Spring Fashion Trends: What’s In and What’s Out for 2021

Well, friends. It’s here! The much-anticipated spring fashion trends post!

This is probably my most requested post every year. Everyone wants to know what styles will be trending this season, and which ones are on their way out.

It remains to be seen how those trends will trickle down into the styles we see on the streets where we live. And of course, how quickly these trends take hold in your area depends on how fashion-forward it is there, but this is the direction things are going.

Also realize that there will be more modified versions of these trends as they reach the high street brands. It’s not all or nothing. Some may sound extreme, but sometimes just tweaking the shape or silhouette of a piece can make it look more modern without going whole hog into the trend.

And always remember, just because it’s in style doesn’t mean you have to wear it!

Pick and choose which trends to incorporate into your wardrobe based on what works for your personal style aesthetic, body type, lifestyle, budget, etc.

Okay, then. Let’s get to it!

What’s In For 2021

Every picture below is clickable, and should take you to the product shown. 

#1. oversized jackets and blazers

Menswear-inspired styles are definitely having a moment this spring, and fitted jackets will be giving way to more oversized, boxy styles. Shackets will still be going strong, and I’m seeing more bomber jackets and cropped layers as well.

I’m not sure how much I will be wearing this trend because I like the way a fitted jacket flatters my curves, but maybe I can figure out how to style them in a way that works for me.

#2. polo neck sweaters

Almost every trend report I read mentioned the polo neck sweater, and I have a feeling these are going to be everywhere this spring because they’re so wearable.

I love knitwear, and the polo neck is very flattering because it opens up the neck area, like a narrow v-neck. The trick is finding one that isn’t too low-cut, and I didn’t find many at the more accessible price points, but I think it’s just a matter of time.

#3. second skin tops

I don’t make the trends, people. I just report on them! These came up in almost every list I read.

While this not a style I see working for every woman’s body, it’s a nice option for layering under jackets and blazers — especially the oversized ones.

STYLE TIP: If your base layer is more fitted, an oversized or boxy jacket will frame your body, and the eye will still go to your shape underneath.

#4. straight denim styles and more relaxed fits

We’ve already talked about denim trends for 2021, so it will be no surprise to you that straighter styles are trending, along with higher rises and more relaxed cuts.

If you’re not a fan of the cropped look, don’t worry, the full-length straights are coming in as well!

#5. sweater tees and shorter cardigans

Along with the high rise jeans come shorter sweater styles, especially short cardigans and sweater tees. I think we will start seeing these being worn together in sets. What goes around, comes around, am I right???

#6. puffed sleeves

Puffed sleeves and other statement sleeves are in again this year.

This is not the best look for those of us who are curvy or carrot-shaped; but if you’re a pear, a puffed sleeve will help balance out larger hips.

#7. elevated hoodies

Comfort wear is still going strong, and you should expect to see a lot of hoodies, especially more elevated styles in knit fabrics such as cashmere.

It’s also very much on trend to layer your hoodie under a denim jacket, a blazer, leather jackets, trench coat, shirt jacket… you name it!

#8. cozy sets

Elevate your loungewear by wearing a matching set. Lighter shades give a nod to spring while still keeping you warm and cozy.

I love my Quince cashmere hoodie (pictured above) and I still have cashmere joggers on my wish list, but even wearing a matching sweatsuit in more looks more elevated than separates. I still love my Lou & Grey set from last spring (linked below).

Evereve also has tons of cute sets, but I can’t include them in the shopping widget because they’re not with ShopStyle.

#9. cactus

Bubble gum pink is supposedly going to be a hot color this year, and it was in all the trend reports, but the color I’m seeing everywhere is cactus. It’s such a pretty shade of green that pairs well with white for spring, as well as grey and denim.

#10. oversized button-downs

This is another look that isn’t for me, but it’s fun for a change, and a lot of ladies like a good button-down. You don’t have to wear it quite this oversized to participate in the trend, but these are definitely going to be hot this season.

#11. chain and layered necklaces

Layering delicate necklaces has been in style for a while, and this year we are seeing this trend get a little bit bolder. I’m seeing a lot of the shorter chain with a longer pendant — and by longer, I don’t mean long. I mean, longer than the chain.

Gold is also very popular right now, but I recommend wearing the metal color you like best on you — especially if investing in more expensive pieces that you plan to have for years.

#12. belts

Yes, belts are back! As is tucking your shirt into you pants all the way around… oy!

I can get on board with the belts, but the full tuck is no bueno for us busty, short-waisted ladies.

Not only are we belting our pants, but adding belts to dresses and shirts is going to be very popular again over the next few seasons. This can be very flattering for certain body types, so experiment a bit, and see what works best for you.

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So, as far as what’s out…

What’s Out For 2021

Remember that trends exist on a spectrum. They will gradually increase in popularity until they eventually peak, and then slowly decrease in popularity as they phase out; and where you live has a lot to do with when these trends rise and fall.

It’s okay to wear a variety of styles, and slowly phase them in and out of your closet over time, as your budget allows and your eyes adjust to new silhouettes.

In other words, I’m not saying you should necessarily stop wearing the trends on this list, or that you won’t see them around.

I’m just saying that I wouldn’t recommend investing in more of these this season, unless it is something that defines your personal style.

#1. bike shorts

I doubt many of us over-40 gals wore bike shorts as street clothes, but it was very trendy among the younger set the last couple of seasons. It was pretty short-lived, as far as fashion trends go, and for good reason. If you like bike shorts, I recommend reserving them for workout purposes.

#2. tiny handbags

I thought these went out last year, but I saw them on a list and thought it was worth mentioning.

When it comes to handbags, I pay less attention to trends and more attention to what styles are most practical and what size looks best in proportion to my frame. It’s more sophisticated to carry a classic, quality bag that works for your body and your lifestyle than to buy a bunch of trendy bags every year.

I do plan to update my Spring Handbag Guide in a few weeks, so stay tuned for that!

#3. cold shoulder tops

I would say these have been “out” for a couple of years, now, but I get asked about them occasionally, so I thought I’d include them. If you have some and love to wear them, by all means, enjoy them! But I would not invest in any new ones at this point.

#4. off-the-shoulder and one-shoulder tops

This isn’t really a trend so much as it is a classic style that tends to go in and of popularity every few years.

Off-the-shoulder tops got super popular a few years ago, and as tends to happen when a certain style gets over-saturated, they suddenly disappear from circulation for a while.

Right now, it’s on the downswing, and I wouldn’t invest in any more this year. However, if I had one that I loved, I’d wear it, or at least hold onto it and see if it comes back around.

#5. wedge sneakers

This is also a style that waxes and wanes in popularity, and right now, I would say they’re on their way out. I actually did recently purchase a pair, and I like them and wear them, but I don’t see myself buying any new wedge sneakers this spring. There are other sneaker styles that are more fashion forward.

You may notice I didn’t mention any shoe trends in this post; I’m planning a dedicated post on Shoe Trends for 2021, so stay tuned!

#6. neon

Neon was a big trend the past few years, but it’s nowhere to be seen at the moment.

Again, if you have a neon item that you love and want to wear, go for it; but if it’s hanging out in the back of your closet, and you’re wondering whether to keep or donate… it might be time to let it go.

#7. logos

Large in-your-face logos have had a good run, but they are definitely out for 2021. Minimalist styles with clean lines and understated details are much classier anyway, so I’m happy to see this shift. Some logos will always be classic (think Chanel) but we will start to see a more minimalist approach to our favorite branded pieces.

I think a good example of that is the Tory Burch Miller sandals. The newer styles still carry her logo, but it is much smaller. (No, I’m not saying to toss your Millers, but I probably won’t be adding any to my closet this summer.)

#8. boilersuits

This one wasn’t around long, and supposedly it’s not coming back. I never got on this train, so it’s neither here nor there to me, but if you were wondering, I wouldn’t recommend investing in one this season.

#9. skinny jeans

Don’t hate me, but I had to put them on this list. I do think there is still a place for skinny jeans, but I don’t see myself buying any new ones this spring.

I’m going to focus on straighter styles this spring, and then see how I feel about skinny jeans when fall rolls around. They really do make sense with some boot styles, so I think they’ll be around for a good while longer. I hope to see them continue to be part of a well-rounded wardrobe, even if straighter, more relaxed style take center stage.

#10. tie dye?

I saw this on a list, and I had to laugh, because I’m seeing tie dye EVERYWHERE this season. I know it came back strong last year, but I see it sticking around for a little while longer. Still, that’s what they’re saying, so!

As with all of these recommendations, take it with a grain of salt.

And that’s a wrap! 

I always like to hear your thoughts on these posts. Just remember, none of this is a personal affront to your wardrobe choices. This is just what “they say” is going to be happening in the world of fashion this year.

Feel free to take it, or leave it; and as always, wear what makes you happy!

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67 thoughts on “Spring Fashion Trends: What’s In and What’s Out for 2021

  1. I’m so glad that skinny jeans are on their way out. They never really suited me as I have short legs and am petite. I would only wear with long boots and a longer top. I don’t think they suit most people either.
    I much prefer classic straight legs.

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