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Spring is a season dedicated to the inevitable transformation of the natural world, and as far as fashion is concerned, it can feel like a transitory period without a discernable destination. It's a bit too cold and wet to wear sandals every day, but it's a tad too warm to snuggle into a cosy knit too. But beyond the obvious obstructions to dressing practically for weather that's in a perpetual state of flux, it's a fantastic time to set new intentions with the aesthetic direction of your wardrobe, because spring style takes the utilitarianism and comfort of winter and pairs it with the fun and flamboyance of summer.
The emerging style trends of spring 2023 speak to this dualistic mindset in spades. R29 spoke to style experts to discern the trends that are infiltrating the online catalogues and racks of the literal stores we shop at most frequently. From the persistent 'quiet luxury' trend to the refreshing 'natureverse' aesthetic and the introduction of 'grunge glam' to the party-styling scene, there's a lot of newness to discover. Ahead, are six style trends that are predicted to define spring in 2023.
Spring Trend 2023: Quiet Luxury
According to Libby Page, market director at NET-A-PORTER, the quiet luxury trend isn't done marauding our bank accounts just yet. However, in the spring of 2023 at least, we're achieving the look by pairing basic elements (such as a crisp shirt or tailored trousers) with impactful accessories that help to bring these staple pieces to life. "NET-A-PORTER customers are embracing an increasingly considered approach to shopping, focusing on higher-quality pieces that will transcend seasons," says Page. "Our customers are investing in timeless pieces and transitional styles that fit seamlessly into their wardrobes."
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Spring Trend 2023: Natureverse
When Miranda Priestly groaned the sentence "Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking", we felt that. But we think that even the sardonic anti-hero of The Devil Wears Prada might actually crack a smile to see this season's subverted interpretation of garden-inspired floral prints. Nicole Adolphe, head of style at The Iconic, predicts the adoption of edgy floral patterns and a darker colour palette this Spring, teamed with raffia oversized tote bags and sandals. It's giving long hot summer meets the tomato girl aesthetic. "The long hot summer trend embraces decidedly more feminine styling and colour palette," explains Adolphe. "Try fruit prints or leaf prints, smocked bodice dresses with full skirts, cute tie-up tops and matching skirts," she advises.
Spring Trend 2023: Pretty Preppy
If quiet luxury is a little too conservative for your tastes this Spring, the playful 'pretty preppy' trend might be more up your alley. Michael Cutler, head of visual merchandising at H&M AUNZ, describes the trends as a mix of Y2K, sorbet tones, and comfort. "Think: OG Gossip Girl, coloured sets and co-ords — minus the school uniform," Cutler explains. "Team neck-scarves with miniskirts and oversized blazers for an edgier approach." He also recommends experimenting with textured fabrics like boucle, which have been gaining popularity this year, and pink is still on the rise after Barbiecore. "At H&M Australia, pink is trending across the board for women’s and menswear," dishes Cutler.
Spring Trend 2023: Utility Styling & Soft Tailoring
Similar to quiet luxury, utility styling and soft tailoring are all about understated opulence, however, they adopt garments typically associated with industrial or corporate environments that are designed for practicality and professionalism above all else. "The utility styling and soft tailoring movement extend from the work-leisure trend, a natural progression influenced by the era of remote work," explains Adolphe. "As we savoured the comfort of relaxed dressing while working from home, this trend responds to our current needs while we’re looking for more casual yet still polished suiting options." Picture a neutral colour palette, tailored cargo pants, shirting with oversized pocket and drawstring detailing, contrast panelling, matching sets, lightweight tailoring and ecru-coloured denim.
Spring Trend 2023: Grunge Glam
At the other end of the trend spectrum, we will see party styling get a little bit grunge, says Adolphe. She predicts the trend will be defined by luxe party dresses with slashed cutouts, sheer fabrics, black lace, and bodice and cargo pant co-ords. She also foresees the return of the denim-on-denim looks synonymous with the early '00s, and the continuation of the exposed bra trend with sheer tops and mesh dresses in style this Spring.
Spring Trend 2023: Resort Wear
"Resort wear is all about comfort and relaxation," says Cutler. "But we’re still a country that strives for fashion, and we’re all for emulating that ‘off-duty’, effortless style." He recommends reaching for modern, loose linen suits as the weather warms up, saying that touches of embroidery and unique sleeves are a great way to elevate the simple summer staple fabric. "This season, we’re seeing crocheted sets swapped out for smaller pops of crochet in our accessories; crochet handbags are on the rise," he adds.