As the Social Media Manager on the Ebates team in San Francisco, Caitlin Longwood is among the first to know about upcoming hot fashion trends for wearing on the street, on a date, on the weekend or in the office. Ebates is the online destination site offering cash back and coupons on America’s favorite looks via thousands of brands. With such a wide window on the world of shopping, Longwood shares her thoughts on trends with enough clout to carry into 2015 and beyond.

Caitlin Longwood, Ebates (credit: Ebates)

Caitlin Longwood | Ebates Inc.
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Casual Comfort

Perhaps the laid-back, outdoorsy focus of the San Francisco Bay Area can be credited with this trend. Already a leading lifestyle look inspired by the hills of Berkeley and the trails of Mt. Tam, athleisure has spread across the nation, with both women and men rocking slim sweatpants and stylish workout gear. The look moves from strictly daytime to after dark, pairing metro skinnies with stilettos or fashion sneakers for gathering around the fire pit over s’mores or some Chardonnay. This is a look that’s here to stay because it combines comfort with affordability and easy care.

The 90s Are Calling

Midriff tops made a huge comeback this year, especially with a high-waisted skirt, pant and even under dungarees. “We saw a lot of celebrities sporting this look this year, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon,” says Longwood. “From Anne Hathaway to Jessica Alba to Katie Perry, the crop top will definitely continue to bare its name on the 2015 hot trends list.” Comfy overalls on Keira Knightley, Heidi Klum and Alexa Chung caught the camera lens’ attention and are part of the story of a 90s flashback that’s sticking around.

Warm It Up

Blanket scarves and capes bundled every street corner and style column this year. From pregnancy capes to the the monogrammed Burberry blanket scarf, autumn’s “it” item was so hard to find that it attained exclusive status. However, long after Blake Lively and Kate Middleton go from bump to baby stroller, we expect that the expectant mom-look cape worn with leggings and boots isn’t going away anytime soon.

The Unisex Set

We saw a sub-genre of the hipster look this year dubbed “Normcore,” a word derived from combining “normal” and “hardcore.” Surprise, surprise: this fashion trend for both guys and gals is characterized by plain, average-looking clothing. Urban street style columns couldn’t get enough of stone-washed denim and color-blocked basic sweaters. Confused? Think of Steve Jobs in his uniform black mock turtleneck and jeans or Zuckerberg in his 365-days-a-year gray T-shirt and hoodie. Just reach for the fleece, khakis and sneakers…and top it off with a Giants baseball cap (worn facing front).

The Mainstream Mane

Start at the top. When it comes to completing a look with the classic top knot, women have been sporting this chic and neat hairstyle for decades. In 2014, we saw not only the emergence, but also the proliferation of the man bun on growing numbers joining Kings of the Mun: Jared Leto, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham and Brad Pitt. If you cannot wear yours with a tuxedo and an Oscar in hand or standing proud beside a 15-year-old son with a shiny new professional football contract, just pair yours with some great sunglasses. The male interpretation of this classic do is sure to stay on trend into 2015.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on