Style

The 8 biggest style trends from TikTok—and how to wear them

The influencers have spoken.

TikTok trends Credit: Etsy/Urban Outfitters

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First it was the VSCO girls, with their Birkenstocks and oversized tees. Then it was the soft girls, with all pink, ultra-girly everything. And then it was the e-girls a la Billie Eilish. TikTok has seen a lot of fashion movements come and go over the last few years, and with many people spending more and more time on the social media platform, it's become a go-to for discovering the latest style trends.

What's on the horizon for 2021, according to the biggest names on TikTok? We've scrolled through hundreds of dance challenges, makeup tutorials, and influencer fashion hauls to uncover eight of the biggest style trends for the coming year.

1. Cottagecore

Cottagecore
Credit: ModCloth/Forever21

Cottagecore has been around since 2018 but recently grew in popularity.

Throwback Thursday is really throwing it back these days—all the way back to the 19th century English countryside, when days were spent frolicking in meadows and picnicking in lush gardens. Those picturesque scenes are the influence behind cottagecore, the latest TikTok trend that even the New York Times dubbed a "budding aesthetic movement." Searches for the cottagecore hashtag spiked 153 percent over the last few months. It's all flowy dresses, floral prints, and breezy, romantic styles (think: ruffles galore).

Both Free People and Anthropologie are meccas of prairie-chic tops and dresses that give you all the vintage vibes. While the pieces at both retailers are pricier, shoppers love the unique designs and high-quality construction. However, if you're looking to save some cash, you can find plenty of equally whimsical options on Amazon, like this maxi dress with over 1,300 rave reviews.

2. Polymer clay earrings

Clay earrings
Credit: Etsy

Bold earrings are one of the season's must-have accessories.

When you download TikTok, the girl in the preview clip is wearing one of the platform's biggest fashion trends: polymer clay earrings. The more colorful and vibrant, the better, when it comes to the latest in ear candy, and even mismatched earrings are becoming a thing. While your feed might be flooded with DIY polymer clay earring videos, there are also a lot of small businesses selling the popular accessories online.

Etsy is a great place to find unique handmade clay pieces. From rainbows to daisies to tiny slices of cake (playing off the TikTok mini food obsession), there are earrings in almost every style imaginable. "Absolutely stunning!" one shopper says of these neon earrings with hundreds of 5-star reviews. "They’re the perfect size and I get compliments every time I wear them."

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3. Tie-dye joggers

Joggers
Credit: Summersalt/Athleta

Tie-dye everything—especially sweats—have become the new at-home uniform.

Fortunately for those of us who enjoy being comfortable 24/7, the loungewear trend that exploded in 2020 is here to stay in 2021. Tie-dye joggers in particular are popular with TikTok stars like Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio. Whether you're heading out for a late-night grocery store run or simply scrolling through TikTok, there are tons of cozy, cute, and colorful joggers to shop online.

Popular picks include the luxe terrycloth joggers from famed swimsuit brand Summersalt or the playful cuffed joggers from Nordstrom's in-own line, BP., which have sold out multiple times at the retailer. Athleta also has a quality pair, which fans of the activewear brand say are good for lounging or, well, actually jogging.

4. Tennis skirts

Tennis skirt
Credit: American Eagle/H&M

Tennis skirts are the latest in athleisure.

Good news: You don't have to play tennis to rock the sport's iconic pleated skirts. Fashion app Depop reported a 175% increase in searches for "white tennis skirt" in August 2020 alone and the hashtag #tennisskirt on TikTok has over 61.2 million views. Not only are the flouncy skirts adorable both on and off the court, they're appropriate for almost any spring activity, from learning the latest TikTok dance to going out to brunch al fresco with your friends.

While retailers like Amercan Eagle and H&M have tennis skirts for under $40, our shopping editor, Courtney Campbell, is a big fan of Lululemon's sporty white skirt. She likes how flattering and comfortable it is, and that it has built-in spandex shorts so you can wear it for both lounging and exercising.

5. Crochet bralettes and crop tops

Crochet top
Credit: Madewell/Free People

Stay as cool as you look in a crochet piece.

All over TikTok, users are breaking out knitted bralettes and crop tops. Maybe it's just a coincidence or maybe it's a result of the crocheting craze that popped up when many of us were desperate for something to do during lockdown. Regardless, the boho-chic tops are a major spring style fad— fashion trend forecaster Lyst reports that there's recently been a surge in searches for net and crochet tops and dresses, and that "knitted bralette" is one of the most-searched terms. The lightweight, breathable design of these pieces makes them a breeze (pun intended) to transition into summer.

One of the most recognizable crochet tops is the Adella bralette from Free People, which our style editor, Amanda Tarlton, owns and loves. Another option to look the part with a bit more coverage is the ruffle-strap sweater tank from Madewell. There's even an almost identical Free People dupe on Amazon with over 1,800 glowing reviews.

6. Statement purses

Statement purse
Credit: Shein/Kate Spade

Let your bag be the focal point of your outfit this year.

Classic designer handbags are nice but have you ever accessorized your outfit with an oversized cupcake or lipstick? TikTok has opened the doors to statement purses, from food-inspired clutches to the basketball bags that went viral to the Kate Spade heart-shaped purse everyone wanted a few weeks ago. Available in all different fun shapes and sizes, the bags are as fashionable as they are functional. Many of them have room to hold your phone, keys, wallet, and, of course, hand sanitizer and face mask.

You can find an exact replica of the DIY basketball bag at Shein. Over 10,000 reviewers are obsessed with it, with one calling it "by far my favorite purse ever!" The fast fashion retailer also has a plethora of other quirky picks, including a knit frog clutch and a pretty velvet seashell bag. If you're searching for the coveted Kate Spade bag, Forever 21 has a look-alike heart purse for under $25.

7. Neutral colors

Neutrals
Credit: Spanx/Banana Republic

Neutral colors provide a blank canvas for your accessories.

Neutrals are nothing new, but they seem to be especially on-trend right now. “Wearing neutrals on TikTok automatically makes you appear as an influencer because it’s the 'it' look at the moment," says Nana Agyemang, influencer and CEO and founder of EveryStylishGirl. "You’ll see neutrals and monochrome a lot this coming season and they’re definitely here to stay."

There are endless ways to incorporate more neutral tones—like beige, cream, black, olive, and gray—into your everyday wardrobe. You can opt for adding just a few pieces, like a cozy cardigan or Spanx' popular jean-like leggings. Go all out with a head-to-toe monochromatic look a la this wildly popular jumpsuit with over 23,000 reviews on Amazon or a matching sweats set that hits two trends in one.

8. Chunky black ankle boots

Black boots
Credit: Urban Outfitters/Madewell

Mix up your footwear with a pair of black booties.

Chelsea, combat, platform, sock—no matter the style, as long as the boot is black and ankle-high, it's a win in any TikToker's book. The edgy booties add an instant cool-girl vibe to any outfit.

Whether you need a pair to wear with jeans or even your brand new cottagecore dress, there are black booties at almost every major retailer. You can't go wrong with the OG Doc Martens, with their thick, handsewn sole and iconic look. The Chelsea boots from Madewell have also been selling out since last fall, with reviewers raving about their sleek design and comfortable fit.

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