became a major force in 2018 style, and now that the 2019 winter season is fast approaching, the chilly temps make for a perfect excuse to break out this warm and festive fabric.
According to Allison Hamilton-Rohe, CEO of Daily Outfit and a Washington, DC-based stylist, velvet works especially well when combined with 1970s-esque silhouettes. “The mash-up of velvet and sexy-’70s styles this year is perfect [for] fun holiday looks. Wrap tops in velvet are super-flattering for women, and velvet jackets for men are fab without being too over-the-top. Another way to dig into this trend is to try velvet jeans – they are a modern classic!” Hamilton-Rohe told INSIDER.
Corduroy menswear offers textural interest and a look that’s low-key and just-slightly-offbeat at the same time.
As with womenswear, menswear in 2018 experienced a huge wave of influence from the 1970s. One big ’70s comeback arrived in the form of corduroy. As it turns out, corduroy’s a super adaptable trend that’s easy to wear, even if you’re not a “fashion person.”
“[Corduroy is] coming back in a big way. We’re even seeing full corduroy suits in play now. While you definitely shouldn’t be going that route, a simple pair of pants or jacket will work well with many casual outfits. It adds a bit more dimension to your ensemble and makes you stand out, but doesn’t push you over the edge,” Scottsdale, Arizona stylist Patrick Kenger said in corduroy’s defence.
Now that “winter whites” are on-trend, this neutral shade can live on well after Labour Day.
Although fashion-savvy shoppers have ignored this maxim for many years, the old “no white after Labour Day” chestnut still lives on. But the relatively-recent “winter white” trend shakes that rule to the core, encouraging people to don crisp white outfits well past summer’s end.
Raleigh, North Carolina stylist Megan Georgiane believes that winter white will make a particular splash in the early months of 2019, telling INSIDER that “this winter, it’s safe to disregard the unwritten rule of not wearing white after Labour Day, because this season is all about winter whites. White adds a refreshing crispness to any dark seasonal wardrobe, so it’s no wonder [that] celebrities, bloggers and stylists are decked out in this invigorating trend. Try out this style by pairing fresh, white denim with a sweater or tunic.”
If you’re not ready to try a head-to-toe white ensemble, Southern California stylist Catherine Bachelier of CBS Lifestylist recommended starting off with a pair of white shoes. “[If you’re not sure how to wear white shoes,] pretend that they are black [and wear them as you would black shoes]. Like black, white is a neutral that matches everything. [Also,] be sure to treat them with care. White shoes or boots get scuffed easily, so make sure to have them polished or cleaned professionally on a regular basis,” Bachelier explained.
The dream of the ’90s is alive in the slip dress trend, and with the proper styling, this look works for everyone.
Slinky, spaghetti-strapped frocks famously worn by ’90s icons like Kate Moss and Courtney Love, slip dresses are a red-carpet staple once again, appearing on celebs like Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber in 2018. This grunge throwback look is a simple one to update, and Massachusetts boutique owner Luis Nunez of La Mia Moda has a few practical suggestions for anyone looking to try it out.
“Normally, we see [slip dresses] on the younger ladies, but when styled correctly, older women [can and should] go for it as well. [When] made with a piece of slinky metallic fabric, [slip dresses] are sexy, [but these] dresses can be made more conservative by throwing a blazer [on top], a turtleneck underneath, or [pairing it with] a low heel/mule shoe. Styling is key! Overall, the slip dress is a great [clothing item] to try because you can get many looks out of one piece. [You can] wear it to a business meeting and a night out all in the same day. There’s so much you can do with it!” Nunez told INSIDER.
Monochromatic outfits wear just as well on the footpath as they do on the catwalk.
A classic, streamlined fashion aesthetic that still somehow seems difficult to pull off, the head-to-toe monochromatic look can definitely be accomplished with a few simple tips.
San Diego stylist Vanessa Valiente of V-Style urges everyone to give the monochromatic dressing a chance, insisting that “wearing a series of hues of the same colour is not only interesting and chic, but it is also slimming. My favourite mono looks are tans and camels, or a series of greys. You can even play with various forest and olive greens, or lavenders and bright purples.”
Bike shorts can feel risky but it can definitely be worth it.
The more outrageous a trend seems, the more satisfying it can feel to give it a shot. In the opinion of Florida-based stylist Amber Duncan (also the CEO of Jackie, a premium styling service), bike shorts absolutely fall into this category.
“I know what you’re thinking. Bike shorts? No way! [But] this is a fashion trend you must try! There is something empowering about being so vulnerable. Dress them up or dress them down, but put them on and flaunt them wherever you go. It exudes confidence!” Duncan explained.
Another big “bodycon” trend, bodysuits are easy to style and excellent for layering.
Also known as “leotards,” the one-piece wonders are known as bodysuits were huge in 2018, and their versatility and thriving popularity indicate that they will be sticking around for a while. They’re sleek, universally flattering, and capable of dressing up or down.
Greenville, South Carolina fashion expert Sadie Cherney of Clothes Mentor told INSIDER that “bodysuits are (surprisingly!) one of the most flattering, inexpensive trends you have to try this season. They’re also among the easiest to style. Loose bodysuits look great with a pencil skirt to accentuate your hips and legs, while tight bodysuits are great to show off your waistline. Go for fabric with some structure for the most flattering fit, and pair with a statement belt or trendy blazer for the perfect layered look.”
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