Style trends are constantly evolving, and incorporating them into your brand strategy is a great way to connect with your audience as well as make sales. Whether you’re starting out as a clothing ecommerce business or a you’re an experienced marketer trying to keep your ads trendy and eye-catching, staying on top of the latest style trends means staying relevant in your target market, which makes it easier to attract new customers and retain your current ones, as well.
But, these days, trend cycles are shorter than ever, with social media platforms like TikTok spitting out hundreds of microtrends daily. Having your finger on the pulse of fashion trends that attract the Gen Z and Millennial demographic is a full-time job in itself. But busy ecommerce retailers and content creators don’t always have the time to scroll through Instagram for hours or read pages upon pages of fashion reports. That’s why here at Business2Community, we’ve compiled the trends defining 2023 in one concise article.
Key 2023 Style Trends
- Fashion retailer Boohoo saw a 7% boost in their media value by leveraging the Barbiecore trend in 2023.
- The #oldmoney hashtag has amassed more than 10 billion views on TikTok as major fashion chains launch their own collections.
- Crocs’ Barbie collection sold out worldwide within 24 hours of launching.
- Net-a-Porter bought 49% more floral dresses in Spring 2023 than in Spring 2022.
- The Utility trend has been around since 1942 but is making a comeback this decade due to its links to durability and sustainability.
What are 2023‘s Style Trends?
Style trends are hugely influenced by pop culture and social media influencers. The Barbiecore trend, for instance, became pivotal, largely as a result of the blockbuster moving starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.
Brands from across the world cashed in on the trend, with fashion retailer BooHoo bringing in $1.9 million US dollars in media value between March and July 2023 from their Barbie collection alone.
To put this into context, BooHoo’s total media value for that time period was $26.3 million, meaning that leveraging the Barbie movie resulted in a 7% boost. Understanding these trends and knowing how to leverage them to your advantage is, therefore, key to ensuring your brand remains relevant and profitable.
1. The Timeless “Old Money” Aesthetic and Sustainability
One style trend that has been making waves on TikTok and Instagram alike is the Old Money aesthetic.
At the time of writing, #oldmoney had attracted 10.1 billion views on TikTok alone. And on Instagram, there were more than 700,000 posts that used the hashtag, most of them featuring men and women wearing neutral colors, polo shirts, tailored trousers, and blazers.
The Old Money aesthetic is just a take on the traditional ‘preppy’ look, which has been around since at least 1912.
It became popular in Ivy League colleges when male students started wearing polo shirts and pleated trousers in an effort to break away from overly formal clothing. Soon, women started adopting the trend as well, and it became associated with well-off North American university students who came from “old money”.
While the preppy look is timeless, it’s seeing a resurgence this year, in part because of Sophia Richie’s celebrity wedding on the French Riviera, which exemplified the opulence that has become associated with this aesthetic.
In 2023, popular fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, and Karen Millen have jumped on the bandwagon with their own exclusive “old money collections”.
This style is all about understated luxury, plait, and neutral colors like white, beige, cream, and black. Typically, it features modest styles that can double up as workwear.
For those taking this style further, Old Money is connected to sustainability, too. At its core, the old money aesthetic is associated with heirloom pieces being passed down from generation to generation and good quality clothing that lasts decades.
The #sustainablefashion tag on TikTok has attracted more than 4.9 billion views in itself.
Although much of it encourages thrifting, upcycling, and renting clothes, there is also an emphasis on buying less clothing but investing in quality pieces that last longer. In other words, fast fashion may well be on its way out.
Sustainable brands that may normally charge a premium for their clothing can capitalize on this trend by marketing their clothes as both durable and “old money”.
Demand for the old-money aesthetic shows no signs of slowing down, either.
Fashion website WhoWhatWear tracks the UK’s most wanted fashion items. Blazers, plait trousers, beige jumpers, and elegant dresses are making waves right now.
Vogue says polo shirts will be a key Spring 2024 trend as well, with interpretations including dresses with popped collars to name a few.
So whether you want to introduce it to your followers in 2023 or wait until 2024, chances are you’ll still be able to capitalize on this popular trend.
2. Pretty in Pink with Barbiecore
Seventeen magazine dubbed Barbiecore “the #1 hot pink trend of Summer 2023”, and it’s easy to see why. The much-awaited Barbie movie shattered all box office expectations, earning more than $1.4 billion at the global box office.
Fans of the film raved on social media right after the movie premiered in July 2023. The trend looks to capture the same bombastic feminine energy as the iconic Barbie doll featuring ensembles of almost entirely hot pink clothes, shoes and apparel.
In July 2023, #barbiecore content on TikTok had more than 500 million views. And by mid-October 2023, the hashtag had amassed a total of 1 billion views.
Fast fashion brands scrambled to capitalize on this trend.
Zara, Gap, and Primark all launched their own collections. The Ken logo t-shirt sold out at Gap within 48 hours of launching in the UK, and the Crocs Barbie collection sold out within a day of launching, as well.
Popular retailer Asos also created its own Barbiecore edit, featuring pink dresses, leisurewear, and shoes fit for a real-life Barbie.
But it’s not all good news.
A complete antithesis to the subdued and enduring old money aesthetic, this viral style may have already had its 15 minutes of fame.
Google Search trends suggest the search term “barbiecore” hit peak popularity in July 2023. So, this may be an example of a viral microtrend that’s on its way out.
Although it’s worth noting that celebrities like Florence Pugh are doing their best to keep the Barbie vibes alive in the latter half of 2023, by opting to dress in all pink ensembles.
And some experts believe that the Barbiecore craze will last well into 2024, with a particular emphasis on the neon-colored activewear aesthetic of the 80s in particular.
So, for creative content creators and ecommerce retailers, there may still be time to capitalize on this trend as we approach the new year.
3. Riding the Waves with Mermaidcore
Mermaidcore is yet another pop-culture-inspired style that has taken social media by storm in 2023. It’s exactly what it sounds like: clothes and accessories that evoke mermaid and ocean vibes. This can include sequins, sheer materials, ruffles, and even fishnets and tight-fitting corsets in ethereal blue and greens.
The below corset from content creator and Depop corset seller @immorallondon depicts the trend well. Etsy sellers are also cashing in on the trend, with many selling hand-made ocean-themed jeweler to appeal to their customers’ inner sirens.
But it’s not just small business owners and content creators riding the Mermaidcore wave.
Fashion retailers like Pretty Little Thing have their own Mermaidcore edits, with pastel-colored, sheer dresses and metallic maxi skirts on offer.
Even Bloomingdale’s put together their own Mermaidcore edit to encourage their customers to “channel their inner siren”.
And it’s no wonder larger fashion retailers are jumping on this trend. As of October 2023, the Mermaidcore hashtag on TikTok has had more than 550 million views.
Searches for Mermaidcore surged after the May premiere of the long-awaited live-action Little Mermaid movie.
On Google, the search term peaked worldwide in the first week of June 2023.
And while it’s on a downward trend in terms of popularity right now, fashion-inspired Mermaidcore trends are far from over.
In fact, the trend made its way to New York Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2024 show with models donning mermaid-inspired hairstyles and makeup, as well as shimmering metallics and navy-colored outfits.
4. Bold Florals are Here to Stay
Pop culture, social media, and celebrities have defined new key fashion trends in 2023. But certain timeless trends are making a comeback irrespective of marketing. Florals with a twist are among them.
Florals appear in some shape or form pretty much every spring, so it’s hardly surprising that they are making an appearance in 2023 as well.
However, fashion experts are unanimous: 2023 isn’t about floral prints; it’s about florals in 3D.
This means everything from statement floral appliques on dresses, shirts, and blazers to clothing items and accessories shaped like flowers. Marie Claire’s floral edit shows how florals are going to change in 2023.
Celebrities like Zendaya set the tone for bold florals in 2023 during the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards held in 2023.
This trend shows no signs of slowing down, with flower appliques and rosettes appearing in Paris Fashion Week’s Spring 2024 show as well.
While the focus in 2023 isn’t on classic floral prints, blurred, impressionist floral prints on sheer fabrics are making an appearance. Sheer fabrics fit in with the overall Mermaidcore style that is set to define 2023 as well.
Florals in 2023 are a creative twist on an overdone trend. That may explain why luxury online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter increased its floral dress orders by 49% in Spring/Summer 2023 as compared to the same period in 2022.
5. Utility Isn’t Going Anywhere2023 is a truly eclectic year when it comes to styles; from screaming neon pink Barbiecore-inspired hotpants to the ethereal blue-green sheer Mermaidcore dresses to the modest yet classic plait trousers and polo shirts derived from the Old Money aesthetic, it’s hard to narrow down a single, defining style theme in 2023. And that’s before we throw in the emerging Utility trend.
But what does Utility mean? Well, think cargo pants, matching jackets, chunky loafers, dresses with real pockets, and oversized bags. It’s functional, practical, durable and of good quality. It’s essentially Old Money’s less pretentious cousin.
This TikTok fashion edit by River Island in the UK shows off the 2023 Utility trend well.
But it’s not just River Island that’s jumping on the trend. Popular fashion retailer FootLocker released its own utility fashion edit “inspired by workwear and great outdoors”, including hooded jackets, joggers, and practical shoes, too.
The Utility trend has been around in some shape and form since 1942, and it has become synonymous with practicality and durability. Given the popularity of sustainability, it’s no surprise that it’s making a comeback this decade.
It’s expected that this trend will influence styles in 2024 as well and will affect menswear along with womenswear.
The Future of Style Trends
We’ve already touched on some of the style trends that we may see in 2024 as well as 2023. And if 2023 is anything to go by, it’s likely that 2024 will be equally eclectic, with a range of somewhat clashing styles and looks to capitalize on. So, let’s take a look at some of the popular styles that are likely to take over 2024.
Metallics are big in 2023, and they’ll likely make an appearance in 2024, too. Gold, silver, and bronze metallics will likely make a comeback in the new year. And it won’t be just women donning the metallic look, either.
Fashion website WWD published a gallery showing men’s clothes designers using bold metallics in several designs for 2024. Dsquared2’s designs scream Mermaidcore but are clearly designed to appeal to the male customer.
Futurecore is a rising aesthetic that is likely to gain even more popularity in 2024.
It’s considered futuristic in nature, with silver metallic influences and celestial disco designs. Associated hashtags on TikTok include #cyberfashion and #cybery2k.
TikToker and Depop seller @Flamielove showed off the futurecore look in a popular TikTok video you can watch below:
A quick look at Google Trends suggests that, over the last 12 months, worldwide interest in Futurecore peaked in December 2022 and again in September 2023. However, as of October 2023, it’s on its way up again.
Searches for “futurecore” are particularly popular in Japan and the United States.
People who searched for futurecore in 2023 also searched for”futurecore track jackets”, which offers some indication as to the type of product and look futurecore enthusiasts are interested in. To give you an indication of what a futurecore track jacket might look like, check out this one on sale by Outlier right now.
The #futurecore hashtag has amassed nearly 12 million views on TikTok so far, so now might be a good time to think of ways to incorporate it into your brand.
3. Drop-waist dresses
Another striking 2024 trend is the drop-waist dress. Designs featuring dropped waistlines were seen during London Fashion Week in September 2023.
While this trend started in 2023, it’s making an appearance in 2024 runways as well, so it will likely feature in designs next year.
Drop-waist dresses are essentially the “dress” version of low-rise jeans. Here is one particularly exaggerated example of what this might look like courtesy of WhoWhatWear.
So there you have it: a few key trends that defined 2023 and may even feature in 2024. Capitalizing on the right trend at the right time can mean reaching wider audiences and making more sales too.