Trends ebb and flow on the runways every season, but looking at the bigger picture, 2019 was the year of unexpected trends. And you can thank celebrities for that: Stylish stars hit the streets in daring pieces that were all about embracing the surprise factor. These trendsetters didn’t just carry any ol’ bags around—their bags had to be either super tiny, or super huge. Think they wore simple, sexy strappy sandals to go with them? Think again. Kim Kardashian West revived the ’90s flip-flop heel instead, which went on to become the most polarizing footwear style of the year, embraced by everyone from Rihanna to Katie Holmes.
In the menswear world, Hollywood gents were just as risk-taking with their fashion, too. Professional peacockers such as Harry Styles, Ezra Miller, Lil Nas X, and more took the plunge by experimenting with murses—that’s a man purse, by the way—and dainty jewelry that could easily have been borrowed from the girls. They even dabbled in some of the most surprising womenswear trends of the moment, too, like when Mark Ronson stepped out in flared pants that appeared as if plucked right out of the ’70s. (Styles has also been rocking bell-bottoms on the regular.)
The main 2019 trend takeaway? This past year was all about stars finding the most unlikeliest—and flashiest—pieces from forgotten decades, and then making them (somehow) chic again. Below, the six unexpected trends that took over 2019.
1. Sexy Cardis & Sweater Vests
A look that was first ignited in the early fall (which is prime knitwear season, after all), stars put a sexier spin on both cardigans and sweater vests this year. Who could forget Katie Holmes’s Khaite cashmere bra and cardigan set that went unexpectedly viral? Everyone had to have it! Model Bella Hadid also did a cooler spin on the sweater vest when she wore a knitted utility vest, by emerging designer Reese Cooper. More recently, Harry Styles took his impressive knit game to the next level, wearing a sweater vest covered in sheep.
2. ’70s Flares
Skinny jeans, who? 2019 was all about ditching pin-thin fits in favor of more voluminous shapes instead—specifically flared out at the bottom. The ’70s-style, wide-leg pant made a huge comeback on both men and women, appearing in a variety of styles, too. There were tons of groovy jeans to be had (Margot Robbie and Priyanka Chopra both offered their takes on the trend) and even fun dress pants as well (à la Mark Ronson and Styles, who has made bell-bottoms a recurring signature).
3. Statement Bags (Micro, Oversized & Murses)
Bags are a daily essential—but 2019 wasn’t about practical carry-alls. This year, celebrities used handbags to make a statement: they were either super tiny, or hilariously large. Just this past week at the AMAs, Lizzo stole the show when she carried the teeniest, tiniest Valentino bag you’ve ever seen on the red carpet. At the other end of the spectrum, model Kendall Jenner has also stepped out holding a giant Hermès Birkin bag, her go-to traveling essential. Men even sported purses this year, too: Ansel Elgort looked particularly slick when he paired his black top-handle style with a classic khaki suit.
4. Flip-Flop Heels
Flip-flop, click-clack: Those were the two sounds that you heard on the streets around the world this year. Why? Because celebrities revived the divisive flip-flop heel of the ’90s. The thonged stiletto was first worn by Kim Kardashian West, who often sported Yeezy styles designed by her husband, Kanye West; soon after, the craze continued when fellow trendsetting stars such as Rihanna and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley started rocking it in their own way, too. (Huntington-Whiteley particularly loves her Bottega Veneta pairs.)
5. Baroque Men’s Jewelry
Men’s jewelry is traditionally understated and subtle—but this year, men went a prettier, daintier route, slipping on jewels that felt refreshingly feminine. Ezra Miller wore ornate earrings on the red carpet, while Lil Nas X often favored sparkly necklaces. During fashion month, rapper A$AP Rocky—who also rocked a babushka scarf for much of 2019—went baroque with an ornate choker and a pearl necklace that looked straight out of a chic grandma’s jewelry box.
6. Fall Maxi Skirts
Those long, easy-breezy skirts aren’t just for the beach during the summertime: Celebrities switched things up and wore the maxi skirt in the fall instead. The end result was surprisingly sophisticated, especially when paired with a more structured blazer or coat, as Priyanka Chopra and Jennifer Lawrence did. The look got the royal stamp of approval, too: Kate Middleton wore elegant maxi hemlines for a number of her fall appearances.
Originally Appeared on Vogue