Fashion Aesthetic Shifts During Pandemic

2022 Fashion Predictions

Landyn Goldberg

Landyn Goldberg

Fashion has seen a large aesthetic shift since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The once-common sightings of wearing exclusively shirts plastered with brands plastered all over and paying hundreds of dollars for an outfit have dwindled, with people wearing whatever they can find for cheap at thrifts. Skin-tight denim is overruled by baggy workwear on social media, with Carhartt and Dickies being the top of the line. Will these trends stay? I believe a major shift is coming in 2022, with fashion being flipped on its head once again. The style norm will no longer be the norm, if there is even a norm at all.


Carson Durall, Easton Allwood

Falloff Of Sneakers 

I believe sneakers will see a large falloff in 2022. Nike Dunks and Jordan 4s will no longer be what the community is after, but rather other shoes. Birkenstock Bostons picked up steam as an amazing year-round shoe, being able to be worn with baggy pants in the winter or shorts and no socks in the summer. Only being a retail of $135-$145, the cost appeal is far higher than what sneakers are going for. Retro Jordans saw an increase in price to $200 if people can even get them for retail. The want for sneakers is slowly dying out because sneakers are becoming less accessible for people. 

Hiking boots have also seen a major increase in popularity, as an often common thrift find for less than $50. The boots provide a major accent to the common workwear and chunky shoe aesthetic. Designer companies are also pushing boots heavily, and it is becoming more and more common to see an influencer wearing a military style boot. Because of all these alternatives and the over saturation of sneakers by Nike and Jordan, sneakers will likely see a major drop. 

However, I feel the mainstream sneaker falloff can become a stepping stone for New Balance to jump into the spotlight. Following an amazing 2021 run with the 550 and 990 models and collaborations with designers Aimé Leon Dore and Joe Freshgoods, New Balance is primed to make a major jump. They provide a new look on what is common. Nikes and Jordans are all starting to look the same, whereas New Balance does enough to be different from each release and not stuff new colorways and collaborations down consumers throats. New Balance, Birkenstock and various boot brands such as Doc Martens, Merrill and Tecova will run what’s on foot in 2022. 

Mix Of Fit

The past two years saw baggy clothes run the norm. Buying pieces a size or two bigger than what you should be wearing was extremely common, as done by myself heavily. I can see baggy clothes becoming less common. Though it will be an extremely common aesthetic, I think more well-fitted clothes will come in, such slim fit denim and shirts that are not severely oversized. We will not go back to skin tight everything like the late 2010s, where people could barely move. We will see a happy medium, between ultra baggy and ultra tight. American streetwear juggernaut Aime Leon Dore is the backing force of this movement, with cozy high-end fashion that can be easily replicated for cheap. Slim fit is the perfect cut to be able to dress up and wear on a nicer occasion, or dress down and have a more casual streetwear look. 


Trends Dying Out 

COVID-19 has been a heavy place for sharing ideas online and has accelerated how trends can grow, especially in the fashion world. I believe the idea of trends will die out, and people will come up with their own trends and styles. There are so many different aesthetics people follow, with pure vintage and thrifted, cowboy and western with boots, military utility, high-end streetwear. I think a common aesthetic will no longer become a thing, and people will just wear whatever they love and feel comfortable in. Social media will still be used as inspiration, but seeing everyone looking the same will no longer be a thing. As the fashion community, we need to respect what everyone else wears. First and foremost, it is just common courtesy to see what people wear and let them enjoy themselves. Secondly, fashion is art. Art as a whole is subjective and in the eye of a beholder. You may not think what your friend wears looks good, but they do and enjoy it. Let them enjoy what they wear and create their own aesthetic, rather than follow trends and wear whatever the biggest TikTok creator is wearing. Style will become more individualized in 2022, which should be appreciated.