Skip to main content

11 Fashion and Beauty Trends That Lived and Died in 2016

RIP chokers: Coachella 2016-Coachella 2016.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
Photo: Emily Malan/Fashionista

Photo: Emily Malan/Fashionista

Trends move quickly these days. It's not like they were when we were growing up, when tattoo necklaces hung in there for what felt like a decade. (Their successor, the dainty choker, was less fortunate with its life expectancy.) What else could we expect? With fast fashion retailers like Boohoo releasing up to 300 new products a day — as well as identifying trends and producing their own versions in under two weeks — there's a higher demand for what's fresh and new. The beauty industry is in the same vein, too. Instagram and YouTube tutorials have put a premium on makeup looks of-the-moment, which, by the very nature of being of-the-moment, change constantly.

All of this means that we've said hello and goodbye to our fair share of fashion and beauty crazes in 2016. We compiled 11 of the most hard-and-fast ones that saw their 15 minutes this year, but have now been exiled to the trend graveyard. RIP.


Alas, chokers, we hardly knew ye. One minute, they were anointed as the new flower crowns at Coachella, later making a record 12 appearances at Gigi Hadid's birthday party; and the next, they took the form of a neck brace — nay, a giant, zip-up choker from Forever 21. How the mighty have fallen.

Merch Everything

Justin Bieber has given birth to a monster. Nine months after his "Purpose Tour" gear first launched in his online shop, it has since been carried by the following vendors: VFiles, Barneys New York, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Claire's, Selfridges and PacSun. (What a spread, huh?) Enough is enough. Let's nip this in the bud before his merch hits PetSmart.

Metal Fonts

The font was all over said Bieber merchandise, trickling down to just about every other #teen superstar. But it also trickled up: In June, Brioni debuted a full-on metal makeover with the help of new creative director Justin O'Shea. In October, O'Shea was out. That's it. That was the lifespan.

Jeans With Inexplicable Butt Slits

I have a lot of questions here. I've never seen these worn in real life, so I'm not sure how much of one's actual butt is typically shown. Do these jeans display the line where the cheek hits the leg? (I'm scared to Google the anatomical name on my work computer.) And can you buy jeans that are already like this, or do people like Taylor Hill and Kylie Jenner have to take scissors to them themselves?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Off-the-Shoulder Tops

With the above photo, Eva Chen declared them over in September after one too many contestants on "Bachelor in Paradise" wore them at every turn. (Conversely, Lauren Bushnell was a particularly enthusiastic advocate for them on "The Bachelor" and she ended up winning the thing, so maybe some subtle shoulder skin is actually an aphrodisiac?) Anyway, they're dead now!

...And Off-the-Shoulder Fur

Back in February, eagle-eyed Chantal noticed that more and more New York Fashion Week showgoers were wearing their fur coats draped off-the-shoulder than were wearing them as a cape. The sexy, undressed styling trick — perhaps inspired by the Kardashians — cropped up everywhere, but was difficult to replicate. We'll see if it stays strong through 2017. Is the once-ubiquitous editors' cape gone for good?

That Saint Laurent Heart Coat

When Hedi Slimane first sent this heart-shaped cape made of red fox fur down the runway back in March, we figured it was going to get a lot of play. (Alyssa even called it out in her review.) And contrary to general logic, like its $15,000 price tag, it got worn — a lot. Cara Delevingne wore it on the cover of W's "Summer of Love"-themed June/July issue. Rihanna wore it with shorts and a baseball cap for a friend's birthday party in September. Blogger Erica Pelosini wore it during Milan Fashion Week because she was reportedly in love with her dog, a golden retriever named Cashmere. It was fun while it lasted — especially for Cashmere, I bet.

Pastel-Bleached Wigs Being Teased As Haircuts

You'll never believe what [insert Instagirl's name here] just did to her hair! Actually, you know, we do believe it! Because we know it's a wig!

'90s Logo Revivals

Brands went all in on preying on millennial and Gen Z nostalgia this year. Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein Underwear, Wrangler, Nautica and Fila all helped Urban Outfitters post a 5 percent increase in second-quarter sales this year. A lot of brands came back from the dead, but who's to tell how long this resurgence lasts? My money's on not much longer — some of these long-gone zombie labels may not be able to exist on their own without a larger retailer's help.


Another trend that was probably (almost definitely) spearheaded by those famous residents of Calabasas, bodysuits were already a full-on wardrobe staple (among those of us who enjoy wearing glorified leotards) by the time Coachella rolled around. By mid-May, industry outlets like Harper's Bazaar were questioning the "pleasure and pain" of the bodysuit. Pleasure: "The bodysuit has become the unofficial topper of the Monica Rose-ies...Girls who like their looks a little sexy." Pain: peeing.


Look, we love Karlie Kloss. But this very picture of Kloss's cheekbones looking like a glazed donut triggered a chain reaction in the Fashionista offices from which we're still recovering. Highlighter does great, important work — really! — but by late October, it had reached unparalleled glossiness.

Never miss the latest fashion industry news. Sign up for the Fashionista daily newsletter.