The ’90s has been the biggest influence on fashion over the last few years. Interestingly, it was a decade that showcased very varied fashion. The ’90s started with a meaningful nod to the ’80s and then moved into a revival of ‘70s fashion in the second half of the decade. As a result, its fashion influence feels like three decades instead of one. This diversity of silhouettes is very welcome in 2023.
My denim trends guide for Fall and Winter is very much what it was for Spring and Summer. Additionally, here are eleven bigger trends, vibes, and colours that deserve a fashionable mention. As always, pick and choose from the buffet of trends, add a personal stamp to the vibe, and do your own thing.
1. Red and Chocolate
Red, in all its shades and tones is the colour of the season. From the brightest tomato red and electric fire engine, to the darkest wines and burgundies, and everything in between. Brown is the next biggest colour so think dark and milk chocolate, espresso, mocha and mahogany. Think patterns and solids. Wear reds with browns, and in any wardrobe item.
2. Magenta, Orchid, Teal, Cobalt, and Butter
Those starved of jewel tones like cool magenta pinks, fuchsia, all sorts of purples, teal greens and blues, and electric cobalt will finally see it coming through. Unexpectedly, a pastel buttery yellow is making an Autumn and Winter appearance. It’s combined with earth tones and teal.
Speaking of earth tones, they are not in short supply. They continue to feature strongly in the US, which makes me think they sell well at retail.
3. Tall Boots
Tall boots are the biggest shoe trend of all. Think dressy and casual mid-calf, knee-high, or over-the-knee boot silhouettes in a heel height that you can manage. Tall flat boots are fab too. Iconic and classic western boots are enjoying a particularly fab fashion moment.
Tall boots are combined with skirts, dresses, culottes, and shorts across all lengths. They are also worn over sleek pants and jeans equestrian style, and over baggier pants and jeans, ‘70s style.
4. Loose Jeans and Pants
Pants and jeans are wider and looser all over. Some pants and jeans are VERY wide, whereas others are gently wide or flared at the hems. Some wide silhouettes are barrel and lantern-shaped, and taper back at the hem. Tailored looks are as on-trend as slouchy looks.
Rise lengths and hem lengths vary enormously, just like they did throughout the ‘90s. Low, mid, and high rises are on-trend, and either flat or pleated at the waist. Lengths vary from crops that are two to three inches above the ankle bone, to full-length hems that skim the vamps of shoes, the surface of the floor, or slouch in a heap on the ground.
Full-length pants are having a particularly strong fashion moment. Full-length silhouettes with narrower hems scrunch a little or a lot over footwear.
5. Dark Romance
Head-to-toe textured black, or black and other very dark colours, or patterns with black backgrounds continue the mid to late ‘90s theme. Think black lace, tulle, sequins, patent leather, faux fur, textured leather, velvet, moody dark florals, textured knits, tweedy wovens, rosettes, satin, chiffon, silk, jacquards, corsetry, dark nail polish, dark eyewear, and dark lipstick. Interpret the looks minimally or maximally.
6. Tuxedos and Pants Suits
Trouser suiting continues to be strong, and is offered in a range of fits and silhouettes. Tailored, fluidly tailored, or oversized, so take your pick. Some blazers are big and long, and others are structured, hip-bone length, or short. Belted blazers are having a fab fashion moment.
Pants suits are thought of as versatile attire because they can be dressed up or down. For example, wear a dressier suit in a loosely tailored or fluid fit with a tee, shirt, sweater, knitted top, sneakers, hi-tops, boots, loafers, and crossbody bag or backpack.
A pants suit is not only meant to be an occasion dressing thing. Wear the suit like you would any pair of bottoms and jacket — only they match — and get on with your day. ‘70s corduroy pants suits are coming through too. In fact, corduroy is having a fun fashion moment.
The trouser suit revival for dressy attire comes in handy for work, over the holiday season, or for Winter occasion dressing. It’s practical and keeps you warm. I love wearing pants suits for dressy occasions precisely for those reasons.
7. Maxis, Midaxis, Midis, Minis
Hemlines vary greatly, just like they did throughout the ‘90s. Midi, midaxi and maxi dresses and skirts are there but knee-length, above the knee, and mini skirts are coming through too. Most of the silhouettes are A-line, pleated, tiered, wrap, babydoll, trumpet, shift, fluidly column, shirt, sack, and flared in some way for ease of movement. Maxi pencil skirts with long slits are fringe trending.
Sweater dresses, full circle skirts, and layering dresses and skirts over pants, are silhouettes and combinations enjoying their fashionable moment. The idea is to wear any length of dress and skirt with tall boots.
Gold, silver, pewter, and copper footwear, bags, and belts are strong. You’ll see metallic non-neutrals too. Big metal belt buckles are having a fashion moment. Metallic clothing is a fringe trend and has its futuristic appeal. Coated metallic jeans are fringe tending. Metallics can be worn more subtly when shimmery threads are woven through the fabrics of any wardrobe item, in any pattern, solid or colour.
A peplum is a short flared, gathered, or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s top, sweater, dress, or jacket to create a flounce. Sometimes peplums feature in the front or back of a garment, and not both.
10. Leather Clothing
Leather and faux leather clothing continues to be strong. Think leather or faux leather jackets, coats, pants, skirts, shorts, shirts, dresses, and vests in any colour and silhouette. The quality of faux leather improves every year, and costs a fraction of real leather clothing.
11. Statement Socks
Making a bold or subtle statement with socks has gained momentum. Match solid or patterned neutral or non-neutral socks with your outfit. Create a low or high contrast with your shoes. Socks can be thick and woolly, or refined and thin. Wear socks with loafers, pumps, Mary Janes, and dressy sandals too. Allow socks to peek out from the tops of taller and shorter boots when wearing them with skirts, dresses, or shorts. And if statement socks aren’t your thing, have fun with hosiery instead.
Half of these trends greatly appeal to me, and are well represented in my wardrobe. A big YES to red, tall boots, looser jeans and pants, pants suits, faux leather clothing, metallics, midis, and midaxis. A smaller nod to chocolate brown and peplums. How about you?