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The 2010s Fashion Trends That Defined the Decade

The dawn of Instagram gave rise to picture-perfect new trends.

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We're fresh into a new decade, but who doesn't love to reminisce about old trends? The 2010s are a critical time in fashion history: Thanks to one app, the industry underwent a major cultural shift. Instagram was born in 2010 and our world hasn't been the same since. Along with Instagram came influencers, wellness culture, and the idea of "pics or it didn't happen." Meanwhile, the industry resurrected trends from the past, like '90s-inspired dad sneakers and festival fashion that paid homage to the Woodstock era. But this decade also gave us totally new ideas, like athleisure and Instagram-approved must-have accessories. Take a trip down memory lane with us.

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Athleisure

Goodbye formalwear, hello activewear! Track pants with heels, yoga pants with a leather jacket and hoop earrings—welcome to the age of athleisure. Thanks to the rise of wellness culture, leggings aren't just for the gym anymore.

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Festival Fashion

All hail the reigning queen of Coachella herself, Vanessa Hudgens, seen here sporting her (flower) crown. Thanks to the age of Instagram, music festivals became a fashion show. Boho-inspired clothing ranged from fringe to flower crowns.

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Dad Sneakers

The chunky sneaker, the dad sneaker, the ugly sneaker—the list goes on when it comes to the name of this controversial trend. Resurrected from the '90s and pioneered by Balenciaga's Demna Gvasalia for his Fall 2017 menswear presentation, these sneakers are here to stay. The Balenciaga Triple S sneakers (named for the three soles layered on top of one another) were the stars of the show, paving the way for countless iterations.

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Streetwear

From Supreme to Off-White, streetwear became one of fashion's biggest markets.

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Celine Luggage Tote

From the Phoebe Philo era, the Celine Luggage Tote is among the bags that defined the decade. Introduced in 2010, the Luggage Tote comes in a variety of sizes and colors.

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Mini Bags

The itty-bitty accessory is far from functional but looks great in an Instagram post (which is what it's all about anyway). The Jacquemus Chiquito bag took the fashion world by storm in 2018 and the bags have gotten smaller and smaller ever since.

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Valentino Rockstud

A product of then co-creative directors Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, these little studs became synonymous with the decade. The ankle strap pumps were by far the favorite among the Rockstud collection, which includes bags, jewelry, and shoes.

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Bomber Jacket

Bomber jackets, specifically the Alpha Industries MA-1, were a street style staple. Many stars sported their bombers with leggings for an off-duty atheisure look.

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Wedge Sneaker

Another controversial sneaker trend: The wedge sneaker. Isabel Marant took the athleisure trend and ran with it with her Bekett sneaker.

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Skinny Jeans

We started the decade with skintight skinny jeans. Honorable mention to Rihanna's Givenchy Doberman T-shirt, which was also huge back in 2012.

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Mom Jeans

It didn't take long to say goodbye to skinnies for a much more forgiving style—the mom jean. The retro high-rise style took over, and with mom jeans and dad sneakers now in fashion, it turns out our parents are cool after all!

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Borrowed From Your Boyfriend

The idea of stealing your boyfriend's clothes has a sexy allure. In the 2010s we saw the rise of the boyfriend blazer and jean. The trend was an ode to your man's loose-fitting clothes that actually fit you.

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Statement Necklaces

The bigger, the bolder, the better. Statement necklaces, bib styles in particular, were all the rage. Honorable mention goes to Leandra's Proenza Schouler Ps1 bag, another huge 2010 staple.

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Givenchy Antigona Bag

First introduced in Givenchy's Fall/Winter 2011 collection, the Antigona quickly gained "it-bag" status. The structured bag is simple and sleek, not only gaining traction for its design but for its functionality. With a two top handles and a detachable crossbody strap, this bag is practical. No wonder it was beloved by so many.

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Alexander Wang Rocco

The Alexander Wang Rocco bag became a downtown It-girl staple. Retailing under $1,000, cool chicks everywhere loved this edgy studded duffle.

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Crop Tops

We saw the rise of wellness culture and brand mottos like, "Strong is the new skinny." The crop top allowed you to show off your body in a fashionable way.

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Mansur Gavriel Bag

Launched in 2013, the Mansur bucket bag quickly garnered both attention and a waitlist. The Los Angeles Times described the bag as "stealth luxe" for women who want low-key luxurious bags without overt logos and labeling.

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Logo Mania

Flashy logos are perfect for an Instagram photo op, and they were all the rage in the 2010s.

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Super Small Sunnies

The 2010s gave us some interesting trends, but microscopic sunnies surely top the list.

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The White Sneaker Worn With Everything

Leave your heels at home—the 2010s were all about the sneaker. Adidas' Stan Smith sneakers were all the rage, and everyone had to have them. Women paired the classic tennis shoe with skirts and dresses to give their elegant looks a downtown-casual feel.

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Bike Shorts

Another side effect of the athleisure trend: The return of the bike short. This trend made its way from the sidewalk to the catwalk back to the streets and into our wardrobes. The most inspiring quality about the resurgence of these bottoms is the way people style them. Many street style stars created a juxtaposition by pairing their lycra leg wear with high-fashion pieces, from blazers and blouses to heels.

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