Fashion

The 2021 Wardrobe Essentials Fashion People Are Buying

If you haven’t jumped to fill your wardrobe with 2021’s biggest fashion trends come January 1, you’re not alone. With the future still uncertain and many continuing to work from home due to the ongoing pandemic, there’s little desire to fill your closet with pieces that may not be as trendy in six months. Instead, many people are giving their wardrobe essentials — staples that they have been wearing for the last year, and that won’t go out of style in the next one — a slight refresh. (Others are downsizing their closets altogether in favor of capsule closets.)
 
To figure out which basics and transitional pieces are worth investing in, we turned to some of our favorite retailers. Not ready to ditch your matching sweatsuit, even when you return to work? You don’t have to, thanks to this year’s newest loungewear trend Athflow. Have you been living in cable-knit sweaters and cardigans? Knit dresses and sweaters with cutouts might have to be your next purchase.
 
Ahead, trends that will give your staples a 2021 style twist.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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Cutouts


“After living in sweats and oversized clothes last year, we are seeing a ton of unique cutouts in knitwear and dresses for the upcoming season. We can’t wait to get our sexy back in 2021!”

-Divya Mathur, Intermix Chief Merchant

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Bold Printed Dresses


“Happy dresses are bringing the optimism for 2021! Bold prints with accentuated waists get us ready to jump into the new year.” 

– Anu Narayanan, Chief Merchandising Officer, Anthropologie Group
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Wide-Leg Pants


“Wardrobe foundations are making more sense than ever before. Within the framework of simplicity, proportion play is a go-to for injecting interest.”

-Celenie Seidel, Senior Womenswear Editor at FARFETCH
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Statement Trench


“The trench is back and better than ever. Seen in fresh new colors, patterns, and fabrications with unique details this year, the trench is the ultimate layering piece. The trench is super transitional and can take you from spring through pre-fall.”

-Danielle Williams Eke, 11 Honoré Design Director
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Crochet Details


“Texture was all over the Spring and Summer collections, and crochet was the standout design detail. We love how a crochet top or dress perfectly bridges the gap between something more structured, while still being easy and cozy.”

-Divya Mathur, Intermix Chief Merchant
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Revamped Overalls


“We can’t get enough of overalls in new dye techniques, patterns, washes, or with a ruffle. Overalls are so versatile she can wear them lounging in a tee, or out for a walk in town.” 

– Anu Narayanan, Chief Merchandising Officer, Anthropologie Group
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The Knit Dress


“After a year of stocking up on loungewear, many people are keen to move beyond sweats and to start enjoying the experience of getting dressed again. With so much time still being spent at home, the knit dress is the ideal transitional piece, maintaining maximum comfort.”

-Celenie Seidel, Senior Womenswear Editor at FARFETCH
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Matching Sets


“This year we will continue to see multiple iterations of sets. From cozy sweat sets to chic satin sets, a two-piece look is the effortless go-to that we will live in all year.”

-Danielle Williams Eke, 11 Honoré Design Director

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Clean Denim


“In complicated times, it’s nice when some things are simple. This year, the best denim comes in clean, fuss-free finishes — dark washes have an effortless polished feel that renders them a flexible staple.”

-Celenie Seidel, Senior Womenswear Editor at FARFETCH
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