Spring 2021 Fabric Trends And How They Relate To Our Lives

This is my third blog post in my three part spring trends for 2021 series. If you missed the previous two, check out Spring 2021 Trends That A Wyoming Girl Would Wear and Spring 2021 Top Fashion Colors for a complete trend review of the season.

Clothing design combines multiple elements that have to come together for a cohesive whole. The three most significant elements are color, style and fabric, and all three are a big part of the complete picture we see when we walk into a store bursting with new spring arrivals. It is much like a painting that is built upon from the foundation of the canvas (fabric) and then added to with the essential element of paint (color) and finally turned into something meaningful with design and composition (style). And, just like art, fashion is always a representation of what is happening socially, economically, and politically in our nation and world. As an example, when trying to explain the prevalence of lightweight and airy fabrics this season, one website offered this explanation:

The Lightness theme connects to the call for transparency and the fluid world in which we live. Adapting to the spirit of the times and the situation demands flexibility, pliability and the ability to transform quickly. 


The idea struck me; even the weight and texture of the fabrics we will put on our bodies this summer are a representation of some of the challenges and opportunities we are facing both as a country politically and as a world with the Covid19 Pandemic. Keep this idea in mind as you read through the most significant fabric trends of the season, and see if you can’t make some other important connections.

Shimmer: Look for fabrics that catch the light with glitter, sparkle and beads as well as fabrics that look metallic.

Sheer and Light: As mentioned above, a key fabric trend will include lightweight options like featherweight knits, nylon and chiffon. Also look for airy linens and handmade fabrics that have rough or “raw” surfaces.

Denim: This wardrobe staple just keeps re-inventing itself. This season, look for denim that is embellished with details like embroidery. Also keep your eye out for new washes like tie dye, batik, and new stone washing techniques that create fun new textures and colors.

Indigo Dying: Picture the ocean and the attempt to re-create its colors in fabric when trying to imagine this trend. It is really all about the specific color of indigo and how it can be used in denim, silk and linen fabrics to create interesting textures and color patterns.

Indigo is a dye with a distinctive blue color. The chemical compound that constitutes the indigo dye is called indigotin. Historically, indigo played an important role in many countries’ economy because natural blue dyes are rare. Among other uses, it is used in the production of denim cloth for blue jeans.


Marble And Stone Inspiration: Look for fabrics that mimic the look of grey marble with its grey, black and white colors as well as natural stones that combine swirls of grey and grey brown.

Softer Than Soft Knits: Want to get cozy? You will love the ultra soft knits that envelop you in comfort.

It doesn’t surprise me that denim will continue to be a key player in fashion trends this year. Not only is it practical, we connect the fabric with comfort and fun…denim days are day off days – less formal and more relaxed. As we have coped with an inordinate amount of stress over the last ten months, carefree denim days sound pretty good, don’t you think? Similarly, longings for the ocean and travel might be driving the focus on indigo dyes this season, as many of us have put our adventures on hold during the Pandemic. And, we are all seeking emotional comfort; having our clothing envelop us in softness is a little like curling up in a blanket, and it focuses our mind on soft rather than hard, yet another connection to the difficulties we have all faced.

I hope this perusal through some of the key fabric trends for Spring 2021 expands your perspective and helps you see the clothing you wear as so much more than just garments that cover your body. They are, quite literally, like walking pieces of art. And, like all good art, the fabrics you wear are in their own way an attempt to make sense of the world and the human condition.

Spring 2021 Trends That A Wyoming Girl Would Wear

I mean no disrespect by my title. Some of the season’s trends like feathered skirts, exposed bralettes and exaggerated stand up collars will be worn by someone, just not here in Wyoming. And to you I say, “go for it and rock it.” If we Wyoming girls stretch out towards the edgier trends, we look like a transplant, and Wyoming folks are suspicious of transplants…we’re scared you might try to change our way of life, which we love. So, this blog is really about the latest Spring 2021 trends that I will likely see on the streets of Casper, Wyoming and the ones that I have bought for my store. That is in no way to characterize Wyoming women as un-trendy; on the contrary, our version of trendy is just mountain west trendy as opposed to New York or California trendy. And there is a difference. So, here you go…my top ten Spring 2021 trends that we will wear:

  1. Button Down Oversized Blouses (top and bottom right). I think “slouchy” might be an appropriate term to describe the trends of 2021. The oversized blouse trend includes both longer button ups as well as blouses that literally look a couple of sizes too big. These comfy blouses are perfect worn with oversized jeans like girlfriend jeans or leggings. To keep from looking shapeless, do a front tuck, tie or twist with your blouse into your jeans so that the front of your jeans shows.
  2. Belted Waists (top middle): Last season was all about the tie front details on blouses. This season will highlight the waist with belted details and peplums that show your shape. If your belts have been gathering dust in your closet, this is the season to pull them out, dust them off, and start belting your blouses, dresses, coats and whatever else you can find that looks great with a belt.
  3. Tie Dye (bottom middle): This classic “do it yourself” fashion saw us through much of 2020. I listened to a podcast this morning, and the host talked about wearing tie dyed jogger suits all last year while she was quarantined at home. There is no slow down to this look for 2021 so keep wearing your tie dye pieces that you bought last year.
  4. Wide Legged pants (bottom left): Another style trend that is continuing from 2020 is the wide legged pant. Yet another “slouchy” style, this pant trend screams comfort and ease. As with the oversized blouse and jean trend, you have to balance the wide legs with a tucked, belted or tailored top that comes in at the waist. This will keep you from looking boxy.
  5. Sheer styles (top middle): Sheer fabrics will be a key fabric trend this season, lending to a light and airy option for tops. You’ll see everything from chiffon to mesh and peek-a-boo tanks.
  6. Floral Prints (top left): The print trends for the season are definitely feminine with floral prints taking center stage. Look for all over floral tops and dresses as well as floral prints on jackets and accessories.
  7. Khaki: This color and style will be significant this season. Look for khaki pants, especially trouser styles as an important way to wear this look. Pair khaki up with chambray or dark denim for a classic style.
  8. Oversized Jeans: Yet another “slouchy” trend this season is the oversized jean trend. We’ve seen variations of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” jeans for several seasons now, and this style looks like it will continue to be strong. Look for distressed styles with holes and patches.
  9. Cream or Ivory mono-chromatic outfits: Head to toe white, ivory or cream is a lovely look for special events, as it exudes class. Look for all white dresses as well as ivory top and slack sets.
  10. Cut Outs: We saw cut outs begin with the “cold shoulder” trend of several seasons ago. It has morphed into cut outs occurring any where on a garment, including the neck. midriff, side, and shoulder. This added detail has one purpose: to show skin and draw the eye to a particular part of the body. Be sure your cut out items are focusing the eye on a part of your body you love.

The season’s trends are in direct relation to Covid19 and the political unrest of 2020. As we are still coping with many of the restrictions and complications from the pandemic, our lives feel smaller, somehow. The slouchy styles embrace a more casual, stay at home lifestyle and allow us to hide any extra weight we might have gained last year. They are the equivalent of comfort food…pieces you will love to put on that make you feel relaxed. The softer, feminine floral prints and sheer chiffon fabrics remind us of gardens and carefree days, something we are all missing. The focus on white, ivory and cream signals purity and innocence, things we worry might be gone forever. And in the midst of all of this we have tie dye, an iconic reminder of the turbulent 70s but also a style that signals freedom from constraints.

I’d love to hear the trends you are excited about. If you’d like to watch a live video on this topic, tune into my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing videos where I discuss the latest trends as well as fashion know how. Tonight’s video can be seen in our VIP Facebook group. It will air at 6 p.m. MST. You can watch here: https://www.facebook.com/events/174482441137123

Spring 2021 Top Fashion Colors

Picture from Pantone.com

That Pantone chose Ultimate Gray (or Pandemic Gray) and Illuminating Yellow as the 2021 colors of the year says so much about the psyche of our nation and world as we still face an alarming death toll from the Covid19 Pandemic while cautiously and anxiously hoping for brighter days. It has always been interesting to me how colors in both fashion and design often mimic the political and social climate from which they come. This spring’s color palate is both earthy and exuberant, indicating a need to feel both grounded and hopeful.

Perhaps it is because I am a Wyoming girl with strong roots in this state (my dad’s family homesteaded here) or because I am a mountain girl dreaming of backpacking next summer that this season’s key colors remind me of a field of lovely spring wild flowers. I’ve seen open fields in late June adorned with flowers in these same bright pinks, oranges, yellows, blues and purples. And yet, there is also the toasted coral and rust as well as the warm tan and olive that remind me of the forest floor layered with pine needles and organic matter that cushions my feet as I walk across it. For me, there is no place more serene than the mountains, and after 2020, I am looking for serene wherever I can find it. I am excited about both extremes in the color palate for spring 2021, as I too am finding myself seeking both grounding and hope.

As you plan your spring wardrobe, I hope you will add colors from both categories this year. All of the top colors in the picture above can be used for tops or as accents. “Raspberry Sorbet,” “Illuminating Yellow,” “Green Ash,” “Mint,” “Cerulean,” “French Blue,” and “Amethyst” will all pair beautifully with “Ultimate Gray” or “Inkwell.” For a warmer palate, choose “Burnt Coral” and “Rust” and also “Marigold,” and pair them with the lovely “Desert Mist” tan or even the warm olive “Willow.” The easy to wear “Buttercream” also makes a lovely choice as a neutral bottom and would be especially pretty with “Burnt Coral” and “Desert Mist.”

To see examples of these colors, watch my live Wednesday Wardrobing video tonight at 6 p.m. MST. To watch, join our VIP Facebook Group called Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas.