2020 has been a roller coaster of events. Surprisingly, even with all of the madness going on, fashion trends have still continued to evolve. Some are new takes on older styles while others directly correlate with this year's unique circumstances. I am fortunate enough to live in New York City where a lot of these fashion trends are born. As I weave through the city’s different boroughs on the subway, I can’t help but notice all of the dope ways people style their outfits. Everyone from the hipsters on the L Train to the breakdancers on the A Train put an effort into their streetwear. This article is a quick rundown of some of my personal favorite trends that I’ve taken note of around the city and online. These trends have helped us all keep our cool during this crazy year, and will continue to do so as we transition into 2021.
1. Pastel Color Ways (Especially Yellow)
Personally, I used to cringe at the idea of wearing pastel colors. The thought of it would make me have flashbacks to an outfit you would see your Grandma wear around Easter. Instead, I have always preferred to wear well defined vibrant colors that make my outfit pop. I still believe in this concept, but now I see it with a more open mind. As I’ve scrolled through Instagram and flipped through magazines in 2020, I've noticed that celebrities and trend setters are all rocking outfits with more faded color ways. You’ll see everyone from pro skater Nyjah Huston to Kanye West wearing these lighter color ways. Instead of well defined colors, you now see shades that are sometimes so faded that you’ll almost mistake it for being off-white.
In the past few summer fashion seasons, I’ve seen all white outfits make a comeback, and I’ve also noticed how colors like orange and pink have had their moments in the streetwear spotlight. In my opinion, pastel color ways are the 2020 upgrade to these vibrant monochromatic trends. Pastel colors give you the best of both worlds. When wearing pastels you still get that clean confident feel of the all white trend, while simultaneously having a subtle color step in to give your outfit a “pop” that’ll make you stand out.
2. Curved Brim Hats
For a longtime, flat brimmed hats were the wave. If you rewind time back to the early 2000’s, you’d seem them in almost every hiphop music video. Even when you fast forward slightly from there to 2011 you’d see everyone wearing flat brimmed snapbacks. But what about the more classic style hats with bent brims? The same style hats you used to see on Easy-E and Dr. Dre in the 90’s while they toured with NWA. These never left, but now in 2020 you’ll notice their influence on fashion has made a major comeback.
Soon after the snapback phase, I began to notice a craze over dad hats. Dad hats are similar to baseball hats with their curved brims, but are designed to intentionally look unstructured and ironically resemble something that your friend’s nerdy dad would wear. Celebrities, like R&B singer Bryson Tiller, have made these hats part of their signature look. Now in more recent years, especially in 2020, I’m noticing an evolution within this dad hat trend beginning to take shape (literally). You now see people eliminating the irony factor out of the equation, and substituting it for more structured curved brim hats that actually look cool. Boutique designers like Tuff Crowd, and even big name designers like D-Squared have incorporated this trend into their latest hat designs. At this point, when you see someone wearing a flat brim hat, it brings on more of a sense of “too soon” nostalgia rather than good taste.
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3. Cropped Pants & Cuffs
Cropped pants aren't really a trend that surfaced in 2020, but this year it has definitely been more well defined than ever before. I first noticed hints of this trend back in 2016 when I was doing a photoshoot for ASOS in London. Before every shot, the stylists would come in and make sure my pants were perfectly cuffed and showing off the pair of white hightop Converses I was wearing. I continued to spot these cropped pants and cuffs even outside of the studio as I strolled through trendy London neighborhoods like Shore Ditch. All of a sudden, I felt like I might need to make a trip to the tailor. I still wasn’t completely sold on this look though. At the time, I did like the idea of cropping suit pants. I would often flip through the pages of GQ, and notice how designers like Thom Browne would exaggerate this cropped look with his tailored suit designs. Although, integrating the cropped pants look into my own style at home in America still seemed to be a little out of my comfort zone.
Suddenly, in 2017 I noticed the pant seams in hiphop culture were slowly beginning to creep up. My favorite musicians and fashion icons like Future and Wiz Khalifa were now wearing their pants cropped and cuffed while performing on tour! In my opinion, this was now a trend that had entered the same orbit of ironic style that the dad hats had already took off in.
Now in 2020, it seems like every skateboarder, hipster, and fashion trendsetter you see cruising around New York has their pant seams hovering above their ankles. To be honest, now I’m finally all for it. Not only is this look fashionable, but it’s also functional. I skate myself, and I find that styling my pants like this is 100 times more comfortable than having my jeans suffocating my legs on each kick and push. There is also a noticeable counter wave to this trend that I’ve spotted as well, oversized baggy pants. I’m well aware of it, but at the moment the crop and cuff seems to give outfits the most timeless and practical look. And more importantly, I just want to flex some of the fresh designs on my socks.
4. Over-Sized Hoodies
Throughout my life I’ve brought a hoodie along for every occasion. They come in clutch for long flights, hikes, the beach, fashion events, and even just chilling at home. I pretty much wear them anytime I want to experience the ultimate level of comfort. That’s where oversized hoodies come into play. If you find the right one, wearing an oversized hoodie can feel like the equivalent of wearing a fashionable Snuggie every where you go. A lot of female celebrities and influencers like Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, and Rihanna have taken this trend a step further by wearing these hoodies as dresses. Then there a celebrity guys like Shia La Bouf who travel around rocking oversized hoodies with a simple pair of shorts and hiking boots. Is he going hiking or just around the corner for groceries? Who knows for sure, but I can guarantee he’s cozy as f***.
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5. Designer Face Masks
Out of all of the current trends, nothing says 2020 more than a designer face mask. These face masks were already popular on the streets of Tokyo and around the world during fashion week in previous years. Famous designer labels like Off White and Marcelo Burlon were already on top of this trend before there was even a pandemic. Some masks have minimal designs, while others have eccentric patterns.
This year masks are not only a trend, but a necessity. In April the United States government made it mandatory for everyone to wear masks. Personally, I don’t feel the need to make a loud fashion statement during a time of crisis, but at the same time I’d prefer to wear a comfortable designer mask over a suffocating surgical mask any day. Also, it’s better to keep those available for the medical workers who need them anyway.
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