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Fashion Trends for 2021
We all agree that we’re done with 2020, right? The best thing about 2020 is getting excited for 2021. We’re starting to get some idea of what fashion is going to look like for Spring 2021, and there’s a lot to get excited about.
The biggest change is what fashion means now. Between working from home and restrictions on what we can do and where, our needs have changed. What good are sexy, sky-high heels if nobody can see you below the waist? Why would you wear something breathtaking but uncomfortable in the comfort of your own home? The only possible answer is because it makes you feel good. That’s the key attitude in 2021 fashion trends: dress for your own happiness.
Obviously, “wear what makes you happy” means something different for everyone, so here are some style trends that are bringing designers and fashion editors joy. You might find something for you, too.
If we’re going to wear them (and let’s be real, we are going to wear them), we might as well make it fashionable, right? High-end designers have taken up this trend boldly and with good humor. Make no mistake: these are raising the bar for loungewear. Raf Simons used striking, graphic prints to create something visually stunning, while Prada experimented with full-skirt outlines.
Also, the Givenchy hoodie is a must-have. No arguments. Any day that starts with sliding on your Givenchy hoodie is off to a great start because at least you have something to smile about.
Body-hugging knitwear is a strong alternative to sweatpants. It allows you to play with textures and layers, both major 2021 trends in their own right, and to mix and match in a way you can't really accomplish with sweatsuits. Thin layers are the way to go, and choose those that are a little bit translucent, or loose knit, in interesting color combinations. Rick Owens and Thebe Magugu created gorgeously androgynous looks in delicate colors that perfectly encapsulated this trend, while Balmain brought in dramatic necklines and extravagant shoulder pads for a darker, arresting look.
If you spend six hours on Zoom calls, you want two things: a stunning top and comfortable pants. This little touch of realism is making a big impact on fashion in 2021’s spring collections. Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney, amongst others, have picked up on flowing, loose, breathable pants. They’re not only ideal for sitting around but for striding confidently and powerfully through a park, down a street, or even across an office. There’s a powerful confidence in feeling good, and an interesting, unexpected silhouette has a big impact.
Draped, flowing tunics are also going to be big, worn with or without loose pants. Fendi, Marina Moscone, and more are bringing beautiful, draped shapes to the runway.
A Touch of Fantasy
The greatest thing about wearing whatever makes us happy is that we don’t have to be practical if we don’t want to. If you’re tired of tasteful neutrals, spring 2021 is going to be a great season for you. Between fabulous colors, patterns, and textures, there are so many ways to bring a touch of magic to your wardrobe.
Dries van Noten brought together oil-slick color and ruffled skirts, and Molly Goddard melded checkered tops with ruffled skirts as well for perhaps the most intense expression of this trend, and it’s hard not to feel happy looking at those outfits. But all-in isn’t the only way to wear this trend. Rodarte and Chopova Lowena brought bright, cheerful patterns into tea dresses, which are another great casual option.
Bringing interest through texture is another big movement from designers such as Kenneth Ize and Marques’Almeida. There are two takes on this. The first uses textures that are visually arresting and make a great impression on someone looking at you - Givenchy and Marques’Almeida are both going down this route. The other approach to this trend is about textures that feel interesting and are pleasant to wear. Kenneth Ize’s tasseled dresses are a great example, along with options from Coperni and Khaite.
Okay, this is a bit of a wild card, but it’s always fascinating to see how the “color of the year” manifests (or doesn’t) in fashion. Pantone has designated this electric blue the spirit of 2021 because it’s positive, future-facing, and reflects the increasing availability of leading-edge tech like artificial intelligence. It’s also a stunning, fresh blue that would work well with many of the catwalk trends we’re seeing for spring.