Skip to main content

Romance Is in the Cards for Fall/Winter 20-21 Women’s Fashion

Is women’s wear starved for a bit of romance?

Following several seasons that thrust utility, minimalism and power dressing into the limelight, Fashion Snoops forecast for Fall/Winter 20-21 reveals a side of women’s wear that is softer than what’s in stores now. The same way men’s collections are stepping away from streetwear in favor of more tailored and traditional styling, the women’s category shows signs of transformation.

In “Curio Parlor,” one of the four trend stories Melissa Moylan, Fashion Snoops vice president, creative, outlined during a webinar with Informa Thursday, the fashion is sculptural, imperfect and feminine.

The story, Moylan said, “celebrates women as an individual” and welcomes all expressions of femininity. Comparing the trend to a “rare and intriguing manor,” she said it tells the story of modern romance with lace trims, silky separates, soft tailoring and heaps of eccentricity.

This “cabinet of curiosities” includes decorative details like aviary prints, florals and dye effects with phosphorescence. A color palette dense with coral-tinged blush tones, passionate purples, warm yellows and pastels enhance the theme’s empathetic feeling.

Romance Is in the Cards for Fall/Winter 20-21 Women's Fashion
S/S ’20 Miu Miu PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/Shutterstock

Key items include the overcoat, updated as a belted robe style finessed with feather trim and lustrous materials. Satin wrap tops with tie details and maxi dresses with pleated details on both the skirt and sleeves add romance, and the midi skirt returns as a pencil shape with a center slit.

For trend-oriented markets, Moylan said satin blazers with strong shoulders look modern over a dress, while slouchy pants are renewed in silky, fluid materials and wide-leg silhouettes. Statement tops with puff sleeve details made with “diaphanous chiffon materials” live here, too, which Moylan noted feels softer and more feminine than the ’80s-inspired sleeve detail that is currently in the market. And slip dresses speak to the theme’s boudoir roots. Midi hemlines and lace trim are expected, but offer an edgier look when worn over pants, she added.

Romance Is in the Cards for Fall/Winter 20-21 Women's Fashion
S/S ’20 Balmain IAN LANGSDON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Related Story

In denim, the trend translates to high-waisted baggy jeans with a slouchy tapered leg, front pleats and side pockets, and embellished skinny and straight-fit jeans. Floral appliques layered with sequins add whimsy, but the best styles will also feature rips and frays to feel less twee. The denim blouse, Moylan added, is also on deck, updated with padded shoulders and details like oversized bows. Look for stretch denim or chambray variations, she said.

Embellished denim is on deck for next fall.
F/W ’19 Blumarine Simona Chioccia/IPA/REX/Shutterstock

And in a trend story where more is more, expect to find statement-making accessories like feather-trimmed scarves and headbands that mix girlish florals with matte leather or metallic grommets.

Matchbox minaudières with gold hardware add a jewelry component to handbags. Satin pouches with tassel details are key for evening. And pastel lizard fabrications are a cool update for retro items like accordion handbags. And the square-toe trend that is currently grounding boots this winter season will evolve into ladylike square-toe ballet flats.