Fashion is always about the future. Magazines hit the shelves up to a month before the actual issue "month", seasonal catwalks take place at least six months before the season's even here, and designers are always sure to be on top of whatever social change is happening at the moment.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Photo Credit: Unsplash

But if you're the kind of person who likes to be the trend-setter rather than the trend-follower, and you want to try and jump ahead of the fashion world, consider these methods of predicting what's going to be THE look for the season.

The 20-year rule

While there are generally no rules to fashion, there is a typical direction in that trends come resurface every 20 years. The last decade saw a resurgence in '90s looks (chokers, mom jeans, crop tops and the like), while this decade we're looking at the return of '00s low-rise jeans, Juicy Couture tracksuits, and all the sequins and sparkles you can muster.

Keep following that trend and we'll be back to Converse and checkerboard Vans, vertical striped T-shirts, biker jackets and shemagh scarves again. And while skinny jeans aren't currently at the top of the denim trends, they are due for a comeback in just a few more years in their low-rise, artificially distressed glory.

Changes in political and social attitudes

Throughout history, the attitudes of the populace have been reflected in fashion; think about the rebellious punk looks of Thatcher-era Britain, the huge florals of '60s America with their pacifist Flower Power mentality, and the newfound love of slacks among women in a post-WW2 world after adopting the practical garments while doing the jobs of men.

To predict what fashion is going to be, just look at what issues are currently on everyone's mind. Pride Month is more prominent now than ever before, for example, as are issues like veganism, feminism and the Black Lives Matter movement. Using symbols and slogans reflecting these attitudes is the easiest way to stay on trend.

MORE: The stunning Pride collections of 2021

Sustainability is another huge one; more and more brands are using repurposed vintage and deadstock to create new designs, as well as more sustainable materials like organic cotton and hemp. With this in mind, consider looking into a more DIY aesthetic, as well as researching what's new in sustainable materials - such as mushroom leather (Mylo), pineapple leather (Pinatex) and bamboo (Lyocell).

The year ahead

How have the last few months inspired your style? It's likely you've been holed up at home in trackpants with the occasional (comfortable) slouchy blouse for work meetings over the last few months, so now that we are emerging into a post-pandemic world, think about how that's made you want to dress. You're probably ready to get back into your jeans, but not quite ready to give up your comforts; and, naturally, denim and "ath-flow" (that is, office casual without sacrificing professionalism or comfort) are very much the trends that have come out of that attitude.

Bold prints and eyecatching colours are also the order of the day, as none of us are wanting to waste another minute of our lives in the same boring outfits we've been living in. So, really, the bigger and bolder the style the better.

MORE: How to get behind the clothing revolution of sustainability


If you're an avid follower of music, you already have a shoo-in when it comes to staying on top of fashion. All you have to do is look at the emerging artists of the time and adopt aspects of their style to fit your own. Before you know it, everyone's wearing furry hats and crochet crop tops a la Greentea Peng. Mind you, this doesn't truly make you a trendsetter - it just makes you the first to jump on the bandwagon. But that doesn't mean it won't give you an edge.

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