A new year, a new batch of trends. I don’t know about you, but last year’s wave of TikTok “aesthetics” made it feel like we were being introduced to a new trend or “-core” every other week. Even for a seasoned fashion vet like myself, it was overwhelming and confusing, and worse yet led to more than one unnecessary purchase of items that are already languishing in storage boxes under my bed. For 2023, I’m determined to put less focus on the mad rush of fads and instead pay more attention to the bigger, longer-lasting trends to avoid being overwhelmed and wasting money. To that end, here are seven fashion trends I predict will stand the test of time (or at least all the way through to 2024) and are well worth incorporating into your already chic wardrobe.
These Will Be the Only 7 Trends You’ll Want to Buy in 2023, According to a Fashion Editor
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1. Shades of Green
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, green is officially replacing Barbie pink as the number one color trend of the year. Spring/summer ’23 runway shows for Fendi, Michael Kors, Givenchy and, of course, Bottega Veneta all included stand-out green looks, as did lots of other designer collections. And street style stars have been adding splashes of green to their outfits, and even embracing head-to-toe monochrome looks and ‘fits that mix and match multiple shades at once. Best of all, it’s not just one specific shade that’s taking our closets by storm, meaning you can pick and choose whatever green you like best and you’ll still feel right on trend.
2. Practical Totes
If you plan to buy literally only one item this year, make it a large, practical tote bag. The past few years have seen mini purses and ‘90s shoulder bags taking center stage as the accessory du jour. But in 2023, as we continue our slow return to our pre-pandemic habits, we’re also seeing a return to bags that are true carryalls—i.e., oversize tote bags that can fit our laptops, gym shoes, Stanley water bottles, makeup bags, library books and enough snacks for a station wagon full of kids. (OK, maybe they can’t fit all of those things at once, but they can still fit plenty.) Even better, these classic totes will never truly be out of style, so you can be sure you’ll get lots of use of them, now and forever.
3. Ballet Flats
The wave of comfortable shoe trends continues, this time with the rise of the classic ballet flat. If hearing this news has you picturing the floppy, dirty, round-toe slippers you wore to death in the early aughts (and consequently itching to wash your feet), don’t worry, these are not Blair Waldorf’s ballet flats. This time around, shoes with more structure replace glove-like designs, and both pointy- and square-toe silhouettes are just as in as classic bow-topped styles. The key is to find a shoe that has structure and support, then pair it with tailored wardrobe staples to really amp up the posh vibes.
4. Relaxed Pant Silhouettes
Wide-leg trousers, baggy denim, relaxed cargo pants—all these comfy pant styles, and others, are currently trending, and I suspect they’ll continue to reign supreme over skinny jeans and other curve-hugging silhouettes. We love that there are so many different ways to embrace this trend, whether you prefer a tailored trouser paired with button-up blouses or low-rise ‘90s skater jeans paired with collared rugby shirts, so everyone can incorporate it into their existing wardrobe.
5. The ‘90s Finally Unseat Y2K Mania
I’ll be honest, the return of early aughts styles brought with it a series of complicated emotions and I think lots of folks would agree: It was not the best decade for fashion. But luckily it appears that the ‘90s are finally overtaking Y2K as the best current outfit inspiration. Slip dresses with cotton cardigans, basic white tank tops and T-shirts tucked into straight-leg leather pants and casual suiting are all making a comeback. So go now and start saving images of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Rachel Green and Naomi Campbell to your Pinterest board to reference throughout the year.
6. Grunge Revival
Related to the return of ‘90s fashion is a rise in grunge-inspired trends, albeit with a 2020s twist. This version of grunge takes all the classics you know and love—Kurt Cobain-esque oversize knits, leather jackets a la Winona Ryder, Courtney Love slip dresses, Dr. Martens of any and all varieties—but adds a bit more polish into the mix. Rather than sport torn up tights, folks are reaching for lace or fishnet pairs instead. And messy bedhead and smudged eye shadow is being replaced by sharp winged eyeliner and coifed ‘dos.
7. Kitschy Knits
For winter this means chunky, colorful cardigans with pom poms and other 3D details, and for summer it will be crochet lace, colorful netting and other superfine knits. The Row, Gabriela Hearst and Proenza Schouler all featured delicate knitting in their spring/summer ’23 shows, and that one colorful stripe Loewe sweater, with the logo in contrasting ice blue and bright orange, was seemingly everywhere at the start of the new year. Have some fun picking up funky sweaters, cardigans, dresses and even knit pants to cozy up your 2023 wardrobe in style.
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