A Review of This Year’s Innovative Fashion Trends as 2021 Comes to an End


Geena Kim

Student Wearing a Puffer Jacket

By Gianna Bernier and Geena Kim

The year 2021 has been an eventful year in which many fashion trends, whether new or previously established, have suddenly become stylish. 

After more than a year in quarantine, 2021 has become a year of firsts, with social media-driven digital trends and newly discovered clothing fads. 

For many years, the “latest” fashion trends have typically been inspired by the outfits worn on runways and showcased in popular magazines. However, social media and streetwear styles have created many new fashion innovations that are speculated to last for decades. 


Puffer Jackets

Towards the end of 2020, puffer jackets became increasingly popular and it is still trendy now. Brands like North Face, Zara, Patagonia, and Canada Goose have been selling these jackets in the past but it hasn’t been in high demand till recently. These puffer jackets keep you warm and are stylish at the same time. Stores like Aritizia even have their own puffer line called “The Super Puff” and it doesn’t seem like these jackets are going out of style any time soon. Celebrities like Dua Lipa, Mila Kunis, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian have been following this trend and inspiring others to purchase this jacket making it even more popular. As there is high demand, prices have also increased but there are more affordable options!

“Puffer jackets are super warm and effective, but sometimes are too puffy and get in the way of letting you do something simple,” said sophomore Kara Langbaum.  


Hoodies Under Blazers

Hailey Bieber Wearing a Hoodie Under a Blazer
Hailey Bieber Wearing a Hoodie Under a Blazer (Editori/AList)

Blazers are commonly associated with professional business, and are typically categorized as being more formal than casual. Due to the fact that blazers are considered formal wear, putting one on to go to lunch with friends has not traditionally been deemed appropriate by fashion critics. However, pairing a hoodie, a more informal fashion item, with a blazer, a dressy garb, has recently been declared one of 2021’s best stylistic trends. 

Wearing a hooded sweatshirt under a lightweight jacket is not only stylish, but comfortable as well. This matching provides something that many outdated trends do not–an extra stylistic coating. It is no longer simply an outfit that differs from mainstream fashion conventions, but a trend that has simultaneously transcended outmoded customary clothing. 

“I do not like hoodies under blazers because I feel like something casual, like a hoodie, should not be under something fancy, like a blazer,” said sophomore Ariana Aray. 


Wide Leg Jeans

Student Wearing Wide Leg Jeans
Student Wearing Wide Leg Jeans (Geena Kim)

Jeans have been around since the 1800’s and it’s been duly noted that they’re here to stay. There is a style of jeans for everyone, from skinny, mom, boyfriend, dad, bootcut, and distressed. Wide leg jeans, in particular, have been the newest style of jeans that everyone seems to have in their closets.

During the early 1990’s and mid 2000’s, wide leg jeans were increasingly popular and in high demand. Now, in 2021 you can spot people wearing this style everywhere. What’s different from now to back then is that only women would wear wide leg jeans, but now men and women enjoy this chic style of jeans that can be dressed up or down!

“I love this new style of jeans, I feel like we needed a new style of jeans rather than skinny. It looks good on everyone and I hope it stays in style.” says Mia Rivera, a junior at Wayne Hills. 


Cropped Cardigans

Cardigans have appeared in fashion trends for decades, and with 2021 came an innovative twist on the typical cardigan that will definitely leave a mark on stylists in generations to come. Brands including Zara and Forever 21 were quick to stock a range of the latest cropped cardigans in their stores.

Student Wearing a Cropped Cardigan
Student Wearing a Cropped Cardigan (Gianna Bernier)

Cardigans, in many respects, are referred to as being formal and dressy, and because of this reputation, many people are reluctant to wear them when running errands or visiting friends. Cropped cardigans, however, exude a sense of informality when worn with a comfortable pair of leggings or casual pants. These cropped cardigans have made putting together an outfit easier for those who struggle to do so. The variations of cardigans, from basic button-ups to embroidered knits, not only make styling less of a hassle, but also make finding a cardigan, that appeals to a variety of individuals, undemanding.

Sophomore Mya Tsuboi said, “I do like cropped cardigans because they are cute, comfortable, and keep me warm.”

Phone Charm on a Phone
Phone Charm on a Phone (Gianna Bernier)


Phone Charms

During the summer of 2021, phone charms increased in popularity. In the 1990s, people would attach mini charms onto their flip phones or later versions of iPhones into the mic hole. These charms were much smaller than today’s charms, since phones got bigger. Today. These charms can be used as a way to hold your phone on your wrist, making it easier to keep track of your phone. It is also used as just an accessory for decoration.

Phone Charm on a Phone
Phone Charm on a Phone (Gianna Bernier)

Trendsetters like Kendall Jenner, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, etc, have been spotted having this accessory on their phones. A lot of Small businesses have been selling these charms on Etsy from $10 to $30 and they can also be made at home with string and beads. You can personalize them and match them with your phone case! More high-end and durable phone charms are also sold online ranging from $30 to $100.

“I don’t like phone charms because they make too much noise and I feel like they always get in the way. Also, there really isn’t a purpose to them and it would only tempt me to swing my phone around until I eventually drop it,” said sophomore Grace Strodthoff.


Y2K Fashion

Bella Hadid Wearing a Y2K-Inspired Outfit
Bella Hadid Wearing a Y2K-Inspired Outfit (Vogue)

Y2K fashion is ultimately a stylistic trend that incorporates different aspects of fashion, from multiple generations, together. This distinctive style has not only appeared on runways, but has become an emblem of streetwear in 2021. 

A few of the clothing items that are integrated into this trend include metallic jackets, wide-leg denim trousers, handbags, and denim on denim. Y2K fashion has made an astonishing comeback this year, and it is speculated to still be popular in years to come. 

The secret behind successfully wearing Y2K fashion is to avoid any clothing materials that appear frumpy or drab. Instead, look for staple items that are colorful and striking. 2021 has been a year in which individuals were empowered, rather than discouraged, to embrace their personalized style, and Y2K fashion has made doing so effortless.

“There are some trends that are just not meant to come back,” said Ryleigh Thompson after being asked about whether or not she likes Y2K fashion.

After looking at the trends of 2021, it looks like history is repeating itself in the fashion industry. Although 2021 was a rollercoaster for everyone, new trends have also developed making a mark on the fashion world and leaving a little something for other generations to repeat in the future! “This year’s fashion trends were a little bland in my opinion, I think that we can definitely do better next year. But I like the way 2021 has been the year where more and more people were able to express themselves through clothes and not get judged. I can’t wait for 2022 to start and oversee all the new and upcoming trends,” said junior, Riya Kachroo. We can’t wait to see what the future holds in 2022 for new fashion fads as 2021 comes to an end.