While fashion month is currently buzzing through Europe predicting everything we’ll be wearing next winter, we’re way more curious to see which trends are going to stick around for the entire year. With that in mind, we reached out to three fashion authorities from Nordstrom, Net-A-Porter, and Bloomingdales for a full forecast of the year ahead, giving us the lowdown on the biggest hits of 2020. Read on for their insight for the styles to stock up on, plus the two trends they’re leaving behind the last decade, here.
Colorful Leather (Both Real And Faux)
We saw colored leather take over the Spring 2020 runways, from the deep violets and blues of Sies Marjan to Khaite’s luxurious forest green pieces. According to Erica Russo, vice president and fashion director of accessories and beauty at Bloomingdales, this trend is showing no signs of slowing down in 2020.
Russo points out that a rainbow array of styles, both real and faux, are set to be one of the year’s biggest ready-to-wear trends. “Colors vary from pastels for spring and jewel tones in fall, and are available in everything from dresses and jumpsuits to pants.”
As more designers opt for animal-free versions, specifically ones with an ethical and sustainable lens (take Nanushka, for example), this trend is a no-brainer.
The Puff Sleeve
If you had any doubts that the puff sleeve was on its way out, think again. “The puff sleeve is here to stay,” says Russo. While runway iterations tend to “go big or go home”—just take anything from buzzy Copenhagen-based designer Cecilie Bahnsen—there are plenty of less intimidating styles fit for the puff sleeve newcomer.
“From red carpet looks to your not so basic white tee, the puffy sleeve can modernize a classic silhouette,” says Russo. It’s also is a flattering style for all body types. “Adding drama and volume to your shoulder draws the eye up and gives the illusion of a smaller waist,” she adds.
We may have just entered a new decade, but ‘90s minimalism continues to be a key influence. “We saw the ‘90s dominate the runways for spring 2020, and Pre-Fall collections show no signs of this trend going anywhere,” says Libby Page, senior fashion market editor at Net-A-Porter. “From matching twinsets at Khaite, The Row, and Ioannes, to all things bodycon, including fitted ribbed turtlenecks and black leggings.”
It has staying power too, as proven by the ultimate ’90s it-girl. “Jennifer Aniston brought us a lot of this inspiration in the ‘90s when she played Rachel Green, and she’s having a real moment with The Morning Show, making this trend still culturally relevant.”
The Square Toe Boot
Speaking of the ‘90s, the square toe is set to be the biggest footwear trend of 2020. We first fell in love with the square toe sandal last season, but as Russo points out it has finally hit the mainstream. This season-less trend becomes cold-weather appropriate for fall, as Russo is particularly fond of the knee high styles we’ve seen from brands like Ganni and Wandler. We also love the more wearable aspect of the ankle boot that pairs well with dresses and jeans alike.
The prairie dress craze of 2018 and 2019 is taking on a softer, feminine feel for 2020. As Nordstrom’s senior fashion director Shannon Schafer points out, prairie-inspired pieces with an air of romance are set to be a wardrobe staple all year long. “There’s power in pretty this season. Modest dress silhouettes provide sensuous volume and comfort with long sweeping lengths, high necks, and long sleeves,” she tells us.
Taking form in dresses and Victorian-inspired blouse, Page credits Greta Gerwig and her adaption of Little Women for the growing popularity of this trend.“Items such as a Victorian blouse, a floral print, lace and delicate finishings all are sure to be prevalent throughout this year’s collections.”
We’re seeing these dreamy pieces in a variety of patterns and textures—there are the lace iterations from Zimmermann’s Spring 2020 collection, sheer neons offered by Mara Hoffman, and plenty of animal print from Ganni—but Schafer declared florals as the key print for this silhouette.
The Daytime Clutch
The clutch is having a major moment, and it’s giving the mini bags of last year a run for their money. From soft pouches to more structured shapes, handle-bearing to handle-less, this bag style transcended beyond evening attire this year. “From structured to soft, this style was often seen mainly for evening but has now been reimagined in gorgeous fabrics and colors suited for day,” says Russo.
Daniel Lee—Bottega Veneta’s creative director and the man responsible for the “new Bottega” craze—launched the daytime clutch into the spotlight with the launch of his cult-favorite woven and pillow-like pouches of 2019. Russo named it the “must-have item” of 2020.
The latest offerings pair well with just about everything. More minimalist shapes, such as the leather envelope clutches at Khaite, are an easy everyday choice, while playful shapes like Bevza’s fan clutch lend a statement-making touch to any outfit.
Shorts Of All Proportions
Is 2020 the year we ditch skirts for shorts? According to Russo, it might just be. “Spring 2020 will be about the short suit, matching sets, as well as separates,” she says. Shorts are typically thought to be exclusive to spring and summer, Russo sees the trend sticking around all year for 2020. “It will continue into fall without longer lengths, such as culottes and Bermuda shorts, making it the fashion alternative to the skirt.”
If the thought of wearing Bermuda shorts in February makes you shiver, she offers an expert styling trick: Pair longer short silhouettes with an over-the-knee boot for a “legs or days” look that will also keep you warm.
Strong Suiting With A Feminine Touch
Suit enthusiasts, rejoice: It’s officially here to stay for 2020, and this year, it’s taking on a more feminine vibe. “Confident suiting continues with a feminine twist,” says Schafer. “Tailoring can be soft and relaxed, or sturdy and shapely.” Schafer adds that emphasis on the waist, as well as soft materials such as silks, linens, and crisp cottons will “evolve the masculine look of a blazer.”
We saw these feminine takes on suiting from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Altuzarra, and Dolce & Gabbana for spring, and we expect to see this trend follow through fall and winter in the form of lush jacquards, tweeds, and embroidered silks.
According to Schafer, the bohemian trend is taking on a modern folk twist this year. “Touches of craft and folklore conjure rustic romance” she says. “Craft details and beautiful textiles add dimension to classic items and simple silhouettes.” Think: breezy dresses and blouses with delicate embroidery, paisley prints, and eyelet fabrics.
From Missoni’s patchwork to the embroidery seen from Tory Burch and Ulla Johnson, For sure, modern folk had a strong presence on the Spring 2020 runways. This modern hippie trend translates easily for colder months, in the form of heavy crochet knits and patchwork outerwear.
Not fully committed to the folk-bohemian look? Schafer suggests contrasting these pieces with sturdier workwear for a fresh look.
OUT – Logomania
With all of these new trends, what is best left behind in 2019? Both Russo and Page believe that one aesthetic no longer has a place in fashion this year: logomania.
“There has been a return to clean lines and minimalism,” says Russo. “We’re seeing a lot less logos on clothing and accessories.” Page agrees, stating, “Logos are taking the backseat as fashion enters a new understated authority.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to ditch our Fendi Zucca prints or Dior saddlebags (we could never!), but expect to see a shift towards cleaner silhouettes in solid colors and quieter patterns.
OUT – Matrix Sunglasses
Another trend that proves minimalism is on rise for 2020? According to Page, we’re saying goodbye to “Matrix sunglass”—the smaller square or angular frames of the ‘90s that became popular during the tiny sunglasses revival. Instead, Page recommends shopping for oversized aviators. “As fashion gets practical, so do your frames,” she says. “These styles are the new eyewear shapes that will actually protect you from the sun,” she says.