The ugly-pretty trend is here to stay, so if you’ve been holding out on giving it a whirl, why not make 2016 the year that you finally embrace it wholeheartedly — or at least see what it’s all about? The word “ugly” alone is probably enough to throw your sartorial sensibilities for a loop, but with pieces like slide-on sandals and body-swallowing sweaters taking the runways and the streets by storm (not to mention being SUPER comfy), there’s definitely something behind this unexpected trend. So break out of your sartorial comfort zone with these 13 ugly pieces that will actually upgrade your look in the new year.
UGLY TREND TO TRY IN 2016: ’90S BEANIES
Why They’re “Ugly”: Beanies are quickly becoming the must-have topper for 2016, ousting fedoras and floppy hats from their highly coveted seat of sartorial power. While the soft caps are easy and effortless when they’re loosely knit and pom pom-topped, in their more condensed form, they bring back memories of Hot Topic, Mallrats‘ Jay and Avril Lavigne — eek. Not to mention, the beanie isn’t always one to sit pretty, creating an awkward hourglass shape on top of your head.
Why You’ll Love Them: Their ’90s-inspired flair pairs perfectly with the slew of throwback denim in circulation right now, as well as any and all athleisure ensembles. They also make bad hair days a thing of the past, with a soft, flexible structure that keeps hat hair at bay. To sum it up — just do it.
UGLY TREND TO TRY IN 2016: ANYTHING BUT SKINNY JEANS
Why They’re “Ugly”: Mom jeans, cropped flares, you name it — the rise of the anti-skinny jean is totally unexpected. Let’s be honest — a few years ago, we would have looked right at these new silhouettes and scratched our heads and beelined our eyeballs to their traditionally unappealing features — baggy fits and and capri-like cuts that we shunned even way back when.
Why You’ll Love Them: Denim is a wardrobe staple, but sticking to only one silhouette can be a little bit boring. Donning a different style can instantly perk up even the most basic of closet basics, plus most of the new cuts and fits are comfortable to boot — so what are you waiting for?
Try: A pair of cropped flares, like this Mother Denim Insider Crop Step Fray Jeans($228) set, teamed with pointed-toe ankle boots and a chunky knit sweater — the perfect balance of comfort and style.
UGLY TREND TO TRY IN 2016: DOUBLE DENIM
Why It’s “Ugly”: Whether you call it Double denim, DD or the Canadian tuxedo, the all-jean-everything look has never exactly been the pinnacle of fashion. Maybe because it’s never really been executed properly (exhibit A: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake circa 2001), or maybe it’s just the jeans-and-a-denim-shirt formula that needs to be reworked. Either way, it’s a whole lot of look.
Why You’ll Love It: Denim didn’t become a closet stronghold for nothing. It’s easy, effortless and casually cool, so really, why wouldn’t you want to double up? The key to pulling it off successfully is to work with different hues, weights and textures to break things up and create visual intrigue.
UGLY TREND TO TRY IN 2015: CULOTTES
Why They’re “Ugly”: An awkward fusion of pants, shorts and wide-leg trousers, culottes actually have a long sartorial history. Back in the day they offered women the versatility of pants, while maintaining a skirt-like and thus lady-like appearance. While that’s all well and good, with both pants and skirts at our disposal nowadays, why don this highly confused pair?
Why You’ll Love Them: Flirting the line between masculine and feminine, they’re the ultimate compromise for the girl that loves experimenting with modern, androgynous looks.
UGLY TREND TO TRY IN 2016: OVERALLS
Why They’re “Ugly”: Overalls are a hard sell for anyone over the age of nine. Their childlike quality no doubt delivers a serious dose of nostalgia, but the one-piece wonder also stands in direct opposition to that sophisticated persona you’ve been trying to create.
Why You’ll Love Them: They combine the best features of comfortable jeans and a glam jumpsuit for a statement-making hero piece that’ll ensure you won’t go unnoticed. To bring the onesie into adult-appropriate territory, pair with polished and on-trend separates.
UGLY TREND TO TRY IN 2016: PALAZZO PANTS
Why They’re “Ugly”: Remember raver pants from back in the ’90s? They didn’t work then — how could they possibly work now? Elegant tailoring, sophisticated add-ons and of-the-moment prints have taken the debatable silhouette into fashion-forward territory.
Why You’ll Love Them: The relaxed silhouette is airy and light, adding ethereal movement to any getup. The billowy trousers are also ideal for winter. They can easily be layered over leggings or flannel tights for lots of warmth without the bulk.