When 2021 began, the fashion world was teeming with expectations and predictions for how trends would manifest into outfits. There was something of a divide between those who thought that the ‘comfy look’ would continue from its inception in 2020 when staying at home gave fashion a breath of fresh freedom in the ‘effortless’ aesthetic. Then there were those who thought that comfort was out as people could enjoy the world again, and would want to look the part.
In actuality, 2021 saw a combination of both alongside a few other features. Comfort met the thrill of dressing up, TikTok’s aesthetics ruled the roost, and we went back in time with flashbacks from eras gone by, including the 70s and the early 2000s aesthetics. It was a year in fashion where creativity and uniqueness were adored, where pastels dominated summer as life became colourful again, and in many cases, people had more space than ever to express their own personal styles thanks to the freedom of the internet.
Love them, hate them, or hate to love them, here are some of the trends we saw this year.
1. Y2K inspired
Also known as the ‘The Year 2000’ the early 2000s looks dominated 2021. From baby tees to butterfly clips and even the rimless frame sunglasses, many of our closest went back in time.
2. The platform and go-go boots
People stood tall this year thanks to a kickback to the 70s. Platform boots, whether they were knee-high or remnants of the go-go boots.
3. The big pant
From flare to loose-fitting pants, people no longer wanted to be confined. Skinny jeans have been on their way out for a few years now, but 2021 definitely saw them kicked off the board for the most part.
Colour came back to the world as people were tired of the dull narrative. The thrill of colour blocking found its place, but pastels were a top pick as people wanted to explore colour-love but in a soft way.
5. The great outdoors
We saw people thriving in camp-couture as many people were packing their rucksacks and embarking on adventures again. The outdoor look started to merge with streetwear as puffer jackets, cargo pants and combat boots made their way from mountains to city life.
6. The androgynous pearl necklace
Pearl chains or necklaces graced the necks of those seeking more than elegance – but a statement. The sparkling pearl bubbles could be seen on every gender, proclaiming the move from traditional ‘male/female’ clothing divides.
7. Avant Basic aesthetic
Reminiscents of psychedelic fashion commonly associated with the 60s and 70s found their way into 2021. A large influence for these looks was a turn from fast fashion to upcycling, as people became more interested in thrifting.
8. Dark academia aesthetic
Coats, polar necks, pleated skirts and checkered patterns formed a huge slice of winter fashion’s cake. This showed the world that while some people were choosing their outfits based on comfort, others were ready to put in the work of a different kind of elegance, and decided that if they were going outside, it may as well be chic.