The most current fashion trends are those that feel easy to wear but still look like you made just enough effort to do whatever it is you do during these strange, strange days and nights. Whether that’s daily Zoom meetings and a few essential errands; the occasional (safe!) outdoor dinner; weekend park outings; or in-person work, we all could use clothing that makes us feel a distinct sense of ease and comfort.
While forecasting fashion trends that originate on the runway isn’t a total exercise in futility—it will always hold influence—it seems designers and retailers are more frequently looking to social media, youth culture, nostalgia, the street, and celebrities for inspiration about what’s cool and what’s current.
As we start to wrap up a year that’s been less-than ideal for every single one of us, take solace in the fact that the current fashion trends you might have bought into in 2020 will only be more prevalent in 2021. Small victories!
Sweet Cropped Cardigans
This vintage-inspired trend was kicked off among higher-end brands like Alessandra Rich and LoveShackFancy and it’s inevitably trickled down to the Zaras and Forever 21s of the world. Don’t be fooled by the way the women above styled theirs—this trend looks just as cute with lounge-y sweatpants as it does with jeans or a midi skirt. Plus, whether buttoned up on its own or with a matching cami underneath, it’ll impress over Zoom even if you pair it with the flannel PJ bottoms you wore to bed.
Seemingly every designer and retailer from Balenciaga to Zara are taking cues from the humble tractor boot, which had a massive surge in fall 2020 and will only become more widespread next year. Characterized by an almost comically rounded toe and a thick, rugged sole, it’s among the current fashion trends that look as at home under a long dress or with super-short skirt as it does paired with slouchy sweatpants or leggings.
Few items can replace your favorite pair of worn-in heather gray sweats, but this year—one that was defined by couch clothing—the demand for sweatpants in a variety of colors, including dreamy pastels and juicy bolds was strong. Blame it on the idea that, once we felt comfortable to go outside again, our commitment to comfort didn’t waver but we still wanted to shop for and wear pieces that felt a little more fun than what typically-colored sweatpants telegraph.
Brushed plaid “shackets”—a hybrid of shirt and jacket—are among the current fashion trends that can be worn anywhere, anytime. Heavier than a flannel shirt but not quite as bulky as a full-on coat if you need to run out, they also look great with most things you’re already wearing, from sweatpants to