For better or worse, the year in fashion fads offered plenty of eye-catching moments:
Crop tops: When Gwyneth Paltrow exposed her tummy in a two-piece Emilio Pucci ensemble at the Emmys in September 2011, she was on to something. The midriff-baring trend had been gaining steam all year, with Hollywoods resident exhibitionists (Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus) racing to uncover. Crop tops were all over the fashion runways in September and October as well.
Barely There: Stars also played peekaboo by wearing gowns with sheer panels and cutouts, none more so than Kristen Stewart, who turned heads at the L.A. premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in a sheer corseted Zuhair Murad gown and wore several more nearly nude looks while promoting the film in the following weeks.
Neon: The year was so bright you had to wear shades. Hot-hued jeans, Cambridge Satchel bags and nail polish were among the most popular traffic-stopping items.
Prints charming: Fashion magazines advised readers on how to mismatch prints, and blue jeans were covered in a riot of pattern and color. Designers put their best prints forward, with florals, foliage, plaids, houndstooth checks and photo-realistic effects.
Facial fuzz: The beard and mustache bunch and the companies that cater to them enjoyed a banner year. Mens grooming became one of the fastest-growing segments in the beauty business. Gillette launched a grooming gadget called the Fusion ProGlide Styler and enlisted a trio of celebrities Andre 3000 Benjamin, Gael Garcia Bernal and Adrien Brody as pitchmen.
Creeping ivy: Preppys progenitor Ivy League style crept back into American mens wardrobes this year. It was found on the runway, where J. Press showcased a new back-to-the-Ivy-roots York Street capsule collection designed by Ariel and Shimon Ovadia. And it was featured in books and museum exhibitions, specifically the Museum at FITs Ivy Style exhibition in New York City.