Spring And Summer 2020 Fashion Trends To Watch, According To Style Experts

From "granny chic" to '90s grunge, here are the style trends to look forward to trying out when you can go outside again.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.

It might not seem like it now, but we will find occasions worth dressing up for again. From tie-dye everything to "birth flower jewelry," these are the trends you can look forward to when that time comes.
It might not seem like it now, but we will find occasions worth dressing up for again. From tie-dye everything to "birth flower jewelry," these are the trends you can look forward to when that time comes.

By early May, we at HuffPost Finds would usually be scouring the internet for sandal sales, figuring out how to stuff another midi dress into our closets and checking the weather each morning to see if we can leave home without a jacket.

But this is not your usual spring season.

As the world has come to terms with the reality of pandemic life, the lucky among us are working from home so that those who can’t do their jobs from a desk feel safer going to theirs.

As a result, many of us have canceled special events, from weddings to birthday celebrations. Even less momentous outings like brunch with friends or going on first dates have been put on pause, which means we’re swapping our usual clothing for comfortable loungewear that might not make us feel like our best selves.

Don’t get me wrong: Loungewear is the reasonable and practical choice, given all the time we’re spending indoors and on our own. But there is a reason you feel more like yourself when you express your personal style through fashion and beauty. Appropriately, it is called “the lipstick effect.” A study out of Harvard Medical School found that wearing makeup can give people a confidence boost. That’s why putting on an outfit that makes you feel great and doing your makeup might lift your mood, even if it seems frivolous.

There will come a time where we can meet with friends and family again to do fun (and even mundane) things. We will find occasions to dress up — even if our outfits will be paired with fashionable and functional face masks and we keep a 6-foot distance between ourselves and others.

It might be a good distraction to start planning for those summer outfits, or even experimenting with some new looks around the house.

I’ve developed a WFH makeup routine and started wearing the two new pairs of strappy sandals I got from a Nordstrom sale around the house, just to feel more like myself and give me something to look forward to.

A while back, I spoke with style and trend experts from Etsy, Pinterest and online consignment and thrift store ThredUp for their predictions on spring and summer 2020’s biggest fashion trends to watch.

If you want to know more about what you can look forward to wearing this spring and summer, take a look through our guide to the season’s top looks, including shoe trends, fresh prints and fun colors — because we all need something to look forward to for when we can go outside again.

Take a look:

Secondhand Style Rules All
As shoppers become more eco-conscious and strive to lead more sustainable lifestyles, interest in secondhand fashion and thrifting is surging. Searches for thrifted fashion are up by 38% on Pinterest alone, according to the Pinterest 2020 trend report.

If you’re interested in secondhand fashion, it’s also important to consider the "cost per wear" when investing in an item, according to Ashley Ricketts, ThredUp's manager of luxe apparel. That is, how often will you use it.

Ricketts said there are a few investment pieces you won't ever regret, like a leather handbag, a pair of boots for winter, and "the perfect fitting jean to wear again and again."

Ricketts recommends Kate Spade leather backpacks, Madewell leather crossbody bags, Frye boots and Levi’s jeans, since they’re popular and have a good resale value.

(Pictured: Kate Spade at ThredUp)
Big '80s Energy
People are drawing inspiration from the bold fashion choices of the '80s.

“Shoppers who fell in love with last year’s maximalism can own this over-the-top look with sequins, puff sleeves, bright colors and more — but this time with a modern twist,” said Etsy's resident trend expert, Dayna Isom Johnson.

There's been a slight increase in searches for shoulder pads and chain belts on Etsy recently, a sign that people are interested in these retro styles.

(Pictured: Mango chain belt)
Midwest Meets Southwest
We called the "urban cowgirl" trend back in September 2019, and searches for cowboy hats, fringe jackets and belt buckles have since been trending up. Not only do we expect to see this Western-meets-Southwestern look in full swing for the spring and summer, but there will be a lot of overlap on this country trail with the new prairie girl trend.

(Pictured: Gitane dress at Reformation)
The '90s Revival, Continued
Savannah Dodd via Getty Images
The ’90s revival is nothing new, but for 2020 it’s going to be all about grunge fashion, which has spiked in interest by nearly 300% on Pinterest, according to Pinterest's 2020 trend report. Expect to see combat boots, flannels and oversized outerwear alongside florals and pastels this spring.

You might also see '90s streetwear making a comeback, from sneakers and baby tees to hoodies. Ricketts from ThredUp attributes part of this renewed '90s interest to the VSCO girl and boy trend.

“We’ve recently seen an uptick in '90s footwear favorites including Dr. Martens, Reebok and Converse,” she said. “Brands like these consistently perform well in the resale market because they’re made to last and stay in use longer.”
Dramatic Hair Accessories
Scrunchies and hair clips have made a serious comeback in the past few months, and don’t expect them to disappear in the warmer weather. Searches for hair clips have increased by 930%, and scrunchies had a whopping 6,309% increase in search interest on the site, according to the Pinterest's 2020 trend report.

You’ll probably see more oversized clips securing chignons and satin scrunchies sweeping up hair during those sweltering summer heatwaves. Don’t forget darling silk neck scarves that can double as hair accessories to pretty up a high ponytail.

(Pictured: Brenda hair clip set at Anthropologie)
Birth Flower Jewelry
The yellow-gold jewelry craze isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Some might even say it will be in full bloom for spring.

Birthstone jewelry is making way for a surprising new favorite: birth flower jewelry," said Etsy's Isom-Johnson. “Just like birthstones, every month has a flower and shoppers can proudly display theirs personalized on everything from rings to earrings.”

(Pictured: Birth month flower charm necklace at Etsy)
Granny Chic
Heirloom-inspired jewelry and accessories are making their way out of the jewelry box and onto our everyday outfits.

“With ‘granny chic’ styles on the rise across all categories this year, it’s no surprise that shoppers are gravitating towards heirloom-inspired jewelry,” Isom-Johnson said. “The style is a fashion-forward departure from minimalist jewelry pieces, with everything from lockets to clip-on earrings and even chains for glasses.”

According to Johnson, there’s been increased interest on Etsy for women’s brooches, lockets, vintage clip-on earrings and glasses chains.

(Pictured: Green tassel glasses chain at Etsy)
Strappy Sandals
The square-toe sandal put its best foot forward last summer and will be sure to make a comeback as the weather warms up in 2020. But this year it'll be strappier than ever, in colorful pastels and clear styles. Don’t forget to apply a little SPF to the tops of your feet to avoid tan lines from those interlaced straps and barely there strings.

(Pictured: Intentionally Black Willow Slide Sandal at Nordstrom)
Eye-Catching Collars
W Concept
Expect to see dramatic oversized collars popping out from under light coats and layered dresses.

“Late '70s- and early '80s-inspired styles have been trending so far this spring,” Ricketts said. “Particularly styles with exaggerated collars and any prints with mustard, yellow and cream hues.” So when it comes to collars, bigger and bolder are better.

(Pictured: Bibyseob Big Collar Shirt from W Concept)
If you were skeptical when we said chartreuse would be big in the new year, now we’re here to convince you. Even Etsy has seen a big uptick in interest on site for chartreuse items.

“Shoppers ready to dive head-first into this trend can opt for statement-making pieces like a vivid jacket or dress,” Isom-Johnson said. “If shoppers aren’t fully ready to commit to the trend, they can start out with a pair of chartreuse earrings or a crossbody to add a playful pop of color to any look.”

(Pictured: Chartreuse yellow maxi cotton dress on Etsy)
Puff Sleeves
& Other Stories
Ever since the milkmaid trend made its debut last spring, sleeves have blown up — literally. We've seen balloon sleeves on sweaters, dresses and square-neck tops, and they are sure to be bigger and better than ever this summer.

(Pictured: Linen blend puff sleeve top at & Other Stories)
Tie-Dye Everything
Urban Outfitters
In case you haven't noticed, the tie-dye trend has exploded over the last few weeks as people practicing social distancing look for ways to keep themselves entertained and also liven up their loungewear. We even rounded up DIY tie-dye kits because there's been so much interest.

In fact, searches for tie-dye have gone up around 500%, according to Larkin Brown, an experience researcher and in-house stylist at Pinterest. When the time comes for us to leave our homes for more leisurely activities, don’t be surprised to see people incorporating tie-dye loungewear into their everyday style, from tie-dye socks to tie-dye dresses.

(Pictured: Urban renewal recycled tie-dye crew-neck sweatshirt at Urban Outfitters)

Popular in the Community


HuffPost Shopping’s Best Finds