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fw21 fashion trend report

Not really sure where summer went, but after a brief hiatus for our summer wedding, fall has nearly arrived – and it’s time for a fall trend fashion report. Working in the fashion industry now for 10 years, it’s always a seasonal highlight to review just what’s new and what’s being reinvented.

image cred: @LOOKWIS

2021 proved to be another chaotic year socially and politically, which always leads to an interesting mix of fashion trends emerging across the scene globally.

A medium where people seek to express themselves through a mix of patterns, silhouettes and statement pieces, fashion is the personal expression of our society’s “climate”. As such, it’s no surprise to see a more natural mix of fall trends emerging as people seek to identify with a more simple time

Sustainability plays a dominant role across all fall fashion trends, as brands and consumers alike begin to think more about the repercussions fo their actions and purchases.

Nature has inspired many of our fall trends, from a mix of unprecedented natural materials like grasses, plastics and even mushroom leathers – to inspiring our prints with subtle florals and more natural color palettes. 

We could spend days discussing the social climate and effects on fashion, but for the sake of this FW21 fashion trend article, let’s stick strictly with the fashion, for those seeking inspiration for their fall / winter new fashion buys and styling tips.

image cred: VOGUE

Functional utilitarian style

When chaos ensues, there are those of us who seek to be prepared. In fashion, that means a flux of functional utilitarian pieces that are inspired by our very survival. What does that mean? Think utility pockets, water resistant materials, high traction lug sole rain boots and khaki trenches. 


The utilitarian fall trend utilizes many pieces that may be already in your wardrobe, and poses a fun layering challenge to combine not-overly-matched ensembles of comfortable pieces in oversized fits and neutral color palettes. The idea is to consider the purpose of our fashion, not only the aesthetic. Footwear is largely functional for this fall trend, with the double-gore rain boot as the core item for everyday footwear. For those more daring, opt for a knee-high rubber rain boot paired with your utility trend pieces.


For attire, stick with a military-inspired color palette: dark green, khaki, black, and pops of workwear orange and yellow. Key pieces include oversize leather jackets with squared boxy pockets (mid-calf grazing trench styles), utility vests, cargo pants, utility short and shirt sets, and touches of activewear.  You’ll not a distinctly European countryside flair in this season’s iteration of utility – and as such, you’ll be seeing more on Day in my dreams. 

Sophisticated prep

Thankfully, after 2020 prep is still here to stay. While we’ve evolved a bit away from Blair Waldorf (sadly) the trend is still a strong statement of American heritage with strong English European roots. I have one must-have piece for you: sweater vests. If you didn’t adopt the trend last year, you haven’t missed your chance. 

image cred: REFINERY29

Sweater vests dominate the preppy fall trends for 2021-2022 with an assortment of silhouettes from oversized to fitted crops and 70’s stripes. Pair them with wide leg trousers, baggy-fit denim, and preppy pleated skirts or suiting. The feel of the season: back to school.

image cred: @uniqdetail

Knitwear also plays a big role in this trend, with the return of knitted skirts and chunky knitted sweaters. Want more? Come back – this trend is a reoccurring favorite in the fashion sector of Day in my dreams. 

image cred: @thecarolinelin

90’s baby, Gen Z style

Gen Z leads this return of the late 90’s and early 2000’s with the fastest return of generational fashion of all time. And we’re not just talking crops and midi skirts like spring.

image cred @sofiamcoelho

We’re talking full-out, low-rise jeans, furry collars and printed pants (with slits). There’s the pieces that don’t just imply a generational throw back, they scream hey, if I was born in the 90’s… I’d be trying to make a statement. The logo trend of FW21 also plays a big part in these ensembles. Look out Millenials, Gen Z is coming for ya… and determined they can do it better.

image cred: @josefinehj

The sustainable naturalist

Sustainability might sound more like a social movement than a trend, but the truth is, the sustainable fashion scene does have a pretty defined aesthetic in and of itself. Perhaps drawn from the use of so many re-used, re-invented and up cycled pieces. Or possibly because the most sustainable consumers really do want to cut back to the basics.

image cred: HARPER’S BAZAAR

Whatever the reason, the look is easy to spot. Look for high waisted mom jeans, boxy button-down tops, denim and sporting jackets. Key items recycled into most looks include basic oversized tees, light wash or even acid wash mom jeans, and what the fashion biz calls prairie dresses. There’s a general “deliberately imperfect” rule for combinations that somehow just “work”. Colors are bright but earthy: denim blues, plant greens, navy, lily orange, and strong hints of 70’s, 80’s 90’s pop culture. 

image cred: @modeblogg

Where to shop: Goodwill, or even better… your locally owned second hand shop.

Fashion maximalist

On the contrary, after being shut-in for nearly 2 years, some of our post-coved culture has skewed in the opposite direction. Meet the fashion maximalist – so excited to return to society, they’re pulling out all the stops with their most opulent styles. Heavy all-over lace, sequins, and jewels dominate the trend with opposing colors and bold fashion accessories.

image cred: MARIE CLAIRE

These are the looks that scream, “hey, I’m into fashion”. The victorian era gets a new life with frilly puff-sleeve blouses, tulle midi skirts, body chains and some serious 20’s vibes cocktail attire. Think Dolce and Gabbana and Valentino.


Not sure if you’re ready to adopt a full fashion maximalist aesthetic? Here’s your Inso for holiday and occasion dressing.

Tonal tailoring 

Though I wouldn’t say I am a die hard minimalist, there is a certain aspect of the timeless nature of this trend.

image cred @veneti.a

Rooted in suiting and essential basics, it’s a fashion trend that really never goes out of style. We’ve seen suiting and tailoring continue in a big way in 2021, and blazers have even begun to replace some of our more standard lightweight outerwear. 

image cred: @__modus

For fall 2021 fashion trends, wear your suiting oversized, and make sure to alternate skirt and pant sets. Double row button blazers are a key essential for the die hard minimalist, along with wide-leg trousers paired with unconventional tops like crops, lingerie inspired bodices, bra tops… or no top at all.

image cred: @silvia_hare

Feeling inspired to get into your favorite FW21 fashion trends? Check back for your essential fall and winter shopping guide for key pieces that you’ll be able to cycle throughout your FW21 wardrobe. 


  1. Pingback: today’s outfit inspo: the sweater vest | day in my dreams

  2. Pingback: 25 Best Old Money Aesthetic Outfits You Need to Copy in 2022 - By Taylor Ann

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