Upcoming fashion and beauty trends to sport in 2021 | Culture

Fashion and beauty were put on the backburner in 2020, but with new plans put in place to face COVID-19, life returning to “normal” may seem like a possibility. 

Below are fashion and beauty predictions for 2021 gathered by professionals from Nylon Magazine, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire Magazine and Forbes. These are the trends to look out for.  

This year, the general rule of thumb is that if something was considered “cool” in the ’90s or early 2000s, it’s back again. From low-rise pants to tracksuits, these trends are repeating themselves, and the industry professionals are vouching for it.

Baggy is back

Within the past year and continuing into 2021, it’s confirmed that the baggier the pants the better. Baggy ’90s-style jeans and pants are taking over stores again. These can be paired with a dainty tank top in the warmer months or an oversized blazer or sweater when it’s time to cover up. Remaining stylish and comfortable is a win-win in 2021.

Where to buy:

Thrift stores: A great way to shop secondhand, thrift stores are key for big and baggy jeans of all sorts for cheap

Pacsun: “Ripped ’90s Boyfriend Jeans” in light, black and washed black

Motel Rocks: “Rips Parallel Jeans in Black Wash”

Urban Outfitters: “BDG Bubble Corduroy High-Waisted Baggy Pant”

Platform shoes

Throw on a pair of shoes with a thick sole on the bottom and the compliments will come soaring in. Giving an extra design element to a shoe and an added layer of comfort is huge this year. Style with a pair of baggy pants or a sundress for a more put together look. Ranging from sandals to sneakers to boots, a platform shoe can spice up any style. 

Where to buy:

Converse: “Chuck Taylor All Star Lugged” sneaker

Dr. Martens: “2976 Polished Smooth Platform Chelsea Boot”

Forever 21: “Strappy Platform Block Heels”


While it isn’t something to be particularly excited about, masks are likely here to stay for a while longer in 2021 to protect everyone’s health. A mask is used for its effectiveness in protecting oneself and others from COVID-19, but while wearing them, it’s also OK to have a little fun styling it and making it match.

Where to buy: 

Etsy: This is a great way to support small businesses and customize cloth face masks exactly how you want them.

Target: Most people know and love Target, and it sells many cheap and effective masks to choose from.

Baggu: “Fabric Mask Set”

Faux leather

It’s predicted that faux leather will continue to reign and carry over into 2021. This unique print and texture takes a simple outfit and gives it that extra pop. Faux leather boots pair well with a skirt and an oversized blazer for a more formal look. Faux leather pants bring an extra element to a basic sweater for a minimal effort yet put together look. 

Where to buy:

Forever 21: “Faux Leather Platform Sock Booties”

ASOS: “Gadget chunky chelsea rain boots in black”

Motel Rocks: “Zoven Trouser In Croc”

ZARA-:“Faux Leather Straight Leg Pants”

Totes and shoulder bags

For the person who carries just about one of everything with them, they’ll be happy to hear tote bags are in. And for the person not looking to carry much more than their phone around, luckily, small shoulder bags are also back in. Both provide some form of functionality to one’s day and also work to accessorize an outfit. 

Coming in all shapes and sizes, there’s a tote or shoulder bag option for everyone, and it’s time to start using a bag and stop scrambling to juggle a phone, wallet and packs of hand sanitizing wipes in two hands. 

Where to buy:

Urban Outfitters: Its online store has pages of tote bags and shoulder bags.

Etsy: Etsy has every type of bag one could imagine.

Chunky-colored sunglasses

Big, chunky, square-colored sunglasses are going to take over when the sun makes its debut again in the spring. While bold and bright colors are in and dominating the sunglasses industry, black and tortoise designs remain a classic. These sunglasses can be paired well with streetwear for a put together yet casual look as well as with a little tank top and a pair of big pants. 

Where to buy:

Urban Outfitters: “Sausalito Rectangle Sunglasses” with numerous color options

Amazon: “BUTABY Rectangle Sunglasses”

Nordstrom: “51mm Rectangular Sunglasses”

While the trends listed above are all predicted to be big this year, don’t be afraid to stray away from the norms and create one’s own style that allows for comfortability and confidence.

Contact Lauren Kuhno at [email protected]. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Instagram and Twitter @Breeze_Culture.