Summary: For the fall 2021 fashion trends, the collections kept up with times when outdoor activities resumed with a vengeance after months of confinement during the pandemic. The comfort everyone had gotten used to was not compromised on outfits. Fabrics that covered silhouettes with elegance and baggy jeans have all made it to this year's staple fall fashion trends.
Fashion trends keep updating for a stylish leap ahead. The fall 2021 fashion trend was under a heavy spell of nostalgia for everything to do with the 90s. While fall 2022 trends are yet to see a complete breakaway from last year, there has been a subtle infusion of modern elements to fashion outfits.
Coats and jackets get refreshed and reinvented each year, as do skirts, from dust-collecting lengths to midi versions in faux leather. The winter wardrobe staple is well-defined. Brands are always trying to gauge customers' leanings. It is always good to remember what worked in the past—the trends and how they will reinvent themselves in the coming season.
Let's sift through some of the fashion trends of 2021 that got a new meaning this fall.
Roomy jeans have been having their say for quite some seasons. These breezy, relaxed delights were the staple of the 2021 fall collection and are also ruling the current trend. The classic look of these baggy jeans—relaxed straight cut, boot cut, or flared jeans—is heavily in circulation. These are all indications that skinny jeans will have to wait for some time before making a comeback.
Known in the fashion parlance as the "shacket", this layering piece had a breakout performance last year. This time around, the accent is on the more polished and quilted style, like the Madewell Airpuff Shirt Jacket and J Crew's Quilted Lightweight Shirt-jacket. It is meant for the light chill days and is finding favor with mature women and girls alike.
No doubt, the oversized jackets of last fall went with the nostalgia theme, but the emphasis was on the cropped jacket that was really short, in leather or faux leather. This time, the length has increased, and it is really oversized, with firm, sleek lines that make things quite professional. There are also non-seasonal fabric blends, such as Old Navy Soft Brushed oversized blazers in tweeds.
Fall 2021 fashion trends saw a lot of knits and sweaters in lime and green shades. There was mustard as well. Colors, no doubt, continue to dominate, but Fall 2022 has also seen a lot of color blocks and go-go graphic knits. They are all retro in nature—a twist to the 60s-era multi-colored sweaters. And the trend has passed into the New Year. Check out the wonderful maxi A-line dresses in vibrant colors from Tory Burch. There is also Chloe's striped cashmere maxi dress, which is a true riot of colors at play.
The luxury fashion look of the '20s flapper dresses in classically executed silks and lace made a comeback last fall. More modern iterations were found in Fendi and Chloe collections, while Coach took on the 20s and married it with the grunge look of the 90s. The romance with the laces and crochets continues this fall, with nightlife dresses laced around the necklines and even waists.
Last season, midi skirts were all over in various textures and shapes. A bevy of midi skirts dominated the lookbook in the fall fashion of 2021. They were box-pleated, knife pleated, A-lined, and flowy, but really midway between the knee and the ankle. This year, it is floor-sweeping maxi skirts as temperatures fall below freezing. There is also the wool maxi and Khaite's casually cool denim skirt for a laidback outing.
The best words to describe fashion in the past year were cozy and comfortable, and designers are pursuing this path even more religiously this fall. Brands are refining comfort with embellishments, bringing couture cuts to the designs. The fabrics are plush, and the sizes are large, but the silhouettes are much more tapered than what is normally expected from winter wear.
The glam look of the 20s meets the 80s style made a comeback as the fashion trend for fall 2021. The good mood look is continuing this fall, but with layers of sequins. Sequins are making statements in jackets, maxi dresses, high necks, and even long trousers. From Dior to Loewe, the adoption of this optimistic trend got several notches higher this season.
For the big and small brands looking forward to the spring-summer launch in a few months, there is a subtle message of continuity of fall fashion trends with no major fashion breakout in sight. The straight-to-the-market brands would do well to remain rooted to the baseline of comfort in their play for silhouettes and fabrics. What is ever-evolving is the search for sustainable fabric.
1. Thanks to the pandemic, it is comfort in fabric and style ruling the trend from Fall 21 to Fall 22.
2. The denim trends are set to sail from 2021 to 2023.