I Have a Theory That There Are Only 2 Major Fashion Tribes in 2020

Fashion has always loved a tribe. Whether it’s ’80s power dressers, Sloane Rangers or hypebeasts, for every fashion trend, there’s a tribe for you to belong to. Right now, I have a theory that there are two distinctly opposite ways of dressing that are emerging—the maximalists and the minimalists.

While I can’t deny that at times, fashion can seem a little silly and make you question whether you really need a pair of £1000 sandals in your life (I’ve honestly asked myself that question more than I care to admit), but in a world that appears to be increasingly polarised (you’re either for or against, in or out), these new fashion tribes are reflecting this societal trend back at us. 

I spoke to Professor Carolyn Mair, Ph.D., consultant and author of The Psychology of Fashion, about this phenomenon. “It’s an interesting proposition—the economy, the state of the world that does affect how we dress. After all, clothing is the only thing that everyone shares that makes a statement about who we are.”

Whether you buy into my theory or not (call it tenuous—I won’t be offended), I’ve mapped out the two opposite looks below. You’ll see which brands are championing the trends and how to style the looks and then shop key pieces. Just one final question you need to answer: Which one are you? 

MINIMALISM

This is new minimalism, so while we’re talking pared-back items that are wardrobe classics, it doesn’t just mean in a black-and-white palette. Think muted tones of beige, caramel, and cream along with pastel blue.  

On the Runway

Bottega Veneta S/S 20 runway

On the Street

Photo:

Style Stalker

Style Notes: Pair all creams and light browns together to make this chic outfit. Opt for detailing such as cut-outs or turned-up barrel trousers to give it that 2020 edge. 

Photo:

Style Stalker

Style Notes: Another all-cream look. Add black accessories to break the lighter colours up a bit and ensure it doesn’t look like a holiday outfit. 

MAXIMALISM

From the likes of Gucci and Marc Jacobs, maximalism in 2020 is all about block and bold colours that clash and make you stare. Always pair with bold accessories and add fun detailing as much as possible. 

On the Runway
On the Street

Photo:

Style Stalker

Style Notes: Jazzy orange, yellow and red printed trousers look great with a bold blue coat. 

Photo:

Style Stalker

Style Notes: Mix shearling-lined coats with tie-dye dresses, “ugly” sneakers and brightly coloured accessories. Taking the maximalism trend to the, er, max.