Confession: I have a love-hate relationship with fashion trends. Don’t get me wrong—nothing can rival the feeling of sitting at fashion week, waiting with bated breath as a model struts down the runway, clothing billowing, and witnessing the artwork of a designer IRL. That moment is magic—it’s a 10/10 life experience. But I find that once the new season rolls around, I’m filled with existential dread. I know as an editor I’m supposed to be able to pick my favorite spring 2022 trends to adopt, where to shop, and what to shop for, but it’s like picking your favorite child. Who am I to say that investing in Loewe’s impressionist heels will make me happier than buying a practical pair of ballet flats? How am I supposed to define my 2022 style aesthetic? And why can’t someone Venmo me the funds to buy all of Fendi’s S/S 22 collection? In truth, even as editors, we sometimes need help deciding which trends are worth buying into. The easiest way I’ve been able to discern which trends are worth my time is by comparing the most dominant trends of a few seasons and then cross-checking it with pieces from some of my favorite brands (like Who What Wear Collection). Once you know which trends stuck around for the long haul, it’s easy to discern which are worth skipping—which is precisely what I did for this story (and for my own personal benefit). Ahead you’ll find seven fashion trends that will continue to define the year based on F/W 21 and S/S 22’s biggest trends and Who What Wear’s very own collection. Thank me later, y’all.
Avid Who What Wear readers know that we’ve never been one to shy away from a risqué trend (ahem, low-rise jeans). And while there are so many sultry standout spring trends, the one that no one can seem to shake is cutouts. From Christian Siriano’s almost full-body cutouts to Proenza Schouler embellished cutouts it seems that designers have their skin in the game when it comes to this trend.
Typically, if a trend dominated two seasons—like cutouts dominated the F/W 21 and S/S 22 runways—you know it’s worth investing in. But if you want more affordable and approachable ways to incorporate cutouts into your closest, look no further than our very own collection.
Sweaterdresses are the staple of any winter/spring wardrobe, but what S/S 22 and F/W 21’s runways showed us is that just because something is a staple doesn’t mean it has to be simple. From Bottega Veneta’s fringe turtlenecks to Givenchy’s frilly knits, we saw traditional sweater dresses get a whole makeover. Of course, which design details you prefer (cutouts, micro hems, fringe, or ruffles) is your call, but what’s for certain is that this basic is still in the chat.
We’ve always loved and sworn by a good sweaterdress for any wardrobe, so when the trend began to bubble back up, our team was about it. In fact, knit dresses have become central to our collection—from open-back details and cutouts to intriguing seams and interesting hems.
Oh, you thought leather wouldn’t be a thing in spring? Think again. Looking at S/S 22’s collections, it’s safe to say that designers have no intention of letting leather go, which makes the case of investing in leather for spring all the more persuasive. Look to Versace’s sultry leather skirt suit, Michael Kors’ A-line leather skirt and matching bralette, or Deity New York’s leather bustier top and skirt as an example that styling is the key to making leather work throughout 2022.
Much like suiting, leather pieces in every form have become a mainstay in collections season after season—so it only makes sense to invest now. I can not tell you how many times I’ve begged my friends to buy leather pants (it’s a winter staple) or invest in a good leather skirt (it’s life-changing). While leather may seem trendy, in truth, it’s one of the most timeless things you can invest in.
Maybe it’s the fact we all can’t stop thinking about Miu Miu’s S/S 22 show, or maybe it’s the resurgence of shows like Gossip Girl and Euphoria, but it’s safe to say that school-inspired style is back in session. But how does one ace the prep-school aesthetic? Think knit polos, pleated miniskirts, trousers, tartan prints, and cardigan sweaters—basically any piece that has you ready to rehash the days of your youth.
The best thing about the preppy-inspired resurgence that’s taken place on runways? It’s the get-out-of-detention card for spring trends in the sense that it’s basically foolproof. All you have to do is whip out that Lacoste polo in the back of your closet, cut up an oversize cable-knit sweater, or invest in a few Who What Wear collection pieces to ensure you’ll be the top of the class.
Not to sound like a broken record, but pleated pieces have been trending for a while now. Arguably, we could say the fashion set is high-key obsessed. But if you have yet to jump on the bandwagon, 2022 can be your year. From Altuzzara to Dior, it seems that designers aren’t ready to release pleats for spring, and we don’t blame them. Plissé makes everything more polished.
Rarely are trends timeless, but that’s not the case with plissé. Not only does this fabric always come back into style (thank you, Issey Miyake), but it’s also one fabric the fashion set swears by to elevate every ensemble. Case in point? Pair a pleated top with matching pants and you’ve got the perfect airplane fit. Throw on a pleated dress and you’ve got the ideal brunch outfit.
If you’re dreaming of the day when you no longer have to layer on the knits, know that S/S 22 trends have got you covered. While moiré may have been the shiny fabric of choice for many designers for F/W 21, it seems that silk is the fabric of spring. Showing up in presentations everywhere (in the form of a silk suit at Gucci and a sweet matching skirt set at Beveza), it seems that flowy, billowy, soft silks are what everyone is collectively dreaming of for sunnier days ahead.
I mean, who doesn’t dream of wafting about in a flowy silk piece? There’s something about silk or satin that can elevate any ensemble. Whether you’re wearing it in the form of a silk blouse to the office or a slip dress underneath a jacket for date night, this fabric makes living your easy-breezy beautiful life so much more attainable. Plus, we’ve got some great options that can stand the test of time.
What could arguably be seen as the most viral trend of last year has since become one of the biggest trends of 2022: matching sets. Of course, matching knit sets are nowhere near new to the fashion set, but S/S 22 took the whole matching aesthetic to a new level. From matching suits at Michael Kors and Proenza Schouler to matching silk sets at Jil Sander and L’aglence to fun knit sets at Staud and Eckhaus Latta, it’s safe to say getting matchy-matchy with it is very much in style this spring.
Traditional fashion rules would tell you that doing too much matching is passé, but they clearly never saw the cute WWWC matching sets. Whether you opt for a matching knitwear set, silk set, suit set, or linen set it’s the simplest way to look stylish year-round sans effort. And if it’s not a trend you can effortlessly pull off, what’s the point of purchasing it?
Next: Hi, 2022—Since You’ve Begun, We Haven’t Really Taken Off These 14 Pieces