As Much as It Hurts to Say It, These 7 Spring Trends Didn't Make It to 2022


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Three months into the year, I still haven't quite gotten over the fact that it is, in fact, 2022. Discombobulated by, well, everything, the last nine-ish weeks have gone by in a blur, which is how I ended up completely missing that some of 2021's top trends didn't end up making it over the threshold into the new year.

Last spring, many of us spent the first days of warm weather wrapped in sweater vests patterned with warped checkerboard prints, oversize blazers paired with straight-leg jeans, and split-hem leggings styled alongside T-shirts with shoulder pads and menswear-inspired button-downs. Unfortunately, most of the above seem to have peaked in yesteryear, only to be replaced by new, fresher-feeling alternatives, from windbreaker pants to bomber jackets. Times have certainly changed in the last year, and apparently, so have our tastes when it comes to fashion. 

Keep scrolling to see which spring trends didn't quite make the cut for another year on top and which ones swooped in to replace them on their way out. 

Left in 2021: Sweater-Vests

In for 2022: Waistcoats

Sweater-vests had more than one season in the spotlight. In fact, they spent much of the last two years there. Now, it's time for another sleeveless silhouette to shine. Case in point? Waistcoats. Aligning with the rise of menswear-inspired styling in fashion, the third piece of a three-piece suit has become a must-have item over the last few months, showing up on runways and Instagram feeds alike. 


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Left in 2021: Oversize Blazers

In for 2022: Bomber Jackets

Like sweater-vests, we've devoted lots of time to the oversize-blazer trend over the last few years. Like, a lot a lot. And yet, the time has come to pack up at least some of the blazers we've accumulated in that time and make room for a new jacket style in our closets. Ever since Hailey Bieber and Rihanna were both spotted wearing bomber jackets earlier in 2022, we knew they'd be a big hit. But it wasn't until the style swept the F/W 22 runway season, with appearances at Ports 1961, Prada, Versace, and Givenchy, that its cult status became clear.


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Left in 2021: Split-Hem Leggings

In for 2022: Windbreaker Pants

There was a time last year when split-hem leggings were all L.A., NYC, and Paris. Influencers paired them with heels, boots, and more. But this year, there's a new Instagram-backed pant trend en route for viral success: Windbreaker pants. Thanks to Bella Hadid, who has been donning retro track pants on the regular in 2022, windbreaker pants are quickly becoming the most sought-after pant trend of the year. 


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(Image credit: @bellahadid)

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Left in 2021: Rib-Knit Dresses

In for 2022: Long Slip Dresses

Once *the* dress to own, slip dresses have returned to popularity this season, specifical ones with extra-long hemlines, as opposed to the midi lengths that used to rule. But with a new trend comes one there's no longer room for. As much as we relied on rib-knit dresses in 2021 to provide us with elevated comfort, in 2022, the loungewear-inspired style has lost some of its allure. 


(Image credit: @tamaramory)


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Left in 2021: Check Print

In for 2022: Animal Print

As someone who gladly donated all her animal print items back in 2018, I can't believe I'm saying that spots, stripes, and snakeskin are all, indeed, making a comeback. After spotting them on the runway at Roberto Cavalli, Rick Owens, Sportmax, and more shows during the F/W 22 season, their return to vogue is imminent. Sorry, check print, but it's game over for you.


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Left in 2021: Midi Skirts

In for 2022: High-Slit Skirts

Midi skirts reigned for far too long. This year, a few new skirt trends have risen to take their place, but not one has had quite the impact that teeny miniskirts have—especially ones with XL side slits. Spotted on the likes of Hailey Bieber, Paloma Elsesser, and Elsa Hosk, except an influx of barely there bottoms as soon as the weather warms up. 


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Left in 2021: Kitten Heels

In for 2022: Ballet Flats

Kitten heels had their time to shine, but if Miu Miu's F/W 22 show taught us anything, it's that ballet flats are the way to go moving forward. Once considered blasé and child-like, ballet flats in 2022 don't look anything like the ones you remember from middle school. Instead, split-toe styles and tiny heels have reinvigorated the trend. 


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Next: 7 Controversial Trends We Didn't Initially Get But Love Now

Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.