As soon as spring hits, I look forward to lighter nights, warmer temperatures and new beginnings. But I have to admit — I get especially excited to push those chunky cover-ups to the back of my wardrobe and embrace shorter sleeves and hemlines.
Autumn/Winter 2021/22 was the season that brought both our fashion and mental health back to life. After a turbulent 18 months of being in and out of lockdowns and practically living in loungewear, we had events in our social calendars again. We had a reason to dress up again.
And dress up, we did — in dazzling sequins, bright colours, fair isle knits, bold prints and slouchy tailoring. Swoon.
Spring/Summer 2022 brings more of the same frivolity. In fact, it’s never been more acceptable to have fun with your wardrobe to rediscover the joy of using clothes as a form of self-expression and self-love.
After all, when you feel comforted and happy in your own skin (and outfit), it brings out an inner confidence that shines on the outside. Speaking of, here are some SS22 trends that you’ll undoubtedly feel unstoppable wearing, no matter what your personal style.
1. Nineties Grunge
From biker jackets to studded handbags, dressing like you belong in a rock band is set to make a comeback once again.
This grunge look first became prominent in the nineties when the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam came onto the scene. Since then, it has flitted in and out of mainstream fashion (and never went out of style for alternative music lovers).
For SS22, it was seen everywhere at the shows of different designers, from Balenciaga to Prada, Alexander McQueen to Miu Miu. Think studded jackets, zip detailing and plenty of attitude.
I’m a fan of this trend because it’s so easy to wear — an oversized biker jacket here, a lace-up combat boot there. Pro tip: mix your faux leather with blue jeans and a white tee for effortless cool that would make the likes of Kate Moss envious.
2. Noughties Mania
Thanks to TikTok, the nineties isn’t the only era that is resurging for SS22.
Whether you love the idea or hate it, the key pieces we were rocking in the millennium are finding their way into your favourite high street stores. Some are playful and welcome, such as glitzy tops at Versace and cargo pants at Tom Ford.
But others? Do we really want low-slung waistlines back in our wardrobes a la Etro and Lanvin, after it’s taken us so long to get over them? And what about baggy jeans? We were scarred by oversized hemlines getting dragged through mud and puddles back when we were teenagers.
Even so, TikTokers are currently cooing over this trend, so I guess I’ll give it a second chance.
3. Rainbow Brights
Goodbye, boring beige. Hello, highlighter yellow, tangerine, fuchsia — you name it — the colour combinations across SS22 catwalks have never felt juicier.
Designers like Valentino were actually revolutionary with these hues, integrating cerulean blue with chocolate brown and raspberry, making us all drool in the process.
Then there were Christian Dior and Giorgio Armani, who sent models down their catwalks dressed in sunset shades head to toe. A warning: this look is so bright that you may need SPF when you catch yourself in the mirror — but that’s what makes it so blinding.
4. Sparkle and Shine
You’d be forgiven for thinking that metallics and sequins are usually reserved for Autumn/Winter. Not in this case though. Dress code for SS22? Fabulous.
From sparkly embellishments at Bottega Veneta to shiny fabrics at Balmain, more is more this upcoming season. I even spotted some sparkling mesh at Christopher Kane and chic crystals at Burberry.
Who would have thought?
It’s time to step out of your comfort zone as all the fashion rules get thrown out of the window in terms of what’s appropriate to where and when. Above all, remember that maximalist styles reign supreme as the temperatures begin to rise.
5. Show Some Skin
There’s one mantra for next season’s dresses and tops: the strappier, the better! Cut-out and sheer fabrics will take centre stage as they have done for Spring/Summers of seasons past, following in the footsteps of Michael Kors, Altuzarra and Jonathan Simkhai.
One of those SS22 trends that helps you to stay as cool as you look, I would like to say that it’s just as practical as it is pretty—but I’d be sadly fibbing. Those straps take a while to tie, for example.
Even so, when you choose one hero piece and team it with other summery separates — such as a strappy crop top, darling miniskirt and heeled sandals combo — it’s a feel-good ‘fit that makes you ready to take on the world.
6. Make It Micro
Speaking of showing some skin, there’s no better time to get your pins out than SS22. I know what you’re thinking — what happened to the midi dresses and skirts that have dominated previous seasons?
Well, feel free to still rock them (I’m never going to stop adoring these ladylike lengths) but keep in mind that the sixties-influenced miniskirt is going to be considered an icon of SS22 trends.
Whether it’s patterned, linen, glossy or detailed, anything goes. Team yours with a co-ordinating top taking inspiration from Moschino and Max Mara. Alternatively, choose an oversized sweater and knee-high boots to preserve your modesty and bring your look into the twenty-first century.
Either way, leave the high-waisted fit in Autumn/Winter. It’s all about wearing the micro-mini low on the hips for extra femininity and sultriness.
7. Keep It Crafty
Remember SS21’s obsession with crochet and crafty details? SS22 is also celebrating all things texture, from belted netting at Saint Laurent to butterfly silhouettes at Alberta Ferretti.
Think tops, vests, skirts, trousers and even bags that are just as heavenly as they are holey in hot weather. (Talk about breathability!)
Since these pieces make a serious style statement, it’s best to play them down with neutrals and more understated separates. I can just picture wearing them as I’m strolling along the beach or heading out for dinner in the city.
8. All White
Minimalists rejoice — brilliant white and off-white are going to be huge for Spring/Summer, especially head-to-toe ensembles that are just as fresh as they are clean.
White cargo pants with matching crop tops and bomber jackets were spotted at Hermès for a laid-back, nostalgic feel. On the other hand, Fendi showcased power dressing at its finest by sending his models out in tailored three-pieces that epitomised modern poise.
SS22 trends like these make an impact but I’m not sure how functional they are, especially for clumsy people like me who are prone to spills. (Oops.) I may have to sit this one out and admire it from afar.
9. The Stripe is Right
Super stripey is the only way to go in terms of SS22 patterns as seen as Raf Simons and Louis Vuitton.
To break it down for you: go bold or go home, because stripes are about to become as chaotic and graphic as they can get.
For instance, Carolina Herrera championed two-toned stripe dresses that made fashionistas all around the globe swoon. Then there was Chanel with their classic jacket-and-skirt sets in multicoloured stripes that will rejuvenate them for a more youthful market.
Just so that you know, I’ll be letting stripes adorn my dresses, suits and shirts for the foreseeable. When summer prints are this refreshing and lively, I bet you’ll be struggling not to join me.
Putting Your Own Spin on SS22 Trends
I know what you’re thinking — the SS22 trends are so out-there even though we haven’t been physically out there in the world without restrictions for a very long time.
Try not to overthink your fashion this season though. Wear what makes you feel great, whether it’s something you’ve been wearing for years or a new trend that you want to experiment with. After everything we’ve all been through, you deserve to feel great.
Not sure if something will suit you? Start small with an accessory or top and then build up your confidence as you go. If it doesn’t work for you, ditch it. There’s no pressure — it’s all about prioritising what’s best for you so you can keep on being the best you.