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While I enjoyed my tie-dye sweatsuits as much as the next gal, it’s safe today 2020 was kind of a wash in terms of fashion. Don’t get me wrong—I still online-shopped like a total maniac, but I didn’t have many opportunities to wear my new finds out in the world (Thank goodness I could still post them on Instagram). With this in mind, I’m ready to fully dive into the top 2021 fashion trends, so catch me listing most of my 2020 impulse-buys on Poshmark.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we simply don’t know what’s coming. Still, we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some fashion trends! A handful of 2021 trends are already popping up all over my Instagram Explore page (and the Instagram Shop tab, which like, I refuse to use) and I’m planning to use the coin I saved by staying home all year to buy a few key pieces to help me start 2021 on the proper, fashion-forward foot.
As more designers share their plans for 2021, this list will grow and evolve, but for now, at least eight concrete trends come to mind. From the baguette handbags we bought and never wore out in 2020 to faux leather, lug sole boots and (trust me on this one) shackets, 2021 is shaping up to be a pretty damn stylish year.
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Sandy from Grease called; she wants her pants back! For real, though—faux leather everything is in, so throw your denim aside and invest in some leather skinnies, skirts or even a leather blazer. I’m personally a fan of contrasting cozy, chunky knits with edgier leather joggers, like this under-$100 pair by BLANK NYC.
For major coat-spiration, stalk the Stand Studio and Saks Potts Instagrams—to get the look for less, hit up sites like ASOS for similar silhouettes and details. Right now, the look of the moment is a leather trench with faux fur trim (especially at the sleeves) and this green one definitely fits the bill. Not into faux fur? That’s OK; just make sure your outerwear picks are colorful or feature a unique silhouette or texture. Bye bye, basic black puffers!
Face Masks (Duh)
No surprise here, the biggest accessory trend of 2021 will be masks. If you rushed to buy some basic masks a few months back, don’t hesitate to invest in both high-quality, breathable fabrics as well as masks you simply find attractive now that we’re in it for the long haul. The more you like the masks you’ve got, the easier they are to commit to wearing. My personal faves are by Lele Sadoughi, and feature fun prints, textures and even embellishments.
Need some outerwear that’s heavier than your go-to denim jacket but not quite a full-on coat? Introducing the shacket, which is more or less a classic flannel shirt made in a thicker material. Wear it open, belt it or layer to your heart’s content. Once you have one, you’ll be surprised at just how many ways it can be styled.
Baguette Shoulder Bags
2020 saw thew return of the iconic Fendi baguette, only we had absolutely nowhere to wear it. For 2021 trends, more and more brands will mimic this shoulder bag’s shape, so be on the lookout for long, skinny bags a la this affordable faux-croc style from SHEIN. BTW, these babies tend to be fairly small, so let’s leave any excess baggage in 2020.
No surprise here, we aren’t throwing our sweats to the wind the second the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2020. Still, it can’t hurt to elevate our loungewear and activewear just a little bit as we attempt to regain a sense of normalcy, right? Swap sweatpants for chic joggers like the KORAL Zone Pants, and skip the matching sweatshirt and go for a more fitted top. The Alala Cinch Top is the ideal wear-with-everything piece.
Neutral tones, clean lines and solid monochrome colorways are in for 2021, and after the ups and downs of 2020, we could use a little simplicity in our lives! Kill two birds with one stone and get yourself a neutral cardigan set like this one from Callahan, to be paired with slip skirts, baggy denim and (yes) even your loungewear joggers.
Gone are kitten heels, stilettos and even study block heels! Extra-chunky, thick lug soles are in for 2020, and while they compliment an already-edgy wardrobe perfectly, they’ll also add a little cool-girl edge to more femme ‘fits. A chunky platform is ideal, but if you aren’t ready to lean in wholly, get started with a stylish pair of lug sole boots, like this waterproof Italeau pair with comfy memory foam soles and a rubber toe detail.
A version of this story was published in August 2020.