The 11 Top Fashion Trends That Dominated 2016

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The 11 Top Fashion Trends That Dominated 2016
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Photo: Getty Images

Far be it from us to look back with fondness on the trash fire that was 2016, what with its stomach-churning election, global upheaval, and devastating celebrity deaths—but if there’s one part of the year that can be safely regarded without total contempt it’s what we wore. A little ridicule, perhaps (are we really letting Forever 21 get away with selling neck braces as chokers now?!), but for the most part, the year’s fashion trends have been pretty benign.

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For one, our ’90s and early-2000s nostalgia went into overdrive, with chokers hitting their saturation point somewhere around April (when Taylor Swift declared them “the new flower crowns” of Coachella), and Instagram cool kids adopting a uniform of slip dresses, tinted sunglasses, and mom jeans. For another, we followed celebrities’ leads with gusto, shelling out hundreds of dollars for once-uncool concert merch and snapping up whatever bomber jacket or pair of boots Kylie Jenner or Gigi Hadid posted on their feed.

MORE: Consider Yourself Warned: ‘Ugly’ Shoes Are Trending Hard for Spring ’17

With Instagram, it’s never been easier to pick up on the rising tide of fashion trends—or see, when they hit meme status, when they’ve finally hit their peak. Below, our roundup of the trends we saw everywhere in 2016. Now, who wants to make some bets on next year’s winners?

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Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Off-the-Shoulder Everything

The off-the-shoulder trend started innocently enough—a señorita top here, a slouchy sweater there—but it escalated quickly. Now, somehow, an exorbitantly expensive parka designed to expose, not cover, your shoulders seems justifiable. I know, it's a weird time.

Photo: instagram / @bellahadid
Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Photo: instagram / @palomija
Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Photo: instagram / @emrata
Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Photo: instagram / @chiaraferragni
Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Off-the-Shoulder Everything
Photo: instagram / @brittanysky
Merch
Merch

Everyone wanted a piece of Pablo (and Bieber, and Drake) in 2016—so much so that they stood in line for hours for a hoodie or paid triple the price on eBay. (Not Kylie, though—she got hers straight from the source.)

Photo: instagram / @kyliejenner
Merch
Merch
Photo: instagram / @danielleprescod
Merch
Merch
Photo: instagram / @simihaze
Merch
Merch
Photo: instagram
Merch
Merch
Photo: instagram / @haileybaldwin
Bomber Jackets
Bomber Jackets
Photo: instagram / @sarahfuckingsnyder
Bomber Jackets
Bomber Jackets
Photo: instagram / @yuyuzhangzou
Bomber Jackets
Bomber Jackets
Photo: instagram / @gabifresh
Bomber Jackets
Bomber Jackets
Photo: instagram / @ali_michael
Bomber Jackets
Bomber Jackets
Photo: instagram / @_yanyanchan
Vans Old Skools
Vans Old Skools

If 2016 has an answer to the Stan Smith, it's the Old Skool. The classic black-and-white Vans sneaker has, like much of the skater look (Thrasher tees, baggy jeans) been embraced in a big way by the fashion set this year.

Photo: instagram / @double3xposure
Vans Old Skools
Vans Old Skools
Photo: instagram
Vans Old Skools
Vans Old Skools
Photo: instagram / @alyssainthecity
Vans Old Skools
Vans Old Skools
Photo: instagram / @danielleguizio
Vans Old Skools
Vans Old Skools
Photo: instagram / @yoyokulala
Slip Dresses
Slip Dresses

Layered over a T-shirt or worn on its own, the lingerie-inspired slip was the favorite silhouette of many an aspiring Winona or Kate this year.

Photo: instagram / @natalieoffduty
Slip Dresses
Slip Dresses
Photo: instagram / @nneya
Slip Dresses
Slip Dresses
Photo: instagram / @troprouge
Slip Dresses
Slip Dresses
Photo: instagram / @collagevintage
Slip Dresses
Slip Dresses
Photo: instagram / @natashandlovu
Ruffles
Ruffles

All things frilly and feminine came back in a big way in 2016, thanks in no small part to the influence of Gucci's Alessandro Michele. Bring on the flounce, we say.

Photo: instagram / @yuyuzhangzou
Ruffles
Ruffles
Photo: instagram / @thestylethesaurus
Ruffles
Ruffles
Photo: instagram / @harinef
Ruffles
Ruffles
Photo: instagram / @songofstyle
Ruffles
Ruffles
Photo: instagram / @chiaraferragni
Over-the-Knee Boots
Over-the-Knee Boots

Who needs pants when boots will do the trick? Certainly not the many, many thigh-high-clad millennials that have been flooding our feeds the past 12 months.

Photo: instagram / @nadiaaboulhosn
Over-the-Knee Boots
Over-the-Knee Boots
Photo: instagram
Over-the-Knee Boots
Over-the-Knee Boots
Photo: instagram / @jastookes
Over-the-Knee Boots
Over-the-Knee Boots
Photo: instagram / @gigihadid
Over-the-Knee Boots
Over-the-Knee Boots
Photo: instagram / @kyliejenner
Fishnets
Fishnets

It's been a while since we got a little excitement out of the hosiery world, so the fishnet trend was a welcome addition to our wardrobes this fall.

Photo: instagram / @alyssainthecity
Fishnets
Fishnets
Photo: instagram / @palomija
Fishnets
Fishnets
Photo: instagram / @sarahfuckingsnyder
Fishnets
Fishnets
Photo: instagram / @danielleguizio
Fishnets
Fishnets
Photo: instagram
Chokers
Chokers

You know who really deserved to win TIME's "Person of the Year"? Whoever invented the choker necklace. So ubiquitous were they this year that I bet if you laid all of ASOS' stock end-to-end, it would circle the globe at LEAST once.

Photo: instagram / @gigihadid
Chokers
Chokers
Photo: instagram / @barbienox
Chokers
Chokers
Photo: instagram / @jastookes
Chokers
Chokers
Photo: instagram / @bellahadid
Chokers
Chokers
Photo: instagram / @alwaysjudging
Statement Sleeves
Statement Sleeves

Bigger was definitely better in 2016—at least when it came to sleeves. Whether they were long, ruffled, or leg o' mutton, so long as they were at least a little impractical, they were Fashion with a capital "F."

Photo: instagram / @tamumcpherson
Statement Sleeves
Statement Sleeves
Photo: instagram / @evachen212
Statement Sleeves
Statement Sleeves
Photo: instagram / @oraclefox
Statement Sleeves
Statement Sleeves
Photo: instagram / @margaret__zhang
Statement Sleeves
Statement Sleeves
Photo: instagram / @pernilleteisbaek
Cropped Flares
Cropped Flares

No, skinny jeans didn't up and disappear from everyone's wardrobes, but they did get some solid competition from wide-leg styles this year—especially those cropped atjust the right length to show off your shoes.

Photo: instagram / @chrisellelim
Cropped Flares
Cropped Flares
Photo: instagram / @haleboyd
Cropped Flares
Cropped Flares
Photo: instagram / @andyheart
Cropped Flares
Cropped Flares
Photo: instagram / @brooketestoni
Cropped Flares
Cropped Flares
Photo: instagram / @omgitsmeg

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The Kimmy Gibbler Guide to Style

The Kimmy Gibbler Guide to
Style
  • Off-the-Shoulder Everything
  • Off-the-Shoulder Everything
  • Off-the-Shoulder Everything
  • Off-the-Shoulder Everything
  • Off-the-Shoulder Everything
  • Merch
  • Merch
  • Merch
  • Merch
  • Merch
  • Bomber Jackets
  • Bomber Jackets
  • Bomber Jackets
  • Bomber Jackets
  • Bomber Jackets
  • Vans Old Skools
  • Vans Old Skools
  • Vans Old Skools
  • Vans Old Skools
  • Vans Old Skools
  • Slip Dresses
  • Slip Dresses
  • Slip Dresses
  • Slip Dresses
  • Slip Dresses
  • Ruffles
  • Ruffles
  • Ruffles
  • Ruffles
  • Ruffles
  • Over-the-Knee Boots
  • Over-the-Knee Boots
  • Over-the-Knee Boots
  • Over-the-Knee Boots
  • Over-the-Knee Boots
  • Fishnets
  • Fishnets
  • Fishnets
  • Fishnets
  • Fishnets
  • Chokers
  • Chokers
  • Chokers
  • Chokers
  • Chokers
  • Statement Sleeves
  • Statement Sleeves
  • Statement Sleeves
  • Statement Sleeves
  • Statement Sleeves
  • Cropped Flares
  • Cropped Flares
  • Cropped Flares
  • Cropped Flares
  • Cropped Flares

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