The 20 Weirdest Fashion Trends Of 2016 That Will Define The Year

If 2014 and 2015 were the years of bringing back ’90s trends, then 2016 was definitely the year of bringing back early 2000’s fashion trends. I never thought I would see the day where we were in danger of wearing lace-up jeans again, but here we are. 2016 has managed to take some of the more dated looks from the early 2000’s and make them cool again, thanks to updated pieces and the fact that stars like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Kylie Jenner literally never stopped wearing any of them. Thankfully, no one jumped on Kylie’s Von Dutch hat bandwagon (I wouldn’t be able to handle that type of thing), but we did try some other, uh, weird fashion trends this year.

Of course, “weird” doesn’t necessarily mean bad – just kind of random, out there, and maybe a little strange. I mean, after the last few years of refined elegance when it came to big designers, I never thought I’d see the day where big, flashy logos came back into style. And who knew I’d be living out my childhood dreams of wearing crushed velvet dresses as an adult? I’m sure that 2017 will bring about a whole new slew of trends, causing some of these styles to wither up and disappear in the next few months, as is the way of the fashion world. But a lot of these will stick around, at least for a little while, and I expect to see even more throwback styles in the next year. Until then, remember the clothes that will define 2016 as a little bit tacky, but also great. Here are some of the weirdest fashion trends of 2016 you need to remember forever:

1. Chokers

Chokers had to be one of the number one fashion trends of the year, and honestly, I was pretty stoked about it. I missed them! From those little stretchy chokers that look like tattoos to velvet bands to black bands with a charm, chokers were hard to miss or ignore. They seem to be disappearing, though, so wear ’em while they’re still literally everywhere.

2. Weird Denim

Denim did some, uh, interesting things this year. We saw frayed hem jeans, jeans decorated with patches and pins, embroidered jeans, patchwork jeans, jeans that had legs in two different colors… the list is almost endless. Denim jackets also got bigger and boxier, which I don’t hate, and think will get even bigger in 2017.

3. Calvin Klein Underwear

? @calvinklein #ad

A photo posted by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

It was basically impossible to escape Calvin Klein underwear this year, especially if you spent a lot of time on Instagram. Somehow, the basic cotton underwear sets started showing up literally everywhere and photos of girls with taut bellies showing off the label were inescapable. I have yet to purchase a pair, so I can’t say exactly why these underwear sets got so huge, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s part of the athleisure trend that’s been promoting minimalist comfort over luxurious glamour.

4. Velvet

? ???❤️ #velvet #velvetdress #dress #curls #curlyhair #bighair #promoters #germany #blond #uk #clothes #clothing

A photo posted by ? mary cataleya (@goold.shaawty) on

Velvet is not a new fabric, by any means, and it comes back into style every season in some small way. But in 2016, it seemed to hit an all-time high (or at least as popular as it was back in the ’90s and early 2000s). We saw velvet dresses, velvet tops, velvet accessories, and of course, velvet chokers.

5. Wearing Sweatshirts As Dresses

One of the most random trends of 2016, to me at least, was the practice of wearing giant sweatshirts as dresses. Oversized hoodies became cool again, but instead of being worn as something comfy for lazy days, they were being worn as a dress with over-the-knee boots (not as comfy). The outfit became known as lampshading (I don’t know why, but it’s probably because we like to make up words). I actually am pretty into this look, but so far, I’ve been too much of a wimp to try it. I have a feeling this will be one of those fashion trends we back on in ten years and think, “Damn. Why?” but whatever!

6. Thigh High Boots

If you named 2016 the Year of the Thigh High Boot, you would not be wrong. These boots were everywhere this year, regardless of seasons or weather, worn with everything from huge sweatshirts to fancy dresses. I love OTK boots and I hope they stick around, honestly.

7. Oversized T-Shirts

A photo posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

I cannot even begin to understand why Kylie is wearing what she is wearing, but as she is the clear fashion icon of 2016, this photo had to be included. Anyway, ignoring the belt/bustier/corset contraption, let’s focus on the oversized t-shirt being worn as a dress. This was definitely a Thing in 2016 and another example of lampshading. Oversized tops clearly took over in 2016, and I don’t really know why.

8. Cropped Sweatshirts

Cropped sweatshirts are weird because they’re a contradiction. You wear a sweatshirt to be warm and comfortable, and cropped ones are not as warm or as comfortable. Plus, it’s like… how do you wear them? Regardless of all these things, they just kept showing up.

9. Baseball Caps

Baseball caps, otherwise known as dad hats, were everything this year, and I’m so into it. Whether you opted for something plain, something textured (like leather or suede), something with a cute graphic (like an emoji), or a hat with a sassy saying, you couldn’t go wrong. Dad hats are perfect for the days your hair doesn’t look good but you still want to look cute without washing it, or just when you want to hide your face. I hope they never go out of style again.

10. White Sneakers

Sneakers in general took over almost every other shoe trend in 2016, but especially white sneakers. Heels took a backseat while brands like Adidas, Nike, and New Balance took over with comfort and style. Let’s keep this one around guys.

11. Little Bandanas Around Your Neck

At some point, bandanas came back, which I have mixed feelings about. Stylish fashion girls wore them tied around their neck, which looked very cool and trendy, but still… do we want these to continue in 2017? Undecided.

12. Off The Shoulder Everything

Little sis will be here tomorrow ??❤️

A photo posted by Alexa Nunn (@lexxajean) on

I love the off-the-shoulder trend, but I think we can all agree that we’re ready to move on from it, or at least downplay it a bit. 2016 brought us off-the-shoulder dresses, tops, jumpsuits, and even bathing suits. We saw button-down shirts being turned into off-the-shoulder shirts, and jackets being worn OTS as well. It was a little much.

13. Flashy Designer Logos


A photo posted by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on

After the early 2000’s mega trend of showing off every single label you possibly could ended, I was sure I’d never have to deal with flashy logos again. I was wrong, because 2016 brought them back (of course this happened during the worst year ever). Supermodels, celebrities, and us “regular” people started sporting designer bags with large logos, tees and dresses with the name of the brand splashed across the front, dad hats with logos, and so much more.

14. Dresses Over Shirts

Honestly, who could have predicted that the extremely ’90s look of wearing dresses over tees and turtlenecks would come back into style? Not me, but hey – I’m not that mad about it.

15. Millennial Pink

Even if you’ve never heard the term “millennial pink,” you know what it is: that shade of light pink that is impossible to ignore. Brands like Glossier and have used it in lots of their products, as have many other brands, and it’s huge on Instagram and Tumblr. It’s even been dubbed “Tumblr Pink” by some. I love this color and love how popular it is, but I wish I knew where it came from.

16. Matching Athletic Sweatsuits

those new gold Pumas tho ✨ #ForeverFierce @PUMATraining #pumaad

A photo posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

It’s no surprise that Kylie Jenner was a huge proponent of the matching sweatsuit look, which feels like it came straight out of my high school days in a time machine. I just… I can’t get into it. Sorry. It looks comfortable, and some girls rock it like queens, but it’s not for me.

17. Embellished Bomber Jackets

Bomber jackets were one of the biggest trends of 2016, and a personal favorite of mine. This athleisure essential can be worn in almost any season, and it just looks good! But while plain bombers were super popular, so were embellished ones… to the point where it became hard to find something in just one shade. Bomber jackets full of patches or jackets that boasted quotes on the back, or patterned bombers that stood out became the norm.

18. Tour Merch

Er man officielt Bieber fan hvis man ejer 2x #biebermerch ?

A photo posted by ?Olivia? (@oliviavgdam) on

Okay, no offense, but the tour merch trend needs to stay in 2016. I don’t know when we all started coveting clothing with giant merch designs or this font in particular, but… can we go back to when we weren’t?

19. Giant Chokers

I love a good choker as much as the next person, but these giant statement chokers that look like they’re holding up decapitated heads need to chill.

20. Strangely Cropped Jeans

I don’t know how we let this happen, but somehow, flared yet cropped jeans were huge this year, especially for the uber-fashionable crowd. I… am not a big fan. Do you, though!

Which one of these fashion trends of 2016 was your favorite? What was your least favorite? Did we forget anything? Share in the comments!

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.

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