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30 Fashion Trends to Ditch in 2021 (and What to Wear Instead)

DITCH: Baggy, Shapeless Clothing

Unless you're rail thin, baggy clothes are going to make you look messier and bigger than you actually are. If you're going for slacker chic, then by all means, toss on that shapeless blouse and head out the door. Otherwise, grab a belt and cinch yourself into presentability. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Tailored Garments

If you’ve grown accustomed to clothes that are ill-fitting, but don’t want to completely reinvent your wardrobe—invest in having your clothes tailored. This way you can still wear all the outfits you love, but you’ll look more put together.

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DITCH: Bell Sleeves

Bell sleeves came back for a bit, but the design is now getting the ax, according to stylists. We loved this retro inspiration while it lasted. The only issue was that the sleeves are pretty impractical. It's all fun and games until one gets stuck in a car door. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Oversized Puffy Sleeves

Bell sleeves may be outdated, but oversized puffy sleeves definitely aren’t. Not only do they create an exaggerated female silhouette, but they also make you look like royalty. Yes, this trend actually came to popularity in 1981 when Princess Diana married Prince Charles in a puffy sleeve gown.

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DITCH: Waistcoats

Waistcoats came back hard in 2020. It was “old-school” and great while it lasted, but it's time to let it go. Considering some of the other stuff coming in, we're actually a little excited for some more color. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Embellished Jackets

Embellished jackets are now in! Whether it's a little bling or embroidery, this new fashion trend is perfect. It looks fantastic with a plain shirt and jeans or a beautiful dress. 

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DITCH: Sheer Clothing

No matter how rocking that bod may be, 99% of the population has no desire to see what you look like in underwear. Save the risque stuff for someone who will actually appreciate your wild side. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Opaque Outfits

We fully support transparency in relationships, but not in wardrobes. That’s why 2021 is the year we retire our sheer clothing pieces and opt for outfits that are opaque! It’s more professional to keep everything covered, especially if you’re old enough to have a full-time job.

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DITCH: Ruffled/Tiered Clothing

Tiered and ruffled clothing is officially out (unless you're wearing a ruffled collar). We're suspecting ruffled clothing to come back pretty quickly, but tiered is singing its Swan Song for a while. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Bold Shoulders

This year, the '80s are the chosen "retro" style. Power suits are great and all, but the best thing to wear? Bold shoulders. Some are going hard with pointy shoulders while others are going with the shoulder pads we wore to work back in the day. 

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DITCH: Slim Sunglasses

The point of sunglasses is to block the sun, but you wouldn't know that from these teeny tiny frames. There are so many other, more practical ways to look silly--save your money for something more substantially dumb. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Oversized Cat-Eye Frames

Sunglasses aren’t cheap, so let’s stop investing in slim sunnies that hardly block the sun. Instead, purchase a pair of face-fitting frames. Oversized cat eye frames are an up-and-coming trend and a cute way to transition from the tiny shades you’ve grown to love.

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DITCH: Lace Accents

Lace came back and went away in the blink of an eye. We barely dipped our toe in this trend before plaid popped back into style. No one is saying you can't wear your lacey bralette still, though. Nothing wrong with feeling good!

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WEAR INSTEAD: Tie-Dye

DIY it up! Tie-dye is coming back hard, and it's a trend we're living for. Creating your own shirt or bag just makes it mean that much more. It's also super casual and comfy -- everything we love. 

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DITCH: Windbreakers

We aren’t sure when the windbreaker came in style, but they’re already disappearing. So pour one out for the most obnoxiously noisy fashion trend of all time. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Trench Coats

Let’s be honest—trench coats are way trendier than windbreakers. Instead of an unflattering synthetic material, trench coats are made of a heavy, waterproof material. This will keep you warm, dry, and stylish. And the best part is that it’s an andryogenous clothing piece. Both men and women can pull it off!

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DITCH: Cold-Shoulder Tops

Cold shoulder tops may have looked fashion forward 20 years ago, but now they just look desperate. So save your dignity (and your body heat) and try something more fashionable. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: High Necklines

2021 is all about high necklines. It’s a trend that’s so popular that we wouldn’t be surprised if it defined this entire decade. The elongated neck has been worn by many celebs and has slowly become a modern style worn by women everywhere. It’s savvy, sophisticated, and making headlines.

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DITCH: Painful Shoes

Now is the time to ditch those shoes that are hurting your feet. This isn’t something fashion designers have decided—we just think we all need a little break from aching toes, arches, and heels. Rest those footsies.

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WEAR INSTEAD: Mules

The mule trend is one we’ve been looking forward to. We can finally embrace a more realistic choice of footwear. This trend prioritizes comfort. The backless shoe creates a classic silhouette and has been recently updated. You can now purchase mules with chunky soles, block heels, and stylish prints.

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DITCH: Instagram Eyebrows

Instagram eyebrows, like Instagram anything, are a very internet-specific way of making yourself look like a fool. The lines are too strong, and it fades out near the bridge of the nose. It doesn’t follow a person’s natural eyebrow, which makes it look that much faker.

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WEAR INSTEAD: Blue Eyeshadow

Although social media contributes to the rise of fashion and beauty trends, we believe Instagram brows should be left in the 2010s. Instead, experiment with blue eyeshadow. Lots of celebrities are using hues of blue to color their eyes and it’s downright dreamy. Play around with other eccentric shades if you’re feeling bold.

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DITCH: Denim Everything

Denim everything? Not anymore. Double denim lasted about as long as it did in the early '00s, but that doesn't mean you can't wear the pieces separately. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Plaid

Plaid is timeless. It's back in, and women who love fall colors and style will rejoice. Head-to-toe plaid is a bit much, but a shirt or an accessory is the perfect amount!

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DITCH: Disco Collars

Disco collars, yes, like the ones John Travolta wore in Saturday Night Fever, are back in style. Women have willingly brought the wide collar trend back, but it's going away in favor of something much more flattering. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Ruffled/Scalloped Collars

Ruffled and scalloped collars are much more flattering. Something like this is super dressy even when you're wearing it with a pair of jeans. Huge ruffled collars even look great for dressy events. 

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DITCH: Skirts With Side Slits

Skirts with side slits are great for a vacation or a trip to the beach, but out and about in town? Not so much. People are going with mid-length skirts instead. We like the flow of a full skirt a little more anyway. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Big Jeans

Bell bottoms and wide-leg jeans are growing in popularity very quickly. Don't be surprised if you see them everywhere soon. We suggest wearing a tighter top when you wear these treads since you don't want to be top and bottom heavy. 

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DITCH: Extremely Short Dresses and Skirts

Why are people still wearing extremely short dresses and skirts? Nothing says "clean" like bare skin touching a subway seat! Short dresses and skirts need to be ditched—unless you’re wearing leggings under them.

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WEAR INSTEAD: Mid-Length Dresses and Skirts

Modest is hottest, as they say. So, ditch the short dresses and skirts and wear something less revealing. We recommend something mid-length. It’s a length that’s flattering on almost everyone. And it doesn’t make you look older, just classier!

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DITCH: All the Animal Print

Trust us, zebras can barely pull off zebra print, much less a grown adult. Leave the animal print on the Serengeti and stick to something a little less gaudy. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Pastels

Animal prints are overdone. Next time you’re tempted to wear your trusty leopard bodysuit or favorite zebra-print joggers, just don’t. Pick something pastel to wear instead. These colors will look subtle, yet effortlessly fashionable. Pick pastel pieces that are patterned if you prefer a more playful wardrobe.

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DITCH: Neons

Neon didn’t stick around very long, did it? Well, we’re not going to be too sad about this one. Neon and fluorescent colors were always an assault on the eyes. Hopefully, this trend stays in the past where it belongs.

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WEAR INSTEAD: Earthy Neutrals

Neons aren’t easy on the eyes, which is why 2021 is the year to wear more neutrals. Whites, creams, blacks, and tans will keep your wardrobe looking clean, yet warm. Buying staple wardrobe pieces in these shades will also allow you to mix and match your outfits with ease.

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DITCH: Chunky Dad Sneakers

Are the sneakers chunky or is it the dads wearing them? Either way, leave the giant sneakers in the early 90s where they belong. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Square-Toed Heels

Please, we’re begging you to shove your chunky dad sneakers to the back of your closet. Better yet, donate them! And in the meantime, purchase a pair of square-toed heels. These are going to be huge this year. They can be dressed up or down. They look just as chic with denim as they do with a dress!

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DITCH: Anything Vinyl and Latex

Want to look strange AND feel claustrophic? Then by all means, slap on a pair of latex pants. Otherwise, stick to natural fibers that don't make you look like a dominatrix. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Faux-Leather

Vinyl and Latex may be on the way out, but faux-leather is on the way in. Faux-leather jackets are perfect for every season, depending on the color. A classic black leather jacket transitions from fall to winter, but a colored faux-leather jacket can be worn throughout spring and into summer (depending on where you live).

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DITCH: Micro Purses

Micro purses are a 2-for-1 special: they look dumb AND they're wildly impractical. Now, giant bags don't look any better, but at least you can carry more than a thimble in one of them. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Oversized Clutches

Finally, a more practical purse. You’ll never have to worry about not having room for your must-haves. Bottega Veneta’s signature “Pouch” is the most popular oversized clutch among celebrities—but it comes at a price! There are lots of dupes that are more affordable if you don’t want to spend more than $1,000 on a purse!

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DITCH: Boxy Cropped Tops

Crop tops are a statement piece. Specifically, they state, "I have nothing to offer the world beyond a good body." 

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WEAR INSTEAD: XXL Button Downs

The best part about this trend is that you most likely already have an XXL button-down hanging in your closet. If not, you won’t regret purchasing this wardrobe mainstay. It can be worn as a jacket over a graphic tee for a night out with friends or styled with jeans and a pair of heels. 

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DITCH: Western Wear

Life on the range is tough, but life on the catwalk is tougher. Western wear is currently having its final yee-haw before riding off into the sunset. 

 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Jumpsuits/Boiler Suits

Western wear is no longer chic. Street style has evolved and it’s urban, not Urban Cowboy. Trade the suede and studs for jumpsuits and boilersuits. These one-piece outfits are easy to throw on and always fashionable. They come in thousands of styles, colors, materials, and fits.

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DITCH: Bucket Bags

One of last year's hottest accessories was the bucket bag. It was great until you had to spend 15 minutes digging around for your chapstick or lipgloss. We want our pockets back, thank you. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Straw Bags

Out with the old, and in with the new! This upcoming year is all about sustainability, and straw was the material of choice. We don't hate it. Straw is pretty durable, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes. 

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DITCH: Biker Shorts

Wearing biker shorts in public is basically the same as showing up in your underwear. Nothing says classy like lycra bunching up in every nook and cranny south of your bellybutton. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Khakis

We're not saying we have to look like you work at Target, but give khakis another chance. Some of the newer styles look super good for a weekend with your beau or a morning of running errands.

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DITCH: Corset Belts

Corset belts and masks can't go together. Sorry, we only need one thing in the way of our breathing. This trend certainly wasn't comfortable, and we're glad that it's a dying trend.

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WEAR INSTEAD: Cinch Belts

Admittedly, cinch belts aren't that far off from corset belts, but that little change means so much. It can give a baggy outfit shape, which makes it look put together. It also works for a dress that hangs a little bit too much on your figure. 

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DITCH: Letter Necklaces

Custom letter necklaces have seen their better day. Accessorize with chain link bracelets, hoop earrings, pendant necklaces, ring sets, and statement earrings. These are versatile and trendy jewels that will withstand the test of time.

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WEAR INSTEAD: Mismatched Jewels

Finally, a new jewelry trend has emerged that we can totally get behind! Mismatched jewels are in. Feel free to combine dainty necklaces, abstract earrings, delicate rings, and chunky chain-link jewels. There are essentially no rules when it comes to accessorizing—except to avoid the tired letter necklaces at all costs!

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DITCH: Oversized Sweatshirts

Although oversized sweatshirts are extremely comfy, they’re not cute. And while they can be worn without judgement in your own home, please don’t wear them to work or out to dinner.

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WEAR INSTEAD: Crochet Knits

We fell victim to the oversized sweatshirt trend, but how could we not? It was so comfortable. Luckily, crochet knits are replacing shapeless sweatshirts. These new outfit staples are just as snuggly and way more appealing to look at. Crochet sweaters, skirts, and dresses were all over the runway and will soon be in all of our closets.

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DITCH: Ugg Boots

UGG boots were a must-have in the 2000s. But after two decades, it’s time to say goodbye to your beloved shearling-lined shoes. If you feel you absolutely cannot part with them, splurge on the Jerene Boot, a dressier, block-heel version of the classic UGG boot.

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WEAR INSTEAD: Chunky Boots

As comfortable as Ugg boots are, it’s time to ditch them. They’re no longer a trend anyone wants to see. Replace these winter staples with chunky-soled boots. You can find these boots in many different colors and styles. They look cute with dresses, skirts, and denim.

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DITCH: Low-Rise Jeans

Low-rise jeans should’ve disappeared like yesterday. They’re uncomfortable and impractical. And because they’re expected to make a comeback in 2021, we need to band together and detest this low-slung denim trend before we morph into Paris Hilton in the early 2000s.

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WEAR INSTEAD: High-Waisted Trousers

The majority of women experienced a moment of panic when low-rise jeans attempted to make a comeback last year. This style of denim should’ve remained in the ‘90s—no questions asked. This year, we’re all about high-waisted trousers. Not only are they more comfortable, but they’re also more versatile. They come in various shapes, patterns, and colors to help you transition through every season!

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DITCH: White Accessories

White accessories are easy to use because they go with everything, but this year it’ll take away from your outfit. It’s best to go with something pastel or even neutral, so the outfit itself is the focal point--and not the giant coffee stain on your all-white handbag. 

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WEAR INSTEAD: Hoop Earrings

The white accessory trend is finally on its way out. Don’t get us wrong, we supported it for a period of time, but now it’s overdone. If you’re looking for a new jewelry staple, buy two pairs of hoops—in gold and silver. These can be paired with anything and will keep you looking trendy all of 2021.

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