Runway to Run Away: Trends of 2016

Runway to Run Away: Trends of 2016

Happy New Year, mes chéries! I hope everyone spent the week curing their hangovers from the numerous shots as well as Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve “performance.” With 2016 behind us, I say it’s time for a fresh start all around, starting with fashion trends.

I always say that fashion fades but style stays. Fashion is cyclical and constantly evolving because trends come in and out of fashion in cycles repeatedly. However, a style will always remain because every person has a certain style regardless of what is trending at the moment. Think about your favorite TV character or a celebrity. No matter what is trending, the character or celebrity will style it to their distinctive and signature tastes. This is because a fashion item can change in fabric, cut, or color, but how a person prefers to pair items will usually stay constant. It’s the reason why you will never forget the edgy glam of a Balmain dress, the minimalistic canvas of a Helmut Lang outfit, the chic look of a Giorgio Armani suit, or the lavishness of an Alexander McQueen runway line. Designers who can create a style across different trends as well as grow with the men and women who wear them are designers whose styles become iconic staples to every person’s wardrobe of fashion inspiration.

In 2016, many old trends we saw in the early start of the century resurfaced. While some were embraced, others are definitely due to cycle out for a little bit. Below are my predictions about the fate of 2016 trends in the new year. I based these analyses off of a few things:

  1. How speedily they grew in popularity
  2. The versatility and adaptability of the trend through seasons
  3. The rise or fall in amount of clothing items mass produced in non-designer stores

Chokers: Going


I battled hard with this trend and finally caved halfway through summer. As a child, I loved wearing my black twisted plastic choker everywhere until the tan lines from it would not fade for nearly eight months after. When the trend first returned, I thought it was foolish. When I convinced myself to purchase one, I thought it was even more foolish because I could not eat or drink without feeling like the two parts of my neck around it were part of a sausage link. However, I fell back in love with the look of an edgy black velvet choker or a glitzy and glamorous choker for nights out. Overall, I think this trend will stay for a little bit of 2017 and eventually fade back out before resurfacing in a few years once more.

Open Shoulders: Gone


I remember this trend being popular during the fall season back in 2012. It was popular enough that I decided to butcher one of my old button down shirts and create my own open shoulder top. It was cute for about one wear. I personally dislike open shoulder trend strongly for two reasons: 1) unless your top is completely off shoulders, having two cut outs around your shoulders somehow cheapens the look 2) it’s constricting to have fabric missing from the top of your arms but attached between your torso and the entire middle portion. The only open-shoulder cut that I would not mind as much are the two photos from the right because they are relatively elegantly shaped. However, I firmly believe this is a trend that came in briefly during the fall of 2016 and will leave just as quickly as it entered.

Micropleats: Staying


Micropleats are very flattering to almost any body type. For the tall and skinny, it further elongates your figure. For the short and curvy, they can create the illusion of a slimmer figure as long as the cut of the shirt or skirt is suitable to your height or body type. I’ve noticed that they always make a subtle entrance and exit each fashion cycle. I’ve also noticed that I’m never appalled or surprised to see someone wearing a clothing piece with micropleats whether or not they are in style at the moment. While the trend might be much less prominent in 2017, I believe micropleats will always lurk in the background of fashion.

Bomber Jackets: Staying

Bomber jackets have been the bomb dot com this year (ha. ha ha…ha). Many designers like Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent have incorporated beautiful floral or oriental prints on jackets and almost every female in the western hemisphere donned army green bombers throughout this past fall season. Bomber jackets cycle in and out of style every one or two years. While the printed ones might not be in style all the time, black and olive green jackets are certainly going to remain as staples in many people’s closets.

Romantic Ruffles: Going


I usually hate when something swoops in and ruffles up an expected systematical process, but I personally love ruffles too much to let them bother me when it comes to fashion. Despite my love for them, they are quite a disturbance to a simplistic article of clothing. Based off what I have seen on runways and on mannequins, large and asymmetrical ruffles might stick around for a little longer as they tend to romanticize a shirt or dress giving it a soft and feminine look. Tight, tiered, and tiny ruffles remind me of cake and should be expected to return to the world of London Tipton’s closet of the mid 2000’s.

Pajama Dresses/Slip Dresses: Going


Last time I checked, the only person who saw my lingerie was me and a man if he is lucky enough. I’m very much the walk-of-pride type because there is no shame in having your fun if you are safe and happy doing so. But it seems like 2016 said to women everywhere, “F*ck it. If you’re going to be proud, might as well just walk straight out of the bedroom and down the street!” I can almost see my mother cringing. While I love the romantic feel of satin and the simplicity of slip dresses, I believe that lingerie for the streets will go out of style very soon. Satin will probably still stick around in forms of cami tops and simplistic slip dresses will be reborn with a sturdier fabric for women to brace the world’s bullsh*t with.

T-Shirts Under Dresses: Gone

tshirt under dress.jpg

ALRIGHT. Do you know what this is? To me, this screams “I really love my lingerie and I want to flaunt it not just for boi to see but everyone, but I’m also not trying to look like a street walker with my headlights out and I’m not tall enough to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel if I wear it alone, so I’m going to add my boi’s t-shirt underneath so they know I am taken and so I don’t get too cold.” Choose one, mes chéries. Either rock that slip dress or style the t-shirt. We can’t have everything.

Mesh: Gone


One word: trypophobia. If you have an irrational fear of clusters of holes of either uniform or different sizes, do not Google Image search this word and do not look into this fabric trend. I protested the mesh trend harder than New Yorkers protested Donald Trump. Like I do with any cluster of holes, I am just waiting for something disgusting or terrifying to ooze out of them. It just looks cheap. I anticipate it will return to its own hole for quite a while in 2017.

Bodysuits: Going


Bodysuits will not be as popular but will definitely not disappear for one reason only: It flatters all figures. While they may remind you of a child’s onesie and be difficult to unbuckle every time you go to the bathroom, they have a way of slimming your figure in the most flattering way, almost like Spandex. Some styles of bodysuits (lace-ups, deep plunges, side-boob, etc.) will become less popular gradually, but overall bodysuits just might be here to stay a little while longer.

Lace-Ups: Going


While I love all my lace-up heels and tops, this trend is starting to fade as we roll into 2017. One of the main issues with lace-up is the style of a lace-up piece really depends on the length of the lace-up, the shape it forms, and the thickness of the laces. If done wrong, it can turn an item from tastefully sexy to trashy and tacky. As for shoes, if the laces are too thin, they leave marks as your feel swell throughout the day and can restrict your foot movement uncomfortably. I doubt the trend will completely disappear, but I predict it will slowly fade away for a while.

Velvet: Gone


It’s been a full season and yet I still can’t decide if I love or hate the trend. One thing I can say for certain is the shiny reflective velvet fabric shown in the last photo is definitely going out of style. It’s quite difficult to make this type of velvet look classy and chic. However, the darker and less reflective velour and velvet fabrics are timeless. I predict velvet will linger in small doses such as tops or shoes, but its 15-minutes of fame is definitely over.

Paper Bag Waistlines: Staying


I personally love these because I think they are flattering to many figures. The upside down flare outwards creates the illusion that your waistline is slimmer than it is. Who doesn’t love that? They’re also a classic twist on any pair of bottoms. While they may not be the most popular trend in 2017, you still might be able to swing them for a portion of spring or summer before it goes completely “out of style” in the new year.

Suede Everything: Staying


The suede trend may or may not be as prominent through 2017. However, it’s a classic material that will never fully go out of style. I predict that it suede skirts, shoes, and accessories will still be making appearances regardless of whether it is the trendiest material in 2017. Suede bags are a classic and will definitely always be in style. Unfortunately, it is harder to maintain a full suede outfit, suede dresses, pants, and jackets, so I will not be surprised if they don’t linger around in the new year. Now don’t throw away your suede items yet though mes chéries! The all suede errthang trend is bound to make another appearance in the next few years.

Hoodies Paired with High Fashion: Gone


There is urban street fashion. There is luxury designer fashion. They are like water and oil. Water and oil do not mix. So putting on a sweatshirt with Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots and a Chanel bag might look cute and casual for the streets of LA or when college students try to dress up while still remaining comfortable for lecture, but it does not mix well on the runway. Comfort is great, but I don’t see this trend lasting outside college campuses for much longer.

Mules: Going



Marled Fabric: Staying


Marled fabric has never truly gone out of style. For example, marled knit sweaters and athletic clothing or running sneakers have always made an appearance every year. Lululemon had a great line of leggings with marled fabric this year that were instantly sold out as well. Marled fabric is often a classic because it goes so well with any plain, simplistic pairing. You can expect to see it around for quite some time.

Renaissance and Victorian Sleeves: Gone


History repeats itself, as they always say. Renaissance styled sleeves are often long and flowing at the bottom. Victorian clothing have a boxy chest and shoulder cut or puffy sleeves. Both styles have been prominent and dramatic on the runway this fall, but are not always flattering to many body types. Since these are styles that can be easily paired with your “every day clothing,” we will let it stay in 2016 and can expect it in a year or two once more.

Comic Print on Denim Jackets and Clothes: Gone

I feel like all the seven year old girls and boys in the world bought packs of iron-ons from the craft store and attacked their older brothers’ and sisters’ jacket closets. I’ve always been the type of person who enjoys using emojis and enjoys graphic designs on screen, but I strongly believe they should stay in our technology and not on fashion. Technology and art can mix in some forms. This mix is a hard pass for me and 2017.

And there you have my fashion predictions for the start of the new year! What are your predictions and perspectives about these trends, mes chéries? What new trends do you want to see make a comeback or a cameo in 2017?



Erica Huang
Erica Huang

Based in New York City, Erica Huang is the creator and voice behind Bouge & Rouge. This blog is a playground of her thoughts where she invites you to join her on her journey through her 20s. Erica shares her lifestyle, fashion and beauty tips, adventures, and personal thoughts with the goal of inspiring others to always persevere and be unapologetically yourself.

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