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Bring On The Neon: Fashion Trends We Expect To See In 2019

NPR's Leila Fadel talks with style reporter Elizabeth Holmes about what fashion trends to watch out for in the new year.


It's that time of the year where we find out what fashion trends to watch and what to ditch in 2019. So say goodbye to your millennial pink sweaters, and say hello to neon. Elizabeth Holmes is a style reporter who's been published in The New York Times, Elle magazine and more. She joins us via Skype. Welcome to the program.


FADEL: So, Elizabeth, it's 2019 - new year, new start. So you have to help me. What do I need

to throw out of my closet?

HOLMES: (Laughter) Well, first, let's understand that trends are like a pendulum, right? They swing back and forth. And what clothing makers and fashion houses want to do is they want to come up with something that we don't already have in our closets. They want to give us a reason to shop. And they've done that for 2019. I would start by saying it's a new pant silhouette, which is a big deal (laughter) in the fashion world because pants actually have sort of a ripple effect. They dictate sort of what tops we buy and even what shoes we wear. And so I'm sure you've heard that skinny jeans are on their way out.


HOLMES: They're being replaced by the boot cut. The boot cut is back.

FADEL: I'm not sure I'm OK with this.

HOLMES: I'm not sure I am, either. And the good news is that pant trends take a long time to sort of reach a mass adoption. But it's definitely starting. And we're on our way to a wider-leg jean.

FADEL: So millennial pink - gone?

HOLMES: Well, millennial pink did a great thing. It gave women a reason to wear a statement color. And I think that has opened up a whole lot of possibilities here. Millennial pink is on its way out. But any sort of bright, saturated statement hue is really in at the moment. So neon is for, perhaps, the braver among us. You could also try lavender as a nice alternative to millennial pink. I think lavender is an easier shade for people to pull off. The best way to do it is to not limit it to just one piece in your outfit. So wear pants and a top, perhaps, in lavender. It's a real statement moment. But I've found that when I've done that, even just with head-to-toe red, it's really empowering. So give it a try.

FADEL: What about style trends for men?

HOLMES: Let's see - sneakers - dad sneakers have had a real moment for both men and women, those chunky sneakers that we saw a lot on the runways and with some street style stars. Those, I think, never really caught on. I mean, I think some of these trends can be really hard for regular people to pull off. So, thankfully, I think they're on their way out.

FADEL: So in this moment, who actually defines the trends? Is it still the glossy fashion magazines, the runways? You know, how does this stuff end up popular?

HOLMES: It's a much more fragmented landscape. And I think that's actually a good thing. You know, it used to be that fashion magazines would dissect the runways. And they'd say, you know, here are the five things everybody must wear. But now, thanks to Instagram, you can find your own sort of style and inspiration and, you know, take it from there and make it your own. You know, if Kim Kardashian West is your girl, you might really like solids and, you know, bodycon silhouettes and think you can wear bike shorts with just about anything. You know, if you're more of a Kate Middleton follower, you might want to wear a bow in your hair these days. I think it's actually a really wonderful thing that people are seeking out sort of what they find to be fashionable and the people that they find to be particularly stylish and going after them.

FADEL: That was style reporter Elizabeth Holmes. Thank you so much for talking with us.

HOLMES: Thank you for having me, Leila.

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