They’re the questionable trends that you tell yourself you wouldn’t be seen dead in, ever… Fast forward a few months and you’re frantically Googling options in your size. And, before you know it, you’re splurging on multiple colourways, so deep is your new-but-old trend love-in.
Whether it’s 70s, 80s or 90s redux, the familiarity thing makes you want to, well, try it on again and see how it fits. It’s like the lure of a bad ex – but without the guilt trip. Unless you’re looking at your bank account.
“Designers have responded to [recent] political uncertainties in different ways,” says Coco Chan, head of womenswear at Stylebop.com. “Some did provocative statements via slogan tees. Others went for fantasy and nostalgia – i.e. bring on the revival of trends like oversized ruffles and disco boots.”
These are the comeback looks that have clawed their way back into mainstream fashion in a big way. First timer or repeat offender? Who cares, these trends are worthy of a take two (disclaimer: we think…).
Britney circa 1999 championed crop tops the first time around. Now they’re back, making abs our number one accessory *groans and pushes biscuit tin away*. 2017’s crop tops come in various guises, from dangerously high-cut under-boob (hello, Bachelor) to more wearable midriff grazers.
“The crop top isn’t just for Little Mix groupies,” says Josh Newis-Smith, InStyle’s fashion and celebrity director. “With Michelle Obama even toying with one, it can be formalised with tactful layering, becoming the ultimate girl power trend for this year.”
How to wear one, even if you haven’t got washboard abs like J-Lo? Be strategic with that navel exposure. “Nobody likes a fashion flasher,” warns Josh. “If you’re wearing a crop top with your midriff on show, always cover up the bottom half. Or try layering over more formal pieces.”
Meet your 2017 fashion muse… the flamenco dancer emoji (AKA shorthand for ‘going out-out’), because 80s-esque oversized ruffles have made their return. Wallflowers need not apply.
Worn loud and proud, mega-ruffles are your shortcut to ostentatious dressing – by day or night. Their exaggerated proportions also = instant Instagram likes.
But a word of warning if you’re styling up your ruffles and don’t want to look like a retro toilet cover doll: “Ruffles add volume so you must take care to balance out proportions so they flatter your figure,” says Chan.
“Play with volume on either the top or bottom – never both – so you don’t get swallowed up by fabric!”
You don’t need to need to have ‘niche’ interests to engage in a bit of PVC – or ‘vinyl’ if you want to sound more street. The so-shiny-you-can-actually-see-your-reflection fabric has found its way beyond Fifty Shades kinky stuff.
“I adore the trend for vinyl and PVC – it looks so sleek and edgy,” says writer and stylist Alexandra Fullerton. “I wore Topshop’s Jamie jeans in vinyl during London Fashion Week with an army surplus shirt and pink Saint Laurent heels, and never had so many compliments!”
How you style your PVC is all-important so you look less Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, more ‘yes’ Angelina Jolie off-duty. “The best way to wear vinyl is dressed down, to keep it from looking like a Halloween costume,” Alexandra advises. “Distressed denim, khaki twill or chunky knitwear are all the perfect foil for the ultra-sexy fabric.”
From Gucci’s keep-it-simple, er, ‘Gucci’ logo to Dior’s thought-provoking ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ (Rihanna and J-Law approved), 80s-style slogan tees are having a m-o-m-e-n-t.
Don’t say it with flowers, say it with a T-shirt. Expressing yourself via a slogan emblazoned across your bust is the way to go for 2017.
“Slogan tees never really went away from my wardrobe,” says style blogger Alexandra Stedman of the-Frugality.com. “Basic tees are so easy to dress up and down, and a logo just adds a bit more interest.”
Think outside the casualwear box and use your slogan tee to play cool girl dress-up. Alex says: “My favourite way to wear is the J.Crew way of styling – use it to pare down an otherwise ‘tricky’ piece of clothing, like a sequin skirt.”
Sporty Spice made them her 90s look (perfect for those backflip signature moves) and now the likes of Posh, AKA VB, is parading them down her designer catwalk. Track pants have upgraded from laundry day defaults to sports luxe must-haves in a major way. Think Gucci, Celine and Stella McCartney, often with not-so-casual price tags of $1,000+.
“There’s a fine (start) line between track pants looking super-cool, or pretty trashy,” says Helen Oliver, womenswear buyer at Psyche.
“Chloe has designed a more tailored, classy version and Zara has good affordable takes on the trend, too. Worn with heels to elevate them to luxe trouser, they can look great. But the Adidas sporty three-stripe versions are probably best kept where they belong – on the track.”
LINGERIE AS OUTERWEAR
First PJs made it outside of the bedroom. And now it’s lingerie – in every form: camis, slips, corsets, bodysuits and even bras slung over tees (we’re looking at you, Kendall Jenner).
Think Victoria’s Secret smalls but in broad daylight. “I’m a die-hard fan of wearing underwear as outerwear, perhaps because I’m fundamentally lazy,” says Lorna Andrews, style blogger of lornaluxe.com. “There’s something so sexy and feminine about wearing a silk slip or negligee as daywear.”
Never go head-to-toe boudoir if you’re just popping out for brunch. Instead, dress your lingerie piece down a bit. “I’ll pair a silk cami with distressed jeans and mohair cardi,” Lorna suggests. “I also love to throw a boyfriend blazer over a silk slip – it’s these juxtapositions that bring the trend to life.”
Gone are the days of flinging on a classic pair of 501s. Denim has switched to the garish side, c/o Gucci and ‘that’ tiger denim jacket topping the fashion zoo’s wish list.
Decorate your denim with embroidery, pins and a smattering of iron-on badges and, if it looks too subtle? Hit the haberdashery and whack on some more…
“I used to customise my old Guess jeans when I was a teenager – it takes me back! I like making things my own,” says denim guru, Donna Ida.
“I love a heel with ripped or patched jeans, because sometimes it can feel a little too skater girl with rips, patches AND trainers. I think this trend works by mixing uptown/downtown.”
Get your stomp on because 70s glam-rock booties are back. The more glittery and star-spangled and insanely OTT, the better. See Saint Laurent for the perfect example (waiting list as standard).
“It’s great to see such fun trends like disco boots making a comeback – they’re the perfect shoe for a bit of escapism and showing off your frivolous side,” says Chan.
Approach without caution. If you’re even remotely self-conscious of all things sparkly/shiny/metallic, footwear is where it’s at.
“Glitzy boots allow you to buy into the disco trend in a much more subtle way,” says Coco, “I much prefer statement footwear to be dressed down, so team a sparkly boot with jeans and white tee for a pared-down look.”
Kylie Jenner and co. pretty much own this off-duty look. Typified by a foam front, mesh back and retro logo, these truck driver caps are the of-the-moment way to work that incognito I’m-just-casually-hiding-from-a-paparazzi-vibe.
They should be worn brash-y, with a hint of trashy – think spectator at a Dodgers game. If you really want to adopt the trend head-on, go for an obvious brand logo, like Von Dutch.
“There’s a real sense of nostalgia around cult items from the 90s right now,” says Heather Gramston, Selfridges’ womenswear buying manager. “This summer we relaunched Von Dutch to Selfridges with a capsule collection of trucker caps sold exclusively at our Designer Studio.”
“Wear them with an element of fun and don’t take them too seriously.”
Wide-leg pants have been flapping around in our fashion periphery for a while but proper 70s-style fit-and-flare designs are where it’s at, according to brands like Gucci and Ellery. The man-repelling trouser is all about exaggerated proportions – perfect for showing off a killer shoe.
“I’m massively in favour of the return of the flared pant, in fact, I’ve just packed a pair to take on a fashion trip,” says Lindsey Holland, style blogger of ropesofholland.com.
“I’ll be wearing mine with a slogan T-shirt tied in a knot at the front and a leather biker jacket, probably with Vans to dress them down.”
Keep the top half of your silhouette form-fitting to really flaunt your flare to the max.
There’s no bigger 90s throwback than a choker necklace. Channel your inner Cher Horowitz with the biggest statement trend to hit your jewellery box.
Wear ‘em big and bold, or dainty and layered for a party on your neck. Steer clear of the faux henna tattoo choker and decorate your neck with simple black velvet for a nod to grunge.
“Who didn’t wear chokers the first time around?” says Connie Nam, founder and CEO of Astrid & Miyu. “It’s such a versatile piece and an instant way to update an outfit.”
Make your choker the main event by easing back on the rest of your bling. Connie advises: “Keep it simple – if you’re wearing a choker, keep other accessories from your collarbone up, like earrings, fairly minimal and stack up your rings instead.”
Newsflash: all the best shoes are missing backs right now. Slip-on mules are a shoe maven’s dream – and chiropodists nightmare…
“Mules are simple and elegant and go with just about anything,” says Giorgina Renken, senior brand manager at Fashionette.co.uk. “My favourite has got to be the floral mules by Gucci.”
Wear your mules in flats, a la Gucci’s horsebit pair, or mega-heels, like No.21’s satin knotted numbers, and style them up accordingly.
Giorgina says: “Try dressing up a pair of flat mules with a slouchy jogger and blazer, and heeled mules look incredible with flared trousers or jeans.” You can apologise to your toes for working overtime later.