Fashion trend forecasting isn’t a science; it’s more like magic or alchemy. Trend forecasters have a complicated and in-depth job. What they have to do is to make predictions for the upcoming year or seasons. Looking at the pattern of trends that have recently come and gone, the evolution of the trends and where they started, and factoring in cultural and social changes, they are able to tell designers and brands what consumers may want in the near future.
There are many different kinds of trend forecasting. Long-term forecasting looks at what consumer lifestyles may be in the future. Short-term forecasting works on a season-to-season basis, often looking closely at a period of six to twelve months ahead. These focus on colors and prints, how items will be styled, and the overall look that a consumer might be going for. Because trends are ultimately a response to what consumers need or to some significant change in culture, professionals are able to recognize patterns and see that there is a build-up to repeating those patterns. The items that you see in a designer sale today were probably predicted for the fashion industry by someone in an office somewhere about a year ago!
Let’s take a look at what these forecasting experts, as well as some of the top fashion designers in the world, say are the trends coming our way in 2022.
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Versatility is the name of the game, even after the stay at home work trend and safety restrictions have started to relax a little. A bodysuit is one simple garment that can be worn in a multitude of ways. They are the perfect base to create a layered look in the colder months but also the ideal item to add to a skirt or a pair of shorts in the summertime. Add a classic trench coat over a polo neck bodysuit for after-work drinks with friends, or pop a high cut (over the hips) bodysuit underneath a wrap skirt to watch the sunset over the ocean.
Sneakers and Sportswear
While the sneaker trend is already a firm favorite, experts say that it will continue into the new year, along with a focus on sports-inspired clothing, especially polo shirts and tennis-style skirts. It is a look that is fresh and easy to pull off in lots of interesting ways. An oversized sweater with either bike shorts or a pleated mini can work from the office to a casual dinner date. This is a throwback to a trend that was huge in the 80s and even into the 90s, so we can safely assume that we’ll be seeing a lot of it in the near future.
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Bold Colors and Textures
The current bold color blocking trend will last into the new year as well. We are seeing monochromatic as well as clashing colors, especially neons, making an appearance on runways this year, but this trend is not going anywhere any time soon. Experts believe that this move away from neutrals and towards bright, cheerful colors are due mainly to the years that fashion lovers have recently had to spend cooped up working from home, wearing sweats. This is a move to expressing happiness at the world beginning to return to normal through what consumers wear.
Fashion traditionally operates on a cycle of seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Usually, as the weather changes, the kind of garments that consumers buy begins to change as well. A trend we will likely start seeing from next year is layering of multi-seasonal garments to extend their usefulness, instead of purchasing a new wardrobe each season. This is an extremely practical approach for fashion consumers, not to mention that it is a much more sustainable way to shop than purchasing dedicated garments for each season. Many consumers are already embracing a “less is more” attitude towards fashion and style, aiming for smaller wardrobes and more functional clothes; this is just a natural extension of that movement.
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Androgyny in fashion is hardly a new concept. But, as trends do, it is making a comeback in a powerful way. With the world embracing the vast spectrum of genders that people fall into, it makes sense that fashion would shift with this massive cultural change as well. While specific garments will always be available (for those who want them) in a cut for a male or female figure, many fashion-forward consumers are turning towards genderless garments. The focus for 2022 is women wearing oversized men’s suits (a trend we are already seeing, thank you 1990s’) and men embracing kilts or longer skirts. This is an exciting moment in fashion history. We are breaking down “traditional” fashion gender stereotypes and embracing a way of dressing that says more about who the consumer is as a person, and their personal style, than the physical body they were assigned at birth.
The days of mothers warning their daughters to wear flesh-toned bras under white shirts are LONG gone. Moving into the Spring 2022 season, many designers are showcasing underwear through outerwear, and the look is sheer genius. This is a subtly sexy look, very well suited for consumers who love to look gorgeous but without really showing any skin. Think glittering and shimmering blacks and beiges with a lacy bralette or pair of high-waisted underwear peeking through from underneath. While it might not be appropriate for the office or Sunday lunch with the folks (yet), this peekaboo trend is definitely one that we look forward to trying out.
Trends are a showcase of what’s on offer- from runways to department stores. Though these are the trends coming in 2022, remember that you determine your own style! Take advice and tips from the top trends of 2022, incorporate them into your wardrobe in an authentic way that really stands out, and says, “this is MY style!”