DMT Beauty Transformation: These Are The Wardrobe Essentials Forecasted To Go Big In 2020
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These Are The Wardrobe Essentials Forecasted To Go Big In 2020

January 13, 2020DMT Beauty

#DMTBeautySpot #beauty

Ooo, 2020! It’s a shiny new decade, still unsullied by questionable fashion choices like some of the ones we made in the previous decade. (American Apparel disco pants, we’re looking at you.) That’s not to say that 2020 won’t be marred by its own awkwardness, but at the moment the slate is clean and ripe for sartorial experimentation. Which begs the question: where to begin? 

Because we’re on the Shopping team and wardrobe decisions are life, the purchases that we make on the brink of this new decade carry a little more weight than they might for the layperson shopper. So naturally, we assembled a panel of experts to help us compile a thoughtful list of the wardrobe essentials of 2020. Think of these as conversation starters rather than a do-or-die checklist of things you need.

We consulted a variety of trusted resources; everything from hard data via the trend-forecasting scientists at WGSN to color expert Jane Boddy to the gatekeepers of what’s actually going to be in stores this upcoming year — Nordstrom’s senior fashion director Shannon Schaefer and Net-a-Porter global buying director Elizabeth von der Goltz.

And naturally, we turned around in our swivel chairs to consult the folks we really trust — our very own fashion team. So what the heck are we buying in 2020? Click through to see our shopping list, and more importantly, the rationale behind each choice. Happy browsing.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

We’ve been calling it for months now, and the results are finally in: the trench coat is poised to once again reign (rain?) supreme in 2020. Global trend forecasting agency WGSN reports that there were twice as many of the throwback military outerwear on the 2020 runways than the previous year. “The trench is a staple this year and beyond,” says Nordstrom’s Senior Fashion Director Shannon Schaefer. “It elevates every outfit.”

Reformation Holland cotton-blend twill trench coat, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Universal Standard Tirsa Trench Coat, $, available at Universal Standard

Leith Faux Patent Leather Trench Coat, $, available at Nordstrom
“For this winter and spring, I love the look of short culottes (or long shorts, depending on your perspective) paired with knee-high boots,” says Refinery29 Director of Fashion and Culture Gabrielle Korn. “There’s something very chic about looking like you’re ready to jump on a horse at any moment, plus it’s a perfect way to make cropped wide-leg pants appropriate for cold weather.”

Mango Pleated bermuda shorts, $, available at Mango

Massimo Dutti Check Wool Culottes, $, available at Massimo Dutti

Simply Be Tailored Culottes, $, available at ASOS
We weren’t surprised when Gabrielle told us that “shoulder pads will really return in full swing this year.” (If you haven’t read her paean to a certain padded muscle tank, get caught up now.) “Exaggerating the shape of your shoulder is such a fun way to play with proportion, and it’s very flattering. It instantly makes an outfit look more pulled-together.”

PAIGE Sevilla Thong Bodysuit, $, available at Shopbop

Reformation Belfort Top, $, available at Reformation

Nanushka Pink Lais Draped Dress, $, available at SSENSE
The Guardian just published a must-read interview with Danish trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, who, among many other gems, assured readers that the voluminous, mega-sleeve “romantic” dress isn’t going anywhere in 2020, calling the silhouette “beguiling.” A report shared with us by global trend forecasting agency WGSN backs this up, reporting that while the momentum of the puff-sleeve poplin top may have stalled, the trend “has continued [its] steady rise across dresses,” and that “trapeze [styles] will continue as a volume trend driver.” (This won’t surprise anyone who noticed the preponderance of shoulder volume at this year’s Golden Globes.)

Topshop Green Check Taffeta Maxi Dress, $, available at Topshop

Anthropologie Anthropologie Jane Textured Babydoll Tunic, $, available at Anthropologie

Ganni Seersucker Check Dress, $, available at Need Supply Co
Bless the powers that be at Net-a-Porter for making official what we’ve always known: that doubling down on denim — for the look that we so lovingly refer to as the “Canadian tuxedo” — is neat, easy, and cool. “We invested in rigid denim which felt smart and strong along with bleached and true-blue washes,” said global buying director Elizabeth von der Goltz. Nordstrom’s Senior Fashion Director Shannon Schaefer concurred, advising that “clean denim” — meaning dungarees of the non-distressed variety — “is a wardrobe essential this year. It’s easy to dress up or down and transition from day to night.”

Gucci Button-embellished denim jacket, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Gucci Button-embellished denim skirt, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Eileen Fisher Organic Cotton Blend Chore Jacket, $, available at Nordstrom

Eileen Fisher Organic Cotton Stretch Denim Ankle Straight Leg Jeans, $, available at Nordstrom

Levi's 501 Stretch Skinny Women's Jeans, $, available at Levi's
“On the coattails of shopping more fluidly, I've been spending more and more time in the men's accessories section and recently picked up this Samuel Ross A-Cold-Wall for Oakley utility bag,” says Senior Shopping Director Marissa Rosenblum. “A precious designer ‘It’ bag is no longer the epitome of aspirational style as we head into a decade of practicality, mobility, and resourcefulness. The cool utility men’s bag is not lacking in design and is certainly not a cheap, throw-away style, but it can be beaten up, taken anywhere, and has compartments to handle all the things we carry with us.”

Oakley by Samuel Ross Slim Bag, $, available at Oakley

Baboon Fannypack, $, available at Baboon

Timbuk2 Paper Bag Tote Backpack, $, available at Urban Outfitters
Color forecaster Jane Boddy told us that “as we move into 2020, color will continue to follow a sophisticated path, and nature-influenced tones will be really important.” (Edelkoort concurred in her interview, saying that colors would become more “subdued and melancholic” in the new decade as natural dyeing increases in popularity.) Marissa Rosenblum agrees, saying that “we’ll return to using colors that come from a more natural treatment process, like indigo, naturally pigmented cotton that has no additional toxic dyes, shades of greens, tawny reds, off-white, and browns. Vegetable roots and flower-derived hues like deeps crimsons, sunlit peachy tones, and saffron golds are the way of the future. Basically, if you look at a Renaissance painting — those are the colors we should be wearing now.”

Back Beat Co. Plant Dyed Corduroy Jumpsuit, $, available at Back Beat Co.

Faherty Natural Dyed Turtleneck, $, available at Faherty

Colorant High Waisted Pants, $, available at Antidote+
“Layering is key to surviving an East Coast winter, but doing so without looking bulky isn’t an easy feat,” says our fashion writer Eliza Huber. “That’s why I bought a dickey this winter. It provides all the perks of a sweater — especially if you get a turtleneck style like this one — without the extra bulk from sleeves. I’ve already worn mine more than a dozen times this season and I plan to continue doing so well into 2020.”

COS Cable Hybrid Knit Dickey, $, available at COS

El Ali Goods Dickey Neck Warmer, $, available at Etsy

HAMPTON DIRECT Unisex Dickies (Four-Pack), $, available at Walmart
Eliza also shares that she bought into a pair of hearty pants that will last for years. "This year, I decided to switch things up and invest in a pair of leather pants rather than jeans, and I’m so happy that I did — I can wear them into the spring and next fall, too; since they will last forever. I bought a real pair, but the faux options are great too.”

& Other Stories Leather Kick Flare Trousers, $, available at & Other Stories

Free People Spellbound Coated Bootcut Jeans, $, available at Nordstrom Rack

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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Emily Ruane, Khareem Sudlow

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