Usually, when someone says March Madness in reference to the college basketball championship tournament, my eyes glaze over. I'm not so into sports—can you tell? But I'm always down for some good old competition, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone there, so I created Who What Wear's very own version of a March Madness bracket, in which the best spring fashion trends go head-to-head.
At this point in the season, you've had enough time for all the major spring trends to sink in, making their way from the S/S 21 runways to the street style scene to your Instagram feeds and possibly even your closets already. Since you also happen to read Who What Wear, you're well aware of what's cool in fashion right now, and chances are, you've formed an opinion on everything you're seeing. So we left it up to you, our readers, to vote in three separate rounds and narrow our bracket down from 16 trends to today's final four. Are comfy house shoes or chunky-sole boots more popular among our readers? Baggy jeans or leather trousers?
Okay, Who What Wear readers, I see you. I was happily surprised to find out that the spring color trend our editors universally adore is one that you're equally as obsessed with. Usually, it takes a bit of time for a particular trend to make its way from the runways to our Instagram feeds, but this delightful hue is the exception to the rule. Almost as soon as we highlighted the trend's presence on the S/S 21 runways, people were giddy to begin incorporating it into their closets. The best part is that there's no one way to wear bubblegum pink. Dive in headfirst with head-to-toe saturation or add in pops of pink to your outfit rotation through a bright accessory. I'm especially a fan of BY FAR's new Cush Bag.
It's not hard to see why this perky shade of pink is resonating right now. "I think everyone is ready to make a statement with their clothing after such a quiet year," our reader Ambika Dhir explained, and I feel that so hard. The whimsical color couldn't have come at a more perfect time, as neutrals dominated for several seasons and many of us are eager to dress up again. Aniyah Morinia agrees with this sentiment: "You're bound to turn heads and make every outing or errand a lot more fun and exciting when wearing this shade of pink."
Photo:@abimarvel; @amaka.hamelijnck; @aimeesong
This may have been the year that over-the-top fashion took a back seat, but a new approach to style prevailed, and knit sets coming in at third place is proof of this. "The perfect happy medium, they'll still look just as fantastic worn outside of the house as they do inside," Dhir described. Seeing as these knit sets are offered in a range of combinations for every occasion, mood, and season, they're here to stay, pandemic or not.
Nope, these aren't made just for your couch anymore. (Though, they're very couch friendly.) “Comfy, chic, and cold-weather approved?" Morinia queried. "This is a quarantine trend that I think (and hope) will stick with us for years to come." In fact, we're already seeing warm weather–friendly updates that make these sets ideal for grocery store runs, errands, brunching, and everything in-between as we move into spring and summer. Investing in one is wise—they're basically begging to be mixed and matched with the rest of your closet.
Shop the matching Shauna Linen-Blend Wide-Leg Pants ($330).
Shop the matching Long Fitted Rib Knit Cardigan ($89).
Coming in hot as our runner-up is the denim shape of the year: relaxed jeans. To me, there's nothing cooler than a pair of loose, lived-in denim, especially if you're feeling anything like me and are ready to burn your sweatpants. Morinia is in full agreement with me here, adding that "it's only right that baggy jeans made a comeback in a big way this spring to make the transitional process less painful and more stylish."
If you're new to the upsized-denim look, we get that it can be intimidating to try. But take some advice from Who What Wear favorite Renia Jaz and style yours with crisp, clean classics. "I'm planning to wear them with an oversize blazer, white tee, and heels," she noted. That's a combo we'd recommend to anyone looking to dip their toe into the relaxed look but still remain polished.
Photo:@cassdimicco; @amaka.hamelijnck; @slipintostyle
We heard you loud and clear: Spring 2021 is still all about these serious stompers. Not only did you vote for chunky boots as the number one trend of our March Madness bracket, but you also insisted that they've reached staple status in your wardrobes now. As fashion people, we love the cool statement they make. "I say the chunkier the better," our reader Georgia insisted. "I love shoes that scream 'I'm here.'" But style aside, seeing how practical, effortless, and versatile these lug soles are, it's no wonder why they've had such sartorial staying power.
We've charted the evolution of these chunky stompers from the tried-and-true ankle boots of Bottega Veneta to the Chelsea boots that proliferated in the fall to their most recent iteration—the knee-high chunky boots that have earned a spot in every fashion girl's closet. After all, to quote our reader Morinia, "Nothing screams power and confidence quite like a pair of chunky boots."
Next up, Dive into our Spring Issue, your guide to what matters in fashion right now.