If Portia’s divisively chaotic White Lotus outfits and the continued core-ification of TikTok fashion are any indication, next year’s trends will have to set themselves apart from the pattern-happy avant-basic aesthetic that dominated 2021 and the early months of 2022. And according to the shopping happening on Gen Z-loved second hand platforms like Depop, that shift is already in motion.
“At Depop, it’s no surprise that we are seeing trends bubble up earlier and earlier each year,” says Steve Dool, Brand Director at Depop. Predictions for next year include a return to minimalism (dubbed “the new neutrals” by the secondhand shopping platform), which embraces an updated version of the “Clean Girl” look, a surge in “aquascape” dominated by marine themes and ocean-inspired color palettes, and “celestial” looks defined by angel motifs and disco glam. Most of all, however, retro styles overall show no signs of waning popularity. In fact, “vintage” was one of the top ten search terms on the platform in 2022.
Considering Gen Z’s love of mixing and matching eras, colors, and styles (see: cowboy boots showing up in pretty much every viral outfit on TikTok), the continued interest in retro styles should come as no surprise. And while naming vintage trends is well and good, it can be hard to pin down exactly what “acquascape” or “retro fits” look like IRL. So, we asked the pros at Depop for a little more clarity. Ahead, we break down the most popular searches on the platform last year and what it means for the top styles of 2023.
First off, we’re grouping “Vivienne Westwood” and “Corsets,” as there’s quite a bit of overlap between these two Depop search terms. Vivienne Westwood corsets have long been spoken of in hushed tones among the vintage community and represent, along with a certain ‘90s newspaper Dior print, one of the holy grails of secondhand shopping. Along with the designer’s signature emblem-adorned pearl necklace, the appetite for Westwood’s cherub-covered corsets has reached an all-time high in the past year (they sell for thousands). It’s not hard to see why—the style fits right within next year’s “celestial” aesthetic and dovetails nicely with the corset top trend that’s been popular over the past few years.
“Cargo pants,” “overalls,” and “baby tees,” also popped up in Depop’s top 10. There’s a few things going for these styles. First, they’re all classic early 2000s throwbacks—“y2k” was also one of Depop’s top 10 search terms—and they satisfy what Depop is calling “new neutrals.” The aesthetic is relaxed minimalism (modeled by celebs like Hailey Bieber and the Scandi styling of Matilda Djerf). This way of dressing is about looking effortless but polished, and cargo pants, overalls, and tiny tees in all of their early aughts glory fit the bill.
With the impending takeover of indie sleaze (itself a bit of a reinterpretation of early ’90s grunge), interest in fashion terms like “grunge,” “Carhart,” and “Doc Martins” was bound to resurface. According to Depop, brands like Diesel are also on the rise, as more and more shoppers seek to channel their inner Julia Fox with leather, biker-inspired details, and reworked workwear.
Overall, it seems that next year’s fashion will represent a continuation, reinterpretation, or evolution of the 2022’s trends. The “clean girl” look will get a little more relaxed. Disco glam girlies will look to the heavens for inspiration. Mermaidcore will continue to trend, moving into closets with a darker point of view with aquascape edge. And shoppers will remix last year’s moto jackets and baggy denim into a grunge revival.
If Depop’s predictions are any indication, postmodern fashion isn’t going anywhere, and we’re in for another year of mixing, matching, and (re)wearing vintage styles. And with rising concerns around sustainability, waste, and fashion’s climate impact, that’s not such a bad thing. If you can satisfy your “acquascape” dreams by searching your own closet or buying secondhand, what’s not to like?