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.