A Cheat Sheet of 2020’s Most Promising Fashion Trends
Key looks, silhouettes and pieces to consider
When perusing forecasting platforms or footage from fashion week, seeing what’s about to be in often garners one of three reactions: “this, still?”, “alright, this again” and, to make room for the inevitable return of dreaded fads, “uh-oh––this again.”
It’s a given that fashion trends are cyclical in nature, which means there’s no end in sight as far as throwback culture is concerned. But given how drastically a trend’s journey on the bell curve has accelerated over the years, there ceases to be anything new, in reality, about “hot, new trends” trumpeted season after season. What is “out” hardly seems to matter anymore, too.
With that, we’re scrapping the idea of new trends to try for the sake of what’s new or rounding up the best pieces to shop in the interest of, well, shopping. We instead break down the most promising fashion trends in 2020 that carry weight for wearability, lasting power and even their potential to be executed with things you might already own.
The Pair-Up: Boxy Blazer, Meet Bralette
Of all the noteworthy styling formulas deployed on the runways this year, the boxy blazer and bralette team-up cut across the spring and fall shows. At Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, Bouchra Jarrar and Schiaparelli, just to name a few, bra tops in varying cuts, textures and styles were on full display, leaving it to a singular oversized, unbuttoned blazer to do any and all concealing. Sensual but subtle and definitely makes sense as hotter days approach.
The Progression: Bosom-Hugging Corsets Are Still Here, but Give Way to Structural Breastplates, Too
Spilling over from the latter half of 2019, the prominent corset trend remained out of the boudoir and on the runways. For spring 2020, Tom Ford took the bust-contouring concept further by featuring an anatomical chrome breastplate (and was later given the Zendaya seal of approval after the actress wore this to the Critic’s Choice Awards). A little more on the trend-focused and adventurous side, but we’re curious to see how this can be made more wearable as iterations by high street brands are expected to come up. We’re staying tuned.
The Color Story: Highlighted
The resurgence of neon? Already? It feels like only yesterday that slime green was in vogue, yet here it is again. This comes as no surprise, though, since hyper-bright hues come with the territory. Spring is about reveling in all things punchy and vibrant; and going shorter, lighter and brighter is more than encouraged. In this case, it includes the full range of shameless fluorescents: yellow, orange, pink and the all-time-favorite green.
The Texture: Leather (Though It’s Anything but the Standard Jacket)
Here’s one trend that endures. This time around, designers looked into softer, more malleable versions of leather, whether real or faux, that allowed for draping, ruching and other more delicate-looking treatments. Think: tinted leathers in unconventional hues, too, like sky blue, purple and Nickelodeon orange on anything––we repeat, anything––but the predictable biker jacket.
The Silhouette: Parachutey Skirts and Dresses
Meet the maxi skirt’s more voluptuous cousin: a billowy, falls-to-the-ground-but-puffs-all-around silhouette. (Because who says subtle can’t also be dramatic?) In shows like Lanvin, Balenciaga and Dries Van Noten, different forms of the leg-freeing long skirt struck a nice balance between all else that was straight-cut and streamlined. The anti-tight-fitting movement lives on.
The Accent: Non-Boring Sleeves
In 2020, “exaggerated” means “just right,” as far as sleeves are concerned. Big, puff sleeves commanded attention at Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Molly Goddard and more, screaming ‘80s dancefloor diva in some instances and a little Shakespeare in love in others.
The Print: Seeing Spots
2020 shows were proof that the classic polka dot print knows no bounds. And apparently, there’s a polka dot number perfect for everyone––yes, even those who aren’t so keen on the graphic print. Take, for instance, the collections by Adam Lippes, Zero Maria + Cornejo and Tanya Taylor, among others, that are here to make the case: fearing an outfit may look dated the moment polka dots make an appearance is unfounded from here on out.
The Easy Footwear Upgrade: Showing off Socks
Our cheat sheet of 2020 fashion trends would not be complete without top-to-toe styling in mind. More than spotting a shoe trend here and there, we found ourselves paying closer attention to the kind of role hosiery played. At Chanel Spring 2020 Haute Couture, folded over school-girl socks were worn over white tights in a rather unconventional layering choice. At Salvatore Ferragamo Spring 2020, both pointed ballet flats and strappy heeled sandals were paired with above-the-ankle socks. This, if anything, tells us that the Birkenstocks-with-socks combo has a strong chance of making a resurgence now (for better or worse).
The Bag: Super-Size-Me Carryalls
When it comes to trends, tracking the next big thing will either point to a nice, easy progression (like pale blue making way for classic blue) or a sprint in the opposite direction. This is a take on the latter. A stark contrast to 2019’s micro handbag trend, this year’s focus has shifted back to the sizable handbag, a trend we’re certain any fan of Mary Poppins would appreciate. Overwhelmingly large handbags that you can fit your whole life in are the new micro-mini purses that challenge you to take only the essentials. Case in point: the rise of the @bigbagclub.
The Outerwear: Trench Coat Dressing
Yet another wardrobe staple to undergo a major rework, the trench coat in 2020 is more than a lowly outerwear option. In several instances, it’s the main event itself. With colorways as varied as the necklines, trims and button placements that this classic now comes with (and as illustrated by Alexander Wang, Burberry, Junya Watanabe, JW Anderson and more), the trench as an outfit’s focal point is one trend we can get behind with trench coat dressing (providing the illusion that nothing else is worn underneath), a style challenge we wouldn’t mind taking on.
All open to interpretation, of course. Now, go forth and make them your own. Up next: 5 Beauty Looks to Shake Up Your Beat in 2020.
Art Alexandra Lara