2023's autumn/winter trends have been nothing short of excellent and that's coming from a person who is heavily attuned to anti-trend pieces. I've become increasingly impressed with how designers have hit the mark on nostalgic meets modern, in a way that has a timeless appeal. That's across the board, especially when it comes to dresses. Between burgeoning corsages and spaced-out dots, many trends have been a throwback to vintage eras, albeit a tad more in keeping with 2023's modern-day essence and the sophisticated sartorialist, who exudes confidence and an unapologetic sense of self.
Trends from spring and summer 2023 have carried forward, bringing with them weather-appropriate elements and deeper colourways, though there have been some wildcards. When I think of 2023's dress trends, I think of a Carrie Bradshaw-esque exuberance. Many trends are bold and encourage wearability for many occasions if you dare to wear your best for the most mundane jaunts.
There have been many trends to name. From the relevance of specific hues—namely buttermilk yellow, aubergine and rich chocolate browns—to the revival of polka dot in a way that feels contemporary, whilst still evoking its characteristic vintage essence. We're still riding the wave of denim and for winter, designers have extended denim dresses, so they fall at the feet. If you're wondering what trends have got us talking, keep on scrolling for a deeper delve into the trends that have piqued the interest of an anti-trend fashion writer.
See The 8 Major Winter 2023 Dress Trends Below:
1. New Hollywood Glamour
*Sounds klaxon*! Gowns have arrived in lustrous lacquers and glossy slip iterations, so you needn't worry if you're invited to any black tie events. Many winter trends for 2023 have amalgamated and what I've termed the "new Hollywood" encompasses the sweeping lengths currently favoured by the runway, elegant cuts, feathers, floral appliques and more. Bold gowns have never been more relevant as we transcend into party season, though I have also realised that people are celebrating larger-than-life trends for informal events teamed with flat shoes, as demonstrated on the Tove runway.
Shop the Trend:
I first fell in love with this on the runway, so seeing it available for purchase is nothing short of magic.
You can always count on 16arlington for partywear. Its iconic feather-trim adornment fits into this category seamlessly. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in exuberance.
The runway said volume and the Sleeper design team followed suit. Between the inverted v-bodice, rounded skirt and floral accent, it's guaranteed to make an entrance.
If you're looking for a standout occasion dress, look no further than the ready-to-wear couture brand J'amemme.
2. Gothic Garden
Darkened florals are a recurring trend every winter, but this year they've dominated in a major way. From cherry blossom prints to monochrome backdrops (courtesy of Chanel), there's something for lovers of berry hues and pallets devoid of colour.
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New in at Realisation par is the Carla. A bias cut slip with a jacquard floral overlay. It has an undeniable vintage lilt.
Even makers of refined designs, Toteme is fully backing the deep floral trend in its staple crepe maxi dress.
Bountiful blossom and a full skirt. It's a beautiful design.
Whilst Dôen is best associated with summer, they've integrated moody tones with cottagecore styles. Pair this with tan knee-high boots for a complete look.
3. Dotty for You
Hop on board the time machine as we revert to the 1950s. Alongside animal print and stripes, the polka dot is arguably one of the most timeless motifs around and for winter 2023, it's dominating once more. Mini, maxi and sheer iterations are all welcome. Simply take your pick.
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Reformation hit the mark with two trend accents in one. The silken rose adornment makes this piece even more unique. It may feel vert current but it's a piece that'll never lose its charm.
For something a tad more whimsical, opt for a sheer overlay with a subtle nod to the polka dot.
There's something about bold polka dots which feels instantly retro. This Number is also a jolly play on lengths, thanks to the tiering.
Ghost's latest drop includes its well-known bias slip silhouette in an array of colourways spanning yellow to emerald green. Nestled in among them is this micro polka dot print.
4. Double Down on Denim
Whilst double denim looks are far from a new revelation, 2023 catwalks have provided us with reinvented denim courtesy of elongated, sweeping styles. Denim dress styles are aplenty—from the languid types (courtesy of supple denim) to form-fitting structured styles comprising structured denim. Many of 2023's denim runway looks featured matching shirts and skirts (Ganni, for example). The high street has created inspired styles, many of which bear a resemblance to two pieces.
Shop the Trend:
Peek the drop waist and supple denim fabrication. As we transition into winter, pair it with higher than your average knee-high boots.
This deep indigo always nods to winter. Whereas most maxi denim dresses this season have shapeless silhouettes, this Aligne number comprises a taught waist feature. Although, you can size up, or down for the desired effect.
Hush has mastered a vintage wash tone and premium-looking stitching and buttons. There's something about this style of dress that looks instantly elevated.
A classic denim shirt dress with a nod to the '50s, thanks to the fit and flare skirt.
Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities.
She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist.
Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne.
She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.
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