It’s time to play a little dress-up with your winter wardrobe. One of the less important, but still disappointing, parts of lockdown in 2020 was not being able to show off our summer outfits, having to keep them stored in the closet for months and basically missing a whole season. But that isn’t an excuse to remain stagnant with your style, it’s actually the perfect excuse to try some trends a bit out of your comfort zone and explore a new style.
So much of our year was spent alone, giving us time to experiment with style in our solitude and wear what we truly wanted without others watching. Now it’s time to step outside and play around with clothing even more. We all deserve a bit of fun and freedom with our evolving styles without fear of what others think.
The winter trends from the F/W 2020-2021 shows at Fashion Week all fall into a bolder category, drawing from the vintage and the timeless with a sprinkle of modern unorthodox. Capes, an excessive amount of leather and angular shoulders are some of the more outlandish trends to be expected as winter resumes.
Most of the looks displayed on the virtual runways drew inspiration from trends of the past — both near and distant. Discovering ways to make truly vintage pieces and modern attire coalesce into a wearable outfit is fairly difficult, depending on what the piece is. From Chloé to Louis Vuitton to Richard Quinn, the designers who featured these trends in their shows were able to seamlessly mix contemporary and vintage styles into couture masterpieces. They’re beautiful to look at but aren’t so easy to wear to the office or a cafe for a cup of coffee. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking inspiration from haute couture and trying styles that are new to you, pushing you to be bolder and more confident in your wardrobe for the colder months.
Doing so is easier said than done, especially when you don’t know where to begin, so I’ve compiled a list of the hottest trends from fashion week and included their everyday counterparts. Soon, you’ll be mixing Victorian-inspired dresses with 1970s fringe and catching the eye of every passerby!
Draw some inspiration from your hippy grandmother’s or cool, single aunt’s closets, and adorn yourself with muted earth tones and billowy sleeves. Long dresses will keep your legs warm and hide your fleece-lined tights from the biting winds of winter, but soft florals will let you feel a bit like spring. Floor-length, fur-lined coats will keep you warm without ruining your aesthetic, and patchwork pieces add to your folk-grunge look. This borderline western wear trend is one of the few that can go from the runway to your closet, but the cost prevents that from happening for most of us.
Bohemian style has origins in 18th century France when artists became more impoverished and their eccentric clothing became an identifying feature. Fast forward 200 years to the 1960s and bohemian style had turned into a wider-known alternative style with mostly younger people taking on the aesthetic as a way to symbolize their disapproval of mainstream society.
Now, boho pieces are sold in most clothing stores, making it a lot easier to take on the aesthetic. What is normally a summer trend, though, is now having a chance to spend time in the winter sun. If you want to embrace the bohemian style without the couture price, take a look at the pieces below.
There’s a reason why the color black never goes out of style: it is classic, it is mysterious and it is bewitching. This winter, the color retains its enchanting reputation, and it is being embraced with long, swallowing coats, velvet dresses and high collars. Think Wednesday Addams and American Horror Story: Coven, but with today’s unique styles instead of the early-2010s tumblr aesthetic.
This look on the runway consisted of enveloping, monochromatic garments without other distractions from hair or makeup. The witch-like glamour is one that can stand alone, leaving the wearer untouchable and powerful. Black is a striking color, especially against the blinding white winter snow.
It is a rather easy trend to play around with since most people have an array of black clothing in their closets, but turning it into something truly captivating is a bit more difficult. The color isn’t the most important aspect, it’s the style of the clothes you wear and how you dress them. The goal with this trend is to appear frightening yet beautiful; it’s the perfect time to look to your darker side and dress like the cool Disney villains from your childhood.
Possibly the most exciting trend that graced the runway was one that embraced fetishwear as outerwear. Combining latex and leather with soft colors and femininity was quite daring, but the juxtaposing styles give a strangely elegant aesthetic. Garments such as vinyl bustiers, latex bodysuits and corsets adorned with buckles were paired with pink, ruffled petticoats and babydoll dresses. Platform boots and black lace are all the rage in these cold months, ignoring the fact that walking on ice is ten times more difficult on platforms than it is with regular shoes.
Some of the couture looks really took it to the extreme with full, latex bodysuits, covering the model from head to toe. But anyone with a slight inkling towards goth and alternative styles will be able to make this trend wearable for everyday wear with the right materials. Lady Dominatrix embraces timeless beauty and delivers a look brimming with fantasy and delicacy.
Finding affordable clothing for this look may have you searching through websites you thought you’d never end up on, but your normal clothing store might not have good-quality fetish fashion fitting this aesthetic. Finding a light colored skirt with ruffles to pair with a latex corset top could seem a bit daunting, but there are some pieces below that should help you get started.
Real or vegan leather (which just means plastic) was a popular fabric viewed on the runways in anticipation for fall and winter. Though this trend seeps into the Lady Dominatrix category, the other captivating and less revealing leather pieces deserved a category of their own.
Leather is unquestionably not new and the standard leather jacket is definitely a classic. But the reimagined leather coats this season draw even more attention to the garments. Leather dusters and motocross jackets are in, temporarily pushing aside their boxier counterparts. The pieces are sleek with low necklines and rows of black buttons, making the wearer look taller. Utility jumpsuits made from the animal hide are also popular, giving the wearer an easy statement piece.
When searching for real leather pieces, I suggest only doing so at thrift and consignment stores. The pieces are harder to come by, but it’ll be at a cheaper price. Pleather isn’t good for the environment, so if you do decide to embrace this leather trend, find a good, basic pleather piece that you feel you’ll stand out in.
Fire up the time machine and steal your mom’s old sweaters and jackets from the 1980s because it’s time for big shoulders. What started out as simply wider silhouettes for women in the 1930s to boxy power suits in the ‘80s has evolved into striking angular shoulders today. Reminiscent of strange, triangular wings, the unnatural trend for womens’ upper bodies appeared many times during fashion week, forcing the Born This Way-era Lady Gaga into my mind.
The designs were all unique, whether it be by the style of the angular shoulders or the simplicity of the rest of the garments. Presumably, most people are not ready to fully embrace these sharp edged pieces, but there is still a way to subtly don this trend without poking someone’s eye out.
Capes have been worn for centuries, signifying rank or whether or not it was raining. They’ve been in the spotlight a myriad of times in the past few centuries, reemerging with fresh looks in the 1900s. This winter, capes have popped up once again in cloak-coat hybrids and classic A-line silhouettes.
These timeless garments appeared as sophisticated coats and peculiar dresses, reminiscent of something a Star Wars character might wear. This is less of an everyday style and more of something you would wear to go to a good restaurant or a posh ice skating date. Capes are fairly versatile since there’s so much fabric to play around with. A cape-style coat will keep you warm and completely covered, and a dress or top with a long cape in the back brings an eccentric flare to the wearer. Check out some capes you can easily wear off the runway and find some outfit inspo.
The Victorian era certainly influenced a lot of the trends on this list. One more specific trend that came about with Victorian influences comes straight from childhood: dolls. This beautiful trend of the season is evident by the many ruffles, tulle, layers and lifted busts that defined the Victorian era. Doll-like ensembles with current features were displayed down the runways by models wearing dark makeup and accessories. Tulle and lace paired with leather boots and chunky sneakers modernized the Victorian doll aesthetic.
Another trend that may be harder to play around with on just another day, this trend is definitely one that’ll make you stand out. There are ways to wear clothes that fit this aesthetic, but it may take some dedication. Try out some of the pieces below and see if this is a trend you want to pursue this winter.