Looking Back on the Fashion Trends of 2016



One thing I noticed about fashion is that it is becoming more globalized. I see trends that break barriers and seep into ethnic and western-wear and vice versa. That’s the biggest change I noticed in 2016. Another similarity I noticed was the choice of fabrics and cuts. Designers in Pakistan and abroad became more creative with their designs to suit each body type. Here are the top trends of 2016. Some I followed, some I just appreciated. Enjoy!

1. Velvet: Velvet was all the rage in Pakistan and abroad. Last year when I opted to purchase a complete velvet outfit everybody thought I was crazy. Maybe I had a vision that was shared by the designers of 2016 because velvet exploded in the fall and winter months. Bridal shawls, dresses, shalwars, lenghas, and even ghararas couldn’t escape velvet. The cloth is luxurious, elegant, and if done right, a sleek and sophisticated addition to any party wear, especially weddings or holiday parties. I don’t own an embellished velvet outfit, but let me tell you, velvet is here to stay.

2. Choker: Another trend that exploded in the market were chokers. Not the simple, black ones from the 90’s era, but chokers in all sorts of designs, colors, and crystals. Chokers were seen worn on celebrities in Pakistan and elites here in USA. I bought a choker from Zara’s and grouped it together with gold chains. It looked so cool!

3. Bootleg Jeans: I don’t know why, but I am a slowpoke when it comes to jeans. It took me forever to get out of the flared jeans era and into the skinny jeans one and now that the bootleg jeans are back, I can’t seem to let go of the skinny jeans. Funny? Not really. Lol. I first spotted the comeback on Selena Gomez when she visited Facebook’s headquarters here in California. Again, my reaction was nooooo! I had just bought skinny jeans on sale and I hated having the thought to buy new jeans. Oh well, maybe later this year I will.

4. Crop Top (Choli) and Lengha: The crop top first made an appearance in late 2015. What Pakistani designers did was pair plain cholis with ornate lenghas. India has been doing cholis and lenghas for ages, but what was different this time was that the crop top was simpler and the lenghas were the main act. Crop tops in the west were all the rage too so I thought this pairing was really a creative east and west mashup.

5. Gharara: Ghararas made a great comeback this year. During the last ten years ghararas were paired with long shirts, but this year the short shirts came back. What I really liked were that ghararas not only made an appearance during the wedding season but in casual wear too. There were many cotton ghararas seen on Instagram during Eid and fashionistas opted to pair the bottoms with western tops. So cute!

6. Embellished Shalwars and Pants: Gone are the days when the embellishments were reserved for shirts and dupattas. It started with embroidered pants and then the trend expanded to shalwars, tulip shalwars, bootleg pants, etc. Everything from organza, lace, and buttons were sewn on what was before considered the most boring part of an outfit. Sania Maskatiya is particularly talented in designing embellished pants. She has done scallops, chains, organza, special-edged hems, etc.

7. Bomber Jackets: Bomber jackets are a cute replacement for bulky winter coats and this year bomber jackets didn’t disappoint. They came in different fabrics (particularly velvet) and embroidered motifs. In Pakistan, one of the motifs that stood out was the Urdu embroidery on the back. Very cute!

8. Khussay: Like velvet, I think I started the khussay trend. In 2015, when I went to Pakistan, I bought myself a pair of comfortable black, velvet khussay. In 2016, everybody and their mother was wearing them. They look cute with shalwars and not to mention jeans.

9. Belted Lawn: I think this trend came from India as well and became a phenomenon in Pakistan. It first made an appearance in Tena Durrani bridal wear and formals.  I, along with some other fashionistas at the time added belts on lawn suits to give it an edgier look.

10. Tulip Shalwars: This is the third trend I think I started in Pakistan. I fell in love with what was called “dhoti pants” in India. I bought one from Roshni Chopra (an Indian designer) in 2015. I am not sure if Tena Durrani included the trend in her collection first or Zainub Chottani, but I do know every woman and girl had a tulip shalwar in her closet in 2016.

Well guys, I hope you had fun reading this post. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017. Happy Shopping!

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