pearlcore, dopamine dressing and more

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As we recline on our sofas, embracing the 24/7 life induced by the pandemic, designers are taking an optimistic approach to the future of fashion. Pulling us out of our comfortable routine, this year’s wardrobe update is a blend of nostalgic looks and elevated basics.

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To help with the rebirth of your wardrobe, we’ve asked some style experts about their top fashion trends for 2022. What you can expect includes maxi pleated skirts, bursts of cheerful color, clean-cut collegiate styles and iridescent pearls that they remind you world is your oyster, even if your walkway continues to be the corridor between your home office and the kitchen.

1. Preppy sweater vest

The prepwear is back and the vest is its most precious player.

When prepwear – the clothes you’d imagine on Ivy League schoolgirls – struttered on the runways of spring 2022, the nerdier fashionistas cheered on golf with glee. The student protagonist of this elegant and buttoned style? The knitted vest.

A favorite in the 90s In the dark icons Cher and Dionne, these sleeveless knit toppers are bound to have a great year. And according to stylist Lauren Rae Levy Vigneron, founder of the New York City-Malibu LRL Group styling and consulting firm, the nerd, the cutest.

“Braid fabrics and silly prints are all the rage,” he says, shouting at trendsetter Harry Styles and his heavy wardrobe. “My favorite way to flaunt this look is with a comfy fabric, like cashmere, in a neutral or fun printed color, and a white or ivory button-down shirt underneath it.” If your vest is oversized, combine it with straight or wide leg trousers, a mini skirt, leather trousers or, another 2022 trend, a pleated skirt.

“I love a vest and there are so many options for them right now,” says Los Angeles-based Emma Trask, celebrity stylist Scarlett Johansson, Beyonce and Carrie Underwood and founder of The Chrysalis Lab, a lifestyle brand that recycles the vintage pieces in new. “Take a masculine / feminine approach to style by wearing a vest over a long dress or an oversized vest over a slip dress.”

2. Denim on denim

Pairing denim with denim fits well with trendy monochromatic styles.

While Britney and Justin showed off red carpet style at the 2001 American Music Awards with their infamous all-jeans pairing moment, today’s monochromatic vibe will change the way you see denim. Designers are taking a more subtle approach to this dare-to-wear trend without reducing its wow factor.

“[Modern] the denim tones are smoother, less washed, “says Vigneron.” The patchwork we’re seeing is cleaner than previous trends, which is why some [designers] they call it ‘paneled’, ”he explains, noting that the seams are hidden inside the garment for a seamless transition from one denim color to another on the outside.

To approach the denim-on-denim look conservatively, she suggests you keep it clean. “Don’t wear jeans that are almost the same shade, “he says. Instead, be intentional: match them perfectly or not.

3. Knitted and crocheted textures

Knitwear offers a textually interesting look to otherwise plain dresses.

I apologize for your favorite Athleta hoodie and joggers, but it’s time to move from home wear to pieces that combine comfort and style. Knitwear became the most popular shopping fabric during the pandemic, according to Denise Caldwell, a Brooklyn-based fashion designer and television expert. “You can wear it for lounging around the house or, if you need to run errands quickly, have knits that make you feel good and as if you have dressed with minimal effort.”

2022 tends to move beyond basic sweaters in favor of crochet sets and styles, such as ankle-length dresses, and cropped tops that work with wide-leg pants. “A knitwear set is something that has become a trendy version of glam leisure,” she says of the alternative to the traditional jogging suit. “Imagine a snug top and bottom.”

Knitwear instantly makes garments more welcoming and luxurious, says Trask. “Knitted dresses are so versatile. Pair them with an ankle boot and a matching belt for an elevated street style look, or for the glamorous evening with heels, a long blazer and jewels.

4. Pleated skirts

Creases aren't just for Ivy League fans anymore.

That famous fold is making a comeback. Rather than giving off school uniform vibes, the playful fold takes on a more grown-up look in 2022, with iterations ranging from Dior’s feminine mini skirts to sleek maxi’s at Proenza Schouler.

“This style exudes femininity,” says Vigneron. “I love the tight folds that are midi length just as much as the wider folds on shorter pieces.” Pair the pleats with a blouse or sweater and sneakers or flat boots for the day and heels for an elegant evening look. “I’m also a huge fan of vintage concert t-shirts with pleated skirts for the feminine with a touch of edge.” Alternatively, complement them with a denim or leather jacket, paired with a sneaker, for rock star status.

“I love a pleated, preferably faux leather skirt with a sweater, which can be fitted or slightly oversized and rolled up,” says Trask. “Add a flashy belt and a matching heel or boot.” For an elegant yet casual look, she suggests going soft with a pleated knit skirt and matching sweater.

5. Pearl

Pearlcore is going to be big this year, with pearls adding an extra touch to outfits.

Iridescent accents in the form of real and faux pearls are all over the runways, from the head, like with pearl-encrusted headbands, to the toe, like a pair of pearly booties. Lately, pearly skin and nail accents have graced the red carpet as well.

While this trend isn’t new – Caldwell traces it back to the 16th century – the dainty pearl-adorning dress is bolder this year. “Pearls have a glamorous and statement effect on them,” she says. “They’ve been modernized with oversized and encrusted details.” Styles range from collegiate clothing on cardigans to bustiers made with pearly accessories.

“Pearls subtly embellish and elevate a piece,” adds Trask. “They transform all kinds of fabrics.” Designers have infused pearls on everything from chiffon to silk, cashmere to wool. “Mixing pearls, rhinestones and fringes can create a super glam rocker look, while pearl embellishments on sheer or mesh fabric can elevate a sexy look.” Creatively placed pearls on knits offer a new take on classic prep, and pearls mixed with denim or leather and metal lend an edgy street style.

6. Statement clippings

Show off your sexy side with cutout pieces this 2022.

Whether strategically placed along the waist of a blazer or along the arms of a leotard, little bits of leather are attracting a lot of attention, beyond the cut dresses you’ve seen in the recent past. It’s up to you to decide what you want to display, making each outfit truly individual.

“Cutouts are a great way to make an outfit unique and unexpected,” says Trask. Clearly this style calls for your sexy side, but to play things down, it suggests pairing a garment with more hidden pieces: a cut dress with a duster and boots, or low-rise baggy pants with a cut-out top.

7. Dopamine medication

Dress for your mood and happiness through dopamine dressing.

As we struggle to come to terms with the past couple of years, you may be accepting the “escape” in our closets both literally and figuratively. Get into dopamine dressing or wearing joyful, often colorful, clothes that improve your mood. Named after the “happiness hormones” released by your brain that help give you that feel-good effect, this trend is just what the doctor ordered.

“Dopamine medication took on a new meaning after the block,” Vigneron says. Pinterest’s 2022 Trends Report shows a 16-fold increase in searches for “bright dresses,” showing that now is the time to go somewhere over the rainbow.

“Bright and cheerful colors make people happy and who wouldn’t want to do all the things that light up their moods, as well as those around them?” she says. As it started in the DIY world of tie-dye athleisure apparel in the spring and summer of 2021, the trend has evolved towards bold color blocks. “If it makes you feel happy and confident, go for it,” Vigneron says. “I love to mix textures and levels with this trend, but I also love to see people experiment with it and make it their own.”

Dopamine dressing isn’t always about color. It can be about textures, patterns, or anything that makes you feel good.

“Gladly dressing in bright colors is a trend for beautiful and pleasing dresses that you can wear over and over,” says Caldwell, who also seeks out flowers, rainbows, and abstract patterns for a touch of personality. “This year is about dressing comfortably, but also about wearing things that improve your mood. Adding color can rejuvenate your everyday attitude and update your style in an instant. “

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