These 9 Microtrends Are Going to Be Big News Next Year

December 02, 2020 at 05:12AM

Somebody stop me! When it comes to hunting down trends it’s the little quiet ones bubbling up underneath the surface that really pique my interest, and once I start looking, I find it hard to move onto the next task.

The big trends are plain to see right now (puffer coatsall-beige and knitted vests are strong) and they’ll undoubtedly rumble on well into 2021. Maybe they’ll even go further, because that’s how slowly these things develop nowadays—gone are the days when season upon season required an all-change klaxon and for closets to be pillaged and restocked less you risk looking outdated. It’s undeniably good and important that our wardrobes are not a revolving door of newness and more a beautifully-tended garden that only gets better over time. But that doesn’t mean we’re entirely impervious to fresh ideas. We are only human.

So, with many of our minds set to already reboot (2020 can take a hike, right?) it’s perhaps no surprise that the collective fashion set are also dipping into the new year with styling ideas and combinations we’ve not seen before. I’ve also pinpointed a few recurring themes, some of which really lend themselves to buying second-hand or vintage. Reset your mind against “must haves” and just absorb some inspiration; take an opportunity to be ahead of the looks that I think will take off in a few months’ time. Keep scrolling for my edit of 2021’s microtrends…

I’ve been searching for months for a pair of fisherman sandals. My love began earlier this year when I saw a pair from The Row take off—a pair which, alas, I will never be able to afford. However, they’re a fairly classic style (particularly for men), and I’m really hopeful that more iterations—more affordable iterations—will be coming soon.

I noticed the inception of this trend about two years ago when I saw that Jean Paul Gaultier’s original mesh tops were suddenly all over the coolest vintage retailers’ online stores—and expensively-priced too, so you know there’s demand. Since then this ’90s look has infiltrated shops across the spectrum—you’ll find affordable ones at Weekday or you could pick up something fancy from Ganni.

Okay, okay, we’re barely even leaving the house these days, but it’s actually quite easy to understand the psychology behind this barely-there dress trend. After months of being cooped up in trackies, we’re certain that a portion of women and men are just going to want to go all out for something 100% extra. This did the job for Liz Hurley back in 1994, and we’re sure it’s going to be just as attention-grabbing in 2021 too.


Ric rac is the name of the wiggly embroidered trim you’ll see snaking its way around Instagram thanks to these big-collared shirts from La Veste. They’re easy to DIY should you be feeling crafty, but I expect that we’ll see more of this detailing to come during next summer.

The noughties called, it wants it’s corset tops back! I’m not sure I’m ready for this one, but Instagram does not lie: Everywhere I scroll I see bustiers, boning, satin and square necklines. There are more modern takes too, for example a knitted top that’s fitted to look like a corset but with all of the comfort and stretch of a regular jumper.

This throwback trend just reminds us of one of the most important fashion lessons a journalist should learn by heart: Alexa Chung is always right. She’s been wearing her yin/yang ring for years now, and suddenly the motif is all over knits, shoes and even trousers. Not for everyone, but certainly photogenic.

Got jeans? Got boots? Then you’ll be all set to do this latest styling hack. Kate Moss did it expertly back in the noughties, cool girls throughout the ’70s were keen on it and now women of all ages and in all locations—from the US to Sweden—are trying it out for size. I think it looks best with looser-fitting boots and trousers, rather than skin-tight pull-ons with skin-tight jeans.

This summer saw a veritable bouquet of ’60s and ’70s flowers come to life on dresses, hats, swimwear and more. Now the deep-dive into the past has unearthed yet more alluring prints, this time with psychedelic swirls starting to take up in-feed realty. You can’t get better than genuine vintage, so why not use this as an excuse to pick up something unique from a second-hand boutique online? Here’s a tip: Search for vintage Pucci.

Carrie Bradshaw would be proud of this one. In addition to the low-maintenance hairstyles we’ve already clocked 2021, this easy style-and-go hairscarf idea is picking up steam. Yours doesn’t have to be Dior, but it’d be nice, right?

Next up, the outfits we’re trying this December.

Author Hannah Almassi | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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