Experts Weigh in on the Top Viral Fashion Trends of 2021 So Far

The most current fashion trends are always chopping and changing, and whilst previously we may have looked to the latest runway for style inspiration, many current trends are now emerging from our phones, with Tiktok and Instagram acting as hotspots for fashion must haves.

From crocs to early 2000’s staples, fashion experts from streetwear brand, Criminal Damage, here delve into the top viral style trends of the year so far, exploring why each of the trends became so popular.

Crocs

This classic yet controversial shoe has seen a rebirth in 2021 and experts say this is due to the recent influx of celebrity endorsements. The likes of Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith kick started the revival after being seen repping the iconic footwear across social media, which gathered even more attention when paparazzi snapped each of them donning this standout shoe on the streets.

However, the trend really took off in early May when Nicki Minaj sent fans crazy with her custom pink crocs. Now with luxury brands such as the likes Balenciaga collaborating with Crocs on a bespoke collection, they could well be here to stay!

crocs for summer

Loungewear

Whilst loungewear has long been a staple, the style went viral when lockdown hit in 2020, with casual pieces becoming more than just an after-work outfit.

Google data shows searches for loungewear sets increasing by a huge 223% in March last year, and this continued throughout the year, with popularity peaks coinciding with the various national lockdowns.

Monty Aytan, Executive at Criminal Damage says, “Whilst the increased time at-home has certainly been a trigger for embracing loungewear, we’re seeing a surge in demand as people look to incorporate these relaxed looks across different occasions.”

“Versatility is what makes loungewear such a staple trend and as many are looking to dress up post lockdown, small additions such as adding a blazer, accessorizing or donning some heels can create a whole new look for these staple pieces.”

Y2K

The Y2K trend, or ‘Year 2000’s’, has dominated spring/summer 2021 collections and gained huge popularity with Gen Z.

Whilst the reason for this trend going viral isn’t certain, experts believe it could be due to the popular video-sharing platform, Tiktok.

Aytan adds, “Fashion styles come and go and in almost a full circle moment, Gen Z are tapping into the styles that were popular whilst they were growing up in early 2000’s.”

“The Y2K trend skyrocketed last summer when the social media app became popular, with many including bright and bold colours, small bags and skinny sunglasses in haul videos.”

The popularity of reselling apps like Depop and vintage clothing styles within university culture is also believed to have influenced the trend.

retro fashion

Vintage

With the rise of sustainability, buying vintage has once again become extremely popular in 2021. With younger generations seemingly being more mindful and environmentally conscious than those before them, it’s no surprise that recycling and reusing fashion has really taken off.

Again, vintage clothes have also been prevalent across social media, with the trend being tagged over 325 million times on Tiktok alone.

Tie Dye

Whilst we were all ordered to stay at home, and many of us were looking for ways to keep ourselves entertained, tie dye became a go-to activity. A fun way to spend an afternoon, tie dying also offered the opportunity to double up as a way to refresh your wardrobe, with tie dye t-shirts, joggers and other loungewear items proving popular.

“Social media definitely accelerated this trend as users on Tiktok documented the creation of tie dye items. The term saw over 4.7 billion hashtags on the platform, showcasing just how powerful a tool Tiktok has become for driving fashion trends forward.”, says Aytan.

Do you have any of these viral fashion trends in your wardrobe?

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Chloé is our resident Fast Fashion Expert for the UK Urban and Streetwear scene. Her eyes have been constantly glued to social media for the last five years giving her an insight that is unrivalled. In her spare time she likes shopping and lying in the sunshine. Each year makes a pilgrimage to Ibiza. Chloe lives in London where she has recently completed her journalism degree at the University of Roehampton. She lives in Putney with her boyfriend Christian, and their French Bulldog Coco.