From athleisure obsession to biker shorts with blazers, to tiny glasses and micro purses, 2019 was the year of fun fashion choices. More and more people chose to leave behind the conventions of fashion, and stepped towards fashion rule breaking and wearing what speaks to them demonstrating a true expression of fashion. Styles, cuts and colors became less gendered, “risqué” became normal with layered lingerie, peekaboo laces, and silky slip dresses redefining what is outerwear, shapeless fits became the epitome of sexy; there was no limits to this year’s looks.

There was also more of an effort this year to promote conscious fashion, with an increasing number of people thrifting, buying consignment, purchasing used from Facebook marketplace or other seller apps like Poshmark, donating clothes, recycling clothes, revamping old clothes and so much more. This conscious fashion bug also bit the South Asian fashion market as there was a huge increase in online consignment for sarees, lehengas and other ethnic wear this year. A lot more people are choosing to ditch the new and purchase used as South Asian ethnic wear can often be extremely pricey and can be worn only once. Conscious fashion is one “trend” I sure hope is here to stay!

Here are some of my favourite style trends from 2019!

1. Athleisure

Image: Frontrvnners via Instagram
Image: Tanya Singh (Shelikesnoone) in Apparel by A Select Few Official

Athleisure is a trend that’s really lingered over the past few years but truly proven it’s here to stay with its bold presence all over the year of 2019. From celebs to everyday folks, athleisure is a trend for everyone. Athleisure simply means wearing athletic wear in other settings. This was seen in 2019 with more clubs allowing adidas pants to be worn clubbing with heels, everyone rocking sneakers with everything including on the red carpet, and classic athleisure brands like nike, fila and champion being everywhere you look. I love this trend and I hope it sticks around because its comfy and I’ll take a pair of sneakers over heels any day!

2. Brazen Blazers

Image: Pooja Project via Instagram
Image: tkcdesigninc via Instagram

There was a bit of a redefining of blazers in 2019 as they became not just for job interviews and work but for outings and casual occasions as well. Blazer dresses were on the rise as well as oversized blazers sometimes worn with casual wear like blue jeans. We also saw a lot more females rocking blazers and suits on the red carpet, which I can totally get behind!

3. Chikankari Craze

Image: Pooja Project via Instagram
Image: Mani K Jassal via Instagram

For South Asian fashion this year, Chikankari fabric really made its mark in everything from lehengas to suits to sarees. This beautifully hand woven fabric, typically woven in Lucknow and often referred to as Lucknowi fabric, is both delicate and embodies understated elegance. It is traditionally made in white, but this year we saw a lot more pastel tones of Chikankari as well like soft pinks, lavender and minty greens

4. Androgenous styles

Image: Pooja Project via Instagram
Image: Misha Baj via Instagram

Androgenous style is one that avoids gender stereotypes and conventions. Anyone can wear anything, shop from both mens and ladies sections of your favourite clothing store and basically express themselves by refusing the gender norms of fashion. Current androgenous trends are neo-gothic wear, tons of black clothing, and loose fitting clothes.

5. Oxidized silver jewelry

Image: Pooja Project via Instagram
Image: Kanika Sasan via Instagram

This year we also saw a lot more people ditching gold and going for unique oxidized silver jewelry typical of Rajistani/Gujarati and Afghani traditional styles. What’s great about oxidized silver is that it can be worn both for formal occasions and casually. Navratri is the perfect time of year to bring out your oxidized jewelry and never put it back. It’s really here to stay.

6. Pretty palazzos

Image: Pooja Project via Instagram
Image: Holi Chic by Megha via Instagram

Palazzo pants really made a comeback this year especially with South Asian fashion. More and more suits came paired with palazzos over pajami pants. The wide legs really give a distinct look, and are extremely airy and comfy. Cotton palazzo pants can we worn casually with any kurti for an everyday look or if you’re tired of wearing your standard lehenga, ornate palazzo pants can be paired with a coordinating blouse for a fun “poo from K3G” style fit.

7. Classic silk sarees

Image: Pooja Project via Instagram
Image: Thanuska S via Instagram

One of my all time favourite South Asian trends for 2019 was the resurgence of traditional silk sarees. Everyone from Bollywood celebs to desi influencers, to my mom were rocking these classy creations. I love seeing traditional styles make a come back because most of us don’t even have to go buy something new to try the look. We can just reach into our mother’s, or relatives closets to rock it!

8. Pretty pastels and florals

Image: Pooja Project in Mahari Collection via Instagram
Image: Nancy Bhullar in Sunny’s Bridal via Instagram

In terms of colors and prints for South Asian fashion in 2019, we definitely saw a ton of soft pastel shades floating around during the wedding season. Lavender, mint green and blush shades were rather popular along with fancy floral prints, especially on lehenga skirts! Pastels and floral give a soft, youthful touch to your look without being over the top!

9. From full glam to minimalist

Image: Pooja Project in Mahari Collection via Instagram
Image: Tanya Singh (Shelikesnoone) in Market Clothing via Instagram

A big trend I’ve noticed in South Asian fashion over 2019 is the transition from heavy, ornate, full glam to minimalist, subtly elegant clothing that’s more focused on simple fabrics, neutral colors like whites and blacks and unique cuts and designs rather than rhinestones and embellishment. Beading and sequins have moved aside for laces and simple fabrics that let the colors, flows and cuts speak for themselves. It is a refreshing take on South Asian fashion! It’s also more practical because these simple pieces can be re-worn again in different combinations!

10. Adventurous Animal Print

Image: Pooja Project via Instagram
Image: Bhavneet Toor via Instagram

From bags and boots to dresses and knit sweaters, one of my fav ways to make a funky statement this year has been animal print. It takes any look for basic to bold and goes with just about anything. Prints like snake, cheetah, and zebra have been all over the racks, ranging in colors from nudes to fluorescent limes and pinks! It’s easy to explore your wild side with this super wearable trend!

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5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.