The Biggest Trends of Spring 2021 So Far

Just because fashion month went digital this season doesn’t mean there aren’t trends to follow. Fresh from the showrooms and runways of designers like Christopher Kane, Sandy Liang, and more, we witnessed how quarantine is directly affecting spring’s sartorial landscape—because who knows how long lockdown will last, anyway.

Designers spoke to the moment by addressing our quarantine needs with elevated sweatpants, mirroring our frazzled mindsets with mismatched prints, and predicting a joyful spring of ’00s clubwear. Read on for the most relatable trends of the season.


Chaotic Clashing

Our headspace is in a constant state of disarray, which seemed to be the inspiration behind many collections this spring. It’s a mixed bag of loud prints, colors, textiles, and silhouettes clashing together in seamless harmony. But it’s not just symbolic. Hilary Taymour of Collina Strada used this moment to create a bond between a frenzied fashion show coupled with the state of our union, collaborating with artists who address the issues of Black lives and police brutality.


Jersey Girl

Pants? We don’t know her. And according to the sweat suits spotted at Tom Ford and Rodarte, we barely need real ones. May elastic waistbands live on.


’00s Shine

“I miss dancing” is a phrase exchanged all too often these days, even by those who previously adhered to a 9PM curfew. If club quar is calling your name, look to indie designers like Peter Do and Christian Cowan who incorporated 2000s-era high-shine fabrics reminiscent of Girlfriends. Fingers crossed that by the time spring rolls around, we’ll actually be able to go out again.


Bras as Tops

We’ve all but retired our underwires, but Christian Siriano, Tibi, and Jacquemus are convincing us that bras work as a standalone item (for the courageous, that is). They made the case for ultra crop tops as outerwear, paired with matching maxis, menswear-inspired suits, and more.


Thongs on View

I see London, I see France, I see Sandy Liang’s underpants. To compliment bras as tops, brands gave the lower half’s underpinning its own spotlight. Much to the joy of Manny Santos, this revealing trend saw G-string details at Laquan Smith and built-in thongs on skirts. It leaves nothing to the imagination, and we’re fine with that.

Justine Carreon is the market editor at ELLE.com covering fashion, Dutch ovens, and fashion again.

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