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Fringe to flares: Trends for summer 2022, according to Clearpay

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Clearpay

With summer swiftly approaching, trends for the warmer months ahead are beginning to make themselves known, with the ongoing Y2K obsession remaining prominent and the return of festival season fashion almost upon us.

Based on the UK consumer, the ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) payment provider Clearpay has compiled real-time customer purchase and brand data to identify the most important trends for its 2022 Global Spring Summer Trend Report, looking particularly at the purchase habits of its mostly millennial and Gen Z user base.

Many of the trends touched upon are in relation to the general customer mood following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, suggesting the coming summer is a one likely to be filled with events and celebrations. The report put a distinct emphasis on the wedding season, linking the 178 percent year-on-year (YoY) rise of midi dress purchases to the spike in soon-to-be marriages.

FashionUnited has summarised the most significant elements of the report, detailing everything from clean beauty trends to the colour of the season, pink.

Fashion: fringe to flare

Following months of being cooped up indoors, Clearpay suggested that many of fashion’s trends for these seasons will be based upon the desire to expand out of one’s bubble. Sexy silhouettes, like lingerie and form-fitting cuts, are likely to make their way into the limelight, and will contrast with modernised workwear consisting of a clash between loungewear and streetwear as a new form of office attire. Similarly, Clearpay emphasised on an updated version of the prominent dopamine dressing trend, serotonin dressing, which will see customers opt for confidence-boosting clothing and unconventional prints.

The report also noted that while Y2K is still reigning supreme as one of the most popular style decades, there has been a rise in other nostalgia-based trends, this time closely linked to the 60s and 70s fashion eras. According to Clearpay’s data, sales for floral prints have risen by 23 percent and there has also been an uptick in searches for fringe clothing, clogs and wide leg denim, all playing on the retro fashion period.

Accessories: Y2K and chunky chains

The return of the much anticipated festival season will have a hefty influence on purchases over the coming months, with Clearpay particularly zoning in on festival essentials and bold accessories, such as bucket hats. In contrast, embellished handbags and chunky chains are also seeing a spike in popularity, mirroring the revival of Y2K’s pop-punk trends. This varies to the other side of the era’s accessory spectrum, which has seen a push in the 90s ‘it’ bag, the baguette handbag. Often paired with lowrise jeans and crop tops, the bag has become a staple for 2022 and once again exhibits Gen Z’s fascination with fashion’s past.

Beauty: clean, educated care

Unlike its fashion themes, much of the report’s beauty trends focus on paired back, minimal beauty, often crediting viral TikTok videos for the rise in popularity. A specific case revolved around the ‘clean girl look’, mirroring the ‘no makeup, makeup’ technique that consists of lightweight foundation and a dewy finish. An additional clean beauty trend centres around scalp care education, with many Clearpay shoppers displaying a particular interest in scalp tools, like masks and exfoliating treatments.

In contrast, another highlighted trend that has gained traction among the Gen Z and millennial shoppers is glitter eyeshadow, an offset of HBO’s Euphoria series. The look consists of messy eye makeup and face gems, similar to those of the characters on the popular tv show.