As we welcome the New Year, we also invite a new wave of micro and macro trends into our Pinterest boards, Instagram feeds, and maybe even our wardrobes. 2021 was a difficult year for many as a result of the ongoing pandemic and the emotional, psychological, physical, and financial stress that came with it. In contrast, there has been widespread optimism surrounding the first few weeks of 2022, which has informed many of the forecasted trends for the upcoming year. Without further ado, here are my predictions for fashion trends in 2022:
Micro Minis & Neo-Bimbo
The first blaring trend was first sighted on the Miu Miu SS22 catwalk in Paris where it turned heads and caught lenses. The trend in question is the comeback of the “micro mini” skirt. Originally iconized by Paris Hilton in the early Noughties, the micro mini is a belt-like mini skirt that is usually low-rise and shorter-hemmed than a typical mini skirt. Off the runway, it has been spotted on Rihanna, Bella Hadid, and Olivia Rodrigo amongst others.
Although this trend is hardly in everyone’s comfort zones, or even accessible for different body types besides the extremely small-hipped and slim, it can be adapted by wearing a low-rise mini skirt to achieve a similar silhouette and vibe. In winter, micro-minis can be made more weather-appropriate by being paired with sheer tights and long socks to balance out the amount of bare skin.
An extension of the Noughties revival, the micro mini hints at a larger trend for the year: the “Neo-Bimbo” aesthetic. As defined by TikTok creator @bunnythebimbo, “a neo-bimbo unironically loves hyper-feminine fashion, jewelry and aesthetics in the face of a patriarchal institution that would deem them frivolous.” Otherwise referred to online as “bimbofication”, this aesthetic takes inspiration from icons like Dolly Parton, Elle Woods, Bratz Dolls, and Anna Nicole Smith. Think short skirts, low-rise, hot pink, and borderline “tacky” accessories (more to come on this)!
According to Vogue, Noughties nostalgia is here to stay. In an interview with Vogue, Celenie Seidel, senior women’s editor at Farfetch, comments, “With Nicola Brognano and Lotta Volkova leading the parade at Blumarine, the ’00s resurgence we were due for is the perfect playful antidote to the dark times we’re emerging from. The shiny, flashiness of Y2K is perfectly in sync with the current spirit of breaking your own style rules, challenging your signature aesthetic, and feeling a bit wild. Rhinestones, weird denim washes, tiny fluff-trimmed cardigans… it’s all remedial.”
Loud Colours and Patterns
The recent obsession with Danish street styles and influencers has led to an increase in the presence of bright colours in the fashion periphery. Specifically, colours like hot pink, bright burnt orange, and electric blue are forecasted to trend in 2022. To partake in this trend, try browsing Depop or Ebay to find some second-hand brightly-coloured goodies to channel youthful maximalism this summer. Whether it is a hot pink men’s shirt thrown over an all-white outfit, a colourful vintage silk headscarf, or a head-to-toe mix of different bright patterns, embracing colour as we approach lighter and warmer months is a great way to fight the January and February blues. Similarly, clashing prints are on their way back in, especially newspaper prints (like this one from With Jean that went viral after being worn by Matilda Djerf at Christmas) and variations of camo print. The revived obsession with colour and print feels like a middle finger to the more conservative pandemic times, as well as a celebration of getting dressed again, being youthful, and indulging in fun.
Yet another product of the early 2000s and the emergence of the neo-bimbo aesthetic is a huge pivot away from sleek ‘90s minimalist accessories towards ‘00s borderline-tacky maximalist ones. Hallmarks of this trend will be platform shoes (sandals, heels, flipflops, etc.), brightly coloured, oversized bags, and most importantly, big sunglasses.
Trend forecasters on TikTok are hesitantly predicting the return of the “Indie Twee” Tumblr-era fashion. This era involves two key aesthetics. On the one hand, it harkens back to a time of soft-grunge looks featuring fishnet tights, over-the-knee socks, plaid, and lots of black. The other side of Twee refers to ‘60s inspired bright coloured pieces often paired eclectically with different prints in bold and seemingly clashing ensembles. Icons of this style are Zooey Deschanel and Emilia Clarke’s character in ‘Me Before You.’ Other fashion critics are recently drawing parallels between this 2014-era style and the eclectic and bright styling of Lily Collins’ character in Emily in Paris. While I do not think that this particular brand of Twee will come back, I think that it is suggestive of a return to more ‘60s-inspired looks. Specifically, ‘60s pinafore dresses are likely to make a comeback. If trying to emulate this style, look no further than fashion icon Alexa Chung. In 2022, I think this reference to the Indie Twee era of 2010s Tumblr will look like cool-girl-meets-light-academia, and feature dark eyeliner and mascara-heavy makeup with blazers, mini skirts, tights, cardigans, and long socks.
Last but not least, ballet flats are on their way back into style. In particular, Repetto’s Ballerinas. When paired with skinny jeans, they tend to look more on the millennial side of fashion, rather than that of the Gen-Z. However, if paired with straight or wide leg jeans, ballet pumps look feminine and dainty, but also youthful and relevant. Think timeless french style, like that championed by Lily Rose Depp.
Similarly, balletcore staples like wrap tops and muted colours, like baby pink, beige, and cream are on their way back. These subversive basics are a great way to feminise a more neutral outfit, and give what Nylon’s Hannah Jackson deems a ‘fresh approach to a centuries-old aesthetic’.