Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Unfashionista's Official 2017 trend report

Ahhh, dear readers! It's that time of year when the one person who declares herself entirely unqualified to talk about fashion spends an entire post telling you what's been fashionable for the past year!
This year, I'll divide my list into three classifications: Shoe trends, Clothing trends, and Ornamentation trends.

Shoe trends

I noticed my observations were pretty heavy on the shoes this time around (related, perhaps, to the excess of shoe shopping I did this year which resulted in 1/5 of my shoe collection being acquired in the last six months, and causing it to spill over out of its dedicated closet and into two other areas of my bedroom).

Slides and more slides

From chunky pool slides in the early months to pointy-toed flat mules come fall, the slip-on shoe was big this year. While I had my good fun with furry slides, I restrained myself from purchasing more than one pair because it seemed like they were already on the outs by the time I got them. Flat mules, while still mostly the province of fashion bloggers rather than "regular people," seem to be growing in popularity. But I myself just don't feel like getting any. I always found backless shoes to be a hassle, and the silhouette doesn't really do anything for me.

Ankle straps and lacing

While open-faced lace-up shoes graced my list of 2015 shoe trends, this year I found that around-the-ankle ballerina-style lacing took a front seat. In a similar vein, I've seen a lot of ankle straps. I appreciate how ankle detailing can make or break a trouser length, but straps and laces are hard to work with. After acquiring a couple shoes of this ilk and learning how difficult they are to get on and off (imagine re-lacing your shoes once every hour, as I do to keep myself fit at the office!), my enthusiasm for the lace-up trend is waning quickly.

Sock boots

Boots that are so soft and tight-fitting that they might as well be socks, that's what sock boots are! I'm still kicking myself for finding an overknee sock boot in the thrift store two years ago, and letting a lady talk me out of getting it because it basically looked like a shoe with a sock attached. If I'd gotten it, I could have very cheaply preceded the wave of sock boots that are now the coolest thing since snow. I've gotten a few sock boots this year, most of which I haven't worn yet, but I adore them compared to the alternative, which is the rapidly encroaching oversized slouchy boot.

Clothing trends

There wasn't a lot that really caught my eye in terms of clothing this year. Much of it is basically an extension of trends I mentioned in the past, but I'll briefly summarize a few I noticed.

Statement sleeves

Statement sleeves, which includes the bell sleeves I first noted at the beginning of last year, and expanding to lots of upper-arm bulk and ruffles as well, are still getting bigger—figuratively again, but I wouldn't mind if they did it literally too. I would get a huge (figurative) kick out of a resurgence of floor-length sleeves as seen in the Middle Ages, regardless of their impracticality!

Holey jeans nouveau

While holey jeans were pictured in my fashion review of 2014, I have, unbelievably, never actually featured the trend on its own! Perhaps it's because it has been at least somewhat popular for just basically ever. This year, however, holey jeans were worn in a way that I've never before seen: the enormous gaping holes were decorated from beneath with fishnet tights (again, mostly by fashion bloggers, not the general public). While it's not really my cup of tea, I have to admit that this might be the one way of wearing trashed pants (with something cool underneath!) that I would consider trying.

Shirts with attached chokers

Not too surprisingly, the choker trend of last year made it into clothing this year, with shirts that had built-in chokers at the neckline. This was far from a huge trend, but it's something I've never seen done before, so I felt it was at least worth mentioning.

Ornamentation trends

Ornamentation was where it was at for 2017. While silhouettes didn't vary much from last year to this one, I noticed a lot of commonality in terms of how things were decorated.


One interesting motif this year is the cactus. I didn't see it a ton, but just often enough to notice it. Stars, a more common embellishment in general, seem to have appeared much more often. To some extent, this may be my penchant for stars that calls me to admire them whenever I see them, but I feel like they were more popular globally in 2017. This was also, definitively, the year of the unicorn. While I am proud to say I loved unicorns before they were cool (for proof, see my Halloween costume from 2012, or the unicorn socks I was wearing in 2010), 2017 was the year unicorns reached market saturation ("unicorn hair" and the "Unicorn Frappuccino" are just a few of the relics of this year's unicorn frenzy). A number of unicorn-themed garments and accessories made their way into my ultra-low price range the past few months, which must mean the bubble is about to burst.


As far as 3-dimensional decorations go, it was small fluffy things all the way. I saw a preponderance of tassels and fur pom poms, especially on shoes and jewelry. I can take them or leave them, and have so far managed to leave them.

Definitely the number-one trend that defined 2017 for me was embroidery, mostly of the floral sort. While it started with a couple of shirts and bras with embroidery patches popping up frequently in my eBay searches, it grew to appear just about everywhere! In addition to being the defining trend for 2017, it's also my favorite, although, being my thrifty and crafty self, I have refrained from buying anything embroidered, in favor of making my own. This has caused me to be a little late to the party, but I'll get there! I promise!

Future trends

Every year, I usually express a couple wishes/predictions for the year ahead. This year, I'm putting my money on flip flops—not beach sandals, which will always have their place (at the beach!), but thong-style sandals (preferably with a platform) to be worn for more everyday and semi-dressy occasions. Dress flip flops are currently totally passé. I was buying heavily discounted pairs in 2011 (sure sign of a decline in their popularity), and had completely eliminated them from my collection by that means it's surely time for them to come back! Shower slides were really popular in the late 90's, and flip flops came a few years after. And guess what's pretty popular now? Shower slides! Guess what's coming next! This is not to say I think flip flops will actually rise to ascendancy by the end of 2018, but that it's a good time to stock up if we find a bargain, so our future selves can be ahead of the curve!

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