10 Fashion Trends of 2011 Made Possible by Plastics

2011 trends

From feather hair extensions to faux fur to skinny jeans, the must-have fashion trends of 2011 ranged from casual and fun to sophisticated and glamorous. One thing many have in common: plastics! Thanks to their versatility, plastics help make many of your favorite styles durable, affordable, and flattering. Here’s a recap of 10 hot fashion trends of 2011, each made possible with plastics!

Faux fur: From jackets to boots to vests to handbags, animal-friendly plastic faux fur was all over the runways, and its popularity continues to grow with winter’s colder weather. It used to be that faux fur couldn’t replicate the luxurious look and feel of natural fur, but modern plastic fibers make faux fur almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

Plastic feather hair extensions: Rooster feather hair extensions became one of summer’s hottest trends after they were spotted on celebrities ranging from Steven Tyler to Ke$ha. Feathers made with plastics can be styled along with your real hair, just like natural rooster feathers—but they’re less expensive, more durable, and animal-friendly.

Faux leather: Faux leather made from durable polyurethane plastic has the look and feel of natural leather but is usually more affordable. Faux leather doesn’t retain moisture like natural leather, which makes it terrific for wet, cold weather—expect to see a lot more of this trend during winter.

Stretch skinny jeans: Skinny jeans are more popular than ever, and it’s no wonder: this versatile garment forms the basis for a variety of looks, taking you from day to evening. Best of all, skinny jeans are comfortable and flattering, thanks to a bit of spandex plastic that stretches to gently hug your body.

Graphic t-shirts made with recycled plastic fabrics: Stylish t-shirts featuring graphic prints have been all the rage this year, and those made with recycled-plastic fabric have become particularly popular. Usually made with polyester fibers derived from recycled plastic water and soda bottles, the resulting fabrics are very durable yet surprisingly soft and comfortable. Perhaps best of all, they reuse a valuable resource and keep bottles out of landfills.

Adhesive plastic nail wraps: Nail wraps made with flexible plastics that adhere to the nail when heated have become wildly popular. These nail wraps last longer than a traditional manicure, and they come in intricate designs and metallic-looking shades that are nearly impossible to create with polish.

Sequins: Metallic-looking plastic sequins are adding sparkle to everything from shoes to handbags to dresses. Once reserved for formal eveningwear, sequins now adorn both dressy and casual garments—even t-shirts!

Lightweight, form-fitting gym clothes: Thanks to fabrics that conform to your body and move with you, gym clothes are becoming more comfortable—and often more flattering—than ever before.  Made with spandex, polyester, nylon, acrylic and other plastic fibers, some of these fabrics are designed to wick away moisture from your skin to keep you cooler and dryer.

Plastic sunglasses: Sunglasses come in an astonishing variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to suit everyone’s style—from understated and conservative to bold and fashion-forward. Especially popular are retro-looking sunglasses in bright, even neon colors. And the plastic frames and lenses make them both durable and lightweight.

Plastic jewelry: From colorful bangles to bold statement necklaces, plastic jewelry has become a must-have accessory. Because plastics are versatile and affordable, this jewelry gives you almost endless ways to transform your look without breaking the bank.

Many of these fashion trends are just as stylish today as when they first hit the scene, so you can wear them into 2012 … and perhaps beyond.

Do you have a favorite fashion trend that plastics help make possible? Share it with us in the comments section below.

Click here for more fashion trends this season—and create your own look with our Polyvore app on Facebook.