Everyone has the comfort snacks or television shows they lean on in times of need (there's nothing like curling up with Friends and a bowl of from-the-box mac and cheese). With a year full of uncertainty, fashion trends revolved around that same concept: timeless, comforting staples that spark happiness. Even dressed-up designers like Khaite and Bottega Veneta are offering their takes on feel good styles you can count on for seasons to come. While you may be counting down the days until this year is over, 2020's top fashion trends will continue into 2021, making them the one thing you actually want to hold onto once you hit Jan. 1.
"We have seen our customers engage more and more with joyful fashion and uplifting pieces," Liane Wiggins, Head of Womenswear Buying at MATCHESFASHION, tells TZR. If you've also been relying on cheery attire to help get you through quarantine, continue to pull out your brightest sweaters and fun printed trousers in the new year. However, she says consumers want to feel put together, too. "There is definitely an appetite from our community to dress up again, whether that is in a tulle dress from Molly Goddard or a pair of Amina Muaddi heels." Once it's safe to host dinners or get togethers with friends again in 2021, you'll want to have a fancy look at your disposal again.
Experts are also noticing shoppers willingness to invest in wardrobe staples. "It was all about minimalism and timeless, high-quality pieces this year," Tiffany Hsu, buying director at Mytheresa, tells TZR about trends in 2020. This can be found through luxe loungewear, ribbed matching sets, and comfortable footwear. Likewise, this goes for accessories. "Overall, we're seeing the client shift towards an investment-driven mindset as shown by increasing sales in the designer handbag space," Lisa Aiken, Moda Operandi's Buying and Fashion Director, says. "The most-wanted handbag right now is without a doubt Bottega Veneta's Chain Cassette Bag, a style that set off a hardware details trend across the accessories world." As for 2021, consider splurging on a few versatile items that catch your eye, whether that's a cashmere sweater or cool lug boots.
Ahead, find the 2020 trends that buyers, fashion directors, and design directors from Mytheresa, Moda Operandi, MATCHESFASHION, and 11 Honoré predict will remain popular through the upcoming year. You can count on these insiders to steer you in the right direction.
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The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Ruffles
In the Spring/Summer 2020 collections, ruffles appeared on gowns from labels like Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, and Molly Goddard. Danielle Williams Eke, Design Director of 11 Honoré, expects even more ruffles for 2021. "This is juxtaposed to the utilitarian and menswear suiting I am also seeing on the runway. It creates an interesting contrast." Dive into the trend with a ruffled skort set from Tia Adeola, or start slow with a simple top from Zimmermann.
The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Knitwear
Aiken says knitwear had its own renaissance in 2020, but it was anything but frumpy. "From Katie Holmes' viral street style moment wearing Khaite's best-selling cardigan set, to the shrunken knits on Jacquemus' fall runway, 2020 was truly the year of comfortable sensuality," she says. Aiken says knitwear will continue to trend as brands develop the ideas of basics-made-better. "Shoppers will be inclined to continue building a wardrobe of fashion knits, with updates for 2021 including shrugs, slinky dresses, and compact tops."
The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Modern Dresses With Cutout Details
Hsu says modern dresses with cut out details are having a moment, and she predicts this will be the case in 2021, too. Its recent surge in popularity could be due to consumers wanting something a bit adventurous that can still transition from day to night and from fancy occasion to more casual get-togethers. Try out the trend by showing a sliver of skin in iterations from cool girl brands like Maison Cleo, Victor Glemaud, and Preen By Thornton Bregazzi. To balance out a revealing cutout, consider a floor length dress. Alternatively, ring in the New Year in a mini length.
The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Relaxed Workwear
Wiggins says there's a rise in great tops and jewelry as more people are working from home and taking meetings virtually. "I do think that we will continue to see these trends in 2021, but as we ease out of lockdown and go back to the workplace, we will also see a return of the blazer, but styled in a more relaxed way with soft shirting or denim." So if you've been wearing your favorite oversized blazer and comfy jeans while attending calls from your space, you're right on trend for 2021.
The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Khaki Play
Williams Eke says khaki in different forms were seen on the spring 2021 runway, like at Adeam and Max Mara. "This includes updated chinos, new versions of trench coats, and other utilitarian inspired silhouettes," she says. Face the spring showers in a classic khaki trench, or go out of your comfort zone and experiment with a new style, like a khaki jumpsuit.
The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Statement Sleeves
"We saw statement sleeves on the red carpet during the 2020 awards season, and they aren’t going anywhere," Williams Eke says. "Voluminous sleeves are added to tops, dresses and jackets giving classic silhouettes a fun update." But you don't have to be an A-list celeb to rock the silhouette. At home, feel a bit more put together in your sweats by opting for the feminine silhouette on top. And since a statement sleeve looks fabulous on camera, you'll impress everyone on your virtual meetings or holiday Zoom events. Shop the standout style from fashion girl-favorite labels Orseund Iris or ROTATE BIRGER CHRISTENSEN.
The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Chunky Flats
"The off-duty boot was the shoe style on everyone's shopping list this year, a trend that landed just in time for a life at home," Aiken says. Best-sellers of the sought after style include Bottega Veneta's Lug Boot, Proenza Schouler's Leather Chelsea Boots, and Prada's Pouch-Detailed Leather Lace-Up Boots. Now that many have parted with heels and can live without them, Aiken thinks we'll see chunky, flat footwear remain on-trend via boots, sneakers, and platform sandals.
The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Babydoll Dress
Voluminous, loose baby doll dresses were a trend in 2020 particularly for their cozy nature. What's better than the freedom to comfortably (and stylishly) move around when you're working from home? As of late, the look has been championed by brands like Merlette, Ganni, and Ciao Lucia. Williams Eke predicts mini dresses with an a-line cut to continue through 2021. "This sweet silhouette is updated for spring 2021 in fun pop colors, novelty fabric, and adorned with unique details," the design director explains. If you're worried about the look appearing overly girly, offset the dress with chunky combat boots and a sporty bomber jacket.
The 2020 Trend That Will Remain Popular In 2021: Designer Handbags
"As for the investment mindset, this is certainly not something we'll see the client shift away from," Aiken says. "New season updates in the designer handbags are sure to land as forever pieces in several wardrobes." Not sure what brand to choose? You can never go wrong with a style from labels like The Row, Amina Muaddi, Bottega Veneta, or Loewe.