This fall will mark the year and a half anniversary of everyone being in various degrees of lockdown and a year of the fashion industry having to cope with almost completely virtual shows. Not surprisingly, the toll is palpable. Designers seemed to create their collections with the careful hope that this fall, we would be able to go out. Of course, face masks and hand sanitizer will still be on our mental checklist of things to not leave the house without, along with our keys, cell phones, and wallets, but at least we should be going out!
This was clearly what designers had in mind, from the knits that will keep us cozy while we sip hot chocolate to the second skin of a bodysuit to make you feel protected. Whatever option you choose, there are many new (and old) fall/ winter 2021-2022 fashion trends to indulge in during this upcoming season because, as Raf Simons put it, “We are in the mood for fashion.”
So, let the list of all the fall and winter 2021 runway trends begin!
#1. Maxi Coats
Coats are perpetually a staple for cold weather, but we’ve all experienced the ones that just aren’t warm! This winter, you will certainly never feel cold with all the long coat options that appeared on the runways during New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks. Whether you choose a deconstructed style like John Galliano created for Maison Margiela or a military look from Loewe, ordering an extra-large coat is a must to truly have fun with the bulky coat look that is popular with the fall 2021 trends.
From tennis star Serena Williams to Catwoman, catsuits (or one-pieces) have long been an element of female empowerment. The one-piece options this fall seem to be obsessing over giving a ninja-esque vibe. The popularity makes sense, from the quick ability to put one on and look amazing to the sheer amount of things you can do in one (some look yoga-ready, while others are dying for the dance floor).
If in need of a sheer option, opt for Tom Ford. However, everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Givenchy seems to have a catsuit option ready for you. Just know that being an expert in tennis or martial arts isn’t included with the purchase.
#3. Pleaty Please?
The versatility of the prim pleated skirt has had designers scurrying to add it to their collections – and should have you scurrying to add it to your closet. Whether you wish to wear it with a classic polo or a basic T-shirt, the pleated skirt adds a casual-chic appearance to any outfit.
For the most versatile options, head to 3.1 Phillip Lim ,and Plan C. Bold and powerful versions of the look can be found at Schiaparelli, Collina Strada, and Chopova. So pleaty please add this style to your closet this year!
#4. 2000s Nostalgia
While Britney and Mariah might have been swapped for Dua Lipa and Addison Rae, the nostalgia to return to the 2000s is at fever pitch, at least in the fashion industry. Up until recently, you could recall the horror of low-rise pants and velour sweatsuits as a thing of the past, but now low-rise styles are cropping up on runways, from Chanel to Blumarine.
And remember the glitzy-glam of the 2000s? Tiaras and pastel mini dresses were served up at Alyx, Conner Ives, and Roberto Cavalli! Should we dare to indulge or run away from the trend? The choice, of course, is up to you.
#5. Tango with Tulle
Frothy and fun, tulle has been a guest star on the fall and winter runways this year. Dries Van Noten used voluminous tulle-like taffeta in his show, while Carolina Herrera played it up at the bottom of evening wear. So, pick how you want to play because this fall 2021 fashion trend is ready to capture everyone’s heart.
Cutouts, apparently, are not just a summer thing. For fall and winter, you can show off some skin (and feel the crisp air on it) with this 2021 trend. And it is a trend from spring/ summer and swimwear looks, so cutouts have definitely been taking hold. The main style to remember for fall and winter are scooped-out knitwear sweaters and shirts, something that might just be a bit warmer than any other options. Pick up this look anywhere, from Bevza to Jonathan Simkhai.
#7. Vest Time
Just like last September, vests are a huge fall/ winter trend. After all, these are the seasons for layers, and the best place to start is always a cozy, warm vest. Pick up a deconstructed look from 3.1 Phillip Lim, oversized options at Apiece Apart, or preppy versions at Jason Wu. Whatever you choose, it’s easy to layer over a long skirt and some fun boots for a quick and fashionable on-the-go outfit.
#8. More or More Bridgerton?
With 82 million households watching the cult Netflix show Bridgerton since it debuted in December of 2020, clearly, some fashion houses have been indoctrinated into the fandom. Corseted evening wear, florals, bowties, Regency-era collars, and embroidery have hit an all-time high with the world’s love of the Duke and Duchess of Hastings. My guess would be that the creative directors for houses from Dior to Simone Rocha were binge-watching with everyone. Perhaps it’s finally time for me to cave and start watching as well.
#9. Layer upon Layer
Remember when your mother used to coat you in layers and layers before leaving the house to make sure you stayed extra warm? Perhaps you shouldn’t have been so hard on her because she was just ahead of the curve. Layering pieces is exceedingly popular this season, either with the simple style trick of layering multiple T-shirts or, like Private Policy, using it to add color pops throughout an all-black outfit. If the somewhat skater kid look isn’t your favorite, then think of layering lighter items, like embroidered or lace vests on top of your outfits.
#10. Head-to-Toe Knits
With over a year inside, many of us have gotten quite used to our sweatpants and just don’t happen to be looking forward to going out as much as we should – simply for the sake we can’t wear our pajamas outside. Designers got the message and created swaddle-perfect knitwear for us to curl up in.
Sweater dresses appeared on multiple runways, and Gabriella Hearst was so madly in love with the idea she showed it twice: once for her Chloe collection and again for her own personal one. If twirling about in long sweater dresses isn’t your thing, a button-down cardigan is just as fun, and you can wear it off the shoulder for an edgier look!
#11. Denim Everything
In case you haven’t heard the news yet – skinny jeans are out, and baggy jeans are in. However, denim isn’t only appearing in jeans. Alberta Ferretti styled a head-to-toe denim outfit, and the material was also used in skirts, shirt dresses, and belts.
Many designers focused on using dark-wash tones, while others decided to backtrack all the way to the ‘80s in an acid-wash look. Dior ditched the 2000s nostalgia trend and continued to make high-rise jeans with fun front pleats. So whatever style of denim you feel best in, there’s surely an option for you among the fall/ winter 2021-2022 fashion trends.
It’s time to break out all the leather you’ve been hoarding in the back of your closet because the fall 2021 fashion trends predict a leather revival! From The Matrix-style black leather trench coats to heavily saturated, colorful leather, this season is chock-full of the material, and cows are running to hide at Stella McCartney’s house (because her use of mushroom leather is truly out of this world).
If you’ve gotten rid of all leather, no need to fret! There are plenty of vegan options out there, and frankly, we’d like to hear how the Mylo leather works. But if you simply don’t own any leather now and are willing to, then know that Isabel Marant has got the long, black coat covered, Miu Miu has entranced us with pastel shorts, and Alberta Ferretti proved that an all-leather outfit wouldn’t make you look like you joined a motorcycle gang.
#13. Brightly Colored Coats
Since you’re on Glowsly stalking the fall/ winter 2021 runway trends, odds are you probably also saw the Internet break over Prada’s bright yellow coat too. But if you missed the news – ditch your dark coats this fall and winter to pick up bright shades… think yellow, lime green, and orange. Even if the weather is gloomy, your coat will cheer you up!
#14. Just the Fringe Benefits
This is a trend that will leave you wanting to spin around all day. Flowing, long fringe appeared on the runways for many-very-different brands. Daniel Lee went into a fringe hem frenzy, Dior created a French schoolgirl look that seemed quite like the modern version of what Claudine would wear in Colette’s classic French quartet of novels, and Jil Sander used the fine threads woven with shells to create a liberated businesswoman aesthetic.
When things get cold this winter, plan on bundling up everything except your shoulders. Milan Fashion Week designers seemed particularly adamant in convincing us that off-the-shoulder isn’t just a spring/ summer thing. So, dare for the cold shoulder this winter.
#16. Back to the ‘80s
This year, it appears we’ve moved on from the ‘60s and ‘70s looks that were popular in the past three seasons to the ‘80s. As I’ve mentioned some trends from the ‘80s in this article, it only seemed fair to add the decade as a whole. Either the designers binge-watched Miami Vice during their quarantine or were inspired by memes of preferring the aforementioned years to 2020, the ‘80s stay strong as a fall/ winter 2021 runway trend.
Whatever inspired them, acid wash appeared in both Chanel, Alice & Olivia, and countless other shows. Flamingo motifs cropped up at Moschino. Oversized shoulders came down many a runway, and let’s not forget about Armani’s ‘80s-inspired sportswear pieces. I guess this season is going to be totally tubular?
#17. Leopard-Print Coats
While bright coats have taken center stage, the runway certainly enjoyed adding in some leopard print coats for a bit of fun. Think oversized, grunge-style coats with a particular ‘90s feel. For the exact coat influencers and celebrities were loving during the non-virtual shows, head to R-13.
If you’ve got your mask on and are ready to hit a social-distance party in head-to-toe sequins, then this winter 2021 is your year. Julien Dossena talked of his favorite party-ready Paco Rabanne collection, saying that “it’s just about girls enjoying themselves.” Everyone from Prada to Badgley Mischa certainly took that into account when conjuring up the sparkling dresses that are sashaying down the runways or being clutched to the chest in glittering shirts.
#19. The Velvet Underground
This soft and dreamy fabric is an endless source of winter inspiration and an undeniable classic. Still, velvet conquered the 2021 runways with infinitely glamorous takes. From Celine to Haider Ackermann, the fabric was used as a twist on the little black dresses, but other slouchy, velvet silhouettes paraded around the Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren runways in an effort to show that such a luxurious fabric is just as comfortable as loungewear.
Feathers flocked (sorry) to Paris Fashion Week this year as an exciting embellishment to just about anything! The hems of coats, skirts, and dresses seemed to be fair game, along with monochromatic suits and skin-tight party wear. Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent seemed particularly bird-obsessed.
#21. Printed Tights
For some reason, printed tights seem to take me back to the 2000s. Maybe it’s the fact that era held the trend of popping them under shorts? Whatever it is, this trend is certainly making a comeback and will take any of your fall 2021 looks to the next level.
Anna Sui brought in the psychedelic ‘60s vibes we were missing with hers, but if you’re more interested in classic polka dots, then Prabal Gurung has got you covered. And if you’re aching to bring in the Pantone color Illuminating, then grab a pair of Victor Glemaud’s yellow-striped leggings.
Think of Jane Birkin’s or Zoe Kravitz’s easy, boho style and add a delicate twist to it. Whoever your boho style icon might be, they are definitely jumping up and down for the current fall/ winter 2021 boho-chic trend because embroidery, rich fabrics, and “hippy” accessories are taking precedence, from brands like Etro to Chloe. Maybe we haven’t left the ‘60s that far behind?
#23. Avant-Garde Shoulders
Avant-garde shoulders are the ultimate power trend of this season. Perhaps the shoulder is simply strong, but square and triangle shapes came to the forefront in many cases for a look that’s really on point. In the case of the avant-garde designer Daniel Del Core, he quite literally gave his wearers wings.
#24. Don’t Ruffle My Feathers
Ruffles might be Victorian-style classics and Harry Styles musts, but they are certainly wooing us this season. The fall/ winter 2021 fashion trends feature cascading ruffles that tend to be a bit more classic than the layers of cake-like trim in the past – though the look is just as delicious. Whether it’s an added frill on a Celine shirt or an angled crop top from Chanel, the wave-like ruffles easily elevate anything they happen to be added to.
#25. Pedal to the Metals
If you thought the Italians successfully fulfilled your pasta cravings, then you had no idea about the metallic glamour floating down their runways and our computer screens for the winter seasons. Every Italian fashion house seemed ready to fulfill our metallic craving, whether in the form of gilded skirts, chainmail gowns, or metallic suits.
Clearly, the lack of Hollywood red carpets got to us all, and the land of the Renaissance sought to bring some of its gowns back. So, grab a metallic option from Oscar de la Renta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, Versace, or any other house you can find.
#26. Puffed-up Jackets
According to the fall 2021 fashion trends, you should feel like you’re walking in a cloud when wearing a coat. For a while, puff jackets might simply have been considered necessary for mountain men (or women), but with outdoor ski sports rising during the pandemic (and the amazing white-out season we just had), everyone seemingly has come to appreciate the toasty thermal properties of the puff coat.
So, if you want to be on trend with an inflatable jacket this season, look at designers from Chanel to Tom Ford for a bit of inspiration or a purchase. And if you feel like drifting into a snowy fashion show daydream, Miu Miu, Thom Browne, and Chanel all staged their shows in the midst of snowy weather – now, that’s an extra cool reason to wrap up in a puff jacket.
#27. Cape Town
Another royal look, isn’t it? Though this one feels much more The Crown than Bridgerton, who am I to judge? All I know is that there are many cape options to choose from this season! If you feel like a sequin-embroidered option, then Miu Miu is your best bet. A simple white cape? Gabriela Hearst is your gal. Flowing formal coats? Look no further than Emilia Wickstead or Roland Mouret. But never forget the formal classics, because Givenchy’s and Valentino’s love for the cape deserves mention as well.
#28. Patch ‘em up
This is a sustainable and chic trend. Different designers, like Gabriela Hearst of Chloe, Marine Serre, Jeremy Scott of Moschino, and Stuart Vevers of Coach, are using the unused fabric scraps from warehouses and past collections patched together to create upcycled and collaged garments. Sustainable clothes also highlight personal expression to stand out in how you dress. Plus, it’s a quick way to add plenty of color and prints to your wardrobe!
#29. Puff Sleeves
This year, they’re back and bigger than ever. Voluminous bubble sleeves started trending around lockdown, however, this fall 2021, they veered away from the slightly more delicate looks we’d been seeing to full-blown oval orbs. London Fashion Week seemed to particularly adore this trend… after all, what better way to announce your return to society and keep people six feet away? Simone Rocha, and 16Arlington certainly made it one of their favorite styles!
Photos via Vogue