If you’re watching from social media, the revival of fashion post-lockdown has seemingly launched into overdrive, happening just as quickly as brands flooded email inboxes with loungewear collection drops just a year ago. After the last 15 months, your fashion habits could have gone two ways: a marriage to the idea of comfort dressing for seasons to come or an eager rebound to sartorial exploration. Judging by the going-out staples fashion girls are shopping for as of late, the verdict is leaning increasingly toward the latter.
“If months in lockdown taught me anything, it’s that life is too short to wear a boring outfit,” content creator Maxine Wylde tells TZR. “Dressing up [again] is going to look a lot like maximalist heaven.” Already a trend-forward dresser, the fashion blogger’s current style choices carry a sense of heightened experimentation with prints and bold colors. And she’s not alone, such seems to be the case among a noticeable amount of trendsetters.
On the runway, designers seem to further confirm fashion’s transition back to loud, expressive, special occasion wear: For Resort 2022, Stella McCartney traded in billowy midi dresses for bodycon minis, chock full of shimmer and ‘70s inspired prints; Paco Rabanne, while known for its eveningwear, reintroduced a level of color for Spring/Summer 2022 collection unseen for the brand since 2019; and Versace, known for reviving its beloved motifs, went all-in on psychedelic prints for Resort 2022.
That’s not to say it’s impossible to embrace both lingering aspects of lockdown fashion and party dressing at once. Shopping T-shirt dresses with bold prints and pairing relaxed pants with going-out tops are just some of the loopholes the most fashionable content creators have found to ease back into going-out style. No matter which end of the spectrum you may find yourself on, there’s no doubt there’s finally some fun to be had. Ahead, find the items trendsetters can’t wait to get their hands on first — all seven of them prove statement dressing is back on.
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As consumers head out (or online) in search of the most unique pieces they can find, one of the most exciting trends to emerge could be the idea of playing with fabrics and finishes outside of the norm. For Wylde, anything fun goes, particularly if it's shiny. “I’m really loving metallics against fun prints and patterns,” she tells TZR. “I don’t want to think twice, I just want to wear what I’m loving in the moment.” As bold as a metallic silver or iridescent style may be, you may be surprised to find it can actually work as a neutral. Take a pair of metallic shoes or pants and pair them with virtually any color – black or white for a muted result, or neon pink or yellow for a not-so-subtle nod to the ‘80s.
While the fashion collective may have all but done away with sweat sets in favor of a more flamboyant ensemble, not every element of lockdown dressing is off the table. “I’m so into [long dresses] right now,” model Ali Tate Cutler tells TZR. If not careful, a maxi dress can easily teeter on lounge territory, but Cutler recommends getting your hands on one in a statement print to offset the silhouette. From there, a pair of understated heels will easily take the outfit from day to night.
Heels are back, and as confirmed by runways and Instagram feeds alike, they’re in saturated hues you just can’t ignore. According to influencer and Aureum Collective co-founder Cassandra Dimicco, the combination makes for the ultimate anti-casual shoe, not to mention the optimistic nature of a punchy shade. “I’ve been embracing so much color,” Dimicco tells TZR. “It honestly puts me in a better mood.” Whether styled against black for a surprise element or color-blocked against complementing tones, a colorful shoe remains dependable for an instant touch of bold femininity.
According to content creator Biddy, minimalism may officially be on the back-burner. “I’m most excited to branch out into more color and prints, as fashion has been more muted and uniform in recent years,” she tells TZR. As for silhouette, she notes bodycon dresses as a style that simultaneously allows for comfort while feeling innately primed for a night out. If you’re going for a tank dress in the summer heat, look for ruched details to create elevation, then pair them with your favorite going-out bag and strappy heels.
Spiced-Up Slip Dress
For Wildflower Cases co-founder Sydney Carlson, the return to party dressing calls for nothing less than an over-the-top statement, relishing in the idea of not shying away from turning heads post-lockdown. “I think I’ve become more comfortable with my style when stepping out lately,” she tells TZR. “Now that we’re finally able to be out, I’m making it worth the wait. From outfits to hair to makeup, I’m doing it all.” To tap into one of the most alluring fashion trends of the year, trade the classic slip dress in for one with skin-bearing, deconstructed cutouts. Bonus points for sneaking in a touch of print, too!
Depending on where you are in the world, cool temperatures on an evening out leave room to push the envelope, and fashion girls are ready to let the statement layering commence. “Generally, when I have a party or dinner, I like to create a chic outfit with a special piece [such as] a coat,” influencer Didi Stone Olomide tells TZR. For the fully committed, there may be few things you won’t do for fashion, such as donning a jacket mid-summer or baring legs in the dead of winter. But for the sake of meeting in the middle, try opting for a lightweight vinyl jacket or even a sheer organza trench in lieu of their heavier counterparts. Both fabrics will zhuzh up even the most otherwise toned down of outfits while remaining weather-friendly.
No one’s judging if you haven’t dived headfirst into the transition from cozy to full-on nighttime glam. In true mix and match fashion, you can actually do both — such is Monty’s Good Burger co-founder and content creator Lexie Jayy’s current recipe for style. “Pre-pandemic me would always choose fashion over comfort,” Jayy tells TZR. “[Now,] I’ve gotten more comfortable blending comfort pieces with statement pieces.” A tad different than going for the aforementioned loungey-but-elevated dress, think more along the lines of mixing two completely unanticipated garments together, such as a silk corset and sweatpants.