18 Trends That Died In 2012

A new year is upon us, meaning it’s time to find NEW ways to be ironically fashionable. Update your closet with this handy trend guide.

1. Trend to retire: Navajo print.

These aren’t really sweaters as much as huge carpets with arm holes. Navajo print was a fun flash in the pan, but it was never meant to be a long-term commitment, like colored pants or tee-shirts. Now that it’s had its moment, navajo print seems best used on a couch throw, not a sweater coat. Let’s let navajo prints return to their God-given duty: separating cats from no-cat furniture.

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Instead try: dark/moody florals.

The Cut turned me onto this trend. Finally you can wear flowers in the winter without looking like a person who is obnoxiously cheerful about long periods of cold, depressing weather.

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They even make it for bros! Isn’t this a really an interesting alternative to plaid???!!!!

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2. Trend to retire: feather accessories.

Kidding! No one really goes around like this outside of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show! I’m more concerned with…

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Feather earrings. It’s like the fur vest of ear gear — something a lot of us tried because we wanted to be “boho” and later wondered “why.”

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Instead try: arm parties.

You get the same sense of whimsy without turning your head into a dream catcher.

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3. Trend to retire: Fringe.

While it might make sense when you’re tripping acid at Burning Man…

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It’s gotten to the point where it’s not even ironically cool. It just looks like a sad growth on otherwise fine shoes and bags. But the good thing about fringe is you can update all your fringed stuff quite easily with just a pair of scissors and a can-do attitude.

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Instead try: no fringe.

See? Shoes that won’t hit people when you walk past them.

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4. Trend to retire: Ironic snow scenes.

These just look like stuff 2-year-olds wear. I know they’re probably an ironic offshoot of the ironic snarling wolf tee, but still — large, ironic pictures of animals have their limits in terms of cool-factor.

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5. In the same vein: ironic spring scenes.

This is probably even too twee for an Etsy fair.

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Instead try: mesh insets.

You can still get funky with your sweaters. If it looks like it belongs in Babies ‘R Us, reconsider the purchase.

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6. Trend to retire: purposefully messy and/or greasy hair.

Overt attempts at looking like a slob feel so 2008. As Alice + Olivia designer Stacy Bendet said to me recently, “The full-on sloppy look has hit its five year peak.” So, de-grease your hair, take out your braids after a day’s wear…

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You can still have that blasé “I don’t try to look stylish” look if you run a comb through your hair after you undo your log-sized statement braid.

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Instead try: a semi-neat sidebraid.

You can still get away with not washing your hair while achieving that “it’s not like I TRY” look that even Diane Kruger is dead set on having sometimes.

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7. Trend to retire: animals as prints.

Birds especially. I saw more birds on blouses in 2012 than I did in the sky, on the sidewalk, and floating in a pond combined.

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Instead try: plants as prints.

I’m talking non-florals — palm tree silhouettes, real-looking leaves. Turn yourself into a two-dimensional, no-birds-allowed topiary.

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8. Trend to retire: dip dye.

If you are considering rocking a dip-dyed tank featuring a skull wearing a feathered headdress, I really do urge you to reconsider your passé ways!

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Instead try: solids.

Color-blocking, specifically. Nothing suits these narcissistic, social media-ruled times quite like wearing five of the brightest colors you can find all at once.

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Also looks great on nails.

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9. Trend to retire: ombré hair.

When the Kardashians start sporting something that’s supposed to be edgy, that’s when you know it’s the opposite of edgy. The E! network and the stars it’s unleashed upon this world are many things, but they are not edgy or ironic.

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Instead try: reverse ombré hair!

This is an extreme example, but if you’ve done an extreme ombré job on yourself you might be into something like this. Otherwise you can try that OTHER less extreme kind of ombré hair otherwise known as… highlights. Remember those?

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Anything Rachel Greene ever did to her hair is permanently a GO in my book.

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10. Trend to retire: suspender tights.

Did anyone wear these IRL? As in, outside of Rihanna’s Instagram feed?

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I don’t know if this made it to the streets as much as hardcore hipster retailers would make you believe. But in any case, there is just absolutely nowhere to wear these outside of Rihanna’s Instagram feed or a nightclub, which requires heavy drinking prior to entry. If you’re not going to a place where everyone fist pumps when sirens go off, leave the suspender tights at home.

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Instead try: roomy pants.

On the subject of Rihanna, the former reigning Princess of Pantslessness has fully embraced very pants-y pants. These are not pants that act like leggings, or a pants leggings hybrid (see: jeggings) — these are pants that are undeniably not tights or meant to make you wonder if they should count as real bottoms. Release your thighs from the confines of spandex-including fabrics and join Rihanna in enjoying pants that move when the wind blows.

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11. Trend to retire: mullet dresses.

This I pulled from Nasty Gal (where else?) and it has the “I’m back!” badge on it because I guess it managed to sell out and has been re-stocked in time for the holiday season. Because nothing says “happy holidays!” like a dress that begs the question “do you need bathing suit bottoms under that?”

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Instead try: maxi skirts!

I know they’re impractical for winter but I still am not tired of them. Plus they feel so good against the legs when the wind blows in the summer, right? One of life’s small pleasures. Also try one with a slit:

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This is Helmut Lang.

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12. Trend to retire: peplums.

As BuzzFeed Shift’s Peggy Wang says, peplums are “like an umbrella for your butt.” Really, what purpose do they serve? A prompt for a clueless straight man to ask why you’re wearing two of the same skirt at once?

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Instead try: a blazer.

If you’re wearing a blazer you won’t be tempted to wear peplums, otherwise you’ll look swollen in the middle and who in the days of gluten-shunning wants that?? Try dark red for an alternative to black.

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13. Trend to retire: fur vests.

If you’re not Rachel Zoe and don’t have a line of fur vests to sell on QVC, you do not need to go here. Put these back on the sale rack, where they should peacefully be laid to rest this year, once and for all.

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Instead try: an interesting sweatshirt.

Okay, maybe not REALLY this, although I prefer it a great, great deal to fur vests. Giraffe arms >>>>>> fur vests any day.

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This is very on-trend and fun without being too Nasty Gal-centric.

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14. Trend to retire: looking like a pilgrim.

From left we have Alexa Chung, Pippa Middleton, and a DKNY runway look. Peter Pan collars on black now feel a little too recession-era depressive.

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I think Kelly Kapowski agrees.

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Instead try: ’90s modernism.

Here we have Christy and Linda in a ’90s Vogue spread. Your lifestyle might mandate more of a full bottom/top scenario.

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Grunge is another 90s trend having a resurgence. But as fashion blogger Elin Kling proves here, you can wear a suggestion of it without looking terrible.

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15. Trend to retire: body con.

Why go through the trouble of concealing underwear lines, wearing Spanx, and juice fasting when you don’t have to?

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Instead try: pajamas.

According to fashion, PJ sets are perfectly acceptable things to wear out of the house.

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Perfect for fat days, thin days, and any other day you just don’t feel like it.

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16. Trend to retire: the top knot.

The only reason I’m sick of these is because I really want to see one of my favorite 90s hair looks come back.

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Instead try: space turds!

Why isn’t this happening yet? Not looking very good never precluded most trends!

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17. Trend to retire: studs.

Unless you are Britney Spears in a music video, give the studs rest for now. When everyone tries so hard to look tough, everyone just looks like a pansy.

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Instead try: leather accents.

Just about everything has a leather sleeve or pocket or trim now. Hope you like dry cleaning!

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18. Trend to retire: crosses.

Instagram users are serious offenders.

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We’re long past the days when wearing a cross with a bra top outraged people and made them think twice about you. Now crosses just make you disappear into the ether of the everyhipster’s faux rebellion.

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Instead try: barely-there chains.

They look great over blouses or on bare skin.

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Michael Kovac / Getty Images

Every celebrity always seems to be wearing one on the red carpet.

(Note: Miley demonstrates another reason not to wear studs: they will fight for attention with your elegant, tiny jewelry!)

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Celebrities also always seem to wear tiny gold jewelry when they go swimming in the ocean. It’s a Thing.

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Model Candice Swanepoel even wears one that goes all the way around her body.

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And that’s it for our end-of-year trend report! Feel free to disagree with me about all of it and wear whatever the hell you want whenever you feel like anyway. Because without bad fashion we’d never have good fashion. Or, more importantly, ironic fashion.

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