8 Unexpected Trends Making A Comeback On Instagram

...And how to wear them.

Is it just me, or did you also think that by the year 2018 we’d be wearing space getups reminiscent of The Fifth Element and The Matrix, and wooting around the sky in flying cars? We may have officially arrived in the future, but if a quick scan around the office (and a deep lurk on Instagram) is anything to go by, ~the future~ is looking an awful lot like my family photo albums from the late 80s and early 90s.

Whoever said “don’t look back” seemingly didn’t liaise with the fashion gods, because all we seem to do is look in the rearview mirror when it comes to trends. Which, FYI, is totes okay with me. One of my favourite mantras to live by is, “in order to move forward, you have to look back”. In life, I look back on past mistakes to avoid making them again, in business, I look back on past work to see how I can improve, and in fashion, I look back on my favourite style icons of the past to lift myself out of a style rut (more on that here).

Basically, fashion is like one giant revolving door. Just look to the recent 90s redux feat. mum jeans, sneakers, spaghetti straps, teeny tiny sunglasses and overalls as irrefutable proof. Although, it seems that we’re not satisfied with simply glancing over our shoulder. We’re now dipping even further back into the archives for inspo (think Princess Diana meets Grace Jones). 

So what’s up next? A whole lotta fun outfits, is what. For specifics, scroll on down!

Image: @maria_bernad

GLITTER

You heard it here first: minimalism is out, and maximalism is back with a sparkly vengeance. To ease into this brave *new* world, book yourself in for a manicure and use a disco ball as a reference (i.e. ask for glitter nails). Or, if you’re ready to take the glittery bull by the horns and fully lean into the trend, slide on into a shimmery slip top á la dream girl Devon Lee Carlson.

Shop the look: If your budget doesn’t account for things like Chanel boots, then maybe this Cult Gaia bag can fill the glitter-shaped hole in your heart? Or, let your face be the one to wear the trend, either with these extra Gucci frames, or more subtly, this Stila glitter eyeshadow.

Image: @kiribirii

NEON

You probably weren’t ready for this, and if I’m being totally honest, neither was I. But our ill-preparedness does not change the fact that neon has loudly announced its return. If you need proof that the trend favoured by 80s aerobics instructors everywhere is about to enter your lives/wardrobes, look no further than Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton men’s collection—which I’m betting women will be shopping, too. Add a touch of fluro to your outfit with a neon bandeau top or bra peeking out from underneath a blouse, with a cute lil’ beaded bag, or, you guessed it, splashed across yo’ nails.

Shop the look: these neon yellow sandals are cute, this agent provocateur bra will make any outfit P-O-P, and you’d be crazy not to take these lime neon bike shorts for at least one test drive this summer.

PRAIRIE VIBES

If your Instagram algorithm is anything like mine, your explore feed will currently be teaming with girls who look like they’re seconds away from skipping through a meadow to commence their milkmaid shift. Despite my general aversion to lactose-based beverages, I am so here for the trend—corset-esque bodices, square necklines and puff-sleeves are as adorbs as they are flattering.

BRB, popping down to my local dairy. But first…

Shop the look: No modern milk maid look is complete without this perfect Reformation dress, this equally as ~heavenly~ Reformation top, or this pretty in pink Rejina Pyo dress.

Image: @maria_bernad

OVERSIZED SUNGLASSES

Retinas, rejoice! The teeny, tiny sunglasses of late—that have served no real practical purpose other than to highlight how we shouldn’t adopt trends just because they look good on Bella Hadid—are slowly being replaced by XXL shades.

Other than bringing to mind images of Mary Kate and Ashley in giant sunglasses (holding even bigger Starbucks coffees), they’re part of a growing trend that’d suggest there’s nothing cooler than sun safety. Think larger-than-life straw hats (pioneered by Jacquemus), chic rash vests and high-neck swimmers. Another thing to hiding your life-threatening Sunday morning hangover.

Shop the look: It’s not a competition, but if it was, these Celine shades would win the cutest oversized shades of the season.

HIGH-CUT BIKINIS

Upper thighs, meet the world. World, meet my frightfully pale upper thighs. Another nod to the 80s, high-cut bikinis are settling in and I’m more than fine with that—they’re infinitely more flattering than their low-cut counterparts, IMO. Pull ‘em up, pop on a pair of cute shades, and you’re g2g.

Shop the look: For a one-piece option, look no further than our BFF Hunza G with this super flattering seersucker swimsuit. For bottoms, Solid & Striped have got you covered with these very forgiving bad boys (in black and red!).

Image: @maria_bernad

ANIMAL PRINTS

I could’ve sworn I left leopard print back in 2006 with my leather pants (RIP), but alas, the ~new~ wave of animal prints popping up here, there and everywhere has got me reconsidering my stance. Pair the trend back with casj options like denim, black pants or a white tee if you’re fence-sitting, or mix n’ match it with other neutral prints as mastered by Maria Bernad (here).

Shop the look: Our animal print lord and saviour, Ganni, is here with the safari-inspired goods. After a leopard swimsuit? They’ve got you with this smoking hot red one-piece. Fancy a skirt that will spruce up every single white top in your wardrobe? Introduce your legs to this sizzling leopard print skirt. Not mad at this Eres bikini either, for the record.

Image: @double3xposure

EXERCISE SHORTS

This photo of Princess Diana donning bike shorts is literally everywhere RN, but don’t reach for the bubble socks just yet (or do if you’re going to make it #fashion). Any trend that promotes comfiness is one that I am onboard with, so the bike short gets two sparkly thumbs up from me.

Pair with a blazer and strappy heels for an unexpectedly chic nighttime lewk, or with a button-up white blouse for a corporate look that will keep your workmates on their toes.

Shop the look: Pretty little thing have got you covered on all things bike shorts, from short ribbed ones to a more modest mid-thigh ones.

Image: @alwaysjudging

BODY JEWELLERY

Finally our ankles are getting the attention they so desperately deserve! If you didn’t save your cowrie anklets from that family trip to Bali in the early noughties, it’s chill, ’cause they’re likely to be everywhere very soon. And the southern regions of our legs aren’t the only ones partying. Belly chains, body chains, and toe rings (pedicures are a NON-NEGOTIABLE for the latter) are all making their comeback, just ask Instagram.

Shop the look: First thing’s first, grab yourself a cowrie anklet on Etsy (see here). Now that your ankles are happy, fill your cart with this belly chain, this body chain and this toe ring (remember what I said about that compulsory pedicure?).

So there you have it. All the ~new~ trends that you’re about to see everywhere. What do you think will be the next bring trend? Stone Age chic? The 1920s? We’re taking bets in the comments section below, so get casting for your chance to win… the euphoric feeling of being miles ahead of the curve.

Words, @carmengracehamilton

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