From 90s styles to work-from-home fashion, the pandemic certainly influenced the way people chose to dress up. Now as we slowly return to normal times, what’s in store for fashion in 2022? Four experts list out the trends that will make it to the wish lists of many in the incoming year.

While 2021 was mainly about oversized unisex T-shirts, baggy pants, bomber jackets, ribbed pullovers, bootcut and boyfriend jeans and all printed sets, the 2022 fashion space in India will see a domination of fusion styles in clothing, accessories and footwear.
In addition to fusion, experts also foresee a revival of old handloom crafts and traditional Indian prints along with classic Indian and western fashion. As sustainable clothing and thrifting gain ground, comfortable fashion fostered by the work-from-home culture is another unmissable trend that may pick up further in 2022.

From Y2K aesthetics to coordinate sets

According to Aaina Mahajan, designer and founder of Delhi-based MellowDrama, metallic accents along with stripes and neutral pale shades in clothing will gain much traction in 2022. Athleisure fashion—athletic apparel worn casually in non-athletic settings—will be a continuing trend in 2022.

“Slouchy trouser sets and pants, jersey knitted dresses, pantsuits, twinsets having matching coordinates and lots of feminine meets masculine silhouettes will be in vogue in the coming year. In non-binary fashion, we would see a lot of oversized blazers. Crop tops would also work well,” says Mahajan

While experimenting with trends is a characteristic aspect of the Indian fashion market, Mahajan observes, timeless classics like a denim jacket and a white shirt will always be in vogue irrespective of the season. Additionally, 2022 will also see another round of Y2K fashion, trends from the 90s and early 2000s including corset tops, barrettes and oversized denim jackets, funky shoes etc.

With thrifting becoming popular in recent years, Mahajan says, “With people getting more conscious about fashion and the environment, thrifting is getting very popular especially amongst the youth. We would see a rise in the sector in 2022 making it cool to be actually conserving as well as being fashionable.”

Finding the roots

As demand for ethnic dresses and accessories has grown in recent times, Hyderabad-based designer Archana Jaju stresses on the revival of classic Indian styles such as anarkalis and salwar kameez; these with a hint of modern sensibility is the perfect catch for 2022. She also highlights how Indian crafts like kalamkari, banarasi and bandhani are finding space in the wardrobes of the younger generation. Contemporary touch to traditional handlooms is what the youth is looking for.

In addition to dresses in traditional prints, accessories like belts that cinch the waist on an Anarkali or a saree will be a trendy must-have for 2022. “Another aspect would be all about adaptation, the silhouettes that the youth love to wear from the western culture would be adapted to Indian wear as well, especially when it comes to the cuts of blouses,” says Jaju.

“People are still floating in waves of comfortable fashion and going all out. Slowly, Indian fashion will be about finding a middle ground between the two. Kaftans had become a favourite among everyone during the lockdown. Enhancing the kaftan with embroideries like mirror work will make it a great addition to one’s ethnic wardrobe for 2022,” she adds.

Co-ordinated sets like dhoti pants and tunics would gain momentum for non-binary fashion. In terms of genderless clothing, Jaju states there is a need for designers to focus on the fabric rather and not on the gender that it’s being designed for.

“Handwoven textiles from our country have survived all these years in fashion, not just because of their vibrancy, but the excellent craftsmanship they offer. People now understand the value and relevance of these crafts to be able to preserve them. Hopefully, that would become a trend, simply preserving our Indian crafts,” she adds.

Easy fusion

“Love for classics this year is evident with chunky heels taking the lead. 2022 will see a lot more of flattering block heels with the right amount of bling in metallic tones. High platforms, a trend passed on from 2021, are definitely a style that would continue to be in vogue in 2022,” says Mumbai-based footwear designer Aprajita Toor

In addition to heels, the Kolhapuri toe loop strap and elegant brogues are evergreen styles that will never go out of fashion. While classic styles are here to stay, more and more people are going all out for creations, which perfectly go with both, Indian and western outfits.

According to Toor, there is a growing demand for fusion designs in the Indian footwear segment, especially shoes, which can be styled with both Indian and western outfits, without losing “the contemporary and high-street edge”.

“In the footwear segment, detailed embroideries are being infused in traditional and contemporary classics. These designs are slowly becoming hot favourites for events and celebrations.  Blending of different textiles along with fabric manipulation is another trend on the rise,” says Toor.

Gemstones becoming essentials

“Jewellery pieces that can be used on a day-to-day basis and be restyled for diverse purposes would be a key part of these looks even in 2022. A lot of gemstones would be coming back in fashion including unusual and non-basic gemstones like sapphires, tanzanite, corals and opals,” says Mumbai-based Vandana M Jagwani, designer and creator of Vandals.

According to Jagwani, as 2021 encouraged the whole idea of comfortable fashion, in terms of accessories too, comfort would remain key in people’s choices, but with a step towards going back to normalcy. While gemstones and sleek diamond jewellery are slowly becoming wardrobe essentials, pearls in a diverse range of rings and chokers would become a popular trend in 2022.

“Radiant diamond sets which add an element of glam to the outfit would be a great option to look out for in 2022. Headgears would definitely see a revival in the New Year with statement pieces that can add a unique touch to the entire ensemble,” she says.

Talking about sustainability in jewellery fashion, Jagwani says, “Consumers will surely have a more conscious attitude towards purchasing different products. They would be interested in buying jewellery pieces that undergo a conscious creation process. Sustainable pieces which are also elegant and attractive would be the go-to choices for 2022.”