Surprise! The most Googled style search term of 2020 is… “casual fashion trends.” It’s no secret that comfort became a top priority for style aficionados this year, not least for the fact that many of us were watching the world go by from our sofa.
Casual fashion trends
Any preconceptions of slouchy separates were dispelled by chic brands such as Pangaia, the prime supplier of loungewear for editors and influencers alike, while Noughties-era Juicy Couture velour tracksuits reentered the limelight too. Those of us who weren’t willing to surrender our jeans were instead looking to the snug traits of knitted dresses and cashmere sets to complete our #WFH dress code.
Unanimously, stomper boots were the footwear of choice—namely Bottega’s Tyre boots and trusty Dr Martens—as soon as the cooler weather forecasts came to fruition.
COVID fashion trends
“Covid fashion trends” was another search term that spiked during lockdown: With the absence of conventional fashion shows and the street style gang parading their wares, people wanted to know how to look stylish during lockdown. Tie-dye was another winner that rode the ranks, and J Lo became the trend’s honorary poster girl thanks to her arsenal of colourful marbled separates.
And now, for the curveball: “Suits” was a term in the top five most googled fashion trends this year (and we’re not talking about the series made famous by the Duchess of Sussex). For the working-from-homers among us, our workwear was on furlough throughout the pandemic and the thought of slipping into anything other than sweatpants or video conference-friendly blouses seemed out of the question. But “suits” searchers were clearly planning ahead for 2021, when “waist-up dressing” and “Zoom” will (hopefully) vacate our lexicon.
’80s power dressing
In addition to thinking ahead, reminiscing days gone by became a favoured past time and—by the looks of the top British Vogue searches—many of us looked to the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s for style inspo. Meanwhile, Emma Corrin’s rousing performance as the young Diana, Princess of Wales in season four of The Crown stirred an obsession with all things power dressing, and her cover shoot for the October issue of British Vogue paid homage to the inimitable wardrobe choices of the late People’s Princess.
Dua Lipa led the way for the ’90s enthusiasts, and she kicked off the year with snow white retro silky separates from Alexander Wang at the Grammys, complete with a sparkling choker, turquoise eyeshadow and an “antennae” hair do. She even enlisted the Versace team to reimagine a glittering look from the maison’s archive to “help her disco dream come true” for her “Levitating” music video, released via TikTok in the autumn. On another ’90s note, thanks to Bella Hadid, grunge was standout trend, with baggy jeans, band T-shirts and dark-wash denim doing the rounds thanks to the Manhattan “It” girls. Low-risers were a fashionable throwback hit for Zoë Kravitz and Emily Ratajkowski, who stuck to ab-baring, hip-swivelling trousers throughout the summer months.
Remember #CottageCore? City dwellers who were keen to adopt a country bumpkin approach (David Beckham, for one, emulated a shepherd) went all in for cardigans and cableknit sweaters, with the odd flat cap and wellington boot thrown in for good measure. Back in July, Harry Styles’s rainbow crochet JW Anderson cardi even stimulated a TikTok craze, which saw avid fans recreate his statement patchwork knit for themselves.
Preppy staples were other talking-points for the British Vogue audience, and when they weren’t reading about chunky boots or the renaissance of pillowy soft pouch clutches (see: Daniel Lee’s Bottega accessories), articles about the brilliance of loafers were populating their browser history.
At the other end of the scale, British Vogue readers became familiarised with the term “midriff flossing,” a phrase we coined in July to describe the torso flashing, tied-up looks that first emerged at the spring/summer 2020 shows. The lowdown on Kate Moss’s visible Versace thong, seen on the cover of our January 2021 issue and on the spring/summer 2021 catwalks, was another story that garnered ardent interest from readers, especially those who had witnessed the trend’s original debut back in the Noughties.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.