It may seem a little early to begin working on your winter wardrobe, but as the soldering sun of summer days starts to slowly fade, now is the perfect opportunity to capitalise on a head start. While I'm not one to dwell on the past, last year's cold weather season didn't provide us with much opportunity to experiment – thanks, of course, to the loungewear pandemic. Which is why when the winter fashion trends of 2021 started to appear on sartorial trailblazers across the globe, you can rest assured I was taking note.
After months of eagerly watching the Instagram accounts of the fashion set and virtual runways of the industry's most prolific designers, it's time to start shopping. From the statement-making puffer jacket, to knitwear that does the absolute most, here are the winter fashion trends to look to in 2021.
Image credit: @leiasfez; CAMILLA AND MARC pant.
While leather has remained a key staple in our winter wardrobes over the last few decades, designer's have recently become much more creative in the way they use the material. Frankly, there's much more on offer now than a simple leather jacket. Another major drawcard for adopting this winter trend is the fashion industry's shift towards faux leather. Many of our favourite designer's are using alternative materials to achieve the luxurious, buttery sheen that has always exuded a sense of luxury. This season, I have my eyes firmly set on the perfect pair of faux leather pants, (my top pick, here), and an oversized button-down shirt to satisfy both my casual and extra style preferences.
Step back in time
Image credit: @gabrielahearst; @gucci.
It's fairly telling that much of the last year's biggest trends are an homage to the past. 70s fashion is retaining its place on the sartorial roster this season, reinforcing that what comes around always comes back around. There's something deeply comforting about the warm, deep and charming hues paired with the playfulness of argyle and paisley prints. Corduroy pants, particularly of the flared kind, are still front of mind as we head into the cooler months.
Larger-than-life puffer jackets
Image credit: @prada; @pernilleteisbaek
It's no question that the hero of hype-worthy outerwear this winter season is the statement puffer jacket. Once an item of clothing that served only our practical warmth needs, the runway has given this piece a sartorial makeover – and I am entirely on board. Championed by brands from Dior to Prada, each iteration has its own unique touch; from cropped to full length silhouettes, hood vs no-hood and even unconventional zipper placement. Essential for both grocery store runs and mulled wine-filled Saturday night escapades.
Image credit: @stephaniebroek; @alyssainthecity.
In the interest of remaining weather appropriate, trade your winter mini skirts for a full-length variant this season. Elevate your staple knitwear with an elegant silk or velvet elongated silhouette. Paired with a sturdy pair of statement boots and a tonal coat to beat the winter chill; full-length skirts offer the perfect solution to office-to-date-night occasions.
Classic is best loafers
Image credit: @josefinehj; MARA & MINE slippers.
While I certainly encourage being more adventurous with your winter footwear choices, (particularly, where a cowboy boot is concerned), this year, I'm returning to an old favourite. You simply can never go wrong with a timeless loafer. Leather, suede; enclosed, exposed. Whether you want to keep things practical with a rain-friendly flat, or are itching to take your loafer game to new heights with an understated heel. Personally, I say take one of each; as time has proven, the classic loafer never goes out of style.
Image credit: @newbottega; @newbottega.
Traditionally, we turn to darker hues as soon as the temperature drops. The winter fashion trends of 2021, however, suggest otherwise. While I won't be rushing to discard my hefty collection of black basics anytime soon, I'm certainly not opposed to injecting some small doses of colour into my sartorial roster. Sticking to primary colours is always a safe place to begin – proven by the success of the Bottega Veneta rainbow.
Soft touch velvets
Image credit: @lucyboynton1; @ysl.
Winter fashion is all about the tactile experience – and velvet gives me all the feels. Romantic and luxurious, the popularity of this textile speaks directly to the resurgence of retro fashion.
Knit tops with something more
Image credit: @danielleguizio; @rosie_assoulin.
A no brainer, but great knitwear is the basis of a well-rooted winter wardrobe. While it's still worth building a trusty collection of staple turtlenecks, the winter fashion trends of 2021 are steering us in a slightly more creative direction. Playing on the covetable 'cardigan and tank' combination, I'm lusting over what I can only describe as the 'complicated knit trend.' Tops intertwined with shrugs or matching cardigans are a busy girls dream. You barely have to think twice when getting ready.
Fall to the floor coats
Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek; @mvb.
Although the puffer jacket is certainly gaining popularity, there is still ample room in our closets for traditional coating. Ride on the coattails of the fashion set as this season's coat preference is floor length. I'm the first to embrace a touch of drama, particularly when it doubles in functionality.