Fashion trends that were big in 2021

words Alexa Wang

Fashion trends 2021

Photo by Flaunter on Unsplash

Meta: Whether you’re a high street shopper or a designer diva, fashion trends are what keep you looking fresh and on point. Check out the trends making waves in 2021.

In 2021, fashion went through several changes. The popular trends this year became prevalent and will prevail throughout the next few years as well. These trends were seen all over the high street and through a select designer outlet.

Let’s start with women’s fashion and see what the guys are up to later in this article.

Athleisure is cool

The athleisure trend was one of the biggest fashion trends in 2021. Athleisure is a style that blends athletic clothing with more formal attire. For example, you might wear leggings with a tunic top and sneakers to work or to another occasion where activewear might not have been acceptable before.

It’s the perfect mixture of casualness and formality that allows you to get away with being both comfortable and stylish in one go.

Puffer Jackets for all

These jackets were all over the place in winter 2020 after they gained popularity several years earlier.

They are very warm but are also fashionable by not being too bulky so that it becomes difficult to move around while wearing them.

Sneakers with everything

Another popular trend in 2021 was sneakers for women. These shoes are great to wear when you’re going somewhere that requires adequate footwear, like work or even an evening out on the town. They can be dressed up and worn with a dress and still look fantastic (and they’re more comfortable than heels).

Sneakers can be ideal for those of us who travel around on foot frequently because they are lightweight and compact enough to carry around until we need them at our destination.

Flats/low-heeled shoes

Flat shoes such as ballet flats were another hugely popular trend in 2021 but updated with some chains around the ankle, as seen at the fall-winter catwalk show for Stella McCartney.

People can dress these flats up or down as needed. This flat shoe style is perfect for those who cannot manage high heels very well but still want to look fashionable.

Fashion trends 21

Photo by Raden Prasetya on Unsplash

Socks with sandals

In 2021, it became a thing to wear socks with sandals. These socks usually have a colorful design and are often knee-high in length, so they come up higher than regular ankle socks.

Wearers of this trend typically note that it’s much more comfortable than going barefoot in the winter months.


In 2021, ponchos were in style for both day and night. This year designers made them in very light fabrics, so they don’t feel too bulky when you’re wearing them during the summer months.

Practical and great for layering, taking you seamlessly through fall into winter and into next spring.

Women’s (color) trends

Some of the most popular colors trends in 2021 were purple, magenta, and teal. These are colors that you might not have thought about wearing before, but they’re perfect for winter trends by being light and brightening up your outfit.

They’re also flattering on many skin tones so that everyone can get on board.

Women’s shoe/boot trends

Another major trend in 2021 was over-knee leather boots. They weren’t necessarily made out of genuine leather but rather synthetic materials that resembled leather closely enough to be mistaken for it at first glance.

Boots like this look good with everything from skirts and jeans to dresses and shorts because they go above the knee (but still won’t make you sweat since it’s not cowhide).

Metallic wedges

Metallic wedges are another shoe trend that came back in 2021 after being popular about ten years earlier.

The shoe is usually made from synthetic materials but appears metallic, which adds a bit of glamour to an outfit.

Fashion trends 2021

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Men’s Fashion Trends in 2021

Talking about men’s fashion trends is where things get interesting! The men’s fashion world started to show some minor changes but nothing major until…

Socks with shorts

After several years, the socks-with-shorts trend came about at the beginning of 2021.

Socks with shorts may have been due to people not wanting to look too out-of-touch with the fashion world, or the opposite, they wanted to look ridiculous, who knows?

Pants or Trousers

In 2021, a significant trend of men’s fashion was wearing pants that came up relatively high over the waist instead of sitting on the hips, which we have been used to seeing for many years.

They were very baggy through the crotch area, something else new and different.

Because of this style change, belts became an essential accessory for menswear during this time because it helps keep your pants from falling below your hips while you’re walking around town or going about your daily business – it’s a trend we hope won’t catch on. 


Another so-called significant change in male fashion was the return of wide ties. This style has been around before but not for several years since it went out of fashion, so this surprised many people.

The ties are usually 3-4 inches wide, which is wider than usual, and they are either plain or have patterns on them, sometimes even logos! Ties became popular in spring 2021 when designers started debuting their new lines at fashion week in Paris, France.

Thongs (not flip-flops)

Yet another trend that emerged towards the end of 2020 and appeared in 2021 – thongs for men! They are small pieces of fabric that cover only the front area while your backside remains uncovered… much like string bikinis for women.

It’s quite a shocking look, but some people enjoy it and want to make it work for them. All we can say is ….yuk!


In 2021, slippers became very popular with both men and women – but mostly men! Several different styles were available for this trend.

Some are plain colors while others have various patterns on them or even logos of famous brands.

Even more fashionable (something unique to the fashion world) is the fact that some slippers looked like boots, so you’re able to wear them outside without feeling like a fool.

Although we are not convinced, it’s a bit like wearing your pajamas to the mall, meant to be ironic but just looks silly.

Color trends for men

There was a big change in color trends for men in 2021. Previously, men were very limited with colors they could wear, and most of the time, it would either be dark colors with black or brown leather shoes.

This is still the case, but now there are more interesting colors available outside this palette. Examples include silver, sky blue, pink, mole (brown-grey), white, purple, and even lavender.

The rise of these colors can probably be attributed to designers wanting to differentiate themselves from what has been done before by creating something new – which turns out pretty cool if you ask us!


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