The fashion trends for 2022

Jenessa Williams 25 January 2022

From an emphatic embrace of biker looks and ruffled feathers to the introduction of lampshade skirts, here are the trends that fashion houses are setting this year 

With a new year upon us, a whole host of new fashion trends have been hitting both runway and high street, offering up outfit ideas that serve to transport us from pandemic-era sweatpants and pyjamas bright back into the realm of parties and days out.

Given that many of us may not have ‘dressed up’ in some time, the abundance of new trends might seem overwhelming, but there is no need to go out and shop new for every single look. By evaluating the accessibility, practicality and genuine wearability of the season's key-forecasted looks, we have identified ten core trends that seem fit to last, ensuring a good return on your investment. You might be surprised at just how many might work with your current wardrobe…

One-colour suiting

Vetements, Eudo Choi, Etro, Chanel. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

For anybody who already likes the formality of a well-fitting suit, this look couldn’t be easier to embody. Pick your favourite colour and go all out with shirt, trousers, jacket and even coat in the same shade, adding in a statement lip colour or contrasting shoe to really pack a fashion-forward punch.

Fans of white may want to keep the stain remover handy, but otherwise this is a great way of revitalising power-dressing, moving away from the traditional ‘grey suit, blue shirt’ work combination.

Lampshade skirts

Ulla Johnson, Prabal Gurung, Christopher John Rogers, Tory Burch. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

Drawing on traditional kimono styles and ceremonial wear, this trend reinvents the ballgown with a voluminous skirt with a tight-fitting waist, accentuating the hips and skimming the shoes.

A panelled style will help to elongate the leg further by drawing the eye down, but you can just as easily add volume to a dress you already own by popping a petticoat underneath and incorporating a wide belt in a complimentary colour. In a pinch, a wide ribbon or scarf will work just as well to cinch you in, tying neatly at the back.

Ruffled feathers

Givenchy, Proenza, Gucci. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

Feathers may seem like something that should be resigned to costume, but they’ve been creeping onto runways for some time now, a nod to old-Hollywood opulence and glamour.

For a touch of luxury on a slightly more reasonable budget, Instagram-famous brand Daily Sleeper sell Instagram-famous pyjama sets that can easily be styled up as a low-key evening look; buy in black, add some strappy heels and you’re good to go. Not convinced just yet? Try adding feathers to a bag or earrings, and work up to the more statement garments from there.  

Puffball hems and sleeves

Carolina Herrera, Oscar De La Renta, Christopher John Rogers, Chloé. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

The puffball trend has also been lurking around the high street for some time, but on the seasons runways, it was interpreted in a much wider variety of ways; a hooped sleeve, an oversized jacket, full body-gowns that skim the body in a almost jelly-fish like entity.

If you grew up in the 80s, chances are that you might already have a perfectly on-trend item lurking in the attic, but if not, invest in items that genuinely speak to something you would comfortably wear; a puff-sleeved blouse will likely get much more wear than an all-out tulle affair.

Sheer, mesh and net party gowns

Fendi, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Chloé. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

Speaking of tulle, sheer season is definitely sticking around for 2022, worn as eveningwear and toughtened up with chunky trainers and boots.

Got an unloved dress with a built-in lining? Snip it out and see how it looks without a full underlayer. You don’t necessarily have to bear as much as you would think: invest in a trusted plain bodysuit, skimpy slip or structured piece of underwear to preserve your modesty, and then have fun with colours, fabrics and finishes.  

Motorsport luxe

Ferrari, Balmain, Christian Dior. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

A deviation from the ever-popular varsity trend, motorcross leather is set to be big for this season, intersecting with the trend for large slogans and brand motifs.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to designer, take a look in charity shops and vintage stores for old motorcycle jackets and cropped leggings, and don’t be afraid to venture into specialist sports shops; many are cheaper than you would expect. Fit is key here; whether oversized or slim-fitting, you need to feel confident that you are wearing the item, and not the other way round.

Statement legs

Stella McCartney, Versace, Balmain. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

Simple black tights will no longer suffice in 2022. For Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter alike, more is more when it comes to legwear; think legwarmers and thick socks over tights, thigh-length boots, patterned trousers paired with matching accessories.

After so long of only seeing each other’s upper halves over zoom, this is a great opportunity to inject a little more excitement in your usual wardrobe; treat yourself to some coloured tights or fun leggings as a cheaper alternative to bespoke shoes. 

Low-slung denim

Diesel, Max Mara, Junya Watanabe, Diesel. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

To cries of both joy and dismay, Y2K fashion is back in a very big way. There are some core implications for denim: high waisted jeans and knee-length skirts are very much out of style, and micro-mins and baggy hip-huggers are firmly in, teamed with tight spring tops and beachy sandals.

Before shopping for an entirely new style, simply go up a size in your usual fit – or lose the belt – and your jeans will settle naturally on your hips, creating a new silhouette. If you’re feeling particularly brave, get out the scissors; when it comes to 2022 miniskirts, shorter really is better.

Layered skirts

Lee Matthews, Proenza, By Malene Birger, Burberry. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

The layered skirt trend may not be the most obviously wearable, but it appeared frequently in AW22 designer showings, suggesting that it will inevitably trickly down into high-street styling.

Wearing a tunic-style top over trousers feels like a ‘safe’ way to experiment with this trend without getting too far from your comfort zone, but if you want to really go for it, skirts that button up or have an elasticated/high-waisted fit might work better to avoid excess waistband bulk. As with all fashion, the fun is in the experimentation; it if feels comfortable and cool to you, go for it!

Highlighter Green

Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Christopher John Rogers, Carolina Herrera. (images supplied by the fashion houses)

Green of all kinds will be big news this year, but the highlighter tone is one that is particularly flattering on a variety of skin tones, nodding to sporty aesthetics while still being glamourous enough for a big event. Instead of buying new, try upcycling an old dress with dye – bleach first and then follow your chosen pack’s instructions, being patient with the rinsing and re-dying process as necessary to get your exact shade.

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