Trends these days seem to fly at the speed of light, with new styles popping up in the blink of an eye and beloved favorites falling on "outdated" lists before you can really get your money's worth out of them. It can be exhausting trying to keep up. While we make it our duty to report on the very latest trends we're spotting, not all of the trends on deck for fall 2021 are brand-new. In fact, we've noticed nine themes, in particular, that were a thing last year and are bubbling up again now.
We'd be lying if we said that we didn't breathe a huge sigh of relief to see that plenty of last year's fall styles are popular again this year. If you invested in them then, consider this your green light to hit the gas. But if you haven't tapped into any of these yet, then we have a feeling you'll want to this time around.
Ahead, find out which styles are back again this season and see how we plan on styling them in fresh, new ways.
1. Knit Sets
Three words: big knit energy. If all of 2020 was defined by knit loungewear sets, 2021 will be defined by similar duos—only a touch more elevated and made to be worn out of the house. The ribbed pants and cardigans of yore (which are still a thing, BTW) are giving way to an updated knit set: ribbed skirts sets. Oh, and we were so excited about this one that we went ahead and made our own version.
2. Lug-Sole Loafers
Loafers are so ubiquitous with fall style nowadays that we're ready to move them from the trend category into the basics realm. More specifically, chunky loafers with thick lug soles are, yet again, one of fall's biggest shoe trends.
3. Relaxed Suiting
The absolute grip that suiting has on the fashion world cannot be understated. Right now, look to relaxed and slightly oversize '80s-style blazers and trousers for a cool girl–approved uniform.
4. Slouchy Bags
Slouchy bags started to percolate last fall, but this time around, we've noticed how they're coming back even stronger. Watch out, structured baguettes—you might have a handbag competitor.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a sweater-vest is one of our favorite easy wardrobe updates you can make this fall. Layer one over a boxy tee or button-down, or wear it solo with everything from jeans to skirts.
Shackets are another fall trend that doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Seeing how wearable, versatile, and cool they are, we only see them becoming more popular.
7. Retro Sneakers
We'll just say it: If you're going to wear sneakers right now, make them retro (or retro inspired). There are so many cool options to choose from, but overall, sleek and '80s-inspired shapes are what's trending hard again this fall.
8. Cool Cardigans
Nope, the cardigan craze has yet to cool off. Designers are continuing to take the humble knit to the next level, and this fall, between the highlighter hues, graphic checkerboard, and fun-loving color combos, these just might be our favorite assortment of cardigans to date. (Don't worry. Basic styles are still all over the market if that's more your speed.)
9. Chunky Pearls
Baroque pearls are hardly a new trend. We first reported on the jewelry movement back in 2018, but variations have only flourished since, which brings us to the latest installment—chunky pearls that combine a variety of shapes for a very "more is more" appeal.
Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.