2019's most risqué fashion trends

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Naked dresses had a moment this year. Photo: Getty Images

When it came to fashion, 2019 was a year that well and truly saw the decade out with a bang.

With boundaries never more flexible, and skin never more exposed, it may be fair to label the year fashion’s most risqué yet as outrageously revealing trends stepped off the catwalk and into everyday life.

In a decade that saw the rise of the #metoo movement, the increase in voices of marginalised women thanks to social media, and fight to maintain women’s equality, it’s perhaps no surprise that the decade’s final year reflected that with daring trends that shed fabric and flashed skin in a bold display.

Tiny bikinis were a hit across the board. Photo: Instagram/emrata

Put it down to the rise of the influencer, or the decline of the patriarchy, but people everywhere were more comfortable than ever baring plenty of skin, and leaving virtually nothing to the imagination.

Kicking off the list has to be the clothing-free festival trend that turned the world’s most adhesive craft item into a fashion statement.

It is of course.... the glitterboob trend.


Glitterboobs were a big moment. Photo: Instagram/sophietea

A creature that first reared its head in 2017, the glitterboob is included this year for sticking around so decisively, and arguably peaking in 2019.

The look became synonymous with festival wear after it burst into Glastonbury leaving eyebrows-raised and pearls clutched in its wake.

The brainchild of artist Sophie Tea, the trend involves covering the nipples with pasties and decorating the exposed breast with glitter, rhinestones, anything that falls to hand, really.

The trend kicked off in 2017, but is only gaining momentum. Photo: Instagram/ thegypsyshrine

Still going strong as we sashay into the new decade, the glitterboob was more than a fashion statement, it was a reclamation of female anatomy as part of the #freethenipple movement rocked social media platforms across the decade.

The see-through/ naked dress

The naked dress, worn by Italian singer Roshelle, reached new heights in 2019. Photo: Getty Images

An absolute staple of 2019 fashion, the naked dress was born and took its first steps in the early years of the decade, but 2019 saw it unfurl its wings and fly.

From the barely-opaque, to mesh, to artful cut-outs, and strategically-placed detailing, the naked dress was elevated to star status when it hit red carpets, barely covering some very famous figures.

Beyonce elevated the dress's status at the 2015 Met Gala. Photo: Getty Images

This year, however, the look hit the mainstream with online retailers selling out of affordable, every-day options and redefining what is acceptable for everyday wear.

Perhaps the most famous everyday version this year was Oh Polly’s white see-through corset dress that flew off the proverbial shelf.

Oh Polly sold out a $90 version in record time. Photo: Oh Polly


The trend made mainstream by Tammy Hembrow is light on coverage. Photo: Instagram/tammyhembrow

This year saw bikinis tinier than we could have imagined, with naked plastic string version taking out top spot in our books.

This particular bikini is literally a pencil-sized stip of material held together with plastic strings giving the illusion of near-nudity.

Think those awkward g-strings that spray tan places make you wear, but smaller and fitted.

Described as 'fanny floss' these super high cut swimsuits are only for the boldest of beach-goers. Photo: Instagram/Tahlia Skaines/Indi Thew/Olivia Mathers

Other standouts were the bathers so high-cut they were rather unfortunately but accurately nicknamed ‘fanny floss’ online due to the logic-defying coverage available for intimate areas.

And highly commended goes to the ‘child-sized’ micro bikinis that skimped on coverage leaving plenty of underboob exposed.

The 'too-small' swimsuit was another standout in 2019. Photo: Instagram/Rita Ora/Chloe Ferry/Emily Ratajkowski

Naked wedding dress

The 'naked' wedding dress has turned heads in 2019. Photo: Instagram/ berta

Perhaps the boldest move this year was reimagining the most traditional of dresses, the wedding dress.

Raising eyebrows galore was the new spin on the wedding dress, the naked wedding dress.

Mainly coming from the floaty designs of New York-based fashion house Berta, the newest trend seems to stick firmly to the less is more mindset, and showcases intricate detailing on a completely sheer base layer.

The Fashion House has turned bridal on its head. Photo: Instagram/ Berta

Assless chaps

Splendour in the Grass saw the trend hit Aussie shores. Photo: Instagram/lili_eastwood

A flash in the pan, but one that left a lasting impression, the assless chaps were a festival look that had onlookers well... looking.

Cropping up initially at Coachella on the likes of James Charles and making a cheeky appearance at Splendour in the Grass, the look left wearers’ asses exposed, needless to say creating a rather bold effect.

Check out some of the highlights of the trend.

The sideflank

Kendall Jenner rocked the trend at a Vanity Fair event. Photo: Getty Images

Giving the nude wedding gown’s a run for their money, the in-your-face sideflank hit the mainstream this year raising eyebrows and questions about the underwear, or lack therof, involved.

Typically executed with an evening gown, the sideflank features one or two splits in the skirt of the dress that ride so high, they typically expose the entire thigh, and hip bone.

J.Lo took the trend to another level in this green number. Photo: Getty Images
Tammy rocked an early version of the sideflank look last year. Photo: Instagram/tammyhembrow

Kendall Jenner showed everyone how to work it with not much material covering her legs at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscars after-party, and other celebs like JLo and Tammy Hembrow gave the trend their own spins.

Variations of the trend include the cut-out pant which was popularised by 2019 teen show Euphoria and sparked a string of copycat looks that left a lot exposed.

The cut out pants trend was kicked off by Euphoria character Maddi's purple look. Photo: Youtube/LaurDIY /HBO

Safe to say we had a year of daring and rule-breaking when it came to fashion.

So here’s to the bold, the barely-there, the naked, and the see-through looks that raised eyebrows, ruffled feathers, and pushed the envelope this year.

May your bikinis be tiny, your wedding dress, naked, and your chaps, assless.

Bring on 2020.

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