As any fashionista knows, current trends tend to reflect the tenor of the times. So, last year, amid the throes of COVID-19, when we were all homebound with nowhere to go, things looked a little bleak.
More specifically, even someone with the most refined wardrobe resigned themselves to a life lived in sweatpants.
Now, there’s a promise for bluer skies, which means current fashion trends should reflect that hope.
The vaccine is rolling out, and our imaginations are returning. Life is moving onward, and it’s time to seize the day with excellent taste and outfits that dazzle.
Let’s take a look at where the trends appear to be taking us:
Moving On From Athleisure
As was touched upon in the introduction, COVID directly impacted fashion. Weddings and other formal events being canceled had people leaning into athleisure as their primary wardrobe choice.
This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with athleisure as a choice–but let’s get serious. It doesn’t really inspire the imagination.
Fortunately, for apparel companies (other than comfort-based brands), the world is on the verge of starting again.
For instance, sales trends at Anthropologie, an URBN-owned contemporary brand, speak to the above behaviors.
70% of the Bohemian-chic retailer’s 10 best-selling items were women’s dresses at February’s end.
That’s a significant change year-over-year, given the restrictions caused by the pandemic.
This indicates the return of “go-out fashion.” Interestingly, we’re living in a time where this type of wardrobe is so specific.
But the world has changed to the point that venturing away from our homes is an event. Even if we’re talking about a modest get-together with friends.
It all comes down to people wanting to live their lives again–which, after being cooped up for so long, is an exciting prospect. People want to dress up like adults again.
Focusing on the Here and Now
A common trend throughout the fashion industry has been to buy for the season ahead. COVID-19 and its many pitfalls have made us all seize the day and embrace what’s happening now.
Thus seasonal purchasing patterns have shifted to align with the live-for-the-moment philosophy.
So, retailers are focused month-to-month. In March, that means companies – like Summersault – are concentrated primarily on bold florals, bright colors, and whimsical patterns.
Furthermore, there’s a rise in sales for resort wear, summer dresses, and pool cover-ups.
Consumers are far more invested in vacation-wear, looking forward to showing out poolside, excited for the oncoming season.
What Are Other Trends on the Rise?
A Retro Throwback for Women
Let’s take a look at some more specific trends that might inspire you–or make you raise your eyebrow.
One of the newest trends worth discussing is actually an old one: metallic clothing from the 80s has made a comeback.
Funnily enough, this wardrobe choice isn’t something being reserved for special occasions like New Year’s or nights out dancing at the club.
Instead, these throwback metallic outfits are being worn in everyday life.
It’s understandable to worry about being a little too loud with these glittering colors. However, there’s a way to shine like a shooting star instead of blinding all onlookers with overly tacky choices.
Namely, focus on balancing out clean neutrals and solid-colored basics.
For example, complimenting pink metallic mules with everyday jeans is one way to go. You could also balance out a party dress with neutral heels.
Men Are Getting More In Touch with Their Feminine Side
By now, Harry Styles’ bold Vogue photo shoot in a dress is old news.
However, the effects of Styles’ choices continue to make their impact heading into March. Plus, the likes of A$AP Rocky wearing knotted scarves and tunic tops has helped with this trend.
Another A$AP, this one being A$AP Nast, has taken things one step further by adorning pearls.
He’s been wearing a double strand of Comme des Garçons x Mikimoto pearls. It’s from a collaboration focused on spikes, studs, and silver hardware.
Embracing a Summer of Fantasy
Elle recently put out an article discussing the best summer hair for 2021.
First on their recommendation list was embracing fantasy colors.
In fact, Nikki Lee – a Garnier Celebrity Hair Colorist – is calling it the summer of fantasy hair. What does this mean, exactly? Well, take the usual lighter locks associated with summer and amp things up with adventurous colors.
The Importance of Sustainability this Spring
With green initiatives gaining steam across the globe, it only makes sense that fashion initiatives follow suit.
But some brands have been focused on sustainability since long before it was a trend. The one that comes to mind is Banana Republic.
Since 1978, they’ve been committed to these green-forward practices to better the environment.
Heading into the spring, it appears that Banana Republic’s sustainable knitwear is catching buyers’ attention.
The timeless brand commits to the environment using responsible wool and recycled fabrics (e.g., polyester made from recycled bottles).
Moreover, as of 2023, Banana Republic intends to exclusively use sustainable cotton while using less water during production.
Consumers are becoming more conscientious and moving away from the notoriously wasteful fast-fashion model. Expect this trend to only grow over the years.
With every wardrobe-based purchase comes the chance to better the world around us. This will set brands like the Banana Republic and H&M apart from the rest as the generations pass by.
Brighter Days Are Ahead
There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable. However, there needs to be more to life than lounging around the house in athleisure outfits.
Unfortunately, last year’s circumstances forced us into comfort-based wardrobes without anything exciting to add some spice.
Now, the outlook is looking brighter, and the styles are following suit. The spring and summer of 2021 will be exciting for all fashion enthusiasts, whether vacationing or eating at our favorite restaurant.