If 2020 was all about stay-home style, then 2021 is dedicated to re-emergence fashion — the long-awaited, hard-earned antidote to a year’s worth of lounge sets and sneakers. Just this week, vaccine appointments became available to every adult in the U.S., a cautiously optimistic sign that things are looking up. Style-watchers are already hard at work amassing “re-emergence outfits” — i.e., pieces that scream “we’re going out!” without apology or reticence, for the first time in over a year. Prep your closets, because the moment things feel truly open again, sartorial celebration is sure to follow.
The term “re-emergence fashion” began popping up in web stories and social channels early this year, though the idea of it loomed large in the fashion collective’s minds long before. In an April 2020 Vogue article entitled “My Dream of Re-Emergence,” Anna Wintour begs the question: “What will re-emergence look like? ... When it comes to fashion, will we want more of a uniform? Or will we be more creative and expressive than ever?” Fast-forward one year, and it’s clear that the latter has taken center stage.
Amongst the Instagram set, you’ll find sequin-spangled skirts, sparkly baubles, and other enthusiastic wares that serve as a reminder of what a special occasion it is to be gleefully out and about. Co-ords aren’t totally going away, either — they’ve just taken on celebratory prints and tailored shapes, a far cry from slouchy monochrome sweatsuits. If your wardrobe tends to lean minimalist, not to worry: the styles ahead can be mixed in with your favorite neutrals.
Read on for the trends that are bubbling up for everyone’s mass migration out of the house.
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Re-Emergence Fashion Trends: Psychedelic Dresses
Tapping into the appetite for ‘60s and ‘70s style verve is the psychedelic dress trend — which first reared its head through Kendall Jenner’s green Hockney dress from House of Sunny, which was a quadruple-sellout last summer. Its spring-ready sister silhouette is the Good Vibrations dress, which blends together lavender and aqua blue hues for a soothing, yet lively look. These are making the rounds as an exciting alternative to classic column dresses. For something with slightly more coverage, try Cult Gaia’s maxi dress.
Re-Emergence Fashion Trends: Statement Blazers
Though most aren’t quite dressing up for boardrooms just yet, they may be grabbing an aromatic cocktail with a friend for the first time in who knows how long — an occasion that warrants a polished, yet punchy top layer. Put on a bold blazer with a mesh dress for a color-blocked look — and once summer comes around, style it the Hailey Bieber way with a bralette and jean shorts.
Re-Emergence Fashion Trends: Metallic Miniskirts
Evocative of the roaring ‘20s, metallic minis are the perfect return-to-reality statement piece. Miniskirts were omnipresent on the Spring/Summer 2021 runways, infused with the joie de vivre that’s found along evenings spent dancing until dawn. For a piece that will never trend out, Paco Rabanne’s signature disc-clad mini is made to move — or, go trend-forward with Laquan Smith’s low-rise skirt in fuchsia.
Re-Emergence Fashion Trends: Printed Two-Piece Sets
These cozy co-ords feel just as good as your lounge sets, and look eons chicer. The above set from Amsterdam-based brand Stieglitz features earth-toned stripes that will stay chic come fall — or, for something more spring-ready, opt for Julia Heuer’s sleeveless tank and trouser set, which are now in stock at t.a. store.
Re-Emergence Fashion Trends: Happy-Making Baubles
Whether glitter-flecked, checkerboard, or enamel-coated, playful baubles have quickly become one of the biggest jewelry trends for 2021 — in part, thanks to a love of Y2K style that’s blooming on TikTok. This is the trend to not hold back on — pair it with a just-as-playful mani (nail art encouraged) to complete the look. Put it this way: your 10-year-old self would be pleased.
Re-Emergence Fashion Trends: Jeans, With A Twist
While the jury is out on who has disavowed jeans during the pandemic (Jennifer Garner, check) and who has kept theirs around, they’re coming back for spring with gusto. The styles making the rounds are far more stimulating than your favorite mom jeans. The Series is elevating vintage denim with Great Depression-era yo-yo quilts, while Von Dutch has stamped its patchy pairs with its signature logo — a look that Bella Hadid just co-signed.