With the uncertainty of the pandemic shrouding the end of 2021, there is no better time to daydream of the future and look forward to what 2022 will look like — especially when it comes to fashion. The pandemic had a definitive impact on fashion trends, with designers looking past sweatpants and slippers to dream up fantastical creations for the coming year. Spring ’22 collections in particular were full of optimism and vibrancy, along with an exhibitionist flair for revealing silhouettes — and plenty of high heels.
While the trajectory of the pandemic may still be unclear, what is certain is that fashion in 2022 will be full of big, bold looks, with a little something for everyone at different levels of statement dressing. The more fashion-shy might start with one of spring’s eccentric accessories (inspired by celeb-preferred couture brand Schiaparelli) or go full look with low-rise pants, sexy cutouts, gender-bending mashups and a platform heel or two.
With the spring season around the corner (and most spring ’22 collections slated to drop later next month), here are nine trends to look forward to in 2022.
1. Sleek cut outs
Spring ’22’s most certain trend is already making waves with holiday dressing, with the LBD transforming itself with strategic skin baring. The cut-out trend is also destined for fashion lovers of every level; try a single shoulder or go full-on with the more inventive options.
To buy: NBD Kody cutout midi dress, $188.
2. Eclectic accessories
There are plenty of look-at-me garments to choose from spring ’22 and pre-fall ’22 collections. But the easiest way to do statement dressing in 2022 might be to start with your bag and jewelry. Schiaparelli’s surrealist bags, bangles — and trippy gold toe boots — are a no-brainer, but there are plenty of colorful, wacky handbags on hand, from Versace’s Medusa heads in neon to clutches and cross bodies that look like cozy sweaters, winter coats or fringy shawls.
To buy: Petit Kouraj mini fringe bag, $320.
3. Vibrant color
Another easy way to shift into 2022 is to ditch the neutrals for ultra-bright hues. From sunshine yellow and cobalt blue to Kelly green and amethyst and hot pink, all colors of the rainbow are fair game, with extra points for head-to-toe monochromatic looks.
We’re calling it: 2022 will be the year of the gladiator sandal. The 2010s favorite is set to make a comeback after multiple appearances on the runways for both fall ’21 and spring ’22 collections. Valentino resurrected one of its favorite silhouettes by adding its iconic Rockstuds to full-calf, lace-up styles, while other brands such as Giuseppe Zanotti and Roger Vivier offered up other blinged-out options. Amina Muaddi also did them in her collaboration with AWGE (ASAP Rocky’s label). Invest in a high-quality pair and build your summer ’22 wardrobe around them.
5. Spring plaids
A perennial cold-weather pattern and fabric, spring ’22 collections have plenty of warm-weather options, from the iconic plaid mini (and longer versions) to wide-leg trousers. The usually heavy pattern gets an unexpected twist when done on ethereal dresses and floaty tops.
6. The return of low rise
Perhaps the most prominent trend in the return of Y2K fashion, spring ’22 pants have lower rises, strategic cutouts and a clear preference for the exposed belly button.
To buy: Cult Gaia Tessa pant, $398.
7. The platform
The holiday favorite is destined to carry over to spring and summer 2022, with outdoor-friendly wedge platforms and look-at-me platform sandals in bright colors.
To buy: Larroudé Miso platform sandal, $290.
8. A new era of all-gender dressing
After a focus on unisex basics with the normcore trend of the mid-2010s, the new decades version of all-gender dressing focuses on maximalist pieces that make a statement on all types of bodies, with genderless skirts, colorful jackets and sneakers and handbags anyone and everyone can wear.
To buy: Bottega Veneta Tire boot, $1,350.
9. Statement overcoats to tie it all together
A colorful transitional coat will be a must come spring 2022, whether it’s included in a head-to-toe monochromatic look or a pop on a casual, neutral look underneath.
To buy: Apparis Cori coat, $475.
To buy: Stand Studio Gwen coat, $650.