The start of a new year always inspires a refresh on trends — it is the season of resolutions, after all. With the end of a decade, we were eager to summarize what made 2010’s fashion (Dad shoes, white sneakers; less recently, that whole era of the platform pump).
But what will define the next decade? A look at spring ’20 runways, the latest street style looks and even the start of the 2020 awards season red carpet provides some snapshots of what will, at the least, drive fashion in the coming year.
Here are 13 trends (some new, some crossing over from 2019) that are likely to dominate your fashion feeds in 2020.
1. A pop of sunshine
The look-at-me nature of social media has resulted in some tried-and-true tactics to get noticed, and bright colors are one of them. Hot pink is still having a moment and will likely trickle down to more mass brands this year. But both spring and pre-fall ’20 collections are full of sunny yellow hues. One or two pieces is all it takes, unless you’re brave enough for full-on banana monochrome.
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To buy: Jeffrey Campbell Hurricane boot, $60.
To Buy: Ulla Johnson Darby sandal, $395.
2. The Billie Eilish effect
The 18-year-old artist is a bona fide music phenom, but her body-unconscious style is equally groundbreaking, and fashion is following her lead. Oversized t-shirts, baggie pants and gender-fluid silhouettes may give new life to streetwear — especially for women.
To Buy: Stüssy sherpa jacket, $160.
To Buy: Stüssy sherpa pant, $120.
3. Denim’s return
Nothing is more quintessentially American than denim, but the look has taken a backseat as of late to more tailored looks (looking at you, pantsuits). But if the past few months of street style are any indication, denim is poised for (another) comeback.
To Buy: Coach Nettie sandal, $98 (was $195).
To Buy: Agolde Tatum jumpsuit, $248.
4. Square toes everywhere
One of the biggest shoe trends of 2019 will explode in 2020, as more mass fashion brands adopt the silhouette for spring, pre-fall and fall ’20 collections. Expect to see all versions, from unwieldy wide styles to pointy toe pumps that look like they were clipped.
To Buy: Ganni square toe sandal, $267.
To Buy: Bottega Veneta stretch sandal, $840.
To Buy: Staud Gita sandal, $325.
5. Apocalyptic boots
Combat boots were big in 2019, but you can expect them to get bigger, clompier and even slightly apocalyptic looking in 2020. The trend has Prada to thank, as its fall ’19 combat boots with ankle pouches were a street style favorite during fashion month in September and October. It’s also a men’s trend that has begun to replace the ubiquitous sneaker.
To Buy: Prada combat boot, $1,815.
To Buy: Both Gao lace-up boot, $620.
To Buy: Dr. Martens 1460 Rainbow boot, $130.
6. 2000’s mania
If the 20-year trend cycle holds, then 2020 is the year that the decade of Juicy Couture, rhinestones and low-rise pants returns. All three of those items have already crept back into the fashion vernacular, and it’s only January.
To Buy: Staud Billie wedge, $275.
7. More ugly sandals
At New York Fashion Week in September, designers, editors, influencers and, well, everybody had comfortable shoes on the brain, on and off the runways. Expect to see more of the “ugly” (translation: comfortable, sensible, slightly chunky) sandal once temps rise again.
8. Return of the babydoll
Always a somewhat impractical silhouette for grown women, something about this fantastical silhouette feels right for now. You can thank Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen for reigniting the craze with her ethereal gowns. Bahnsen has been pairing her babydolls with — you guessed it — “ugly” rubber sandals courtesy of Japanese sandal brand Suicoke, but they would also look at home with an equally chunky combat boot.
9. Tangerine dream
Another look-at-me hue that seems destined for Instagram, orange is a trending color for both men and women.
10. Pantsuits stick around
Hillary Clinton’s sartorial legacy is still going strong into the new decade, and there are endless options, from monochrome color and patterns to the skirt suit. They’re worn with just about anything but we’re guessing that sneakers-and-suits will be swapped for suits-and-boots this year.
To Buy: & Other Stories blazer, $129.
To Buy: & Other Stories trousers, $79.
Katie Holmes, one patron saint of ’90s fashion, may be singularly responsible for the return of this once-stuffy style. Matching sets and cropped fuzzy versions a là “Clueless” are making big comebacks. They’re the perfect match for square-toed mules and sandals.
To Buy: Vox Lux cropped cardigan, $128.
12. Tie dye
It’s been around since even before the original Woodstock and has had many a comeback, but this time around tie-dye wants a longer run. From Jonah Hill’s scumbro look in 2018 to his-and-hers by Justin and Hailey Bieber this fall and plenty of street style cameos, this pattern play refuses to quit.
13. Ankle chains
Bottega Veneta had a few “It” shoes in 2019 that kicked off the square toe trend, but the Italian luxury brand is also ushering in a new era of anklets.
To Buy: Chan Luu Tiger’s Eye anklet, $125.
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