Chef-chic, gold hoops, quiet luxury: which trends will survive into 2024? | Fashion

Quiet luxury

From Gwyneth Paltrow’s high-end Goop knitwear shoot – sorry, ski-and-run trial – to our obsession with Succession’s Roy clan, who wore navy cashmere like a family tartan, 2023 was the year of quiet luxury, right?

Wrong. The year of quiet luxury will be 2024. The stealth wealth aesthetic has hit a cultural nerve by managing to align two apparently oppositional forces in fashion. Quiet luxury is, on the one hand, about timeless, investment-oriented dressing, which is a more sustainable take on style than burning through trends at a mile a minute, in the time of climate emergency. But it is also about clothes that have a powerful aura of money and status – and money and status never go out of style.

To put it bluntly: quiet luxury means that you get to look like you are both (a) on the side of the angels and (b) a player. The recent about-turn by Gucci, where a new designer is steering the brand from colour and maximalism into clean, preppy tailoring, points to an industry that is backing classic dressing as the market opportunity du jour. Expect to see quiet luxury get a bit louder next year. “Peacock Preppy” – think Jenna Lyons-era J Crew, with a dash of Blair Waldorf – is my hot trend tip for the new year.
Verdict: invest

The messy handbag

Every season of fashion shows has a styling detail that goes viral. It could be shoulder-robing your coat instead of wearing it; it could be tucking your hair into your funnel-neck sweater. In Paris this season, it was having a messy handbag. At Miu Miu, bags were stuffed to overflowing with a hotchpotch of a busy woman’s life: office lanyards, gym clothes, even a change of shoes.

The fabulous-but-relatably-messy handbag was already having a moment, the death of Jane Birkin having flooded Instagram with images of her looking chic while carrying either a wicker basket or a battered-and-bulging Hermès Birkin. Dressing to bare your soul and your secrets is very now – and there is no more revealing window into a soul than the contents of a handbag. Dressing to show the world the real you can be theatrical: see the Rihanna-inspired vogue for collaborating with a fashion designer for a visual reveal of a baby bump. See, also, Madonna’s dressed-for-confession lace-and-crucifix Like a Virgin era, as revived by her Celebration tour. Looking mysterious is very pre-pandemic, darlings.
Verdict: the lazy girl’s top 2024 fashion hack

The Hackney dad shacket

Yes, you, my friend, cycling across London Fields in east London in your Carhartt/Arket workwear jacket. The Hackney dad look – small-batch craft ale, independent cheesemongers, miniature schnauzers – has gone mainstream this year.

You can still see it in the wild on every from-the-farmer’s-market Insta post, but you can also see the look channelled into high-street menswear everywhere from Next to Marks & Spencer. Shackets and chore jackets are this decade’s hoodies. Workwear is the new streetwear.
Verdict: this one has legs

Trousers-and-a-shirt as power dressing

We all thought that this year would be about trouser suits, but they turned out to be a bit of a red herring. The real on-the-ground chic-work-dressing story of 2023 has been proper trousers (think pleats at the front, and belt loops) with a shirt (not a blouse). Women haven’t really had an office uniform since the shift dress went all Fox newsreader, so I for one am very much here for the rise of a practical, contemporary way to dress for work.

Head-to-toe tailoring can look a little bit fancy dress, especially if the person at the next desk has turned up in a tracksuit, so trousers-and-a-shirt is emerging as the thinking woman’s choice. It’s a no-brainer that looks like you have brains. The only downside: the Sunday night ironing is real.
Verdict: leave the jacket at home

Sport

On your marks, get set, GO! Sport and fashion moved closer together in 2023 – Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham were front row at Pharrell Williams’ Louis Vuitton show, and Jack Grealish became a Gucci ambassador – but with LVMH sponsoring the Paris Olympic games, 2024 is going to set new records.

This is a new level of ambition, with fashion making a land grab for sport prime time. Sports fans who don’t follow fashion are likely to be oblivious to Arsenal and England’s Bukayo Saka’s oufit on the Burberry front row – epic though it was – but collaborations will be happening slap bang in the middle of sports culture in Paris next summer, not just at fashion week.
Verdict: unavoidable

Wrong shoe theory

My favourite theory of 2023, as coined by the stylist Allison Bornstein, goes that the smart way to make your look shine is to wear the Wrong Shoe. A clompy boot with a long skirt, a flip-flop with winter trousers, trainers with a cute dress. The bad news is, this theory is old news; the good news is, there is a handy update for 2024. So Goodbye, Wrong Shoe Theory, and hello Wrong Coat Theory. Which prescribes – you guessed it! – spicing up your outfit by wearing a coat that shouldn’t really work. A long tailored coat over a tracksuit, say, or a parka over your party dress. This could be a handy hack for the first few months of 2024, I reckon.
Verdict: so wrong, it’s right

Trends of 2023
Illustration: Eleanor Shakespeare/The Guardian

Tomato girl summer

2023 was all about la dolce vita, from White Lotus season two in Sicily to Victoria Beckham’s Portofino ’97 perfume. 2024 will be the year the Scandi aesthetic goes mainstream. Copenhagen fashion week is catching up with Paris as the street-style centre of fashion, and Scandi Girl cool is the new French Girl chic. Lingonberry girl summer, anyone?
Verdict: over-ripe

Chefs

The cool job of 2023, epitomised by the entire fashion industry losing its mind over a Thom Browne chef jacket in The Bear. Being a chef is so cool, even just pretending to be a chef makes you cool: Ayo Edebiri, the actor who plays Sydney in The Bear, anointed by Vogue as “a fashion star in the making”, has been wearing everything from lavender haute couture gowns to conceptual Loewe sculpture dresses, and will be one to watch on the red carpet next year.

Chef-worship is as much about the aesthetic as the taste, so if you can’t cook, don’t fret. Tablescaping is also going nowhere.
Verdict: yes, chef!

Gold and pearls

Gold hoops and chunky gold chains, along with modern takes on pearl jewellery, were the only show in town this year, but that’s about to change. Silver – already unavoidable this festive season, what with six pairs of silver trousers at every party, minimum – is mounting a jewellery box comeback. You heard it here first.
Verdict: all change

Birkenstocks

Birkenstocks are out, but the Granola Girl look outdoorsy, environmentally aware, earthy toned – is still setting the footwear agenda. Next summer is all about a hiking sandal, especially when worn with totally-impractical-for-hiking wide-legged denim.
Verdict: taking a summer off

The eardrobe

Multiple earrings is not a trend, it’s a new style classic. If you didn’t get at least one extra piercing and have several conversations about huggie hoops, did you even really do 2023 at all?
Verdict: it’s not too late

The tech bro scruff

A hoodie and a pair of dad jeans doesn’t cut it any more. Jeff Bezos made his Vogue debut in a spray-on black T-shirt, Hollywood biceps and a cowboy hat, and a new era of billionaire bonkersness has dawned. Who knows what 2024 will have in store: Elon Musk walking for Balenciaga? It’s enough to make you nostalgic for 2023.
Verdict: old news

Microtrends

Over, if they ever really existed in the actual world, which I’m not entirely convinced “goblincore” or “clowncore” ever did. As a rule of thumb, if you have to put “core” on the end of a thing to make it sound like a thing, it’s not a thing. Super-niche trends became news in 2023, the “And finally … ” of the internet era, and I think we can safely ignore them, going forward.

Also, most of them are kind of ugly – trust me, “fairycore” is never chic – and there are strong signs that 2024 will see a return to the old-fashioned notion of having “taste”. See: the return of Phoebe Philo, and the rediscovery of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy as a style icon. Style in the form of bone-deep good taste is set for a renaissance.
Verdict: dodocore (geddit)

Noughties nostalgia

With Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn confirming the return of the collar-popped rugby shirt, and secondhand stores reporting hyped-up demand for pre-loved party dresses from the glory days of Topshop, this doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Fuelled by generation Z, who are too young to actually remember it, this is technically not nostalgia but anemoia – a sense of nostalgia for a time unknown. Presumably they will grow out of it eventually, but not just yet.
Verdict: indestructible

Wellness as the new hedonism

This is a weird one, because two opposite things are true at once. The wellness industrial complex has become a cynical money-making machine and we are all therefore getting cynical about wellness as a word that is dangled in order to encourage us to buy stuff. But, at the same time, fitness, nutrition and mental health are important and real, and focusing on these is good, right? It’s complicated. In 2024, looking like you are going hiking will still be a thing (see: Birkenstocks, above), but taking selfies holding a green juice is starting to get tired.
Verdict: this one will run and run. Or, at least, hike and hike

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