New year, new wardrobe. The defining 2024 fashion trends are already taking shape just weeks into the year, courtesy of the spring runway shows and some boundary-pushing red-carpet looks—and just when we were starting to get tired of our current wardrobes. Nostalgia ruled last year’s biggest trends, from the revival of early-2010s fashion to so-called stealth wealth, which revisited ’90s-style minimalism. And experts say this year’s trends, like the disco decadence of sequins and the return of grade-school staples like bows and preppy polos, follow the same arc—but with a little more playfulness this time around.
“I think if prices for luxury goods continue to remain as high as they currently are, we’ll see the ‘quiet luxury’ trend stick around for a bit longer,” says Emilia Petrarca, who writes the fashion newsletter Shop Rat. “It’s just too expensive to take risks on pieces that you might not like 5, 10 years down the line. Timeless pieces are perhaps a better investment.” Still, she doesn’t think we’re headed for a year of unexciting clothes: “People are interested in trying a timeless sort of elegance or opulence—not just a boring beige minimalism that’s perhaps safer.”
One safe bet: Secondhand fashion will continue to be hugely popular. But with Y2K pretty much kicked at this point, according to Jenny Walton, a Vogue contributor and writer of the newsletter Jenny Sais Quoi, it might be time to look even further back. “I’ve been waiting to see if there will be a sort of 1920s resurgence,” she says. In the meantime she (and seemingly everyone else on Instagram) has eyes for one dress in particular: “The only thing I’m focused on is how to get one of those flowing silk Prada dresses from the [spring] runway.”
Wondering what else will take off this year? We turned to our experts and editors to give you a preview into the most exciting 2024 fashion trends. From elevated activewear to sheer dresses, these are the wardrobe essentials to invest in now—before everyone else does.
Bows, Bows, Bows
If you were online in the last few months of 2023, you noticed that everything was covered in bows, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down in 2024. Fashion’s obsession with girlhood offers an escape from the demands of adult life: If you must pay taxes and go to the grocery store after work, at least you can look cute doing it. Dip your toes into the trend with bow accessories—they can adorn hair, earrings, statement tights, and even nails, if you’re taking cues from the spring runways—or go all in by investing in a piece that’s covered in ribbons.
Along with bows, rosettes are another staple of girlcore that will be everywhere in 2024. They made an appearance on more spring runways than we could count, popping up on everything from ball gowns to button-down shirts. The easiest way to try the trend is with a hair tie, but we also recommend investing in a rosette-ified top, skirt, or wedding guest dress to add some welcome romance to your wardrobe.
Another repeated motif on the 2024 runways has been high shine—especially sequins. Once relegated to New Year’s Eve, paillettes are now showing up in looks destined both for the dance floor and the office. Why not make this your flashiest year yet? Channel your inner Studio 54 groupie with a sparkly statement dress or go a little more demure with a designer bag or ballet flats that’ll shine at your next event.
Miu Miu’s spring runway was like an updated episode of Gossip Girl (or a peek at the students who were actually having fun in Saltburn), and tons of other brands featured models done up in neo-preppy styling. We’re excited to play with that relaxed, moneyed aesthetic by stocking up on striped button-downs, polo shirts, academic blazers, and anything with a Polo Ralph Lauren logo.
Stealth wealth is still going strong, but it’s poised to change a little in the new year. With ’90s luminaries like Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy—the late style icon and the subject of a new coffee-table book—clearly on the mood board, simple (yet glamorous) outfits are all the rage right now. “I believe we will move into an ’80s, ’90s look somewhat adjacent to quiet luxury,” Walton says. “Someone who dressed in a very simplistic and chic manner such as Bessette-Kennedy will continue to be a big inspiration. I also think that restraint will become more and more alluring.” Get a jump on minimalism with hardworking basics like high-waist jeans and long-sleeve T-shirts.
Despite (or perhaps because of) girlhood’s popularity in fashion right now, there’s a strong focus on office-ready aesthetics too. We’re expecting to see so much more power dressing in 2024, with a focus on monochromatic looks in shades of gray, black, and white. Channel your inner executive and pick up a tailored suit or some office-ready pumps, then pretend like you have your life in order.
If the many, many runway presentations featuring see-through clothing—among them Dior, Chanel, Hermès, and the Prada one Walton’s been dreaming about—are any indication, expect sheer to continue its reign on and off the red carpet. You don’t have to bare it all to give the trend a try; instead, pick up a dress with a sheer skirt, a top with slightly sheer inlay, transparent socks, or a mesh top you can layer over your swimsuit.
We have Succession to thank for the name “ludicrously capacious bags,” but labels like Stella McCartney, Tibi, and Victoria Beckham to thank for adding them to their spring collections. Start doing your shoulder exercises now, then pick up an oversized designer bag from Tory Burch or Rebecca Minkoff before the rest of your group chat does.
Into the Deep
“Mermaidcore” had a major moment in 2023, and we aren’t headed for dry land just yet. Aquatic motifs like lobsters and dolphins bubbled up at Schiaparelli, Colin LoCascio, and Di Petsa, while other collections (like Mugler and Jason Wu) featured models that looked like marine life or well-dressed mermaids. You can get the look with Ariel-worthy tops and dresses, flowy skirts, and fisherman sandals.
The first runways of the year featured some very ’80s displays of self-expression; look at Moschino’s slinky, jewel-laden models, Luar’s Grace Jones–esque styling, and Louis Vuitton’s ode to material girls. You don’t need to raid your rich grandma’s closet to join in—just stock up on oversized shades, even bigger blazers, polka-dot dresses, and cap-toe slingbacks to bring the same over-the-top attitude to your current wardrobe.
A wide variety of labels, from Prada to Rachel Comey and Vivienne Westwood, showed shockingly low heels for spring, meaning we’re in for a walking-friendly 2024. Buy into the comfortable heels trend now to stay ahead of the curve and give your feet a break.
Shades of Green
If you want to know what will move in after red’s big moment this winter, just look to the opposite end of the color wheel. “We’re always working with experts to gauge trends, and I’m betting on shades of green for 2024,” says Aya Kanai, the head of editorial and creative for shopping at Google. Spring’s runways included every shade of green imaginable—kelly, pistachio, grass, seafoam, you name it—and we love the fresh, verdant energy for the new year.
Sporty staples like track jackets, oversized hoodies, ringer tees, and baseball caps were a common sight on the year’s first runways, making the models look like the most stylish attendees of after-school practice. Even if you can’t remember the last time you stepped foot in a gym, you can still dress like a star player; just stock up on slouchy jackets, roomy track pants, and white sneakers.
Summer in Capris
As seen on the Sandy Liang runway and celebs like Gigi Hadid and Jennifer Lawrence, capris are poised to make an unexpected comeback this year. Tastemakers like Petrarca are on board: “I’m buying leggings and ‘pedal pushers,’ big sunglasses, and flats [for 2024],” she says. Take your pick from cropped black leggings and culotte-like capris—we promise you’ll be ahead of the curve.