On the matter of personal style, there are two types of people: those who shun trends and those who can’t get enough of them. If you sit squarely in team #timelessfashion, you’re probably not keen on finding out what bag silhouette Kendall Jenner will carry next or which buzzy color will be spotted on the red carpet come awards season. Nonetheless, even if you personally prefer the classics, there’s still something to be gained from keeping a watchful eye on what types of pieces fashion lovers are currently gravitating toward. The 2023 fashion trends experts predict will rise in popularity cover a wide range of aesthetics, each mirroring a cultural shift, no matter how small that might be.
When TZR tapped industry insiders for their take on what to watch out for in 2023, the answers swung from joyful dressing (no doubt a reflection of the times) all the way to sensible staples that will last through a recession (also, probably a reflection of the times). Looking to the runways and also to real-life stylish women, the roundup ahead provides a snapshot of what’s poised to have a moment in the months to come. And if one strikes your fancy and you’re in the mood to prep your wardrobe, by all means, shop the picks.
Equal parts utilitarian and edgy, the moto trend has been gathering speed this past fall and shows no signs of slowing down. “I predict motocross style will be the new Gorpcore,” The RealReal Senior Fashion Lead Noelle Sciacca says. "In 2022, leather biker and moto jackets surged in popularity; comparing Q3 in 2021 to Q3 in 2022, we saw a 61% increase in search demand for moto jackets.” She points to the spring/summer 2023 collections for literal cues from the extreme racing sport. “Boldly colored jumpsuits (Stella McCartney) and colorblock leather pants and jackets (Dion Lee, Theophilio and Chloe) leverage technical elements that blur the lines between fashion and function."
The Crisp Shirt
The word “trend” can stir up negative thoughts associated with fast fashion and flashy statement pieces. But there’s the flip side of the coin — some trends can simply be a re-centering of classic pieces with fresh styling choices. Such is the case with the button-down shirt. “When thinking of building your new year wardrobe, a crisp button-down is an essential. What the relaxed blazer has been for outfitting in the last several years, the shirt will become in 2023,” Sciacca says. “Whether it’s classic white or banker blue, an oversized button-down is a versatile wear-with-everything piece that can easily be dressed up or down, layered in innumerable ways or stand out on its own.”
Crochet, which was everywhere this past year, adds texture, depth, and a hand-crafted element to your wardrobe. Thankfully, experts see it as a detail set to once again take off in 2023. “Elevated crochet will continue to gain momentum,” Matchesfashion Head of Womenswear Liane Wiggins tells TZR. “[It was at] The Row and Gabriela Hearst, and Proenza Schouler’s gold metallic crochet midi skirts, halter neck tops, and flared trousers were a highlight [of fashion week].”
Nordstrom Senior Managing Fashion Editor Kate Bellman points to collegiate-inspired staples to return for 2023 in full force, but with a fun and free-spirited update. “Prep gets playful this spring,” she says. “Staple preppy prints, such as stripes, gingham, and madras, are explosive and [multicolored] while the tweed set and mini skirt will see a comeback.” She adds this pivot to co-ed cool extends to footwear. “Loafers and Mary-Janes remain the breakout stars of the season, working back to the prevalent prep school vibe in ready-to-wear.”
Boudoir dressing is taking many forms: delicate lace trims, romantic ruffles, and barely-there flashes of skin. In any event, it’s a trend worth watching. “What we're calling ‘The SKIMS Effect’ is also coming in hot for 2023,” fashion psychologist and Afterpay ambassador Shakaila Forbes-Bell says. “We're seeing people opt for form-fitting styles and adopt lingerie as everyday wear. Afterpay found that bodycon styles are up 25% year-over-year and consumers are buying shapewear as outerwear up 63% year-over-year.”
A trend that raised an eyebrow or two during the shows this past September, bubble hems have decidedly re-entered the trend cycle. Thankfully, their revival leans less toward early aughts candy-colored styles they’re often associated with, and instead skew in an elevated direction. “The bubble hem made a triumphant return for spring,” Wiggins says. “A few highlights include [those seen at] Khaite, Simone Rocha, and Proenza Schouler.”
Good news for your arches: ballet flats are trending for 2023. Thanks to brands like Miu Miu and Sandy Liang, the classic silhouette is a must-have staple for next year. “Ballet flats are an accessory that will be a breakout trend and one that we have already seen come through this season,” Wiggins says, also making note that the retailer will launch an exclusive capsule with Le Monde Beryl, a brand beloved by chic footwear enthusiasts.
Metallic on its own is a trend with a strong track record of staying in the zeitgeist. But experts are noting new and innovative ways of wearing all things shiny. “Strong statement metallics will be a standout trend of the season," Wiggins says. “This can be seen at Jil Sander through interesting fabric developments, like bouncy metallic chenille and silver sequins.”
Happiness-inducing fashion has been a rising theme for the last year and Sciacca predicts this will continue. “Oversized floral appliques at Loewe and exaggerated zippers at Louis Vuitton point to a desire to have fun with fashion,” she says. “While we live in a post-pandemic world, a looming recession reminds us that the future is still uncertain and how important it is to find joy in the everyday routine of dressing.” Forbes-Bell also points to resurgent style as gaining traction. “With an uptick in individualism, it can be expected that, in 2023, fashion will rise as one of the leading vehicles for self-expression and experimentation. Many consumers have had their fill of functional fashion since the pandemic and are now looking at their fashion finds as more of a treat.”
Hopefully you haven’t had your fill of Barbiecore yet, because pink is predicted to shimmy into 2023. “We’re all thinking pink as it emerges in all shades as the standout color of the season,” Bellman says. “From light pastel to deep fuchsia, pink is as prevalent in a tailored suit as it is in #barbiecore.” The flamboyant hue was spotted across numerous new collections as of late, notably at LaQuan Smith, PatBo, and Prabal Gurung.