If you’re the kind of person who hangs on to favorite clothing items from your youth – fringe from the 70s, utility jumpsuits from the 80s, boyfriend blazers from the 90s – you’re in luck. What’s old is new again.
As we move into a new decade, designers are revisiting many of the styles and fads that were signatures of earlier years. As is often the case, when you see reinvention of an earlier style there will be some variation on the original theme… but not always.
In the case of suits, we’re starting to see almost exact replicas of the 1990 version of the power suit, complete with padded shoulders, wider-lapel blazers worn with drape-y pleated trousers.
But if you aren’t feeling that dramatic, and it is a pretty dramatic-looking style, a great tailored suit never goes out of style. In fact, you’re going to be seeing a return to the classic, elegant style.
Just consider one with a great pair of slouchy pleated pants instead of one with narrower legs (think of Katherine Hepburn in those slouchy 1940s slacks and you get the idea.)
That great pair of slacks, a wear-with-everything blazer, a perfect white blouse, and of course, a trench coat will never go out of style. But the workhorse trench coat is getting re-imagined for us in the 2020s.
If you want to add a newer version to your wardrobe, consider a shorter one, about hip length, in the traditional twill textile or even in leather. Or for that matter, a full length leather or faux leather trench with drape-y cascading lapels is another version we’re seeing.
There are some with asymmetrical closures that look more like a mash-up between a winter coat and a trench. Perfect tailoring and proportion that fits your body will make these newer versions last for several decades.
Cardigans have gotten a bad rap recently for being “old-lady-ish.” Well, they’ve been re-invented in a way that makes them still cozy, but very hip and also quite feminine.
Instead of being the thin layer you throw on over a tee or blouse, these new sweaters have a lot of personality and are meant to be worn solo. We’re seeing them cropped, some have looser sleeves, many sport larger buttons, in chunkier knits, and some are even designed as off-shoulder bodice pieces.
Those latter ones are being shown with slinky trousers or full ankle-length skirts for evening events. But you could also pair those trousers or skirts with one of the less revealing cardigans and not only look very hip, but you will be a lot warmer than women in skimpier dresses.
Relax, ladies, and breathe more deeply – literally – because those ubiquitous skinny jeans are being challenged in a major way by looser-leg jeans with higher waistlines.
The higher waistline will be more flattering to the mid-section for many of us, as it almost acts as shapewear, and the wider-leg silhouette hides heavier thighs.
I’m guessing the jeans manufacturers and designers finally realized the enormous purchasing power of women over 60 who still want to look hip and trend-wise.
There is also a return to more bootcut (which, frankly, were never really out of style) and boyfriend jeans. You might even see some bell-bottoms introduced again. Then there’s a re-imagining of palazzo-style pants in heavier textiles as jeans and khakis for summery-casual looks.
But here’s one change you may not appreciate. Those “jeggings” that served as stand-ins for actual pants may start to fade out of existence, “may” being the operative word.
Many of us learned to love the ease of wearing them, adding a loose tunic-type top and calling it a complete outfit. If you still do, go for leggings instead, and call them what they are. They are not pant substitutes.
For the past couple of years, the trendiest fashionistas in Paris (and most major metropolitan cities) have been wearing thick rubber-soled sneakers with their dresses, pants, suits, trench coats, and just about everything else.
Then they took the mis-match of styles to a grotesque level with what were simply ugly oversized multi-colored sneakers with 2-3-inch wavy platform soles.
You’ll still see younger women wearing variations on those including some pretty weird platform loafers and even high heels with very odd, architectural or artsy shapes for the heel.
But for those of us who just want nice, comfortable shoes, common sense has prevailed. The 2020s look like a time when we will see a return of comfortable, fairly traditional and stylish shoes. That means flats and loafers will be worn with everything from jeans to suits.
In addition to dark neutrals, you’ll be seeing these in animal prints, in spectator-type ivory and white low heels and flats, and in bright colors from spring green to bright purple. Fun! In fact, brighter, more forward colors will pervade all of fashion for the 2020s.
Now I’m going to go out on a limb and make a personal crystal ball prediction. I’m not seeing it yet, but it just makes sense. When people feel that current events and times are shaky, they look for comfort in what once seemed like a more simple or certain time.
Taking a hint from the very popular series Marvelous Mrs. Maizel, I’m going to predict that we’ll be seeing more classic elegance, done in some very colorful ways.
So, we might begin to see things that we, and even our parents, wore in the 1950s and 60s, including fuller skirts, traditional coats and dresses, elegant textiles, and even some of the vintage patterns – toile, polka dots, pink stripes, and equestrian prints – that we associated with those times.
And they will ALL look great with those comfy, elegant flats!
Regardless of how new trends play out in the coming decade, I like to keep this meme in mind. It was posted on Facebook recently by my best friend from high school and not-so-subtly directed to her offspring: “No matter how cool you are, you will never be as cool as your grandma was.”
Here’s to us older gals! What trends would you love to see come back in the 2020s? Share the styles you loved for each decade you’ve seen!