IAP's 2019 fashion trend predictions - fashion trends to watch for 2019

IAP's 2019 fashion trend predictions - fashion trends to watch for 2019

Fashion styles for 2019 are predicted to break trends in a big way. Global styles will influence American clothing and the balance between comfort and style will gain importance among buyers. Clothing choices will be swayed by the continuing decline of body negativity, ageism, and styles considered after-effects of white privilege. Fashion's impact on the earth's climate will begin to become a factor for many consumers. Here are IAP's fashion predictions for 2019.

Functional garments

Garments with functional features such as adjustable length, hidden pockets, and easy-care are predicted to be popular in many countries around the world. Western countries are much less concerned with functionality, but the trend is expected to ease into Western regions as we begin to witness the transformation of purses and wallets into clothing and the introduction of ingenious apparel improvements such as conveniently located, labeled pockets for items such as keys, phones, credit cards, and coins.

Changes in the environment will impact changes in style. As weather patterns become more and more unpredictable, clothing styles will follow suit. Expect to see a resurgence of summer waterproofs including waterproof overcoats, accessories, and shoes. image


Sustainable clothing may not take off in 2019 but its importance to shoppers will gain ground as consumers begin to hold manufacturers to task to ensure clothing does little to impact our environment. Watch for the shift from fast fashion to more durable clothing. Once the shift begins, clothing trends will solidify. Rather than disposing of pieces after a few wearings, apparel will be combined, layered, and when well worn, repaired rather than replaced. image


Layers are expected to be big in 2019, especially layering pieces of the same shade with materials that vary in texture. We’ve already seen creative layered pieces from Sylvie Millstein of Hellessy and Hanako Maeda of Adeam that use varied fabrics and fitted underlayers to slim the silhouette without adding bulk. Those striving for sustainability can use layer combinations to assemble a variety of outfits with limited pieces. image

Oversized clothing, outerwear and hats

Many manufacturers are seeing a shift to oversized, unstructured outerwear. The trend will shift to pants and dresses as trousers become baggier and hemlines grow wider. These pieces will be complimented with balloon sleeves, bubble skirts, ruffles, and volume dresses and work their way into accessories such as oversized hats and statement jewelry pieces.

Puffed shoulders

Bold shoulders are still strong bets but rather than padded, boxy lines, puffy shoulders are moving in to take their place. Puffed shoulder pieces will be complemented with square necklines, cinched waistlines, and potentially voluminous skirts. If the wearer tires of the big-shouldered shape, they can throw on a blazer or overshirt to create an entirely different look for the piece. image

Tighter pleats

Related to the fit and feel of oversized clothing, tight pleats are back for 2019. Social media searches for pleats nearly doubled in late 2018 and the look is expected to trend upward throughout 2019. In fact, even tighter pleats are predicted to appear on the market. Tight pleats provide maximum impact while allowing freer movement and a dynamic silhouette as the flexible material expands and contracts with ease. image

Neo Boho

Hippy modernism has shown up frequently on the runways. Long, languid, and sensual outfits tainted with warm, earthy desert and sunset hues could spill over into crochet pieces and amulet jewelry as unusual geometric prints, swirling graphics, sequins, and fringing make appearances on all types of apparel and accessories including tops, dresses, bottoms, jewelry, and accessories. image

Sequin jumpsuits

Related to the Neo Boho fashion trend, sequin jumpsuits will likely start trending in 2019 as a dreary socioeconomic environment looks for the ultimate pick-me-up with sparkly pieces, which are equally festive while remaining practical, appear in stores to ease our spirits. The sparkly sequin style will become the go-to party look for 2019. image

Khaki colors

Bridging neo boho styles and the movement to sustainable fashion, traditional trench coat fabric will appear in khaki designs from overcoats, skirts, and dresses to pants and possibly even accessories. Jewel tones such as ruby, emerald green, and amethyst will be paired with khaki to create a rich, sophisticated look with a playful pop of color. image

Red, coral, and vibrant colors

The color red is expected to be popular in 2019, along with vibrant, neon-bright colors, particularly pink, greens, and yellows. Skirts, shorts, trousers, and jackets will appear bearing zesty, bright colors that can be mixed with softer hues, leather, and denim. And of course, Pantone's living coral color of the year will push hard to become relevant. image

Bicycle shorts – or not

They’re back – comfortable, but stylish bicycle shorts are predicted to gain ground in 2019. They appeared all over fashion shows in 2018, pre-trended by tight-fitting leggings. Similarly, expect to see tailored, micro, knee-length shorts in a loose fit with skirts following shortly after. image

White sneakers

Vibrant red will be contrasted with neutral white sneakers as shoppers adopt sporty, yet trendy footwear. Combined with a new popularity of Velcro, we’ll see the resurgence of functional, utilitarian shoe styles hitting the market. image

Tie dye

Retro tie-dye T-Shirts are already showing up on shelves and expected to grow in popularity throughout 2019. The trend around tie dye is of course, a recurrence of the 60’s print but 2019 brings a chicer approach to the bold print. Add a distinct modern vibe by pairing with socks/sandals, large hoop earrings, or denim. image

Big necklaces

Big statement necklaces continue to be popular into 2019 as shoppers seek the addition of statement pieces to add spice to functional attire. Wear with a basic Tee or V-Neck shirt or try pairing with a smaller necklace to provide balance. image

Faux leather earrings

Faux leather earrings grew in popularity in 2018 (by a whopping 2,831%) and the style is expected to grow even bigger in 2019. They are lightweight, comfortable, and add a touch of edge to a soft, feminine ensemble. image

Bare midriffs and sheer material

The warmer months are expected to bring the show of more skin in the form of bare midriffs. Everything from crop tops to open-design dresses have shown up on the runways. In addition, skin showing through sheer clothing is trending too. image

Big belts

As shoppers go big with accessories, statement belts will rule supreme. Wear these attention-getting belts with a loose top or dress or a thrown-together casual outfit to add polish and pull the look together. image

Big sunnies

Jewelry and belts aren’t the only accessories expected to grow larger. As narrow eyewear’s popularity wains, big sunnies eyewear will be popular with edgy colors taking the lead. image

Faux fur

Faux fur is continuing its run and expected to remain popular in 2019. Try a faux fur bomber style coat for a modern, casual night out outfit or a mid-thigh length version for versatility. image


We saw leopard, zebra, tiger, and crocodile patterns in 2018. Snakeskin styles are expected to follow and possibly even push leopard out of the spotlight. We’ll see snakeskin appear in pants, tops, and accessories. image

Frills, feathers

Spring is already bringing an onslaught of accessories decked out with frills and feathers. According to Elle magazine, “from ostrich to peacock, feathers are the new fur”. The combination of sheer fabric, lace, and frills provides a feminine look with a splash of edge. image

Florals become mixed and plaids, stripes and paisleys take center stage

Florals will begin to fade in 2019, replaced at first with mixed florals featuring multiple floral patterns, then by paisleys, bold graphic stripes, and poppy plaid patterns as 2019 progresses. image

Tiger patterns

Tiger patterns are also predicted to edge out leopard patterns. We’ve already seen the pattern worn on celebrities such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Bosworth, and Kylie, and it’s been showcased in creative advertisements from Gucci. Expect orange and black strips to reign supreme in 2019. image

Popcorn cardigans

Popcorn cardigans (named for their pronounced stitches and bumpy texture) may not have appeared in large numbers on the runways but according to social media trends, the popularity of the style has increased by 1,395%. The style is beginning to appear in retail and online stores. Popcorn cardigans are not just chic, they’re cozy too, and they work well with layering and pretty much pair well with anything. image

Box-toe shoes

The 90’s returned in a big way in 2018 with slip dresses and fluffy accessories. The trend continues with the reemergence of square-toed shoes and nineties matching sets. image
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