The Top 5 Fashion and Beauty Trends of 2020


2020 has certainly been an unusual year for everyone, and has showed us just how much our ‘normal’ ways of life can be challenged. One thing that has remained the same, however, is the ability of fashion and beauty industries to create unique and captivating trends that encouraged consumers to stick to their usual buying habits. You would be forgiven for believing that the only ‘trends’ we have seen this year have been political or medical, however there are also several popular, fun, and lighthearted lifestyle trends that helped get lots of us through this year with some sanity left. Whilst we saw all manner of things from distinctive DIY projects to new business ventures cropping up in the quarantine boredom of this year, there are five fashion and beauty trends in particular that stuck:

1. Budget Skincare

The many months spent stuck in the house this year left us with only one solution: improve our skincare game. This year’s first lockdown in March gave birth to a whole host of new skincare trends, the majority of which were popularised by skincare expert Hyram on TikTok (@skincarebyhyram). Hyram introduced his TikTok audience to the affordable and effective products by brands CeraVe and The Ordinary, including everything from liquid exfoliators to eye creams. Desire for these products quickly grew, causing many young TikTokers to use the brands’ products in their videos. As a skincare lover, the popularisation of taking care of our skin on a global platform was a positive outcome of 2020 for me, and, I’m sure, for the brands too.

Image credit: @iyamiphotography via Unsplash.

2. Sweater Vests

If there was one piece of clothing I would never imagine coming into style for anyone below the age of 70, it would have to be a sweater vest. However, the popularisation of the sweater vest this year, as well as the variety in styling these pieces (as seen across Instagram and Pinterest) has convinced me otherwise. The sweater vest seems to have fallen perfectly into a blend of comfort and streetwear, paving the way for the trend to grow even bigger in 2021. Vogue dubbed the piece an ‘essential’ for Autumn, and high fashion brands such as Gucci and Dries Van Noten have adopted the knitted item into their collections. You can probably expect to see even more of these pop up on the high street next month, so it might be worth considering how you can tailor the piece to fit your own wardrobe – without looking like you’re headed to the golf course.

3. Bleached  ‘E-Girl’ Hair

Anyone who has been through an identity crisis knows the significance of changing your hairstyle, and it is evident that 2020 was one huge identity crisis for us all. This year saw the popularisation of ‘e-girl’ hair, which involves bleaching the front two pieces of your hair. Whilst the trend first cropped up in 2019, the chunky highlights style has become particularly popular this year, again thanks to TikTok. Many of the app’s users have filmed themselves experimenting with the hairstyle, attempting to bleach their hair from home whilst salons were shut throughout lockdown. The style seems to be a more manageable alternative to bleaching your entire head, and became a fun way to keep entertained without leaving the house. Kylie Jenner revealed her take on the trend earlier this year, no doubt leading to a spike in the hair style’s popularity, which has been predicted to dominate 2021 as well.

Image credit: @lerakogan_art via Unsplash.

4. Loungewear

Although uni students have known the power of existing 24/7 in tracksuit bottoms for a long time, it finally seems that the rest of the world is catching up. This year, especially, this trend was inevitable; if no one is going to see below your waist all day, why on earth would you put jeans on?! But this does not mean that fashion lovers will be happy to sit in the same pair of leggings or cozy pyjama trousers day in, day out. As there has been little-to-no justification for purchasing any going-out clothes this year, loungewear pieces seem to have found their way into many online shoppers’ baskets, challenging brands to keep up with the demand of new, trendy, slightly more presentable pyjamas. The favourite of this season has been matching jogger sets, with celebrities such as Zendaya and Sophie Turner choosing to adopt the trend. Whilst it would make a nice change to have a reason to wear proper clothes again, I am hoping that loungewear will become part of acceptable office attire in 2021.

5. Face Masks

Okay, so maybe you couldn’t call face masks a ‘trend’ as such, but this has not stopped the public from showcasing their personalities through their face coverings. When masks became mandatory in shops, restaurants, and other public places earlier this year, we quickly saw a shift from the conventional, blue safety face coverings into all sorts of colourful, printed fabric pieces. Outfit co-ordinating face masks have been donned by the likes of Dua Lipa and The Duchess of Cambridge, proving that safety in a global pandemic doesn’t have to be boring. In addition, fashion icon Naomi Campbell has embraced the necessity of face masks, even going so far as wearing full PPE on all of her flights. Whilst this may be seen as a positive form of fashion influence, I hope that the need for this trend will fall off in 2021.

Image credit: @veradavidovaphotography via Unsplash.

If this year’s COVID-appropriate trends have left you feeling uninspired, the good news is that 2021 is predicted to be the beginning of a new fashion era, replicating the luxurious ‘Roaring 20s’ of last century. Keep an eye out for which new trends we might see crop up from next month, as they’re expected to be significant.


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