As consumers become weary of fleeting fads in the fashion industry, there has been a general shift towards purchasing investment pieces rather than fast fashion and in some cases, this has resulted in the subsequent rise of the thrift store.

The latter can be attributed to the millennial urge to be exclusive. Also... we're kind of broke. 

This is perhaps why annual trend forecasts have become less daunting, as now we look to see what we can retain in our wardrobes -  yet wear differently - rather than what we should rush to retailers for for fear of falling a season behind. 

READ MORE: Essential winter items to shop on sale right now without breaking the bank

See, trend forecasts are no longer received as sartorial dogma, but rather as references and inspiration.

Of course, this does not mean new trends are no longer introduced to us anymore (because capitalism), but rather their gradual comeuppance only puts a subtle kind of pressure on us to dabble in something new.

However, without set trends to 'follow', there would be nothing to measure one's personal fashion acumen against and I think maybe Instagram would be a little less intriguing, especially given its horrid repetitive algorithm. 

But I digress. 

There are many factors that influence new trends - nostalgia, music, culture, celebrities (see Rihanna effect and the Markle Sparkle) and even food - but the reality is that trends are never really new. They just get introduced to us in revised, better forms.

READ MORE: Fashion industry unmasked: why trends are never really new

So this is what the fashion industry is bringing to us in 2019 in ways we cannot ignore:

Larger than life ruffles

This one has been made official by both Vogue US and British Vogue, and it's all thanks to Marc Jacobs making red carpet dresses fun again, so do take note. 

Large, extravagant ruffles will be a popular go-to for special occasions, as we can already tell from international red carpets. If you're attending the Sun Met, the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo or even the opening of AFI Fashion Week, grab a ruffle or five.

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SOMETIMES YOU GOTTA DRESS FOR DINNER ~ @marcjacobs

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Studio 54 sequins mania

We have New York Fashion Week Spring 2018 to thank for sequins current heyday. And we can even more grateful for Zara's very prompt adaptation of the designer embellished items.

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The ultimate statement shoe and handbag. #TOMFORD

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Much like actual glitter, when sequinned skirts, dresses, jumpsuits and jackets hit the rails, it became very hard to shake them off the trends grid thereafter. Fashionista.com even commented on how sequins are no longer just for parties and New Year's Eve - they're for any and every occasion. 

Wear this sequin blazer to brunch if you dare. R1399 at Zara.

Zara, R1399

READ MORE: Get ready to dress up like you're about to party with the Upper East Side crew on Gossip Girl

Animal print

Does it ever really leave? Not exactly. Your rich single aunt will also agree.

So breathe a sigh of financial relief that the faux snakeskin boots or pants that you bought in 2018 are still worthy of the streets and Instagram. 

Who's responsible for this trend's longevity into 2019? Tom Ford (again) for the feline prints and Rihanna for making head-to-toe snakeskin a thing.

READ MORE: Chanel has banned the use of exotic skins on all their products - why this matters

'Orthopedic' sandals

Ah, the sandal version of dad sneakers. Velcro Teva sandals and Birkenstocks have been around for decades. Understandably so - they're incredibly comfortable and practical, but they have never peaked fashion-wise. 

However, ever since Balenciaga ushered in a wave of ugly shoes in 2017 (including platform Crocs), orthopedic-esque sandals were bound to have their moment sooner or later. 

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‘Tis the season. ??: @lolaomonaija

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Paper-bag bottoms

This is one of those trends that are just extending their contract in the retail space this year. The paper-bag pants boom happened during 2018 despite lurking around seasons prior, and fast expanded its influence to skirts and shorts too. It was then hailed one of the most flattering trends of 2018 by POPSUGAR

According to Who What Wear, it all started with Vogue Ukraine’s fashion director Julie Pelipas' Instagram post during Couture Week in 2018 and no one's looked back since.

The plot twist, though, is that in 2019, paper-bag bottoms in an actual paper-bag colour  - khaki, off-white, brown, or olive - will rule. But that's not to say you should let go of your houndstooth and checkered variations.

A classic pair of paper-bag trousers worth buying is this tan one from MANGO on Superbalist, R699.

Superbalist, R699

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