Style

A LOOK BACK AT LAST-YEAR’S FASHION, AND WHAT’S AHEAD IN 2016

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than happy to leave 2015 behind, it just wasn’t my best year ever. As I think about my own ups and downs and bumps in the year behind, I’m reminded of some of fashion’s best and worst looks of 2015. In no particular order:

NERD CHIC

Retro nerd glasses isolated on white with clipping path
Retro nerd glasses isolated on white with clipping path

For some reason, in 2015 it was suddenly incredibly stylish to look incredibly unstylish. Ratty hair, oversize plastic frame eyeglasses, backpacks and socks worn well over the knee and a messy bookish mash up became a look to emulate.

nerd_shirt

 

 

 

 

 

Etsy.com has a whole collection of fashionable nerd gear – including everything from those now iconic glasses, to glasses-adorned baby onesies and computer decals.

COTTON CANDY COLORED TRESSES (AND ‘FIFTY SHADES OF GREY HAIR’)

Beautiful lady surrounded autumn leaves
Beautiful lady surrounded autumn leaves

In the 1990s, Gwen Stefani was known for her bright pink hair. A few years back, TV host Kelly Osbourne updated the lavender rinse tint previously worn proudly and exclusively by grandmas. In 2015 though, it seems like everyone was in a rush to dip their hair in Kool Aid. It was cute for five minutes, but the truth is that it’s difficult to wear too much bright hair, though a random accent or two is a fun winter pick me up. As for the prematurely grey hair sported by earnest looking fashionistas, let’s hope that was just a fashion blip that disappears entirely.

EAR CRAWLERS

After years of chandelier earrings and dangly jewelry, small earrings that seemed to climb up the ear lobe instead of hanging down, had their moment. I like this trend a lot. I hope it’s less of a moment and more of an earring option, at least for a while.

FRINGES

 

 

 

 

 

Not since the Wild West (or the chilled out ‘70s), has there been such a proliferation of all things fringe-y as in the year that was. From boots to skirts to vests to jackets, if it was suede or a soft fabric, it likely had some fringes. But don’t be sad if you missed it, they’ll be back soon.

WEDGE SNEAKERS

Legs in sneakers with the design of the American flag
Legs in sneakers with the design of the American flag

From slight retro sneakers to full out hard to walk in high heeled versions, wedge sneakers were everywhere in 2015. I didn’t say that this was a list of attractive fashion trends, merely the top ones.

LEGGINGS

And while we’re on the subject, leggings were everywhere. Frequently in places they shouldn’t have been. Done right, leggings can look incredibly cute (think bulky sweater and boots). Done wrong, leggings can be the less flattering sister of sweatpants or yoga pants, and seem like a great idea at the time. On a serious note, and I know that I’m going to get a lot of flak for this one, but I’m not a fan of leggings in the workplace unless you’ve cleared it with HR and found out your company policy.

PLEATED SKIRTS AND MIDI SKIRTS

Red skirt
Red skirt

On the flip side, the so called Duchess Kate effect had women of every age and shape wearing proper pleated skirts and longer length skirts to the office, for cocktails and to weddings (fascinator optional).

TEXTURED HOSE

women's legs in delicate tights with beige leather peep-toe shoes
women's legs in delicate tights with beige leather peep-toe shoes

One of the least expensive and most universally flattering trends ever is the one for detail on your tights. From herringbone to lace, to tights that looked like stockings but weren’t, textured tights and designed over the knee socks were incredibly popular in the year that was. It’s also a really nice way to wear basic black while looking as though you’re on trend instead of predictable.

THE NAKED DRESS

This was mostly a red carpet trends, but everyone from Beyoncé to Rihanna wore less and showed more. People gawked and people talked, but in the end, it wasn’t terribly interesting or original. It was just really, really obvious.

DENIM (NOW WITH ADDED DENIM)

close-up of denim cloth
close-up of denim cloth

Now, about those overalls. Denim is a magical fabric that can stretch or drape to every shape and can be worn with every fabric known to womankind. And in the year that past, one of the more popular trends was to mix and match different shades and textures of America’s favorite fabric. Sometimes with a bib effect and overalls. It wasn’t pretty, but it sure was popular.

THREE STYLES TO LOOK FOR IN 2016

SUEDE (AND A-LINE)

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If you can’t let go of the 1970s look that you worked so hard to cultivate in 2015, you’re in luck! The spring runways were crammed with softly sueded fabrics on everything from skirts and pants to jackets. Gone were the obvious fringes, but there was a lot of A-Line style skirts in display as well.

TEXTURED KNITS FOR SPRING

 

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Before you start to worry that fashion has gone full socialite on you, take heart. The year ahead (or at least the coming months) seem to be heralding in a new age of sweaters. Think frayed cuffs and heathered or marled fabrics instead of pristine and perfect knits.

FLATS (MULES, NO LESS)

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Six inch stilettos, begone! After years of hobbling women literally and figuratively with the trend for shoes that were too high to walk in, the gods of fashion seem to be casting a benevolent eye on the chic set. Early 2016 indicators suggest that flatter shoes with open backs (think stylish house slippers, but don’t tell the designers I said so) are strutting down the spring runways.

 

Rachel C. Weingarten is a former celebrity makeup artist and noted style and trends expert. She’s also the author of three nonfiction books. The trade version of “Ancient Prayer: Channeling Your Faith 365 Days of the Year” will be out on 1/5/16.

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