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Want vs. Need: Where Do You Stand on 2021’s Biggest Fashion Trends

Chloe Castleberry
Want vs. Need: Where Do You Stand on 2021’s Biggest Fashion Trends
Illustrations: Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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Spring has finally sprung and you know what that means — it’s time to ditch the puffer coats and snow boots and bring out the warm weather looks we’ve been dying to wear since winter first started. But a lot has happened since last year (in more ways than one), including a refresh on some of the biggest fashion trends. There were a lot to choose from, but we’ve managed to round up the top four you have to get if you want to keep your fashionista title in 2021. Some may surprise you (yes, jelly sandals are a thing and I am totally here for it) whereas others may not be so shocking (you can put me in pastels any day of the week), but with such cute trends, how is a girl to choose just one? When making a purchase we tend to think, I really want this, but do I really need it? Sometimes that little voice in our head telling us it’s a need is louder than the one telling us it’s a want and vice versa, which can leave us feeling unsure if we’ve made the right choice. Essentially, it’s all about balance and weighing what we want against what we need. But how to do that?

That’s where you come in. You’ll be able to vote on the four different fashion trends below, deciding for yourself if it’s a want or a need. By taking a step back and evaluating a trend specifically, you can get the much-needed clarity you need to feel confident in your purchases. But if you’re still figuring out the whole want vs. need mentality, I totally get it. After all, a lot has changed over the past year, including if certain items are viewed as luxuries vs. essentials. Luckily, there’s a way to get both your wants, needs and everything in between with Pay in 4 from PayPal. Pay in 4 lets you split your purchase into four payments, with the down payment due at the time of transaction and three subsequent payments made every two weeks thereafter.*

All you have to do when checking out online is select pay with PayPal and look for the Pay in 4 payment option which will be available on purchases between $30 to $600. Simply apply for a Pay in 4 plan in just a few steps, get a decision in seconds, and finish checking out. Personally, this is a game changer in terms of how I consider making purchases. With the flexibility to pay for my purchases over time, it’s a smart way to buy the styles I’m most excited about on my shopping list. PayPal is available at millions of retailers, so I can even shop for my wants and needs wherever I go.

This article was created by StyleCaster for PayPal.

Pay Pal pastels trend

Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.


One of the main reasons this trend is popular is because it can be expanded to so many items. If you’re shopping for shoes, a purse or tops and bottoms, chances are you’ll be able to find it in a pastel color such as mint green, mauve, coral and robin’s egg blue, which are some of the more famous hues from the palette. Plus, with spring here, which is usually a time for showing off brightly-colored accessories and clothing, this can be a perfect trend to opt for a style that’s both colorful and calming.

Straw bag trend

Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Straw Bags 

As far as straw bags go, it’s a need for me. They’re versatile (perfect for a day at the park, a brunch with friends or a date with a special someone) and come in so many different styles (totes, clutches, over-the-shoulder). They also make a great bag for carrying to the office as it fits all the work essentials i.e. notebook, computer, pens and still manages to fit all your beauty needs so you’ll most definitely feel prepared for an impromptu meet up with friends after work.

Sunglasses trend

Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Colored Lens Sunglasses

With spring here and summer around the corner, sunglasses make a great purchase that you will use throughout the warmer (and sunnier) months. If you’re looking for sunglasses recommendations, may I suggest ditching the dark shades for sheer tinted lenses that come in orange, pink, blue and red (to name a few). It’s extremely popular with celebs such as Emma Chamberlain and Kaia Gerber, but what makes this trend so irresistible are the endless possibilities it presents in the form of styles. Looking for a 70s look or cat-eye? Trust us, there’s a pair for that.

Jelly sandals trend

Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Jelly Sandals

The 90s is the decade that keeps on giving. It brought us chokers, “The Rachel,” plaid flannel shirts and of course jelly sandals, which like the rest (okay, maybe not “The Rachel”) have managed to stay very near and dear to our hearts. If you’re a jelly sandals non-believer, trust me, I used to be in your shoes, too (ha!) but one look at this shoe style and you’re transported to a much simpler time when all you had to worry about was what Blockbuster movie you and your friends were picking out on a Friday night. That being said, if you’re trying to decide if this item is a want or need, take a look through your closet. Is your shoe game adequately prepared for summer? Remember, you’ll want shoe options that are both comfortable and stylish.

*Pay in 4 is available upon approval for purchases of $30 – $600. Late fee amount and eligibility vary by state. Loans to California residents are made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law License. PayPal, Inc. is a Georgia Installment Lender Licensee, NMLS #910457. Learn more at

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