Ballet core, Barbie and bias cut among key trends as 20-somethings to continue spending

Ballet core, Barbie and bias cut among key trends as 20-somethings to continue spending

2023 may be a year in which consumers are focused on keeping control of their budgets, rather than spending a lot of money on fashion, but 20-somethings plan to carry on shopping and it looks like there are some key trends they’ll buy into.


On Thursday ASOS issued a trend report telling us just what it’s predicting they’ll buy this year. Film inspiration, ballet core, utility dressing and minimalism, and nature-inspired are set to dominate fashion trends, it believes.

It’s also interesting that the online retail giant thinks the 20 to 29 age group will still be prioritising spending on fashion, with a survey it conducted among this demographic showing that they consider it “important to their well-being and self-expression”. As many as 69% of them said they’ll spend the same or more on clothes and fashion in 2023 as they did in 2022.

The insights on trends came from a key trio of design execs, including the firm’s Commercial Design and Visual Director Vanessa Spence, Head of Menswear Design Nick Eley, and Head of Womenswear Design, Melika Imoru.

They think consumers will be taking inspiration from Ariel, Barbie

They said that “film and music stars are expected to have a major influence on fashion in 2023 among 20-somethings. Avatar: The Way of Water (just released), and The Little Mermaid, set to premiere in May, will drive appetite for sheer and ethereal dresses and tops, while bright pink – a colour seen across all the catwalks in 2022 – will feature again, thanks to the release of Barbie, with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, next summer”.

They’re also predicting that Gen Z favourite Olivia Rodrigo will “be a leading source of style inspiration for 20-somethings”. She’s set to release new music in 2023, which will give her personal style, a publicity boost. Known for her love of grunge and 90s fashion, she won’t have the field to herself however, as Zendaya and Jenna Ortega (star of Netflix series Wednesday) will continue to be key influencers.

The retailer’s ballet core prediction is a no-brainer in many ways as the trend had already established itself in 2022. But ASOS is predicting (as are other fashion insiders) that it’s not due to fade any time soon. In fact, it should “grow further in popularity, with pastel tones of greys, nudes, creams and white driving looks that feel feminine yet functional. ASOS expects sales of ballet pumps, base layer jersey tops and sheer bias slips and skirts to grow”.


It also said that the presence of denim on catwalks is taking off again with a resurgence of key noughties brands like Diesel

And traditional sneakers are also back with sales taking off for AdidasKendall JennerBella Hadid

As for that survey, the company spoke to 2,000 of the 20-something Britons it targets and found they’re as fashion-focused as they ever were.

They’re more likely to say they’ll protect their spend on fashion than other categories of discretionary spending, such as going out with friends, streaming services, gym subscriptions and sports or eating out. 

Some 87% of those surveyed consider themselves fashion followers, with 68% saying their fashion choices are an important way to express themselves. In addition, they’re more likely to say that fashion is important to their well-being than nights out, eating out and going to concerts or the cinema.

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