Fashion Trends that Defined the 2010s

  • In the 2010s, fashion was highlighted by a range of subcultures that met the world stage, from normcore to the British royal family’s popularity. In addition to that, logomania, athleisure, and the occasional fascinator led the decade style-wise. Aside from those, the fashion industry in the 2010s also experienced thoughtful cultural shifts over the last 10 years that encourage change in terms of bigger issues, like diversity and sustainability. 

If you want to reminisce about the fashion styles back in the 2010s, read on as we’re giving you a list of the fashion trends that defined the 2010s. 

1. Mom Jeans

Generation Z started to look back on the style icons in the ‘90s, like Cindy Crawford, Winona Ryder, and Princess Diana. One jean style has caught their attention, which is the mom jean. In 2016, the high-waisted, relaxed-fit jean linked to practical suburbia style become a popular style among women. It also has a counterpart Dadcore look that swept over the fashion of young men.  

2. Athleisure

woman in athletic outfit

In the 2010s, fashion also got casual. Just about anyone on Snapchat and Instagram can be seen wearing the most comfortable fashion trend of the decade, which is called athleisure. The demand for more fashionable workout clothes increased. With this, workout gears wear hyper-stylized, including yoga pants and sports bras with vibrant colors and graphic patterns. In addition to fashion, athleisure is also a trend that made its way to the beauty industry. There were a number of brands that emerged, promoting skin-care products that can be used pre-and post-workout. 

3. Street Style

streetwear models

Fashion week has always included street-style photography. But it gained more popularity in the 2010s due to the spread of social media. The street style photos that circulated on websites, social media pages, and fashion blogs have spawned a budding class of influencers that today are industry powerhouses. In the present time, fashion influencers are fixtures at fashion week and are seated among celebrities and fashion editors.

4. Normcore

Normcore was meant to be the antidote to those overly stylized and ornate runways and designer products. However, the trend has put emphasis on mundane or casual looks that were interpreted as anything but fashionable. The term came from the New York-based trend forecaster K-Hole in 2013. Based on her report, normcore is turning away from a coolness that depends on difference to a post-authenticity coolness that opts into sameness.  

In fashion, this trend is translated as color palettes of gray, white, beige, and black, without any prints or logos. There were also other typical normcore looks that included white sweat socks with sandals, baseball caps, Birkenstocks, tracksuits, and windbreakers. 

5. Floppy Hats

woman wearing floppy hat

Back in 2014, when you want to identify a blogger/influencer in a large crowd, you only need to find the wide brim felt hat. Floppy hats became the real accessory of hipster fashion bloggers and influencers. These served as a bohemian punctuation mark for outfits that usually included ankle boots, fringe shoulder bags, and cut-off shorts. The trend also evolved into straw hats as fashion bloggers also became travel and lifestyle influencers. 

6. Headbands

The fixation of fashionistas with hair accessories started in 2011 with fascinators, which are the small, whimsical take on traditional British hats that dotted the benches of Kate Middleton’s and Prince William’s wedding. Kate Middleton and her sister-in-law Meghan Markle, have kept the style and they frequently wore them during royal engagements. The trend evolved later on with padded headbands and as well as tiara-like canvas decorated with pearls, gemstones, and knots. 

7. Skinny Jeans

person wearing skinny jeans

The skinny jean was 2010s denim industry hero. While women latched onto the style due to its curve-hugging qualities and flexibility, advancements in stretch fabrications also made the rigid fabric soft and more comfortable to wear. Even though other types of jeans are introduced in the decade, like mom jeans, skinny jeans remained the number one style throughout the decade. In fact, the NPD Group reported that the sales for skinny jeans in 2018 accounted for about 40% of women’s jeans sales. 

8. Wedge Sneakers

Wedge sneakers were a diverging concept introduced by brands like Isabel Marant and Giuseppe Zanotti in the early 2010s. These are heeled sneakers that were usually done up with tonal suede uppers or shiny metal hardware. It became a favorite off-duty style of cool girls back then, like Paris Hilton and Giselle Bundchen. Other sneaker brands like Puma and Nike soon followed with their own take of the style before the trend faded away. 

9. Loafers

man wearing loafers

Loafers became on-trend again thanks to Gucci when it introduced its kangaroo fur-lined Princeton loafer slipper back in 2015. These were initially disapproved for their use of real fur and ridiculed for their impractical design. Eventually, consumers warmed up to the idea of the sophisticated horse-bit loafer. 

10. Millennial Pink

millennial pink color

The 2010s decade is also defined by the color called ‘Millennial Pink.’ It is a youthful shade of pink that seeped into homes, businesses, closets, and advertisements. The color gifted the decade with iconic fashion moments, such as the pink Edward Saxton suit that Harry Styles worn on the Today Show in 2017 and the Giambattista Valli pink tulle gown that Rihanna wore to the Grammy’s in 2015. And in 2019, the Vogue-orchestrated Met Gala used a pink carpet instead of its famous red carpet. 

These are some of the fashion trends that defined the 2010s. If you grew up in this decade, what were your most favorite fashion trends that you’d still wear even today?