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Four fabric and colour trends for fall-winter 2021

By Guest Contributor


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Photo credits: fashion journal Kleur & Stijl

The fabrics for the upcoming fall/winter season can be categorised in four themes: Reconsider, Reset, Reimagine, and Rebuild. The impact of the pandemic and its lockdowns and the way it has affected people’s day-to-day lives, as well as their new living conditions, will play a key role in these themes.


Fabrics have an enormous influence on the look and feel of a garment. Companies are increasingly looking for ways to incorporate sustainability when it comes to the production and design of fashion’s materials. An important aspect of this is reusing materials.


Covid spurred a desire for soft, warming materials to cherish - materials which may even offer consolation in such difficult times. It is time to reset our thoughts and consciously consider the choices we make. We spend more time at home than ever before, where we now work and even attend online virtual parties. Everyone stays within their own (safe) social bubble. So for this theme, think loungewear and athleisure wear, preferably made from comfortable fabrics. Puffy and fluid fabrics, fur and hairs, and soft curves are good examples.

Key elements: 3D effects, teddy fabrics, flannel, wool with an angora texture, (faux) fur, velvet.


This theme is about dreaming of a (better) future in which each individual interprets fashion in their own way. Being confined to this home cocoon provides us with the desire to invest a little extra time in our appearance as the world looks to reopen. After the first shock of the lockdown, more and more people have realized that dressing up for work, or rather, making ourselves look presentable, continues to serve its purpose and contributes to feeling good. Fabrics in this theme emanate opulence and are decorated with handcrafted details, fantasy symbols and digital patterns. Flowers continue to dominate. The contrast between these different types of fabrics in terms of their aesthetics could barely be any bigger. Limits are tested in fabric design.

Key elements: Lace textures, sheen, laser cuts, velvet, sequins, gold and silver thread, leather.


There are people whose lives have been destroyed because they ended up in financial hardship or have become socially isolated during the pandemic. As the world looks to recover, fabric designers seem to have listened to the call for treating the planet in a different way. This is visible in how they have executed their work: Distressed fabrics, the mix of different materials, watery stripes, pieces of fabric added on as if something has been fixed up. All of these elements serve to amplify the look and feel of this theme. An additional element within this theme is the tactility of fabrics, because we want nothing more than to be able to “feel”.

Key elements: Destroyed looks, tie dye effects, different textures

2021 Colours: a large range of white tones to mix and match with grey tones, browns and other natural and pastel shades. Deep burgundy red, dark blue, and greens give everything a mystical touch. Red becomes very important this winter.

Written by Carla van den Puttelaar, founder and Editor-in-Chief at Dutch fashion journal Kleur & Stijl , the magazine for stylists who want to provide their customers with a unique experience and expand their knowledge.

Photo credits: fashion journal Kleur & Stijl

This guest contribution has been translated from Dutch to English by Veerle Versteeg.