2018’s Top Fashion Trends: Were They Fleeting Or Forever?

Fashion in 2018 is moving faster than it ever has before. And fast-fashion, as it was, has created greater access to trends. This has essentially redefined the once narrow concepts of style and taste as democratic. Socially, that’s great! Dare I even say, progressive. Today, fewer barriers stand between a person and their ability to use clothing as tools to define themself.


But, this leveling has also produced a collective desire for constant new-ness, which, combined with the always-on nature that social media perpetuates, means that the life cycle of a trend is oftentimes short-lived. And that couldn’t be more true for some of the fads we saw in 2018.


Below, we’re looking back at the items that emerged in and dominated our year and predicting which ones were fleeting (hint: a bunch of them!), and which ones we expect to see “forever.” Or, at least through January 2019.



The Trend: Bucket Hats



The Verdict: Forever


It’s not much of a surprise that bucket hats are having a moment, as evidenced by too-cool-for-school nail artist Madeline Poole, who recently launched her own line, Feveroom. Budding labels aside, bucket hats have been a style staple in the closets of some of history’s most prolific style icons (see: LL Cool J) as well as on-screen (who could forget Gilligan’s Island?). It’s a no-brainer then that these pieces have lasting power.



The Trend: Tiny Sunglasses



The Verdict: Fleeting


Show us an optical look more absurd than tiny sunglasses. Extra-skinny specs had their moment thanks in no small part to sunglasses brand Le Specs and Adam Selman’s first eyewear collaboration in 2017, which included a very specific (and popular) style of sunglasses called “The Last Lolita.” Then, sometime during the summer of 2018, their popularity peaked, which gave way to a meme that I will not soon forget:




The Trend: Mini Bags


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The Verdict: Fleeting


In 2018, the obsession with mini accessories extended from sunglasses to bags, and Jacquemus’ “Le Chiquito” style became the “it”-bag if there ever was one. Given it’s fatal flaw (you can’t actually fit anything inside of it), we have our doubts that these microscopic purses will continue to be anything more than Instagram fodder.



The Trend: Fanny Packs


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Supreme®/LACOSTE. 04/19/2018

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The Verdict: Forever


One of the good things to come from the ’80s is the fanny pack. These days, you can’t turn a street corner without bumping into a hypebeast wearing one as a crossbody. But that’s not a bad thing. There must be something behind this public fascination with utilitarian fashion, and it looks to be a trend that isn’t fading fast, according to forward-looking brands like GmbH and 032C.



The Trend: Dad Sneakers



The Verdict: Fleeting


Technically, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton brought the “dad sneaker” into existence in 2017, but it’s lived a full life in 2018 and has been replicated by practically every sneaker brand to boot. Will the trend continue in 2019? It’s hard to say. There’s something about their overt ugliness that has some strange appeal. But, personally, my intense reaction to them also leaves me wanting something that’s the complete oppositean antidotein terms of style. And who knows. Next year, that’s just what we might get.


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