9 Trends That Changed While We Weren't Looking

We all know that fashion gets recycled. I always get a little zing when I visit my mom and she smiles fondly at my pantsuit or suede skirt, saying that it was exactly what she used to wear at my age. It's fun to imagine her in her twenties, decked out in flowing sheer dresses and floppy black hats as she sat in restaurants with her friends. Clearly a good look is a good look and it's hard not to bring it back every decade or so. But every time trends comes back around, they get a modern tweak or two so as not to feel dated. A shoulder pad gets snipped, a collar gets softened, a hem line gets cut. Colors get muted or amped up — patterns get toyed with. We bring back old silhouettes but put our own spins on them.

But sometimes we don't wait a few decades to bring something back. Sometimes it just takes a year or two, and you start to see a trend slowly start to evolve — morphing just the slightest bit to feel fresh and new again. Below are nine trends that are still very much enjoying the spotlight in our closets, but that have already begun to experience slight shifts in 2015. It's pretty fun to see how fashion changes without us always catching on!

1. Fur Coats

These faux-fur numbers have been going strong in our closets for the last couple of years, coming in all different degrees of puffiness. Some of us braved the rich, Viking-esque silhouettes, while others went for smoother, sleeker alternatives. Whichever type we chose, though, it gave a fun accent of color and texture to our winter looks.

The fur trend is still going strong, but has experienced a tweak that focused on color. Instead of coming in the usual brown, black or white shades, lines have been coming out with colorful alternatives. Coats in minty pastels or saturated gem colors have been dominating the clothes racks all winter long.

2. Leopard Print

Before we went with a traditional leopard print, the fun spots covering just about anything and everything you'd want. From pants to furry coats, to subtler places like pants and clutches, everyone dabbled with the print in one way or another.

This year the print gets an upgrade and goes for a more playful vibe. The print is now bigger and more sparse, taking on a hand-painted feel.

3. Heels

Once upon a time, stilettos were king. Ranging from strappy sandals to intense cage booties, we were all too happy to walk on skinny needle points — and some of us better than others.

Heel haters rejoice! If you're like me and were never able to crack the code on how to balance oneself in a pair, this year's tweak to the shoe will change your life. Heels are now coming in a chunkier, 90s inspired platforms — resembling a sturdy block and adding a strong statement to your look. Let's give a cheer for no more twisted ankles!

4. Overalls

During the past couple of years, we've all been enjoying the resurrection of one of our favorite childhood staples: the overall. Whereas before we'd run through our backyard sprinklers in them, nowadays we've been styling them up with crop top turtlenecks or strappy sandals.

This year the overalls got a makeover — one that veered more towards classy and minimalist rather than playful and sunny. There's a pull towards pairs with longer pants, letting you style them throughout all the seasons of the year. Whereas jean ones are still really popular, there's also been a shift towards ones made with cotton and linen, coming in neutral, clean tones.

5. Flared Pants

The 70s are most definitely back, what with the surge of suede and fringe hitting stores this season. Even though it's not yet spring, there's still an influx of maroons, burnt oranges, and jade greens splashing all over dresses and pants. We've been seeing bell bottoms make their way back into our hearts these past few years, coming in typical hippie-dippy patterns and hues.

This year, though, the flared pant moved away from its Woodstock origins and has taken a more clean-lined route. There are still plenty that come in wild patterns, but I've been noticing more and more coming in muted and classic prints, as well as softer colors. Their shape has also changed, and now the leg is more of a wide column rather than an intense flair.

6. Crop Tops

Everyone's favorite summer staple! In the past, we've enjoyed a tighter fit and a shorter hem, one that hits mid rib cage and looks fabulous paired with a high waist skirt or a pair of pants.

Now we're seeing a shift towards boxier, looser, longer fits. The crop is a little softer and adds a fun, structured touch to your look. It looks especially good with full skirts — the opposing shapes contrasting in a really playful way!

7. Baseball Caps

Last year, there was a surge of caps being added into all sorts of looks, from sporty to elegant. J. Crew was a huge supporter of the trend, putting out catalogs with spreads that showed caps being matched with everything from plaid shirts to glitzy statement necklaces.

This year there's been a snowy addition to the look, adding a fur pompom onto the cap. The sweet pom not only helps make it feel more winter appropriate, but adds a cheeky quality to the look you're creating.

8. Sheer Pieces

We've all been obsessed with sheer tops this past year, doing everything from pairing them over dresses or going bold and out with only a statement bra underneath.

In 2015, we've seen the trend head south and hit skirts. They've been paired in all sorts of fun ways: From layered on top of mini skirts to going sans tights and having the butt covered with a long sweater.

9. Turtleneck Crop Tops

We've been enjoying the traditional type of turtleneck silhouette, with a high collar but sans the sleeves. It goes with just about everything, from overalls to full midi skirts.

The updated version is a bit more angular, creating more of a trapezoid shape with the way the sleeves and neckline are cut. And the turtleneck part has been cropped significantly, no longer covering your neck but hitting just above your collarbone.

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