Ready or Not: 2020 Trends

I usually write a trend report at the beginning of the year for Stylebook readers. For some reason this year I’ve been blocked with how to address “trends” for the spring season. I’ve done the research and know what the industry insiders have deemed worthy of the moniker. I guess I’m conflicted with “trends” in general and how they can be misconstrued as a main course instead of a peppering of flavor. So, while knowledge is always valuable, it’s what you do with that knowledge that impacts your style. Never let trends own you or your wallet. Instead let a trend report help you understand the choices that will be in front of you.


After reading a trend report, I will often start to identify what works best for my own investment pieces and my lifestyle. A healthy wardrobe builds an eclectic story of useful pieces that can be upgraded strategically year to year with a few well-placed trends. In my own wardrobe I will flag the pieces that are “on trend” in order to prompt how to celebrate them further – a shoe upgrade maybe? My secret to personal style is not deviating too far from my lane. I’m drawn to pieces that inspire me but won’t overlap what I already have – it could be the influence from a movie, a style icon (like Katie Holmes) having an iconic breakup moment involving a particular off the shoulder cardigan or an offering from one of my most favorite labels.



For instance, polka dots have a prominent place for spring 2020. In the summer of 2019, I purchased a dress that resonated with me from TSALT. The dress is from Smythe – and the two of us go way back. At the time the purchase had nothing to do with “trends” but satisfied the need for an easy dress that I could wear to work and would be viable three seasons out of the year. Not to mention, the length of the dress was perfect for me and the waist shifted enough in an area where I am hard to fit (long waisted). I could also envision layering it with my denim jacket along with blazers and sweaters I already owned. Fast forward to reading the trends for spring 2020 that included the power of the almighty dot; the fact that my investment is a polka dot print makes owning it even sweeter.




Before you invite any pieces into your closet, trend or otherwise, consider what you have been eliminating. Ali Helmuth’s “It’s Tired” challenge has been a fabulous example of weeding your wardrobe of pieces that fall flat for any number of reasons. The result of this effort has been keeping a constant rotation of goods going through Mint Condition proving that what doesn’t work for one woman can be fashion gold to another! Consignment and resale are two areas of the fashion industry that are seeing tremendous growth which makes these business models very “on trend” for consumers. Not surprisingly, the younger generations have been choosing to adopt secondhand 2.5 times faster than other age groups. I attribute this to a stigma that if someone else didn’t want them, they have no value.


Personally, I’ve always found consignment rich with solutions to keeping your style unique from what the “of the moment” designers release season to season. I occasionally get pushback from clients when I suggest consignment as a resource. For me it’s a strategy that helps me curate exactly what I want from my wardrobe, keeps my clothing budget in control and honestly makes me feel lighter with my global footprint. For example, my fall finds at Mint Condition were a top from Tibi and two pieces from Vince – all of which get plenty of play in my outfit rotation. The Tibi top gave me so much satisfaction that I posted it on my feed to see if I could flush out the original owner with a heartfelt “thank you!” Just as I imagined, I got a DM from a friend who said that was her top which made the purchase that much more joyful. In an industry renowned for an abundance of waste, the growth of resale businesses offers a corrective need that our younger generations acknowledge with their enthusiastic support. And since for each action there will be an equal and opposite reaction, consignment stores will be gaining a consumer looking for more updated styles. In a game of “Fashion Hot Potato,” it’s safe to say they may shy away from your trendy items as well. The takeaway is beware of falling prey to what an industry wants you to purchase and make sound choices that fall within your lifestyle criteria.


Below are a few of the trends forecasted for Spring 2020 and perhaps even beyond. As you explore the list, consider how they relate to you. No one wants to look as though they care too much or appear as though they are in the midst of an identity crisis. Sit back and take it all in for what it is – a fresh perspective on a platform where you aren’t meant to catch up. If nothing else, you will feel forewarned and thus forearmed!



Leather and Vegan Leather – all year round!!

The leather I currently have in my wardrobe has served me well. I’ve had each piece for a while and feel when you find a great classic silhouette that serves you, leather and vegan leather = a good investment. I have two leather skirts that I adore – one I’ve owned over 25 years and perfectly suited for me all these years later.




Highlighter Yellow and more!

Not a place I would invest a lot of money. Bathing suits, belts, or perhaps a t-shirt or tank. Highlighter yellow signals too trendy for this stylist!



Bucket Hats

I love bucket hats on other people and if I can find one that fits my oversized coconut, I’m all in. It also protects the hair and skin so has a practical purpose as well.



Wide Collars

I would definitely explore wide collars meaning adding one or two but no need to go overboard. The beauty of a modern collar is that it’s an immediate update under pieces you already own. Be careful though to not expect a statement collar to pair well with a classic collar.



Tiered Skirts

This might be my favorite trend! I love a tiered skirt and keep thinking of our Stylebook editor at our holiday party in an amazing outfit that just so happened to be…a tiered skirt and matching top!! She slayed with that outfit. I, on the other hand did my own rendition of the next trend….




In all seriousness – I did sport tights and a pair of silk pleated shorts that may have been destined for consignment at one time, but I always challenge myself to utilize the amazing pieces I have. Shorts will be trending in everything from super short (aka hot pants) to Bermuda shorts and the short suit. There will be plenty of places to find your comfort zone when it comes to shorts.



60’s Prints

I happen to have a great appreciation for textiles. 60’s prints are charged with so much energy and leave a bold impression. Love this trend and will love finding the perfect print married to a complimentary silhouette. I already have my eye on a few ideas for myself and my client list.



Classic Blue

No moody blues here. Blue is the most classic of hues and is full of good energy. Look for that pure saturation that will brighten up whites or electrify your black bottoms. Whether it is a power suit, pleated skirt, exaggerated sleeves, or satin shorts, this is a color that will fill your soul and remind you of blue horizons.




Orange is coming on strong in the form of tangerine. I’m game! It’s a color close to coral which is universally flattering. Tangerine feels like a much easier place to play over highlighter colors – wouldn’t you agree? Another trick of mine is to utilize a mani or pedi in shades of tangerine when I don’t want to invest more. I prefer keeping my investments in trends more adaptable. Maybe a bag!




Big Bags

Now hear this – we’re going big for spring! My only advice is to watch your shoulders and backs with big bags. There are those who can carry a big bag and keep it light with minimal items. I, on the other hand, will always want to fill them to maximum capacity!


Elongated Denim Skirts

I’ve already tried to get more than one client on board with the longer denim skirt since it is the easiest item to include as a casual update. I’ve ordered one already for $35! Not a hard item to play with and explore if it has legs for your wardrobe.



  • The latest from Alicia
Alicia was born and raised in Alexandria, and married a local boy. She is happily married and the mother of two amazing children and one adorable and terribly smart border terrier named Dixie. Alicia has always known she was a creative. She collected editions of Vogue from junior high on and has always loved clothing and design. She studied interior design at VCU and parlayed that degree into commercial interior design, the web design, and ultimately found herself managing a local boutique and serving as a stylist to many Alexandrian women. She now has a successful full-time styling business, The Tulle Box, and makes it her business to make her clients feel great about themselves and the way they look.

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