So Far, These Are the Top 6 Trends of 2023


(Image credit: Courtesy of Fendi; Courtesy of A. Roege Hove; Couresty of Brandon Maxwell; Imaxtree/Ann Demeulemeester)

A huge part of being a fashion editor is being able to foresee the next big thing—albeit a rising brand, micro-trend, or cult item. And while we're used to prophesizing, even we want something concrete to back up our premonitions about what will be popular. It is, after all, nice to know that a weird or niche trend we're obsessed with is actually being bought and worn outside Who What Wear's offices. 

So, to prove that our trend forecasts are spookily accurate, we reached out to Klarna to have them share some of their shopping data. Comparing a list of the most prevalent trends on the S/S 23 runways with Klarna's extensive shopping data, we were able to narrow down our list to the six most-bought trends of 2023 thus far. While there's no telling what the rest of the year will hold, there's no guessing that these trends are happening right now. 


(Image credit: Imaxtree/Ann Demeulemeester; Imaxtree/Chopova Lowena)

If you thought the return of grunge would be a stage we'd grow out of by 2023, think again. At first, it seemed the return of alt-girl aesthetics could be merely chopped up to a micro-trend on TikTok led by a small subset of communities that were ragging against the formality of past fashion trends. But then, when F/W 22 runway collections came out, it became clear that this wasn't a phase. 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Versace; Imaxtee/Diesel; Imaxtree/Ulkin; Courtesy of Blumarine )

And that's even clearer when you look at the continuation of this trend in S/S 23 collections. We saw every form of the trend represented on the runway—from a motocross-inspired look at Versace to Blumarine gowns that embodied gothic romance. And then, there were quintessentially punk pieces at Chopova Lowena, like a mixed-plaid miniskirt. While grungy looks at Diesel and Ulkin featured oversize silhouettes and unraveling hemlines to give off the "disheveled" vibe.

But beyond the runway, what's cemented the alt-girl aesthetic comes back to the community that's been shopping it. Per Klarna's data, purchases of edgy staples like platform boots and leather jackets increased by 53% from October to December. Proving that we may have all outgrown listening to Nirvana in the '90s in our parent's basements, but the angsty sartorial choices still fit us as well as a pair of worn-in combat boots. 

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(Image credit: Courtesy of 16 Arlington; Courtesy of Acne Studios )

Can't get behind grunge? We get it. Luckily, another prevalent trend may speak to your softer side: icy pastels. Compared to the other ultra-pretty trends spotted on the runway since last fall (i.e., 3D rosettes, delicate lace, and all things balletcore), this is a more subtle trend. But that in no way means this color trend is out on cold ice—the S/S 23 runways proved otherwise. 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Khaite; Courtesy of 16 Arlington; Courtesy of Brandon Maxwell; Courtesy of Bevza)

There were demure shades of mint green in the form of a satin blazer at Khaite and an asymmetrical gown at Acne Studios. At the same time, there was a soft buttery yellow cutout gown at Bevza and a button-down and matching shorts in a barely-there periwinkle tint at Brandon Maxwell. If that weren't enough to prove pastels' prominence, 16 Arlington featured multiple pieces in icy pastels, including a full-length satin maxi skirt in pale pink and a baby blue satin coat. 

And while these shades are on the more subdued side, they've already managed to capture shoppers' attention. According to Klarna, purchases of baby blue skirts increased by 232%, pale pink dress purchases increased by 145%, and pastel tops increased by 50% overall. One could conclude by looking at recent runway collections and shopping stats that icy pastels are hotter than ever (even if they're not as vibrant as the popular saturated hues of past seasons).

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(Image credit: Courtesy of A. Roege Hove; Courtesy of Tory Burch)

I'm sorry, or you're welcome, but from the looks of it, we're not parting ways with sheer fabrics anytime soon. Over the past few seasons, we've seen our fair share of risqué trends, but S/S 23 runways really put our skin in the game (in a whole new way). Unlike past seasons, where the skin was exposed through micro-hemlines and cutouts, we saw more of a smoke-and-mirrors situation through the use of opaque materials, layering, draping, and long hemlines. 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Sandy Liang; Courtesy of Miu Miu; Imaxtree/Coperni; Imaxtree/Salvatore Ferragamo)

Take, for example, how a full-length gown made its way down the runway at Maximilian Davis's inaugural S/S 23 collection for Ferragmo in a pale yellow sheer gauzy material. Or how Coperni and Tory Burch made sheer blouses feel formal by pairing them with pinstripe trousers and color-blocked skirts. And let's not forget how Sandy Liang, A. Roege Hove, and Miu Miu paired sheer separates over each other and other pieces in their collections. 

Each collection showed how showing a little skin didn't have to be scary (with the proper styling, of course), making this trend arguably more shoppable. Stats from Klarna show that since December, purchases of sheer, mesh, and gauze dresses have increased by an average of 60%. At the same time, average purchases of opaque skirts increased by 90%, pants by 82%, and tops by 52%. Who knew showing a little skin could sell so well? But it's safe to say sheer fabrics are here to stay through 2023. 

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(Image credit: Courtesy Gabriela Hearst; Courtesy of Sandy Liang)

Let's be honest: some trends can be intimidating. While we all live for some drama on the runway, having it in our daily lives ain't it. And while we've seen angsty aesthetics and sheer fabrics reign supreme, we know those trends require a bit more time and effort to pull off seamlessly. Luckily for us, another approachable trend has gained traction this season: drop waists. Sure, in the past, this hemline was arguably hard to style (it fell in the same category as low-rise for many). But we've seen a more streamlined take of this silhouette on S/S 23 runways that has made it less scary to adopt.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Khaite; Courtesy of Valentino)

At Gabriela Hearst, we saw an elevated take of this silhouette in the form of a simple white black and white off-the-shoulder dress featuring a drop waist. At the same time, Sandy Liang channeled a mix of Lower Manhattan and balletcore when models were sent down the runway donning headphones, ballet flats, and clean-cut dresses with drop waists. But it wasn't just drop-waist dresses that took center stage in spring collections. Khaite paired a turtleneck top with an icy mint drop-waist skirt, while Valentino styled a nude tank with a drop-waist saffron-hued sequin skirt. 

While anything low-slung in the past might have been a sight for sore eyes, this season showed how truly stylish drop-waists could be. So, it's no surprise then that we've seen this silhouette being shopped more and more. Just from December to January alone, Klarna saw a 48% increase in purchases of low-waist dresses and a 78% increase in drop-waist skirts. Further proving that this formerly "frightening" silhouette is more fashionable than ever. 

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Fendi; Courtesy of Alexander McQueen)

We hate to break it to you, but long gone are the days when mini bags reign supreme on the runway. Of course, our love for micro bags will never dissipate, but we've seen more and more brands putting smaller bag silhouettes in storage and swapping them for more oversize ones. Since last fall, we've steadily seen larger bags take center stage, but none are as pragmatic or posh as the work bags we've spotted on S/S 23 runways. 


(Image credit: Imaxtree/Tory Burch; Imaxtree/Louis Vuitton; Imaxtree/Prada; Imaxtree/Ralph Lauren)

Not to be confused with the traditional carry-all, oversize logo tote bags that have long been seen as the commuter bag for women worldwide. The work bag we're referring to is far more structured, often features a shorter top handle, and draws inspiration from briefcases and doctor's bags. We saw this style in ultra-sleek square versions at Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Fendi. In comparison, bulkier versions at Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, and Tory Burch featured more trend-forward elements like hardware and metallic and animal-embossed leathers. 

No matter the different variations of the work bag seen across the S/S 23 runway collections, the overall practicality of this purse is unparalleled. It's why Klarna reported that they saw an 80% increase in conversions of work totes and a 52% increase in briefcases in one month alone. And while this bag may not be the most risqué or edgy trend you can buy into, it's one you know you won't have to put much work into pulling off. 

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Miu Miu; Courtesy of Bottega Veneta)

Last but certainly not least, we must talk about shoe trends. For the self-professed shoe fanatics, there's been no shortage of exciting trends, but for us, there's one particular trend that's stood out: Mary Janes. Before you think yourself, really? We know there are so many noteworthy styles from the F/W 22 and S/S 23 runways—ballet flats, moto boots, wedges, and metallic shoes, to name a few. But none feel fresher than this "old school" style. 

Across collections, we saw designers give this formerly "dated" shoe a more modern take. In Bottega Venetta's F/W 22 collection, we saw ultra-tall platform versions with large hardware in praline, purple, patent black, and cherry red. While S/S 23 collections featured numerous iterations of the style from classic to cutting-edge. There were timeless flat Mary Jane shoes in an icy blue satin at Thom Browne. In contrast, there were shiny patent Mary Janes with oversize hardware at Luar and Dries Van Noten. 


(Image credit: Imaxtree/Bottega Veneta; Imaxtree/Thom Browne; Imaxtree/Dries van Noten; Imaxtree/Luar)

Each version of this shoe found on the runway revitalized the style and excitement surrounding it. And while we may hear more buzz around other shoe trends, the stats surrounding this shoe style tells another story. Klarna shared that purchases of Mary Jane shoes are up a whopping 86% since December, which is comparatively 31% more than ballet flats. If the data is any indication, it is safe to say that this shoe style has become an unsung hero with the fashion set

In conclusion, while we can predict many trends (shoes and otherwise), the most accurate indicator of something being genuinely popular is the shopping receipts and a few stats. Everything else is just a shot in the dark. 

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Next: The Spring 2023 Runway Moments That Will Define Cool Style This Season

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.