From Thongs to Wellies, These Controversial Trends Are Dividing Fashion Editors

Weird winter fashion trends: arm warmers



The act of getting dressed in 2020 has become a little, well, bland, as jogging bottoms, puffer coats and sturdy boots have become the unofficial uniform of winter 2020 and many of us have prioritised comfort over experimentation. You'd be forgiven for thinking that this would mean trending items have become a little bland this winter. Of course, crowd-pleasing loungewear sets, duvet coats and slippers are the items selling out at lightning speed currently, but there are also some trending items that have our editors divided.

Maybe it's all that time spent in leggings, but there are a number of microtrends and styling tricks we've been spotting bubbling up this month that are fabulously creative and innovative. And like anything new and out of the ordinary they are bound to create a reaction and divide opinion, and the following trends have certainly received plenty of reactions on our team Slack channel. Keep scrolling to see seven of the trends our team is divided on. 

Knitted Vests

Weird winter fashion trends: knitted vests



Eighty per cent of our team is so into knitted vests, that not only do we include them in almost all of our stories, but you'll spot at least one in any Who What Wear Zoom call. But there's one person who isn't convinced. Our Editor in Chief Hannah Almassi has always said this is the one item that makes absolutely no sense to her, as practically you need a jumper to be warm, not sleeveless. She does have a point…

Weird winter fashion trends: Bottega Veneta boots


Grece Ghanem

Bottega Veneta is one of those brands that in recent years has been creating items that divide opinion as soon as they step onto the runway. This year, the polarising item is certainly its £500 rubber cropped wellies that come in acid green and bubblegum pink. None of our editors are sold on this one, but they are (like most Bottega Veneta items) almost impossible to get a hold of. 

Arm Warmers 

Weird winter fashion trends: Knitted arm warmers



Our UK team were all unsure of all the arm warmers currently stocked on Zara, however, our colleagues over in L.A. and New York are really getting into this trend, as three out of five included a pair in their recent Zara wishlist. Perhaps the California weather lends itself more to a half-absent jumper?

Stirrup Leggings

Jacquemus is another brand that is often behind divisive, but agenda-setting trends (such as the micro bags that barely fit in a £1 coin), and this year the autumn collection included a pair of ribbed beige stirrup leggings. Other brands behind this '80s leggings trend include Isabel Marant, Burberry and Maryam Nassir Zadeh. Personally, I'm a little too scared to try this one, but Elinor Block on our team says this is the one type of leggings she is tempted by. "It shouldn't work, but I think the reason it does is that the style looks so good with heels, making it appear less workout and more high fashion," she says.


Weird winter fashion trends: Vest, tie and shirt



Ties were another trend we saw bubbling up in the autumn collections, such as at Dior and Prada, typically worn with a white shirt and with a knitted vest over the top. This trend is perhaps a little too formal for a winter spent in lockdown, but I have a feeling this won't be the last season we'll see this trio styled together.

"I'm usually all for turning traditionally gendered clothing on its head, but there's something about the tie trend that doesn't quite sit right with me," says shopping editor Joy Montgomery. "Perhaps it's the fact that it's so overtly decorative—not that all clothing must be practical, but a tie just seems particularly self-conscious in the fashion spectrum, in the same way that berets do (I tried, but I just couldn't). Or maybe it's because they have such strong connotations with school uniform and office wear that I'm unable to shake off."

Katie Holmes really did start a whole movement when she hailed a taxi in her Khaite cashmere bra-digan, and a year later, there's no shortage of impractical bras made to be worn as tops or layering pieces. Personally, I love the knitted-bra–and-cardigan look, and want to try it this winter but am not sure I could pull off wearing one on top of a shirt or a top, as many are styling crystal-and-rhinestone bras this winter.  

Visible Thong Straps

Visible thongs are making a quiet comeback currently, thanks to the likes of Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid and a roster of cool up-and-coming labels. London Fashion Week designer Supriya Lele created trousers with a fake thong strap over the top of trousers for S/S 21, and explained to Vogue: “I like to show sexual confidence in the clothing and I wanted to make more of a statement of that this season because I felt so tired of wearing joggers for months.” Central Saint Martins graduate Nensi Dojaka also creates lingerie-inspired ready to wear, such as Camille Charriere's visible G-string above. A year ago I would have said this is a trend that should firmly stay in the 2000s with Christina Aguilera, however, I do like the subtlety of the thinner strap in the above outfit. 

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