The Daily Gamecock

Column: 2021 Fashion forecast includes bright colors, '80s comeback

For fashion enthusiasts, a new year means new trends and another reason to go shopping. Use these fashion predictions to stay on top of which pieces you might clear out or add to your closet. 

Tie-dye sets

According to Daley, '80s style is making a comeback. With that comes the iconic tie-dye of the era. 

“Obviously, we all loved tie-dye as young kids,” third-year fashion merchandising student Abby Daley said. “But now it's starting to really ... take over the fashion industry, we're starting to see more tie-dye sets a lot in loungewear."

Oversized pants and bell bottoms

The return of '80s trends goes beyond tie-dye. You can expect to see lots of oversized pants, wide-leg pants and bell-bottoms, according to Daley. 

“I think that we're kind of starting to drift away from skinny jeans, like the cropped skinny jeans, and move more towards loose-fitting, longer denim,” Fleming said. 

This is your sign to trade in those constricting pants for more comfortable and stylish bottoms of any material. 

“I think that it's good to have some staple pants,” Fleming said. “Leather or a nice pair of trousers or any black denim is always good to have as well.”

Oversized button-downs and blazers

Oversized button-downs, worn as a dress or off the shoulder, are on trend this year. Daley said this trend is "very versatile" and can be dressed up or down. She recommends adding a belt to accentuate the waist and add dimension to the straight-shaped outfit.

Beyond button-downs, blazers are big this year. 

“I think that jackets are pretty big as well, like blazers and stuff like that,” Fleming said. 

A blazer is the perfect cool-weather addition to any outfit without hiding a look inside a winter coat.


Corset tops come in different shapes and forms and can include long-sleeves to accommodate the chilly weather. 

“We have a lot of corset-style tops in right now, too, that I think will still be pretty big for 2021,” Ryleigh Fleming, the owner of a Columbia fashion boutique, Corbeau, said.  

Platform shoes

Trade in your chunky sneakers for new shoes this year. 

“There's been so many other shoes, and so many other companies that are coming out with platform-type shoes, such as combat boots, or regular boots,” Daley said. 

Dr. Martens shoes are an obvious choice of platform shoe for those looking to casually and stylishly add some height. 

Neutral tones and bright colors

Feel free to play with every color in your wardrobe this year. Nothing is off limits, from fun neons to basic browns. 

Don’t shy away from standing out in vibrant clothes. According to Daley, a lot of fashion shows have been embracing bright colors.  

“A lot of those high-end designers have been showcasing really powerful coloring, not only in jackets, but dresses, adding in that floral, that spring-type ideal with rose petals and tulips and stuff like that on the dresses,” Daley said. 

Pops of bright colors can be styled into almost any look.

Fleming herself has been incorporating a lot of green into her wardrobe, and thinks that it's going to be a "big color" this year.

On the other hand, neutrals are prevalent too. 

“Brown has been really popular,” said Fleming. “I think that that’ll stick around.” 

Neutral does not mean boring. Playing around with neutral patterns, like animal prints, is fun — and Fleming thinks animal prints are having a moment. 

If fashion wasn't a focus in 2020, it’s never too late to try out new looks. These trends are great starters, but can be customized to fit any style. Daley points that just being on or around a college campus is a great way to stay up to date on new trends.

“Just being able to observe those around you, you find out about a lot of these [new] fashion trends,” Daley said.