The choker and other polarising trends of 2016

Miss you already 2016 🙁

As we embrace the start of a new year, it’s also an ideal time to reflect on our favourite events, travels, memories and, most importantly, fashion moments of 2016. 

It was an interesting year for fashion, to say the least. We bared our shoulders, bowed down to Yeezy and tied absolutely anything we could around our neck.

Here are a few of the most polarising trends in the year that was… some that died peacefully on December 31 and some that will follow us into a brave new year of fashion: 2017.


Way back in ’15, we were all just getting around in your regular wide leather choker or long suede string tied in a little bow. Who would’ve thought in a year’s time there’d be more neck accessories in our wardrobe than a German sex shop?

These days, our favourite necklace has been upgraded with options in coloured velvet, metal hardware, stick-on jewels and multi-layered chokers. 

Next stop: mini lace-up corsets made especially for our neck. Nope, it’s not time to say goodbye just yet.

Bomber jackets

It’s hard to believe there was a time – not that long ago, mind you – where bomber jackets didn’t exist at the centre of our wardrobes. Honestly, what the hell did we all wear? 

The “athleisure” trend was still going strong in 2016. In fact, it seemed to pick up speed. And the bomber jacket choices became more plentiful than ever before.

There were a couple of standouts in this category though – the dusty pink satin bomber and the Chinese embroidered back, for example.

I, for one, will be happy to wear these plush doona jackets for life.

Off-the-shoulder, cold shoulder and other shoulder-based products

We loved our shoulders sick this year. From off-the-shoulder tops to cold shoulder dresses, we were hard pressed to find an item of clothing that didn’t expose those little corners of our bodies.

It sucked if you weren’t a huge fan of that look, or you don’t like your shoulders, but there were pros too: covering our wobbly arms and being able to eat as much pasta as we like. Those loose-fitting shapes will always have a place in my wardrobe. 

Obnoxious tour merch 

2016 saw the death of supporting your favourite artists via a subtle T-shirt purchased at the concert’s merch tent. I blame Kanye. Or more specifically, Pablo. 

Those five letters emblazoned in oversized Old English font changed everything.

They inspired a tour merch revolution. They inspired brands to release knock-offs. They inspired girls to wear their boyfriend’s hoodies with lace-up over-the-knee boots, and they inspired seemingly sane people to line up for 12 hours to buy a T-shirt for a tour they didn’t go to. 

Silky slip dresses

It might resemble a slinky little number from the lingerie section of Salvos but on closer inspection, you’ll notice it’s actually one of the biggest trends of 2016 – the slip dress. 

Like the choker, we loved this trend so much we couldn’t just accept it as it was. Instead, we tweaked and interpreted it, and introduced all sorts of new versions. We wore it over t-shirts, under corset belts, with over-the-knee boots and shopped it in every length, colour and neckline possible. 

Why? Because once we love a trend, we really bloody love a trend. 

Illustration by Twylamae.

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