The best and worst fashion trends of 2018

Every year shoppers and fashionistas are both happy and shocked by the fashion trends that hit the high street. It is always likely that a fashion trend will reawaken, this year we saw the rebirth of tartan, animal print, trench coats, 80s fashion and retro floral’s. But, every now and then the fashion industry will surprise us with a trend so crazy it either works or it doesn’t.

At the beginning of 2018, we saw some unbelievable denim trends. We saw the return of double denim which is loved and hated in equal measure. We saw brands like River Island introduce the corset styled denim jacket “crop top” which you can read more about here. But, the most bizarre was probably naked jeans, these instantly became one of the most controversial pieces of fabric in the fashion industry. Hated and misunderstood by most, these jeans were still being bought by online influences during festival season, however, once the summer ended so did the lifespan of these so-called jeans, you can read more about them here.

Soured from Carmar Denim Official Website

One of the worlds most hated trends seems to reappear every year, despite the fact they get abused and joked about online and even in stores, the fashion industry and even respected designers refuse to give up on them.


If you say the word crocs to a person their nose curls. Quite frankly they don’t belong in the fashion industry, and yet designer crocs are being sold for over £500. See our dupe designer version from last year here.

Unless you’re taking out the rubbish on a cold, rainy day crocs really have no place in your life. A bit of fashion advice though: while you’re taking the rubbish out,  you should probably put those crocs in the bin as well.

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A marmite trend for 2018: BUM BAGS. Like naked jeans, the revival of bum bags happened around festival season, but this one had a longer lifespan. For some a practical way to carry your phone and money if you’re not the type of person who likes carrying a bag. On the other hand, bum bags have a way of making a person, no matter who you are, look like a tourist in your own city.  Even though brands like Missguided, Boohoo and ASOS have tried to turn the tourist bag into this year’s biggest fashion accessory the bag still holds the unforgettable stigma. The bum bag has divided the Fashion North team.

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This year, as with many others saw the return of the trench coats. The sophisticated and sleek coat went from classic to fashionably cool as it dominated the runway and the high street followed. The popularity of the simple coat has possibly come from Royal influence, as both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have worn varieties of the coat when spotted in public this year.

Social media influencers have also increasingly been showing different ways to style the coats online, and it has been noted that with the rise of social media influencers more people are shopping the looks they create on their Instagram feeds. If you would like to know more about how social media influencers can affect how we buy, we discuss it in our podcast, Beyond Fashion North: Episode Six.

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One of our favourite trends to come out of 2018 has been animal print, and not just animal print but the ability to mix and match patterns. Leopard print has always been a popular print in the UK, and snake print a close second but this year has seen zebra print, giraffe print, cow print, tiger print and more. As fashion lovers, we have had more options to chose from than ever before. Mixing patterns has given people all over the UK the freedom to rethink how they pair outfits. Animal print can be dressed down for a day at work and dressed up for a night on the town with your girlfriends. This versatile print has taken over the high street and it’s not hard to understand why, here at Fashion North, we hope to see it more in 2019.

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One trend we didn’t expect to come back in the way that it did was tartan. It’s a pattern that never really goes out of fashion, people wear plaid or checked shirts all year round and it’s not uncommon to see people wearing tartan leggings. But this year, it hit the runway so hard that the high street had to adopt it and we saw more people wearing tartan, checks and plaid than previous years. Tartan leggings were being sold more online, you could walk into any store and find a plaid shirt and the infamous check and tartan pleated skirts even started to reappear. This trend was everywhere and we loved it. For a trend that never truly goes out of style, tartan made a real impact this year just to let us know how relevant it still is.

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What was your favourite or most hated fashion trend of 2018? Let us know on twitter @Fashion_North


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