Biggest Instagram fashion trends we saw in 2019

These are the looks that dominated our feeds this year.

New age tie-dye was all over Instagram this year. We’re talking oversized hoodies, graphic T-shirts, denim, handbags, dresses, bikinis, shoes, jewellery…pretty much everything got this 1970s treatment. Some even went so far as to call it the print of 2019. It helps that tie-dye can comfortably transition from chill, hippie cool to a more mature ensemble.
Photograph: santoshishetty / Instagram

Tiny bags
This trend is still making quite a splash online and IRL, with Lizzo recently causing quite a stir by sporting a really teeny tiny Valentino purse to the AMAs red carpet. Honestly, it was more a toy bag than a purse, because we doubt she was able to put anything inside. Yes, this trend is not practical in any way at all, but it has clearly made its way on to the list of fashion must-haves for the year. Not all these mini bags are teeny tiny. Some of these are exact replicas of a regular-sized handbag and are big enough to just about fit a lipstick or a small compact for touch-ups.
Photograph: kyliejenner / Instagram

Bling hair clips
Hair accessories made quite a splash in 2019, and we didn’t need a reason to bring out the bling. Sparkly baubles, diamantes, pearls, and bright colours all found their way onto bobby bins, clips, hairpins, and barrettes. Bigger and shinier was the motto. This made for simple, hassle-free hairstyles that had a bit of extra sass.
Photograph: studio_nina / Instagram

Padded headbands
The girliest accessory of the year had to be the padded headband. We saw fashionistas across ages take on this trend, playing with fabrics, prints and knot details to up the glam quotient. Paired with all kinds of outfits, and minimal makeup, these headbands added a touch of chicness, making you Insta-ready in a jiffy.
Photograph: cosmoandfries / Instagram

Biker shorts
Cycling shorts or biker shorts are no longer relegated to the gym and featured quite a bit on the runways this year. They immediately became an important part of the Insta-fashion wardrobe, and we saw them paired with oversized shirts, sweats, and jackets, helping redefine the athleisure look. The preference was clearly towards tailored looks, rather than fitted, tight ones.
Photograph: cindymello / Instagram

Animal prints
This year saw a lot of women unleashing their inner animal, with plenty of wild colourful prints spotted on IG and IRL. These jungle-inspired prints are appealing as they are versatile and timeless. You can wear them year-round and they pair well with anything, whether you’re going for a blazer and heels combo, or a sundress and sandals. Those who didn’t want to roar too loudly opted for shoes, bags, sunnies, scarves, and belts in these statement-making prints.
Photograph: pernilleteisbaek / Instagram

Utility pants
Utility pants battled it out with denims for the title of most popular utilitarian fashion item. The ultra-versatile pants made a comeback this year and were spotted in the usual neutral colours and black, as well as brighter neon hues. The reason for its popularity? The flattering silhouette and ability to pair with practically anything in your wardrobe to give you a cool chic look.
Photograph: grlinthecurl / Instagram

Seashell jewellery
‘Under the sea’ was a major trend when it came to jewellery this year. Think shell-embellished necklaces, earrings, bangles, bracelets, hair slides and anklets that bring a dash of the seaside to the city existence. The trend started in 2018 and got into full force this year with shells of all shapes, sizes, and colours popping up everywhere.
Photograph: lebohostore / Instagram