Ohio State fashion experts take a look at current trends after comfortable pandemic styles


An editorial photo of the 2018-2019 Fashion Production Association at the Ohio State Board of Directors. Credit: Courtesy of Skyler Ray

This year’s fashion forecast predicts an energizing color palette, a mix of bold patterns and over-the-top silhouettes as the world opens up again post-pandemic.

Kristin Paulus, lecturer in fashion and retail studies at Ohio State, said the “comfort” theme, seen last year in the form of crewneck sweaters, cardigans, clothes loungewear and oversized knitwear, showed how society felt throughout the pandemic. In the new year, people want to get back into the world and are using fashion as a way to express that feeling, with a particular focus on energizing colors, she said.

“One of the big themes this year is the idea of ​​escapism through the expression of color,” Paulus said. “The color is announced in a way we’ve never seen before, and the colors are pretty strong.”

Katie Hitchens, a fourth-year major in fashion and retail, said she recently took part in the MAGIC fashion show in Las Vegas from February 14 to 16, where bright colors and other 2022 fashion trends were on display.

“Each booth at this show had at least one item of the color kelly green or a very vibrant orange,” Hitchens said. “The mix of patterns was also very popular in Las Vegas, like the mix of polka dots and checks.”

While the new year may ring in bright colors and a mix of bold patterns, some of the more muted wellness and pampering elements of 2021 carry over into 2022 as well, Paulus said.

“It’s interesting to see that a calming element of the earth, like water, is starting to project onto the prints,” Paulus said. “As camo print fades away, we’re seeing nature express itself in new ways, like water ripples on clothing.”

Anna Johnson, a fourth-year major in marketing and fashion and retail, is president of the Ohio State Fashion Production Association — a student organization that gives students the chance to get involved in fashion design, production, advertising and fundraising and ultimately host an annual fashion show, according to the school’s website. ‘organization.

She said this year marks the end of a few trends, such as more childish themes that seemed like temporary fads.

“One of those trends that we continued to see in 2021 was big plastic jewelry and Year 2000-themed clothing,” Johnson said. “I don’t see these trends spreading in 2022 because it’s very young, in a way, and we’ve just started to move past that.”

As the Y2K theme – categorized in fashion as popular styles in the early 2000s – fades away, a new theme for this year has begun to emerge, and Paulus said the company has encouraged movement towards personalization in fashion.

“The theme of unity and diversity is very relevant this year,” Paulus said. “It’s pretty powerful because it includes custom designs, really cool collaborations, and the overall richness of inclusivity that’s here to stay.”

However, Johnson said certain pieces of clothing have proven to be wardrobe staples over the past couple of years and will likely continue to be.

“Clothes like tailored suits and leather blazers are items you can keep for years,” Johnson said. “It’s good because you can mix and match these staple pieces with emerging trends that feature jewel tones and neon colors.”

Besides color, customization can also be achieved in fashion through a variety of silhouettes and cuts of clothing, Paulus said. This year, the fashion pendulum is focused on the legs and shoulders, she said.

“There’s a huge theme in the legs,” Paulus said. “We focused on skinny jeans and leggings for a while, and now we’re seeing a really wide leg.”

Keeping up with emerging fashion trends has become increasingly accessible through various social media platforms, and there are other outlets Ohio State students can look out for, Paulus said. .

“If I were a student interested in fashion, I would really benefit from WGSN, provided by the library,” Paulus said. “WGSN is the gold standard for colors, silhouettes and global forecasts.”

While resources such as WGSN — a website that forecasts fashion trends — are helpful for learning about trends, Johnson said it’s always important to find a way to incorporate her personality into a trending look. .

“When it comes to fashion trends, it’s important to know that your personality plays a huge role,” Johnson said. “Finding an influencer or brand you identify with and leaning into their styles is a great way to try out new trends while incorporating your personality.”