The 5 Trends We Can't Wait to Leave in 2021

We all hear that little voice in our heads that pipes up as we gaze longingly into our wardrobes, telling us we have nothing to wear. Deep down, however, we know this isn't the case.

Most of us only wear a small percentage of our clothes. The rest? They seem to blend together to become a collective of forgotten items, only to be remembered about when an influencer you follow wears a dress similar to the one you bought a couple of years back or when you spot a runway trend that taps into something you already own. 

There's no denying that fashion is cyclical, and as such, we've learnt the hard way never to cast aside the items we once loved. Not only will they most likely come back into style, but you never know when you might happen across a more current way to wear them. So in the interest of thinking ahead to the new 2022 season, our editors have come together to reveal the trends they personally won't be investing in. Instead, they are revealing the pieces they'd rather spend their wages on for the year ahead. 

From the once-iconic It shoes to the casual staple that constantly divides opinion, scroll below to see the dated fashion trends we wouldn't recommend buying into at this point in time. Do stash them if you already own them, though, as they'll likely come back around again. Or if you love them, don’t let our personal opinion stop you! 



(Image credit: @kimkardashian)

The trend Hannah’s leaving in 2021: Built-in thongs

"Now, look. I pass zero judgement on anyone else who feels brave and sassy enough to try out the trend of exposed thongs, but for me personally? It's just not desirable. I'm quite happy keeping my undies as undies and leaving it at that.” 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Richard Malone)

The trend Hannah’s embracing in 2022: Draped dresses

"Elegant, timeless and flattering on my hourglass figure. I'll be investing heavily in the season's romantically draped dresses. There are tops and skirts too, but it's the ease of a throw-on dress that had me at hello."




(Image credit: @kendalljenner)

The trend Maxine’s leaving in 2021: Checkerboard prints

"I—and the teenager who still resides in me—loved the revival of the checkerboard trend initially, but I feel like the saying ‘too much of a good thing’ applies here. Having started out life as a microtrend, by the middle of the year, the print had exploded on the fashion scene, and I’ve gradually become fatigued of it. That’s not to say I won’t back it again in the future—I bought into the trend and don’t want my checkerboard cardigan to go to waste—but I’ll be putting it on ice for a while until it no longer feels oversaturated.” 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Versace)

The trend Maxine’s embracing in 2022: Platforms

"I’ll be giving my looks a lift—I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist!—with a pair of platform heels. Having previously sworn them off after wearing my New Look platforms (you know the ones) religiously during university, I’m looking forward to embracing the sleek iterations that made their way down the S/S 22 runways. Perhaps this is the year I’ll finally be able to score Nodaletos off my wish list.” 




(Image credit: @traceeellisross)

The trend Emma’s leaving in 2021: Tracksuits

"Look, I understand we all needed some comfort in our lives, and I bought my first pair of joggers in 2021. However, I can’t wait to dress up, wear proper clothes to do proper plans and leave my joggers for days on the sofa."


(Image credit: Courtesy of Chloé)

The trend Emma’s embracing in 2022: Maxi dresses

"I have been loving more exaggerated silhouettes recently and adore Chloé’s lose kaftan-style dresses that just graze the ankles. They are so elegant but, due to the flowing shapes, still have a relaxed feel. The burnt-orange style, in particular, is my dream summer dress.”




(Image credit: @dualipa)

The trend Remi’s leaving in 2021: Y2K

"The cyclical revival of this trend has been interesting to witness, but I think it’s time for it to be left in 2021. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve seen many people pull off the super-low-rise jeans and baby tees with ease, but on me, those types of clothes aren’t the most flattering."


(Image credit: Courtesy of Proenza Schouler)

The trend Remi’s embracing in 2022: Fringing

"Fringe details have definitely had a few moments already, and I can see it’s about to creep back in the New Year, particularly when it comes to outwear, dresses and skirts. I love that it’s a detail that works well on different materials such as denim, leather and suede. Burberry's S/S 22 is a great example of how this trend can be super sleek, modern and chic. I don’t own anything of the sort, so I’ll be making it my mission to incorporate this trend into my wardrobe, especially when springtime comes."




(Image credit: @bellahadid)

The trend Joy’s leaving in 2021: Dad trainers 

"If I had to forget one trend from 2021, it would have to be 'dad' trainers. I feel like this is a somewhat unfair judgement on the poor ugly sneaker, as, really, I've never been a trainer person, so giving the style extra clunk was never going to win me over. Even the more elegant Loewe iterations that fashion editors fawned over didn't do it for me—sorry. It's a trend that looks great on other people, but I will always be a loafer and boot gal, maybe with the odd concession to chunky sandals in summer."


(Image credit: Courtesy of Prada)

The trend Joy’s embracing in 2022: Miniskirts

"I haven't really thought much about miniskirts for the last 10 years or so, as I strongly associated them with the questionable 'out-out' outfits of my uni days. However, Prada's S/S 22 runway show single-handedly changed my mind thanks to its elegant satin minis that were styled with everything from oversized leather jackets and crisp blazers to long-line chunky knits. The low-heeled shoes also completed the effortlessly cool look, and it's fair to say I plan on copying every outfit next year."


Next Up, Spring/Summer 2022 Trends: The Only 17 Looks You Need to Know About

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.