These Trends Used to Be "Dated," But They're Set to Be Big for 2023

Just when you think a trend may be gone for good, a buzzy designer or It girl will breathe new life into it. This statement stands strong as ever, as the current list of what's cool in fashion pulls from the '60s and the mid-2000s, and there's no solid prediction of what could come next. Fashion is cyclical, and it's only natural that things will come back in style. Even when I report on certain pieces being "out," I always remind the reader that it's up to them to decide what's worth keeping or tossing. And while I've grown familiar with the pattern of trends coming and going, a few items that came down the 2023 runways still took me by surprise.

In light of discussing 2023 fashion, I scoured the collections and identified a few trends I wasn't expecting to see in the cycle this year. Y2K is still keeping a strong hold on us with bootcut jeans in the Blumarine and Givenchy collections. (Gen Z has already shown its favoritism toward the style as well as baggy denim.) The '80s are also asserting influence, with metallic and polka-dots pieces leaning far away from their once "tacky" identities. I won't spoil it all right here, so you'll just have to keep scrolling to see the rest.

Polka Dots

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Sergio Hudson)

The print of choice for the fashion set as of late has been stripes, but designers such as Sergio Hudson and Proenza Schouler are making a strong case for polka dots. The print is iconic and can be done with taste, contrary to what the mid-2000s might have made us think. 

Metallics

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Tory Burch)

Metallics are no longer solely what you look for when picking an '80s costume or a New Year's Eve outfit. Yes, the formerly tacky trend is now beloved by the fashion set. Just take a quick scroll through the market and you'll see that modern metallic pieces will end up elevating your outfit instead of adding a costume-like touch.

Bootcut Jeans

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Bluemarine)

It seems like everyone is reaching for everything but skinny jeans these days. But if baggy or wide-leg styles aren't your cup of tea, bootcut may be the ideal silhouette for you. 

Leopard Print

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Halpern)

Animal print coming back in style is inevitable, but I did not predict leopard print to come back into popularity this quickly. (I still own my leopard-print items from college, so maybe I was holding onto hope after all.)

Wedges

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Fendi)

When trends come back around, they may still come with drastic differences. This is the case with wedges. Instead of being found only in cork or on beach-style sandals, wedge heels now offer a contemporary touch. Think leather boots, vinyl sandals, and strappy slingbacks.

Next, I Study Trends for a Living—These 7 Are Guaranteed to Go Viral on Instagram

Assistant Market Editor
Yusra Siddiqui is an editor who resides in New Jersey but bounces between the suburbs and NYC. (She's a Jersey girl at heart.) After interning at Who What Wear in 2019, she found her way to the team after graduating from LIM College in 2022 with a fashion media degree. She's also spent time writing and working for publications such as Fashionista, Coveteur, and Nylon, but she always knew that Who What Wear was where she was meant to be. When she's on the job, she's perusing runway shows, analyzing the latest thing fellow Gen Zers are up to on the internet, and sharing what she can about the modest-fashion market. You can also catch her dabbling in entertainment, talking about the costume choices of the latest Netflix series or diving deeper into how the plotline affects the viewers in a myriad of ways. Lastly, she likes to create content for Who What Wear's TikTok. Her personal time is spent doing similar but also different things—deep diving into almost every new TV show (Bridgerton, Gilmore Girls, and Stranger Things are favorites), planning her next local getaway (whenever that may be), and reading the latest Emily Henry or Sally Rooney novel in one sitting.