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A new year typically brings a whole new slew of fashion trends — but how do you know which are built to last and which will fizzle before spring? It’s easier to predict than you’d think. In fact, most trend cycles start out with a subtle whisper that’s simpler to detect if you know where to look.
Think about when mini bags — the ones that couldn’t hold more than a single house key — first came on the scene. They made the rounds on the runways in 2018, infiltrated street style within months and found their way to the masses for an entire year before we started sheltering in place. If you bought one at the precipice, there’s a good chance you got your money’s worth. But if you waited until the start of 2020? It would have just collected dust in your closet. That’s all to say that the biggest fashion trends of 2022 aren’t necessarily brand new, but rather, they’re themes you’ve seen floating around on Instagram or TikTok that are still months away from peaking.
And as we get more hopeful about safely returning to some semblance of normalcy in the coming months, it’s natural to want to refresh your closet with a few soon-to-be-trending items. Themes like ladylike handbags, low-rise, slouchy jeans and even a certain ‘90s sandal silhouette will likely be at the forefront of your shopping list.
Ahead, find the six biggest trends of 2022 that’ll be worth spending your money on this year.
2022’s Biggest Fashion Trends: Ladylike Bags
Handbags are often one of the first places we see trends pop up. In fact, when logomania took over our closets in 2018, this is where it showed up first. This year, skip the overtly branded handbag and opt for a more ladylike style from emerging brands like Elleme, behno and Apede Mod. For the record, timeless baguettes and structured hobos aren’t going anywhere this year.
Mango Double Handle Baguette Bag, $59.99
BOYY Lotus 12 Ala Bag, $995
2022’s Biggest Fashion Trends: Low-Rise, Slouchy Trousers
If the whole ‘90s revival isn’t your thing, I get it — but know that low-rise, slouchy jeans and trousers will be everywhere this year. The trend started to trickle into the sartorial ethos in 2021, but this year, there’s no avoiding it. Get ahead of the trend with a pair of rigid, dark-wash denim, or lean into the nostalgia with low-slung slacks.
EB Denim Low-Rise Jeans, $260
2022’s Biggest Fashion Trends: Interesting Cutouts
Not long after designer Kingsley Gbadegesin’s eponymous brand debuted tank tops and dresses with interesting cutouts in unexpected places, a slew of designers took note — and the trend was born. Get in on it with a tank or button-down, or go full-on with a cut-out dress, like this one from With Jéan.
With Jéan Lovers Dress, $99 (Orig. 269)
Mango Cut-Out Detail Dress,$99.99
River Island Cutout Long Sleeve Top, $39 (Orig. $52)
2022’s Biggest Fashion Trends: Lounge-y Outside Pants
If 2020 was the year of the sweatpants and 2021 was the year of the matching set, 2022 is the year of the unironic outdoor lounge pant. Swap your jeans for some stretchy, possibly flared, lounge-ready bottoms, but don’t limit yourself to sneakers or slides: Pair them with heels, mules or other decidedly outdoor shoes.
Vince PJ Pants, $375
Bleusalt Kaia Pant, $130
2022’s Biggest Fashion Trends: Platform Clogs
We can thank Crocs for the most unlikely comeback of the decade: Clogs. This time around, they’re platformed, clunky, and — I’ll admit it — majorly comfortable.
Everlane Clog, $53
2022’s Biggest Fashion Trends: ‘90s Prints
We know that ’90s silhouettes are back — but this year, the ‘90s prints will take precedence. Opt for Hawaiian patterns, playful florals, updated animal prints and color blocking. (Just make sure you don’t pair any of them with frosted lipstick or a spiky updo.)
Lisa Says Gah Dylan Jean, $189
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