The Top Fashion Trends of 2023: A Year of femininity and expression

As we bid farewell to 2023, we reflect on a year filled with captivating fashion trends that left an exciting mark on the style landscape. From the comeback of timeless classics to avant-garde statements and fun runway moments, 2023’s fashion scene was vibrant with creativity and individuality. 

We have seen the predictions for next season from the Fashion Week trends, and 2024 will undoubtedly be another year of outstanding fashion. Before the new year, let’s look at the fashion trends that stole the spotlight in 2023.

Maxi skirts

2023 fashion trends- Maxi skirt
Tuboreni via Instagram

Maxi skirts made a triumphant return to the spotlight last year, and we were thrilled about their resurgence! It’s a versatile piece that effortlessly transitions from casual to formal, and of course, I happily hopped on the trend. Styled in bohemian and polished ways, we saw maxi skirts paired with various tops from crops to oversized blazers and retro print blouses. Their dynamic style also spread to accessories as we saw an array of footwear – boots, chunky sandals, and sneakers. In 2023, maxi skirts proved to be a timeless wardrobe essential.

Y2K aesthetic

2023 fashion y2k trends- Marie Claire Nigeria
Claire in Meji Meji via Instagram

The Y2K trend continued its triumphant march from 2022, captivating fashion enthusiasts like myself with its nostalgic charm. TikTok fashion trends brought back old Nollywood style featuring inscription crop tops, halter necks, micro-mini skirts, and accessories like bandanas and belts. After witnessing the fashion girlies adopt these looks, I was particularly fascinated with the trend and tried it out too. In fashion’s true cyclic nature, the Y2K trend is here to stay.

Edgy denim

Edgy denim styles
Ramona McDermott via Instagram

In a nod to sustainable fashion, 2023 saw the rise of edgy denim styles, particularly the mix-and-match pieces. From patchwork denim in various shades to combining contrasting colours of denim, the creativity of fashion lovers shone through in fascinating ways. This fashion trend was prominent at the Lagos Fashion Week, showcasing a fusion of style and eco-consciousness. We love it!

Frills

2023 fashion trends
Irony of Ashi via Instagram

I don’t think I’ve ever thought about frills as often as I did this year. One of the top fashion trends that took the spotlight in 2023, frills adorn pieces with elaborate or subtle detailing. Its ability to add an instant elevated whimsical look to the plainest outfits is impressive, and the girls particularly love it for its sophisticated feminine and playful vibe.  

Sheer, Knit, and Crochet pieces

Knit fashion trend
Dodos via Instagram

As lockdown-inspired hobbies continued into 2023, crochet and knitwear became regulars on the fashion scene. From bags to beach wear, we loved seeing the talented creations that came from this trend. We also saw several pieces with knit details infused with sheer. This trend naturally transcended into more sheer outfits being the go-to, especially for those who liked an effortless look. We loved the array of knit/crochet sweaters, sheer tops, and creative blends of these details in stunning dresses. 

Power suits

Power suits in 2024
Rabia Cissokho via Instagram

This year, an all-time classic, power suits made us “stand on business”. A yearly member of the top fashion trends list, the Power Suits in 2023 made a bold statement on runways worldwide. From casual, baggy sets to vibrant and embellished designs, they were symbols of empowerment, freedom, and self-assurance. We are carrying that energy all through 2024.

Sequins

How to wear sequin- Marie Claire Nigeria
Temi Otedola via Instagram

A little sparkle and shine never hurt anyone, and 2023 was the year for the style stars who love to glimmer. Injecting a dash of glamour, sequins—especially in silver—dominated the fashion scene across runways, streets, and parties, showcasing their sparkle in the form of jumpsuits, skirts, and dresses. Naturally, sequins come out to play during Christmas, and our favourite content creators have been showing off their sparkling party looks. It’s all so delightful!

Pastels

Pastel colours- Marie Claire Nigeria
Muhleza via Instagram

For moments when softness and grace were needed, pastel colours emerged as the palette of choice. The prettiest pastel green, pink, and purple hues dominated runways in ways that reminded us of beloved retro fashion moments. This prominent trend witnessed Nigerian designers such as Kadiju and Orire, alongside international counterparts like Rick Owens and Simone Rocha, demonstrating their expertise through ethereal and graceful creations.

Silk

2023 fashion trends
Miss Bantu via Instagram

Some people say 2023 was the year of romance, and if our fashion choices mean anything, they might be correct because Silk pieces made waves this year. More than last year, slip dresses and cowl neck blouses were a hit with women, and even the men loved their sleek silk shirts. Off and on the runways, draping techniques were also elevated by the sensuality and freedom that silk offers. We spotted our fashion editor in an orange silk dress for the Lagos fashion week amongst other fashion lovers wearing the trend. Here’s to hoping 2024 comes with more romance. 

Bold primary colours

How to style bold colours in 2024
Edaowo Fashion via Instagram

In 2023, designers infused energy and vibrancy into their collections with bold red and deep blue pieces. This translated into the year’s fashion trends as these hues made a powerful statement, reflecting a vibrant and dynamic spirit that resonated with those seeking to stand out. Maximalists also had fun colour-blocking these colours with other subtle pastel ones. 

Cut-Outs

Cut-out trend
Joy Akhigbe via Instagram

I love a good cutout, and in 2023, everyone did, too. Cut-outs took a sophisticated turn from dinner gowns featuring waist cut-outs to tops teasing us strategically at the chest area. This trend became a tasteful way to show off skin and style. 

We will never forget the fashion trends of 2023. They all had their unique charm, matching different tastes and styles. It’s a year of fashion that sure had something for everyone! Among these, my favourites are the maxi skirts, pastel colours, and the enduring Y2K aesthetic. What were your top fashion picks of the year? Share your favourites, and let us know which of these you’ll take into the new year.

Author

  • Omotola Saba

    Hi, Omotola here, the human form of the 100 Emoji and the fashion and beauty writer at Marie Claire Nigeria. She started writing for fun and merged it with her love for fashion, and beauty. She's mostly at home, picking up yet another new hobby, scrolling through pinterest, laughing with her family or at dad jokes, or sleeping.

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