The Year in Fashion: 2018’s Best and Worst Trends

The Cherwell Fashion Editors give their take on 2018's key trends.

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Collage showing cycling shorts, bum bags, yellow jumpers, and teddy coat
2018 definitely had its moments.

Bum Bags – Adam Large

Whether you know it as a bum bag, belt bag or fanny pack, one thing is certain: there is absolutely no reason why one should wear such a garment on a night out. Regardless of the ‘vibe,’ it’s hard to pull off such a look whilst fumbling in the dark for Rizlas out of a pouch that’s barely big enough to hold a pet hamster. This 90s revival might have been endorsed by the likes of A$AP Rocky, but that doesn’t set a sartorial precedent for everyone. The envisioned look may be a too-cool-to-care, Skepta-meets-Stella-McCartney exhibit, slinging the monstrosity around one’s shoulder whilst exerting an ‘effortless’ cool. The tragic reality probably falls closer to American-tourist-visits-East-London-for-the-first-time. I hate to crush anyone’s groovy dreams, but Bridge Thursday is no NASS Festival (although the toilet situation often suggests otherwise). Besides, is any sort of bag really necessary when you’re going ‘out out’? As if the utility-pocket craze hasn’t ticked all our boxes when it comes to travelling light. But of course, in the name of fashion, why NOT add in the maximum number of superfluous carrying containers – I can only hope there’s enough room in there for ego.

Teddy Coats – Ailin Cheng

Out with the flimsy trench coat, the garish, bin-bag-esque material masquerading as a windbreaker, the extravagant faux-fur monstrosities, the school-trip-to-Wales style parka, and go all out with the teddy coat. The world has finally come to its senses and hailed a worthy creation to be the coat of the year.

The teddy coat offers a much-appreciated combination of aesthetic appeal and functionality. It spares one the dreaded choice of dark winter periods: whether it is worth being swathed in an abominable assortment of layers for the sake of preserving one’s extremities, or to grit one’s teeth and smile through the cold in a skimpy – but totally super cute – excuse for a coat. The fuzzy lining of the teddy coat is the antidote to all these pains. No more shall the phrase ‘Winter is Coming’ strike fear into our hearts, and I, for one, will actually look forward to busting out full teddy-bear mode this January.

Cycling shorts – Isabel Nield

We hated them in Year 9 gym class. We mocked their presence on the cover of dated workout VCRs. We cringed as middle-aged men took back the roads, emulating a Lance Armstrong-style figure with fewer muscles but more integrity (and the excuse, at least, of trying to get fit). Why, then, have cycling shorts suddenly become a legitimate fashion choice?

We are lucky enough to live in a time where we’re no longer limited in terms of our clothing options. Gone are the days when dressing up to go out meant sacrificing mobility (or else, risking indecent exposure) – we’ve got jumpsuits! Playsuits! Actual proper ‘suit’ suits! Now, more than ever, we have precisely zero need for stretchy, synthetic fabrics that somehow succeed in flattering literally nobody. They may have been acceptable in the 80s – but please, let’s leave them there.

Yellow – Sarah Williams

Yellow was less than mellow in 2018: the year saw the colour spread beyond its usual summer range of bikinis, sunglasses and sandals, and ended up on just about every imaginable item of clothing and makeup, traceable back to Margot Robbie’s yellow eyeshadow back in April. Some even rocked it head-to-toe – see Amal Clooney leading the way with that iconic royal wedding outfit. That was in May, but the sunflower shade even spread to our winter wardrobes, with coats ranging from canary to neon in stores. But how did the infamously tricky hue – somewhat reminiscent of egg yolk and hazmat suits, lest we forget – become so popular? Possibly because, apart from producing some of the best looks of the year, it has a little meaning behind it. Yellow has been dubbed the colour of Generation Z: emblematic of a positive, hopeful, and bold youth; a sartorial form of protest against what was another year of Brexit and Trump exhaustion. Yellow looks good, and it makes us feel good. That’s a trend that cuts the mustard for me.

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