With the new year in full swing, a brand new trend cycle is quickly approaching. Sustainability is more important to consider than ever with the advent of the “micro trends” contributing to an already insanely fast trend turnover rate.
Experimenting with popular styles is always fun, but it definitely does not require a complete overhaul of your closet. New trends can be a perfect opportunity to let a few of your forgotten clothes see the light or to upcycle pieces that just need a little bit of TLC.
We hope these trends will be accessible to everyone wanting to give them a try – perhaps they’ll even bring a few much-missed blasts from the past back to the forefront. (UGGs, anyone?) So, here are what some of your peers are hoping will catch on this year.
Weinberg first-year Haley Cha said she hopes for a major ruffle resurgence. We’ve already seen ruffles trend amongst celebrities on the red carpet, like this bold, glorious pink number on Gemma Chan at the 2019 Oscars.
But Cha said she wants to see ruffles resurface in everyday casual wear as well, and I’d have to agree. Looking ahead to spring, when sundresses will finally come out of hibernation, a ruffle moment on a neckline or hem would be the perfect romantic touch to an otherwise plain silhouette. A little whimsy never hurt anyone, especially after a long Chicago winter.
Another opportunity for ruffles to shine are gauzy, dreamy blouses.
Their versatility means a blouse can match whatever vibe you’re going for – from chic pirate to Matthew Macfayden’s Mr. Darcy, the possibilities are truly endless. A versatile piece, like a blouse, is a wardrobe essential because when the trend cycle inevitably moves on, this piece can continue playing a functional role in a wide variety of outfits.
Alexa Chung-inspired Outfits
Cha also said she hopes for a revival of Alexa Chung’s personal style and influence. Chung’s cultivated unique style – a blend of grunge, prep and a dash of twee, topped off with a healthy dose of londonite polish – was a major source of inspiration for fashion-minded individuals during the late 2000s to early 2010s. One aspect of her iconic look is encapsulated in this Elle UK spread from 2010:
The Peter Pan-esque collar adds the perfect amount of playfulness to an otherwise polished, mature look – this type of simple silhouette mixed with a dash of quintessential 2010s quirkiness is due for a revival. And the best part about old trends coming back? There’s no need to participate in over-consumerism; there may just be a dress exactly like this one sitting in the back of your childhood closet.
This outfit is truly the best of both worlds: Chung pairs a playful, unique denim overall piece with a sensible blouse and a pair of loafers, adding a fun twist to a timeless look.
While 2022 favored bold, Y2K inspired statement pieces, Cha said she hopes to see an elevation of classic styles in 2023.
Speaking of timeless looks, Weinberg fourth-year Ashley Yoo said she hopes to see glossy lips continue to shine this year. Nineties styles aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and the perfect finishing touch to any nineties look is a classic nude or rose-colored gloss.
Lip glosses are a great way to add a subtle shine to even the most natural of makeup looks.
But natural is not the only way to go: if you’re feeling adventurous, consider adding a bold statement to your look with a glittery, pigmented gloss, like this one.
Weinberg first-year Megumi Oishi said she’s hoping for a DIY take on jeans, perhaps the most timeless and versatile article of clothing.
Denim jeans have always been a form of self-expression, especially in alternative subcultures like “crust pants.” Born from the 1980s British “crust punk” scene, listeners of the genre added patches, bits of fabric, rhinestones and other materials to their jeans over time to create a deeply personal expression of their personal styles.
Another source of inspiration for DIY denim are artists’ work jeans, whose messy paint stains add to their character by painting a picture (ha!) of the artist’s creative journey.
Not only is there endless room for creativity, with various washes of denim and choices in materials (pins, buttons, patches, paint, etc.), but this trend also promotes sustainability by encouraging people to give their old denim a brand-new look.
2022 was the year of big, voluminous hairdos and fluffy curtain bangs, but Weinberg first-year Leena Shafi said she hopes to see a dramatic shift in 2023 with ultra short ‘dos coming to the forefront this year. Shorter hairstyles can be more versatile than they appear. They’re a perfect fit for a chic, red-carpet-ready look like this one:
Or this one:
Of course, an edgier look like this one:
… And even a soft look like this one.
I hope some of these trends inspire you to try them out for yourself, whether that entails shopping for pieces outside of your comfort zone, reworking pieces you already own or building up timeless pieces of clothing.
If not the year of the ruffle, or the year of the Alexa Chung renaissance, 2023 can still be the year of your own style journey.