Mark Our Words, These 9 Trends Will Be Everywhere in 2021

After one hell of a 2020, we don’t think we’re alone in anxiously awaiting what 2021 has in store. And that includes trends—of all kinds. From using our cars as a “third space” to the rise of suburban living, here are nine trends that experts and search data alike think will be huge in the coming year.

8 Skincare Trends That Will Be Huge in 2021 (and the Two We’re Leaving Behind)

2021 health mental fitness
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1. Mental Fitness

A survey in JAMA, which included 1,441 respondents from during COVID-19 and 5,065 respondents from before the pandemic, found the prevalence of depression symptoms was three times higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than before, and all you have to do is look around your own household or social media feeds to find people who are struggling to stay positive and connected to their emotions. In 2021, look out for mental fitness to become just as important than physical fitness. This might mean turning to text or meditation-based therapy apps like Calm or Headspace. Or it could mean adding positive affirmations to your morning routine. Basically, expect to see people putting a greater focus than ever on maintaining and improving their mental health. (According to PitchBook data, venture capital funding of U.S. mental health startups totaled $1.37 billion through the third quarter of 2020, which outpaced the $1.06 billion in 2019.)

nap ribbed set11
nap loungewear

2. Professional Loungewear

With many people continuing to work remotely, it seems folks aren’t rushing back to their business casual just yet. Instead, expect to see loungewear that can double as workwear. For example, the super-comfortable yet still sleek knitwear set (like the one above from Nap Loungewear), which PureWow’s Fashion Director Dena Silver describes as “a power suit version of the WFH uniform. Slightly more polished than sweats and a hoodie, these designer-approved styles are all about the details. From statement buttons to flared pants, this knit duo is the easiest way to look polished and feel comfy from your home office.”

2021 trends japandi
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3. Japandi

Japandi design is the combination of Scandinavian functionality and Japanese rustic minimalism to create a feeling of art, nature and simplicity—it’s also seen a 100 percent increase in search on Pinterest. What does it look like? Think: clean lines, simple but warm colors and textures, elegant plants and eco-friendly and/or sustainable materials. We’ve noticed retailers like West Elm and EQ3 offering takes on the trend, but also expect to see this calming mix of blonde wood, matte pottery and streamlined storage solutions to reduce clutter coming to a big box store near you in the coming months.

2021 trends plant based
Thomas Barwick/getty images

4. Climatarianism

With the issue of climate change on everyone’s mind, 2021 will likely see plant-based diets become the status quo. Experts agree that food production is a significant contributor of global greenhouse gas emissions, and according to one recent Yale University study, 94 percent of Americans say they are willing to eat more plant-based food, while more than half say they would eat less red meat. Beyond reducing our carbon footprint with dinner, PureWow’s food editor, Katherine Gillen, predicts consumers will be shopping more mindfully, looking to add more locally-sourced ingredients and sustainably packaged goods to their pantries. Additionally, data from Instacart shows that searches for local, women-owned and BIPOC-owned retailers and brands are steadily increasing.

2021 trends car date
Constantinis/getty images

5. Cars As A "third Space"

Pre-pandemic, most people used cars for little more than, well, getting around. But after almost a year of being stuck in our houses, the experts at Pinterest suspect folks will be using their vehicles for much more than that—and we’re not just talking about the hour a week you use to talk to your therapist in private. According to Pinterest’s 2021 Pinterest Predicts report, searches for ‘car date night,’ ‘car man cave’ and even ‘dog car seats’ are all on the rise, and we expect to see more drive-through events, like lights festivals and drive-in movies, as the year progresses.

2021 trends suburbs
Keith Lance/getty images

6. Suburbs > Cities

City dwellers have been decamping for suburbs since the onset of the pandemic, and this trend is still going strong, say the experts. Glenn Kelman, CEO of the national online brokerage Redfin, told NPR in July that the moves to the suburbs began with the affordability crisis in cities such as San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and picked up momentum during the pandemic, as many people are “wary of living in close quarters." In fact, according to Hearst Connecticut Media, since March, around 10,000 New Yorkers have applied to change their address with the U.S. Postal Service and moved to Connecticut. Bottom line: This could be a good time to see savings in cities, or an opportunity for some ‘burbs to reinvent themselves, thanks to an influx of urban residents.

2021 trends different pets
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7. Low-maintenance Pets

Per Pinterest, frogs are the new Fido. Apparently, instead of furry little dogs and cats, searches are up for pet lizards, tortoise food, pet frog (by 110 percent), pet snails (by 160 percent!) and more. Why? Our guess is that as more and more people are getting pets in quarantine, there's an inclination to think outside the box in terms of what kinds of animals those pets are.

2021 trends air fryer
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8. The Air Fryer Is The New Instant Pot

Remember when everyone and their mother seemed to be obsessed with their Instant Pot? Yeah, expect the same from the air fryer in 2021. A quick search in Google Trends shows that while Instant Pots have more buzz over time, air fryers are quickly surpassing them in search volume. Good thing we have a few recipes and cookbooks for you to try when you break in your new machine.

2021 trends shag haircut
Vijat Mohindra/getty images

9. Shag Haircuts

This ‘70s-ispired cut plays with layers and texture, and has already been seen on celebs like Miley Cyrus and all over TikTok. But Nick Stenson, MATRIX artistic director, believes it’s going to make a big statement in the upcoming year. “Bobs and layers will continue to grow in popularity, which means natural texture styling is going to be a major note for 2021. Think fewer curling iron curls and more diffused texture that’s manipulated with just the right amount of product for a disheveled feel,” he said.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...