Bowé’s Fashion Favorites of 2019


(Graphic by David Onwukeme | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Abigail Bowé, Arts Writer


Ugly polos, fanny packs, bucket hats. The fashions of 2019 saw the rise of VSCO girls and e-boys, balanced popularity between cheap thrifting and designer sneakers and waves of retro nostalgia brought on in part by TV in the veins of “Stranger Things” or “Friends” — all for the better or worse. Styles sprouted in every odd corner between the cesspools of Instagram’s backwash and the newest generations of self-proclaimed hippies. Looks varied from sleek athletic styles to soft punk aesthetics to dad-closet-raids. Overall, 2019’s varied clothing trends were a deliberate mix and match of curation and carelessness, merging comfort, brashness and utility all alike. Whether I’ll look back years from now at current photos of myself with confidence or laughing in regret, here are the pieces I’ve liked best from this year.


Overalls and Jumpers

I don’t care if these will remain in style over the next few years or not, I’ll never stop wearing them. Despite this, I was initially doubtful of adult overalls and jumpers as I noticed their appearance in stores and online, thinking they’d make me resemble an oversized toddler minus the band-aids and pigtails. It was only after I was gifted a pair of denim overalls that I discovered they’re ridiculously cozy and easy to match with any shirt. They don’t have to look childish or country — jumpers and overalls can accommodate boho, emo, hipster and other styles.


Windbreakers are the perfect piece of gear to head out on adventures with. (Courtesy Pxfuel)


Good for layering in both warmer and cooler seasons, windbreakers are versatile in terms of use. When it comes to matching them up with other articles though, windbreakers are a little less flexible. It doesn’t matter if it comes in bright neon, dusty pastels or holographic glitter. A windbreaker is a statement piece that boldly steals the show. These jackets can sometimes overwhelm an outfit if put together with other more attention-drawing items, but when added to an understated base, windbreakers can bring many looks to life with a taste of sporty fun.


Striped Tops

Okay, so they’re a tad clichéd at this point in the year for edging up a little too Tumblresque-trendy for everyday wear. Still, minimalist ’80s-styled striped tees, polos and sweatshirts are simply pleasing to look at. The design worked well for Polaroid’s logo. Why not wardrobes too? These retro threads make building a color palette for an outfit easy. Just match each different stripe with color-corresponding pieces like jewelry, socks or a hat. On the flip side, to make the colors of the top pop rather than blend, wear them with a plain base of gray, black or brown.


Chunky Shoes

Rainboots. Doc Martins. Platforms. Big old puffy sneakers. There’s no doubt about it. While chunky shoes may sometimes border on “Ronald McDonald called and he wants those back,” more often than not they call for attention in a good way. A big shoe can transform the energy of an entire outfit, whether worn with skirts, blazers, jeans or shorts. With combat boots, a feminine dress becomes kick-butt, while a suit worn alongside a pair of Adidas screams cool. Large footwear can unlock a number of potential visual plot twists.


Patches and Buttons

Customized jackets of all types — canvas, leather, military — do more than make room for multiple styles. They allow for one of a kind opportunities of self-expression, to those willing to put in the effort. Pins and patches range everywhere from biker, band, geek, goth to hipster subcultures. Sure it can take time to collect and arrange them onto a dedicated jacket, but that’s why they’re enjoyable. The final product is something of a wearable scrapbook, fashionably documenting one’s favorite concerts, trips, sports teams, movies and more.


Understated Graphics

Trending graphics aren’t exactly yesteryear’s ironic animal pun tees, massive logos or high-res Comic-Con shirts which gratuitously depict Batman’s shiny musculature in gross detail. Flashy, instantly recognizable printed imagery isn’t so popular as it once was. Really, we’ve just put together that we neither want to pretentiously overspend on Aeropostale shirts nor don a Darth Vader tee that screams styleless geek from miles off. Understated graphics present the best of both worlds. While overtly branded icons overpower outfits, subtle references add flavor.


Puffer Vests

In my opinion, puffer vests generally work best for casual masculine styles than others. Of course, I’ll admit that this isn’t how I dress — when it comes to men’s fashion, I prefer wearing more formal attire. Yet on others who like the flavor, puffer vests look both funky and practical. They pair nicely with several pieces like thermals, button-ups or long-sleeve tees. Besides, they let one channel their inner Marty McFly. Just be careful to pick one that’s either well-oversized or well-fitted, otherwise it might come across as stilted and baggy as an unfolded tent.


Trending Hats

Saying that I love hats is an understatement. I collect these accessories and wear a few of my own favorites nearly every day. Any type of hat can work with ongoing styles, yet certain ones appeared to have trended significantly this year. This winter, nobody can go wrong with a solid Holden Caulfield trapper hat for flair or with casual beanies and toques. While ’90s-style bucket hats were the casual summer go-to, velvet and fur versions will also last through the season. Likewise, light athletic ballcaps were in all year long, and likely won’t go anywhere soon. On the more dressy end, baker-boy caps are currently at the top, alongside felt ranchers and wide-brimmed fedoras and trilbys.


(Courtesy Pxhere)

Denim Jackets

Have denim jackets ever been out of fashion since the day I was born? As far as I can tell, I don’t think so. They’re sharp. Edgy. Snappy. However you’d like them to look, you can go cowboy, punk, skater, femme and more with a nice denim jacket. Best of all, they’re good for dressing down or dressing up, depending on how one chooses to layer them. With a white button-up, sweater and tie, they add a playful touch to a dapper ensemble, and over a loose tee, they add a dash of class to something casual.


Big Fluffy Sweaters

Loose-fit, plush sweaters are in this winter where they simply haven’t been just a few years ago. Oversized fleeces, in particular, made their way into the scene perhaps when anybody might’ve least expected them to. Seriously, this humble go-to for campers and hikers appeared across a number of runways this year. Although I find it a little silly to think of oversized sweaters as high-fashion, I’m happy to see more of them around. Absolutely anybody can look especially attractive in a large, soft sweater. They’re just so huggable!


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