While January 2024 is now over, I had to share this list looking back over 2023 fashion trends – the ones we’ve already forgotten. I really like trying to spot fashion trends as and when they happen, and I’ve kept a list in my notes app since early 2023. Looking back, I have to ask: are these trends over already? I think so, but I’d love to hear your thoughts too!
I’m an advocate for choosing style over trends, but often it’s hard to detect a trend – or even, a micro-trend – in fashion. I very much stick to classic silhouettes and garments that suit my body, but may have fallen for some of last year’s fastest moving trends that have since been long forgotten. It’s helped me to save money and also save loads of fashion items from quickly going down a degenerative path. But I also know I how easy it is to fall for these trends! So tell me: how many of these fashion trends did you spot? Did you buy into any? And which trends have we already said “Bye Barbie” to?
9 Fashion Trends From 2023 (That We Already Forgot)
1. Denim Midi Skirts
One of the earliest trends to come across my radar last year was denim midi skirts. While denim mini skirts have been around forever, and arguably may have also made a comeback with the rise of indie sleaze, denim midi skirts were the quiet luxury version. Did I want a denim midi skirt for a brief period? Yes. Did I buy one? No, thankfully not. While I did enter my midi skirt era last year, I didn’t go for denim. Do I think it’s wearable now? Yes, but it does scream 2023.
2. Quiet Luxury
Speaking of quiet luxury… This in itself was quite the trend last year. With the hit series Succession coming to an end, Instagram was awash with Loro Piana wannabes and fast fashion brands emulating The Row. While it all looks good on camera, a poly-blend jumper will never really cut it. (See my support for the Filter By Fabric campaign). Do I think quiet luxury has staying power? Sure. Brands like Céline and Max Mara have been peddling this aesthetic long before 2023. But will it appeal to the masses in the same way it did? I doubt it.
3. Cowboy Boots
Ok, here’s one trend I did fall for last year. Yes, I invested in my very own pair of cowboy boots. How about you? To my credit, I bought my pair second-hand on Vinted, and had already scored my Renaissance Tour tickets. For a date with Bey? Of course I wanted to be on theme. Now, I do think cowboy-core is still around, considering Schiaparelli just showed Cowboys and Aliens for SS24, and considering they originally hail from the 1800s they could be considered timeless. However, I have worn my pair less than 10 times, making them a failed trend in my wardrobe.
4. Barbie Core
We saw this coming, didn’t we? Barbie core and Barbie pink were everywhere last summer, thanks to Barbie launching in cinemas. And while I loved the film (I cried), I didn’t really love the trend. Barbie pink quickly showed up in the collections of many different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where I, quite literally, fished it out of some clearance bin… And while I loved my Beyond Retro Barbie pink dress for a while, that thing is being dyed black this summer.
The waistcoat-trouser combo had been knocking around in 2022, but it was only in 2023 that it really did come into its own. It hit peak trend in the summer, where I showed up wearing a (rented) waistcoat and trouser set to find my friend also wearing a waistcoat and trouser set. We looked great! But it said everything I needed to know. I’m glad to have rented the waistcoat from Baukjen (their rental service is lovely) rather than invested in my own, because I know this look will definitely date.
6. Long Denim Shorts
We’ve already seen denim appear on this list, but surprisingly, it’s here again! Long denim shorts had a moment last year and god I hated them. They say denim is timeless but honestly it’s not. Remember the skinny jeans with rips in? I doubt you’re still wearing your pair from 2010. This is definitely a footnote I need to add to my guide to sustainable denim, because it doesn’t matter how ethically made a pair of jeans are if they’re going to fall out of fashion in a matter of weeks. This was the fate for long denim shorts, which only look borderline good if you’re rail thin and have super long legs. Those things aren’t going to work on my frame and quite frankly, for any weather in the UK.
7. The Ultra Mini Skirt
While I hold a lot of reverence for Miuccia Prada, the Miu Miu mini skirt that burst off the runway and onto TikTok last year is not something I thank her for. The way fast fashion brands pounced on this design was despicable. I shudder to think how many of these skirts came out of production and went straight to landfill, honestly. And while these skirts did tap into the budding 90s fashion revival that is now taking hold, I didn’t like them at all.
8. Bows Bows Bows
Bows hit hard in 2023. I jumped on that train at the end of the year, in two DIY bow looks that were perfect for the holidays – and if I was brave – could still be worn now. Bows themselves won’t neccessarily fall out of fashion, but the bow overload we’ve seen might. Saying that, the Simone Rocha for John Paul Gaultier show was really beautiful. Let’s see…
9. Mini Uggs
“I saw Bella Hadid wearing Classic Ultra Mini Uggs, so I bought Classic Ultra Mini Uggs.” You could argue that Ugg Boots for winter isn’t really groundbreaking, but that one photo of Bella Hadid wearing Classic Ultra Mini Uggs really did send the fashion world into a spin late last year. Was it the way the boots made her legs look impressively lean? Because I remember girls doing that in gym class almost two decades ago. I honestly couldn’t get behind it, especially when Ugg boots just aren’t made ethically or sustainably. Honestly, I’d rather know where she got that pizza slice from.
Fell for any of these trends? Or got another forgotten trend to add? Let me know below!