2019 Fashion Wrap Up

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Co-written by Ella W. ’21 and Eliza D. ’21

With each new year comes loads of new fashion crazes. As we begin 2020, we decided to list this past year’s most popular fashion trends in the Northwest School community.  


  • Cheetah print 

Perhaps this summer’s biggest trend was cheetah print. Whether it was shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, coats, or even accessories, one couldn’t step into a room without seeing at least a little bit of cheetah print. Though this print was historically seen as a little trashy, it has transformed into a staple in the average teens closet. HOT TIP- pair with solid colors like brown or white.  

  • Midi skirts 

The 2000s are seen as the decade of mini- miniskirts, short shorts, and tiny bodycon dresses became the norm over the last 10 years. But the spring and summer of 2019 broke that trend with the rapid popularity of midi skirts, which hit below the knee. Usually in a flowy, silky fabric and sometimes in a floral pattern, these skirts were worn by tons of teenagers in the Seattle area. HOT TIP- pair with sneakers and a crop top to make this look more casual.  

  • Neon  

A massive example of festival fashion, neon became hugely popular this summer. Almost every high schooler who went to Bumbershoot wore a neon outfit at least one of the days, usually in neon green or pink. But this translated to everyday looks too. Neon bathing suits, belts, and earrings became a popular way to make outfits more exciting with a loud accessory. HOT TIP- neon looks great with black.  

  • Biker shorts  

Another example of festival fashion, the spring and summer of 2019 brought in the trend of biker shorts. These stretchy shorts that hit mid-thigh became super popular and following other athleisure trends of the past, became normalized very quickly. These were seen everywhere at Bumbershoot, both in solid colors and patterns. Perhaps the best way to wear biker shorts is in a matching set, often sold on sites such as Fashion Nova and Asos. HOT TIP- pair with platform sneakers for a casual, sporty, cute outfit.  

  • Mid-thigh denim shorts 

Another example of this year’s fashion straying away from the mini-craze, denim shorts that hit at mid-thigh became hugely popular. Usually in light wash and with raw hems, these shorts were first popularized by Brandy Melville. As summer went on, other retailers such as Urban Outfitters and Topshop hopped on the trend. HOT TIP- pair with chunky boots and silver jewelry for an edgy look.  

  • Hair Barrettes   

This was a major trend in the spring of 2019. Colored barrettes made a huge comeback, despite most of us not having worn them since elementary school. This trend was the perfect way to add a pop of color to an outfit while simultaneously getting the hair out of your face in the hot weather. They were especially popular in pastel colors such as light pink and lavender, as well as the staple color of black. HOT TIP- white barrettes look great on darker hair and colored barrettes look best on lighter hair.  

  • Bucket hats  

Out of all these trends, this is the one that no one saw coming. Bucket hats have long been considered a joke accessory- one that people made fun of and wouldn’t consider wearing seriously. While they still aren’t the most sophisticated item of clothing, bucket hats became a summer accessory to add fun to an outfit as well as shield eyes from the sun. This is an example of 80’s fashion coming back, as bucket hats were a massive aspect of 80’s hip hop culture. HOT TIP- bring a bucket hat on a beach day to keep your eyes safe and spice up your swimsuit.  

  • Shoelace belts 

A massive trend this summer was the creative use of shoelaces as belts. Rather than using heavier leather belts, teens opted for the lightweight option of simply tying a shoelace around your waist. This trend was highly popularized by teen Youtuber Emma Chamberlain and became viral.  HOT TIP- pair the color of the shoelace belt to your shoes or shirt in order to color coordinate your outfit.  



  • Puff shoulders  

This was a trend we saw all throughout the year but hit its peak during the fall season. As 80s style has slowly made its comeback into current fashion, puffed sleeves have returned with it. Although the puffed sleeves are less dramatic than they were in the 80s, this has become one of the most popular styles of shirts to wear. These tops were often paired with the equally trendy square necklines, which were loved for their flattering silhouette. HOT TIP- puff shouldered shirts look great with straight leg jeans and gold jewelry.  

  • Plaid skirts  

Popularized by the trendy teen brand, Brandy Melville, plaid skirts were a necessity in one’s closet during the fall season. This chic 90’s inspired trend took the fashion industry by storm with its wide variety of colors and cuts. Famous 90s characters like Cher Horowitz (Clueless, 1995), Rachel Green (Friends, 1994) and Corey Mason (Empire Records, 1995) all rocked the plaid skirt. HOT TIP- pair with a cropped turtleneck for the perfect fall look. 

  • Wide leg jeans/flare jeans 

70s style has been brought back in the form of high-waisted wide leg and flare jeans. While mom jeans have been popular in the last couple years, wide leg and flare jeans have become a strong competitor for the most popular jean style of 2019. Flare and wide leg jeans can make for a more sophisticated and dressed up look and can also be more comfortable. Though the 2000’s will most likely be memorialized as the decade of skinny jeans, 2019 begs to differ. HOT TIP- pair with high top converse and a crop top for a retro feel.  

  • Colored puffer jackets 

Colored puffer jackets blended the fun colors of the summer with the need for warmth during the winter. These jackets ranged from all types of colors, styles, and textures. One of the most popular brands of puffer jackets is the Aritzia Super Puff. This jacket comes in 6 different styles and over 50 different colors to choose from. A puffer jacket is the trendiest way to stay warm during the fall and winter. HOT TIP- pair a colored puffer with all black and white to make it really pop.  

  • Vintage designer  

Vintage pieces from designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada, Juicy Couture, etc. have been all the rage in the thrifting world. People try to find these vintage items from local thrift stores and online second-hand clothes marketplaces such as Depop, Poshmark, Mercari, ThredUP, and many more. While these items are on the pricier side when purchased from online retailers, you can often find some vintage designer pieces for cheaper in local thrift stores. HOT TIP- accessorize in the style of the era that your vintage designer is from to keep the outfit consistent.  

  • Hair scarves/ headbands  

Head scarves and headbands were the must have accessory for the year of 2019. These were worn all throughout the year and created a whole new hair look. They were great to add to potentially bland outfits to pull the look together and to add a pop of color. HOT TIP – coordinate them to other accent colors in your outfit like a belt or shoes. 

Although many of these trends will stick as we transition into the year 2020, there are sure to be many new trends to look out for. Here are some of our predictions for the trends of 2020: 

  • Leather: HOT TIP- Wear with black boots to give the look that edgy vibe.  
  • Mismatched patterns/patchwork: HOT TIP: Wear an accent color to compliment the details in the print. 
  • Low rise jeans: HOT TIP- Pair with a slightly cropped shirt to really give the look a 2000s vibe 
  • Business casual: HOT TIP- Take a blazer and pair it was a pair of denim jeans to dress down the look. 
  • Sheer tops: HOT TIP – Layer it under other items such as t-shirts and tank tops. 
  • Platform sneakers – HOT TIP: Pair with long jeans that cover your ankles. 
  • Overalls – HOT TIP: Layer a turtleneck underneath for a chic fall look. 
  • Cow print – HOT TIP: Wear with black and white and a pop of color 
  • Snakeskin – HOT TIP: Pair with all black to create an edgier look 
  • Tie dye: HOT TIP – Pair with black or white so the look is fun but not overwhelming. 


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