15 Biggest 2021 Fashion Trends That Will Dominate the Fall and Winter Seasons

From left: Courtesy Net-A-Porter; Courtesy Moda Operandi

Here’s your runway report—and what to buy post-fashion month.

This fashion month was one of firsts—livestreams took the place of invite-only viewings, some spring-summer collections replaced fall-winter pieces, and a number of brands decided to push up or push back the timing of their shows. But despite all the chaos, cohesion came through in the form of this season’s biggest 2021 fashion trends. From black and white to cyberpunk, kaleidoscope, and mixed prints, this was a bold season of anything-but-boring looks. Read on for a breakdown of each trend and how to wear them now.

Brunello Cucinelli, Round Neck Open-Knit Jumper
Courtesy Farfetch 

Netting

As a carry-over trend from spring-summer, netting came out in full force. While at times taking the form of tighter netting—think, fishnets—it also appeared in cutout pieces—think, crochet. When worn on top or underneath as a layering item, these pieces add a peekaboo effect to your overall look. If you aren’t ready for a head-to-toe net look, get these netting 2021 fashion trends in a bite size with accessories like socks and pumps.

Black Comme Des Garçons Distressed Tailored Shorts
Courtesy Farfetch

Black and White

Appearing in pretty much every shape and pattern, the black and white motif ran strong as a 2021 fashion trend. Dresses, capes, jewelry, and handbags all featured interpretations of this made-for-Moira Rose theme. Although minimal in colorway, there is nothing minimalist about the way it showed up on the runway. Bold color-blocking, checkering, and layering made this one of the most striking trends for fall-winter.

Jonathan Simkhai Arlet Charmeuse Wide-Leg Pants
Courtesy Bergdorf Goodman

The Wide-Leg Pant

The wide-leg pant trend is one that we always welcome back with open arms. Whether it is an extra long or slightly cropped pair, this is a pant shape that can be counted on for comfort and class. This season, wide-leg pants are ready to be worn at formal affairs or around the house. In the case of the former, look for a twill trouser. If the latter, we highly recommend a charmeuse pair that can double as a pajama.

Balenciaga Strike 20mm Lace-Up Boots
Courtesy Farfetch

Cyberpunk

It is no surprise that this trend ran wild in some of the biggest shows of the season. A subcategory of the larger punk genre, cyberpunk incorporates science fiction, high technology, and social disruption references. Get on board with this trend now with high-rise combat boots, metallic pieces, round glasses, and futuristic sneakers meant for The Matrix.

Balenciaga Smocked Jersey Dress
Courtesy Moda Operandi

Pinks of Every Shade

If you can only introduce one new color into your wardrobe, let it be pink. Present at almost all the major shows, it is the color to pay attention to this season. Despite it initially coming off as a strong color reserved only for a select few, there is room for all in this season's offering. Find the shade that tickles you pink with all of the options currently available.

A.W.A.K.E. Mode Lucy Padded Metallic PVC Tote
Courtesy Net-A-Porter

Kaleidoscope Prints

Perhaps the antidote to last year’s melancholy, bright mirrored patterns showed up with all the positive vibes for the fall-winter runways. This optically stimulating trend is attention-grabbing to say the least. But, it can feel buttoned up when perfectly symmetrical or lean psychedelic when slightly uneven. Try it on in baby steps with an accessory or go bold with a bodysuit, zip-up top, or cocktail dress.

Saint Laurent Noé Rive Gauche Tote
Courtesy Kith

Supersized Bags

For a long time it was all about the small, mini, or micro bag. Now, although there are still plenty of those teeny tiny versions alive and well on the runway, designers seem to have changed their tune on the preferred shape of the modern handbag. Unlike its predecessor, this new “it” bag offers plenty of room for whatever needs carrying for the day or long weekend.

Balmain Denim Jumpsuit
Courtesy Net-A-Porter

Head-to-Toe Denim

For many of us, this is a trend that brings to surface the very lucid memory of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the American Music Awards in 2001 (yes, 20 years ago). An iconic look that made the world think differently about the Canadian tuxedo, a full head-to-toe denim outfit is once again on trend.

Sacai Mixed Print Skirt
Courtesy Farfetch

Mixed Prints

This is not a trend meant for the fashion faint of heart. Whether a result of little editing, an aversion to commitment, a sustainable choice, or a desire to try and fit it all in, an amalgamation of prints made their presence known on the fall-winter runways this season. While it can be easy to clash with so much going on—and by all means, clash on—silky, flowy fabrics soften the effect and add a level of sophistication if that is your preference.

Oscar de la Renta Floral-Embroidered Tulle Mini Dress
Courtesy Moda Operandi

Fall Florals

While we all know that the floral trend for spring is nothing new, florals for fall are always exciting to see. Appearing in many shapes and sizes, these fall floral prints ran the gamut from large and abstract to small and precise. Fortunately for us all, there are plenty of floral pieces that fit the bill and are ready to be bought up now. 

Gabriella Hearst Tess Cape
Courtesy Gabriella Hearst 

Capes

There is no better way to feel like a superhero than with a cape. Perhaps a piece that you might have neglected to add to your wardrobe up until now, now is definitely the time for you to give one a try. Effortless and elegant, it’s an item that will look great no matter the length or the occasion.

Hellessy Beau Fringe-Embellished Jeans
Courtesy Farfetch

Fringe

Perhaps as a response to the lack of movement last year, designers came back this season with this made-to-move trend. Fringe in every form showed up around the world in some of the most important shows of the season. Try a piece that incorporates just a touch of fringe in the detailing or opt for a piece that makes it the main event. The choice is yours.

Vince Collared Wool-Cashmere Vest
Courtesy Moda Operandi

Vests

The vest is an item that has been more recently associated with Silicon Valley than runways, but it is back this season ready to reclaim its place in the high-fashion ranks. Also showing up in just about every form, designers got creative with puffers, zip ups, sleeveless outerwear, and sweater vests. Whether you want to feel preppy or protected, the vest will be a go-to item this year.

Versace Oversized Gold-Tone Hoop Earrings
Courtesy Net-A-Porter

Statement Earrings

If you are going to invest in an accessory this year, go for a pair of statement earrings. This Zoom-proof item is one that many designers went big on. From bold geometric shapes to long and dangly sets, you can’t have enough pairs to wear right now.

Staud Shoko Colorblock Ribbed-Knit Midi Sweater Dress
Courtesy Moda Operandi

Sweater Dresses

Even though many of us are ready to get back into the world, our closets might not be prepared to bounce back to tight and tailored pieces. Thankfully, sweater dresses are here to save us all. Easy to throw on and go, this ultra comfortable style is available to buy into right now.