With half the year lost to sweatpants and old t-shirts, the cravings to get fitted were undeniable. Everyone seemed to emerge from quarantine dressed better than the way they entered. Roughly a year ago, I wrote an article bitching about the worst trends of 2019. Considering the absolute atrocity that was 2020, I decided to highlight the best trends this time, in the spirit of positivity. It’s important to note that by “best,” I simply mean that these are my personal favorites–and despite what I like to tell myself, my opinion is actually not the objective truth. That being said, I’ll proceed anyways.
- SHOULDER BAGS & TOTES
These two styles have stolen our hearts and have claimed the status of the everyday bag. As for mini shoulder bags, the recent wave of 90’s and Y2K nostalgia reintroduced our obsession. With a very minimalist silhouette, they exude the style with ease, exemplified by the plethora of 90’s icons featuring the bag in their everyday wear. The Fendi Baguette bag was all the craze in the late 90’s after being featured in Sex and the City, and people are just as obsessed two decades later. The Baguette, as well as Louis Vuitton’s Pouchette, Dior’s Saddle bag, and other 90’s It bags, have made a comeback– reproduced in contemporary society in various iterations due to popular demand for the vintage models.
Another 90’s hit, tote bags, have resurfaced once again; but this time, the silhouette has manifested itself a bit differently than it did back in the day. While designer leather totes like the Hervé Chapelier and the Givenchy George V Shopper were worshipped in the 90’s, in this day and age, $10 canvas tote bags have transcended farmers markets and become an androgynous and affordable staple for various personal styles. Equally sufficient in functionality and aesthetics, the versatility that a good tote offers is difficult to pass up.
Patchwork garments were popularized as statement clothing in the latter half of the year. In the midst of all the quarantine boredom, DIY and upcycling was at an all-time high. Cutting and sewing old pants rebirthed a whole new definition of the basic t-shirt and jeans. With a pair of scissors, a sewing machine, and a global pandemic, quarantine creatives upgraded their wardrobes, while luxury brands like Marni and Missoni debuted their patchwork-heavy collections the same year. On the more affordable end of the spectrum, Jaded London was notorious for their patchwork denim pieces, quickly becoming a cult favorite amongst Gen Z. Exemplified at every level, patchwork is not only stylish, but also sustainable, utilizing scraps and giving new life to fabrics that otherwise would’ve been sent to landfills. Needless to say, patchwork ran through the veins of the fashion hierarchy this year, infiltrating high fashion houses and childhood bedrooms alike.
- FAUX LEATHER
Leather is nothing new, but it truly never gets old. The material oscillates in popularity, but the most recent upswing of faux leather was sparked in 2019 along with the sustainability movement, bleeding into Spring 2020 collections. The trend was carried out through cool tones and oversized silhouettes, making leather more of a casual statement for the warmer months. Experimentation with color and fit made this classic feel fresh. Now that the fashion industry is making strides to be more sustainable, faux leather is taking over its genuine predecessors in production. Fake and vegan leather is not only superior in environmental ethics but in price, for both production and consumption. General preference for vegan leather has made it easier for fast fashion brands to reproduce highly sought after leather looks at a more affordable price, increasing the accessibility of the trend.
In the fall, leather became more common in everyday wear. Oversized black leather blazers and floor length trench coats were particularly popular, easily complimenting a variety of aesthetics. My favorite faux leather garment of the year were flared pants, giving the 70’s hippie look a bit of an edge. I want a pair in every color. Amongst the colorful myriad of leather flares, earth tones were popular alternatives to the traditional black, both on runways and in street style, spicing things up with brown, cream, and green shades. In addition to these popular color palettes, crocodile textured bags and boots took over the leather accessory scene. It’s conflicting for me to say that leather is a trend when it seems to always be in style, but with the surplus of creativity, leather was definitely a popular medium in 2020. How could we help but fall in love all over again?
The undisputed color of the year: brown, brown, brown. Spring 2020 fashion weeks globally were littered with runway models and attendees alike dressed in brown head to toe. Fendi, Jacquemus, Bottega Venetta, and other houses romanticized the full brown fit, and soon after, the color flooded popular culture and everyday wear. Most commonly styled monochromatically, people were drowning in brown, from the sunglasses down to the shoes. Regardless of how odd it may be to claim an entire color as a trend, given its dominance in fashion last year, it’s safe to say that this claim is justified. Essentially, brown was the new black, and no one was mad about it.
- LINGERIE/BEDROOM WEAR
The romanticism of boudoir dressing began in the 2019 fall/winter season with slip dresses and corsets. Needless to say, the style stuck around. In 2020, through the retrospective fondness for the 90’s, bedroom wear spiked in popularity among the general population. Odds are at least one of the influencers you follow is a Savage x Fenty ambassador, and if not, Instagram will show you a million ads either way. Corsets have been making an appearance in daily life, whether it be on Tik Tok or at the grocery store. Lace teddies and mesh bodysuits have evolved from bedroom wear to evening wear to picnic in the park wear. The normalization of lingerie is a direct result of the body positivity movement and reclaiming of feminine sexuality. In the past half century, sex has finally begun to be destigmatized in the U.S., and it’s gaining even more traction in the new decade. Surprise! We are people and we have bodies and we have sex. Secret’s out. The use of bedroom wear in everyday fashion redefines its purpose. Putting on a slip dress and going to the store is an act of intimacy with oneself, reclaiming the body and refusing to acknowledge the racy stigma surrounding it. Delicate and effortless, lingerie has gone from taboo to trendy.
- 2021 PREDICTIONS
With all the shit that 2020 entailed, the abundance of fire fashion was a nice break from the chaos of reality. Even still, there were a few gems that have yet to hit their peaks. Graphic mesh tops, especially vintage Jean Paul Gaultier, are floating patiently at the surface, ready to blow up. 2020 was the year of baggy jeans, but I have a feeling flares are going to reach the same caliber as the baggy denim pandemonium. I really think that Gap logo clothing is starting to pick up steam–don’t quote me on that one, though. I’m also anticipating that unconventional knitwear will be big in 2021, or at least I hope so. Certain brands began playing with knits, producing incredible garments that are sure to catch popularity. Roberta Einer was the champion of funky knits all throughout 2020, and her spring/summer collection includes the knit dress of my dreams. Kepler London’s Collection VII features sweaters that make me want to drop out and spend my tuition money on one garment. Might just have to. My fingers are crossed!
‘Til next year,