In many respects, 2021 seems like an extension of the unprecedented year that was 2020. But unlike the past year, there are plenty of things to hope for this new year, and the styles and fashion trends of our day will reflect that hope and optimism. Here are some trends to incorporate into your wardrobe in 202:
The past few years have given rise to loungewear as a legitimate fashion trend and style statement, but nothing accelerated its ubiquity more than the world being on lockdown. This trend will most likely continue in 2021, with a few upgrades: We might see a shift towards slimmer fits and finer fabrics, with novelty prints and well-loved logos. The silhouette may see an upgrade as well, with more brands going for a more tailored twist, like pleated joggers and turtleneck t-shirts.
Thanks to the pandemic and the majority of the world’s workforce being forced to work from the comforts of their home offices, more and more people found themselves with the desire to prioritize comfort above anything else in their daily lives. This is welcome news for retailers because it means they can create collections that are centered around comfort: ’90s inspired hoodies, oversized joggers, and slip dresses that were straight out of a Kate Moss-led runway. And since Generation Z is known for their love for all things retro, they will surely eat up this style trend.
Another pandemic-pushed style that will take center stage this year is the cottagecore aesthetic. Marked by romance and nostalgia and deeply rooted in the Western tradition, cottagecore outfits are marked by billowy blouses, prairie dresses, and ruffled knee-to-ankle-length skirts. Think Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie. Think fairytales, folklore, and forest girl aesthetic.
Vintage or resale
Similar to the cottagecore aesthetic is the resale industry, which is being made popular by platforms like Poshmark and Depop, and online stores like The RealReal and ThredUp. These platforms have made it not just acceptable, but also trendy, to shop for secondhand clothing and accessories. It’s also the pandemic-friendly version of being on the hunt for unique items and bargains, and the occasional discounted luxury piece. While the love for department stores will always exist, these platforms might make vintage and pre-loved items more mainstream, just like off-the-rack items from retail stores.
Since the pandemic has enforced all the ways we need to move and be fruitful even during the lockdown, our apparel and accessories will reflect this need. Affordable promise rings that express our commitment will be all the rage since they can be engraved with inspirational words or quotes that motivate us to work hard during the day.
Experts predict that our generation will see our own version of the post-prohibition excess as we inch closer towards the end of the pandemic. We might see a 21st-century version of ultra-glamorous frills, high-shine fabrics, and out-there makeup looks, but only time will tell, especially since we still live in an era where comfortable and practical fashion is dominating the runways and the retail stores. How and when the pandemic and recession end is anyone’s guess, but we cannot discount our festive dresses and excessively glamorous outfits just yet.
Stylish coats and trenches
When the HBO show The Undoing came out, Twitter users came out in droves to rave about Nicole Kidman’s coats on the show, speaking to the trend of finding and wearing excellent and innovative trenches and coats during this year’s winter and spring. From interestingly-cut slits to dramatic lapels, bold sleeves, and drop waists — there will be an influx of people wearing statement coats that will not only keep them warm but will help them gain some attention on the street as well.
Oversized button-down shirts
Piggybacking off the loungewear and comfort trends, the oversized button-down shirts will be making a comeback (but it’s not like they ever left). The style is all about billowing silhouettes, but this time with a twist: More than the typically boring white, they will come in brighter and more fun colors like orange and pink, can be used as dresses, and will be extra wide and extra long, giving the illusion that the wearer is twice their actual size.
This year’s trends, much like last year’s, will reflect our cultural moment: The need for comfort, both physical and internal, and an upgraded version of the looks that we’ve loved over the past years. At the end of the day, we can still find pieces and looks that are still stylish but don’t necessarily sacrifice comfort.