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The ’90s Are Back, and Other Trends for 2023

Sheri Radel Rosenberg looks at the year ahead and spots the best and worst trends to come. Plus, how to nail classic cool.

Happy new year, AGEIST family. I would be remiss to pretend to know what will be on the menu this year, but I’m going to give it a go. Here are some style and beauty trends on the horizon for 2023. As a former trend forecaster, I can’t help myself.

First, I’m sensing a borderline obsession with the look and feel of the ’90s. Think Dido flipped ends. Skinny, highly plucked eyebrows. And you better schlep out your low-waisted jeans and trousers because they are finally back. Of the three sightings, I will happily go back to the low-waisted look. But lest you think I’m going ultra-low, think again. Silly rabbits. Ultra-low Miu Miu is for kids. 

As for the flipped ends, I’ve been there and done that, though I do enjoy the current French bob and bending the ends for some pluck. But flipping? Access denied. Oh, and guess what? Smoking is back. As if. Health and wellness fatigue doesn’t fly for our crowd, and we’re far too wise for that, though watching the young ones smoke and drink does conjure a bit of schadenfreude.

The worst ’90s trend making a comeback

But the worst ’90s trend making a comeback? Thin eyebrows, which the TikTok gen is calling “simulation brows.” This trend started in my early days in New York City when eyebrows were neither seen nor heard. It was a weird look, and I’m not going back. Not for me. And speaking of eyes, a whole makeup look is created based on dark under-eyes to look as if you’ve been partying all night. I get this look so hard. Remember when you’d wear your night? Before makeup to the office the next day? If you do, don’t do it now. Our goal at this stage is to be refreshed, not wrecked. As for bleached brows, which are also hot? Don’t even go there.

And with vintage enjoying a huge renaissance, I probably will invest in designer pieces like those from Geoffrey Beene, Halston, or a bit of Viv Westwood; rest her beautiful punk soul. On my recent holiday to Palm Springs (a phrase I will never tire of saying), I found a store called Mitchell’s that was a temple to designer vintage that was expensive, elegant, and effusive. I felt faint in the best of ways browsing those racks, and I highly recommend a visit. It’s like a history lesson in Haute.

The Perfect Ballet Flat

I’m happy to report that shoes are still sensible, and every age can enjoy the glory of a perfect ballet flat. I’m still in love with Porsellis, and J.Crew also makes some standouts like these slingbacks. And though it pains me to say it, I’m doing a dry January. And for me, that means no shopping for anything other than the basics needed to live and breathe. With that, my last purchase of 2022 was this wacky number from Fred Segal, which honored my new obsession with Palm Springs and the weird and wonderful So Cal desert in general.

Other trends worth spotting?

Pink, green, and cobalt are trending, which are all a yes. Look at my queen Trinny Woodall’s Instagram feed, and stop being afraid of color. It’s beautiful and lifts the spirits like nothing else. 

Sheer pieces are having a moment but seem to have an expiration date. I would proceed with caution on this one and do a sheer blouse under a blazer or a sheer turtleneck under a sleeveless dress or top. If you still love showing skin, have at it. Just not a thing for me at present.

Classically Cool

And if you hate trends and see yourself more like Deneuve than Dua Lipa, I highly recommend going for a well-cut blazer, great jeans or trousers, and a silk blouse. These pieces punch above their weight and are ageless and classically cool. This pic of Stella McCartney had me sleuthing every piece like Matlock (I hope you know how fortunate I feel to have an audience who gets this reference). A heel, track pants, a tuxedo blazer, and a simple tee? Ooh oui. If athleisure must live, let it live this way. From Laurel Canyon to the Lower East Side and back again, I love this vibe so much. Here are some similar pants and an excellent tux blazer. Have at it. The pants look great with a slightly oversized black cashmere turtleneck and red lips. Good stuff.

Stella McCartney

And lastly, this will be a rough year for retail. Small is sexy right now; by that, I mean taking baby steps. Being quiet and not buying what you don’t need. As we all seek harmony and solace, kindness and compassion may overtake “TikTtok made me buy it” as the year’s sentiment. 

And trust me, both kindness and compassion do not cause you to tweak your lower lumbar as you hoist your overweight bags into the back of a rental vehicle — enough with overdoing it. And I mean that in general. Lena Dunham, a polarizing millennial, wrote a great post about trying, and I’d like you to read it because it makes perfect sense. 

Now, lest you think that means we are moving into Spartan city, non. But isn’t one sequin dress enough? Why do we need so much? Let’s look at that overplucked eyebrow trend as a metaphor for tweezing and tweaking away the excess. Who’s with me?

Other things trending for 2023 that are more life than style?

Cityfusion. With office towers empty in cities like Manhattan and fears of crime on the rise, will cities lose their luster and experience an identity crisis, or will they once again become affordable outposts for young creatives as the rich flee and we continue to work from anywhere?

Entitlelash. Television hits like The White Lotus and Fleishman Is in Trouble and movies like Triangle of Sadness vilify and satirize the rich. Is all this aspiration and angling finally reaching its breaking point as many seek to live with fewer material things and more meaning? 

Pre-election jitters. With so much on the line and a country divided, the future election is top of mind for many and will result in everything from economic woes to more mudslinging from both sides.

Early bird specials. Since the pandemic rounded a corner, many who went out again discovered the joys of early dining. Look for 6 pm to be the new 8 pm and late night to lose its appeal.

Save the humans. Are chatbots and robots and all the bots going to take our jobs? As bots begin taking on more “human” assignments like writing, look for humans to find ways to survive (and hopefully thrive) amidst so much change, and a new opportunity for a more “human” approach begins.

PS- If you want to understand the divine but dark side of ’90s high fashion, watch the fantastic four-part series called Kingdom of Dreams, which follows the rise and fall of Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Marc Jacobs, and Tom Ford at the height of their fame. Fascinating, beautiful, and tragic.

1 COMMENT

  1. Good stuff and yes the eight o’clock dining hour has been replaced in my world. Why is it we loved reservations after 8? Does the new six o’clock hour age us or just makes more sense digestively? Love the outfits and I have thick eyebrows and love them.

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Sheri Radel Rosenberghttps://unapologeticstyle.substack.com/
Sheri Radel Rosenberg is a Philly-born, Brooklyn-based writer who explores style, beauty, culture, and midlife with wit, warmth, and wisdom. Her story includes successful forays in the worlds of trend forecasting, ad agency photo production, ghostwriting, and strategic messaging development for fashion and beauty brands - all while amassing a slip dress collection that would make any Gen Xer proud. At the dawn of social media, Sheri launched her personal blog–which combines her passion for writing with her style obsession–and she hasn’t looked back. As Style Editor for the AGEIST, she’s inspired by the styles of the 70s and the 90s, along with all the beautiful people she sees daily in NYC.

 

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