As 2024 rolls around, the endless fashion machine continues to change and evolve, producing new looks. Certainly, some of the defining trends of 2023 — coquette fashion, bow-mania, the Y2K revival and quiet luxury — will continue into the new year. But here are some styles to also be on the lookout for to inspire a new year of dressing.
From the 2023 business casual trend comes her uglier, but better-humored, sister. In the past two years, the business casual trend ruled women’s fashion as represented by an abundance of oversized blazers paired with jeans and tailored pants. The look, first prominently championed by influencer and entrepreneur Matilda Djerf, now has an updated appearance. With the dweeb chic style comes a nerdier, more ironic spin on the workwear trend, including key pieces such as white button-ups, kitten heels and “Bayonetta”-style glasses (AKA $2 reading glasses).
Dweeb chic takes strong inspiration from the signature “ugly chic” style that dominated Prada’s mid-90s to 2000s runways. Fashion designer Miuccia Prada first debuted ugly chic in Prada’s spring/summer 1996 line. The season drew heavy inspiration from banal women’s attire and unflattering aspects of women’s workwear uniforms, with browns, puke greens, long pencil skirts and button-ups. Prada cites a sense of irony in the ugly chic look, appearing unexpected to a point outside of an acceptable norm. Hence, it is a perfect trend for the edge and irony of Gen Z.
For inspiration for 2024’s spin on ugly chic, see Gentle Monster’s campaigns, Gisele Bündchen’s character from “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006) and Bella Hadid’s street style. Featured pieces include wide collar blouses, shorter heels, long and short pleated skirts and conservative uniformed workwear.
Skirts/dresses over pants
As Y2K fashion comes back into full swing, some of the more acquired tastes are set to come back, such as the divisive “skirts over pants” look. The look will certainly face some pushback as it evokes the stylings of a late 2000s Nickelodeon runway, but 2024 is set to embrace this layering effect all over again.
The 2024 twist is seeing skirts over pants styled in a more sophisticated and structured manner, with workwear-inspired items such as shorter pleated skirts over trousers. The skirt silhouette resembles a more peplum flare compared to the baggier look from the mid-aughts. This shape also anticipates the incoming 2010s revival as marked by the 20-year trend cycle. Though the 2010s was only a few years ago, trend forecasters have predicted an acceleration of the long-standing 20-year trend cycle because of the rise of fast fashion and social media oversaturation.
For inspiration, see Sandy Liang’s uniform-inspired collections featuring workwear fabrics and tailoring.
With Y2K as a main trend of the 2020s, niche 2000s subcultures have emerged as new aesthetics. Current Y2K trends already in trend include low-rise jeans, butterfly motifs and track pants. But 2024 is the year to dive into the more alternative styles of the decade.
The cyber aesthetic emerged as a late ’90s Japanese subculture born in Harajuku celebrating a bright oncoming futuristic society of information and technology. The style also takes influence from rave culture through baggier stylings and couples it with a retro-futuristic feel. Though the original style focused on bright highlighter colors, the 2024 trend will blend the more neutral color palettes of previous streetwear trends such as gorpcore.
For this trend, seek silver accessories, mesh and sheer fabrics, headphones, leg warmers, arm warmers and the baggiest pants possible. And for inspiration, see K-pop group NewJeans, the original cyber magazines KERA, FÖTUS and Cyberdog and “The Matrix” (1999).
Onitsuka Tigers sneakers
Most commonly recognized as the yellow sneakers worn by the Bride from “Kill Bill: Volume 1” (2003), recent trends toward flat shoes have primed the Onitsuka Tigers to be the new sneaker brand of the year. After the Samba apocalypse of 2023, sneaker enthusiasts have been pining for the next new shoe. The Mexico-66 sneaker from Onitsuka Tigers mirrors the similar flat oval shape of the Sambas but with a twist. Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the brand has consistently come in and out of fashion and is due for another comeback. Incidentally, the last revival occurred in the 2000s as a result of the Quentin Tarantino film and hence has that nostalgic feel perfect for a 2024 comeuppance.
Some other specific items and trends to keep an eye out for: off-the-shoulder sweaters, maxi skirts, capri pants, cheetah print, boat neck cuts and long jorts.