Fashion took a few unexpected twists and turns this year, with an unpredictable pandemic forcing us all back inside just when we were starting to get our style groove back.
Party dressing necessarily took a back seat as we slipped into our shearling-lined Birkenstocks and bought crystal at-home facial rollers, with a full-scale re-entry now being hijacked by a new variant just in time for Christmas. But judging by the trends that dominated in 2021, we were still trying to have fun with fashion, even if the times were dark indeed.
It’s everywhere, and it’s a lovely counterpoint to the doom and gloom. Hot pink, malachite green, aqua blue, sunny yellow, and beautiful reds and terracottas were and are everywhere, in shirting, sundresses, sunglasses and cossies. The next colour we will be seeing is periwinkle blue, a gorgeous blue with a touch of purple.
They were everywhere, either as a single pearl slung on a chain, as seed pearl necklaces and bracelets, misshapen South Sea pearls dangling from earrings. Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing a simple pearl necklace in the new Sex and the City sequel, And Just Like That, sometimes layered with other necklaces. The other trend was to mix pearls with coloured beads; cute, beachy and stupendously expensive for what sometimes looked like children’s play jewellery. But, hey, maybe it wasn’t the year for serious bling.
Clearly some happy hands at home got busy and crochet became a thing, with halter tops, vests, mini dresses, and bikinis getting their hooks into the younger crowd. Crochet is something to be avoided if you are over a certain age, in my opinion, unless it is a bag: Prada’s heavenly crochet tote was a global sell-out.
I’m not sure that this can even be classified as a trend anymore, because once we got used to wearing trackies and hoodies and sweatpants 24/7, the ease and practicality of living in athleisure was irresistible. Colour also made its mark here, with brands such as Pangaia, its sustainable product range of simple track wear in bright, bold hues that has become a retail phenomenon.
- Ugly shoes
It’s still a thing – the deliberately unattractive, amazingly comfortable shoe. There were high-fashion options like the terry-towelling wedge by Bottega Veneta $780, the grass roots Arizona Birkenstock (tan suede with white shearling inner sole), the foam Adidas Yeezy sneakers, part Croc/part runner, or the oversized rubber rainboot (Bottega Veneta again, designer Daniel Lee was a visionary when it came to unattractive statement shoes). Why not? Its not like they needed to go out of the house.
- Masses of unnecessary serums and skincare
Over-moisturisation is a very popular trend, aka ‘glass skin’ especially with young women who already have perfect skin. Skin is hydrated to high-shine effect, then enhanced with luminising creams and powders, an effect we once all bought blotters for, but there you go.
- Baggy jeans
Maybe it was the pesky pandemic kilos, but baggy jeans came back, as we collectively decided that skinny jeans were just adding insult to injury in a difficult year.
As we head into 2022, now more than ever, it’s time to take any new style dictates with grain of salt – just wear what makes you happy. And remember, stretch is your friend.