On the heels of yet another harrowing year comes a handful of trends across fields like fashion, travel, and wellness that wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for the ongoing pandemic. Sure, we (still) have more questions than answers, but as the world soldiers on, we offer a peek into what 2022 will look like – and it’s not all bad.
We called it last year – waterless beauty is only set to skyrocket in popularity as we seek to make more eco-friendly choices. And like 2021, beauty will be more fun and joyful in the months ahead, resulting in the dominance of celestial nail art and makeup palettes housing bright hues. Y2K nostalgia is another major trend, so expect to see unapologetically shiny lips (courtesy of ‘plastic’ lip gloss) and 90s-inspired hairstyles (think: ultra-sleek strands and playful accessories). Elsewhere, the world of clean beauty will bring with it more transparency – about time, too. Considering the term doesn’t entail with one clear definition, beauty giants like Ulta and Sephora have not only started establishing guidelines with regards to formulation, but also helping consumers identify which products adhere to them.
But why should beauty have all the fun? Fashion will also be fun and frivolous in 2022, indicating a universal yearning for simpler (read: pre-pandemic) times. After way too long of WFH and living in athleisure around the clock, the months ahead will be rooted in feeling optimistic and dressing to the nines. Translation: higher hemlines, bright bags, 70s-esque sparkle. The 90s will influence fashion, too, so chain belts will be big. Not the navel-baring type? Wear yours over a knit dress. And because the fashion world loves playing with extremes, expect your shirts to go oversized and your blazers to shrink. As for the trend we’re most excited about? The return of party shoes, of course!
2022 will bring with it some rather unexpected additions to the menu – potato milk, anyone? The next big thing in non-dairy milks, it’s low in both sugar and saturated fat, and kinder to the environment from a production perspective. Chefs and home cooks alike will not only increasingly use locally sourced food, but also commit to reducing waste by using all parts of the vegetable (stalks and stems included). Another trend that will only gain traction? Non-alcoholic concoctions that are more thoughtfully designed and artfully presented than the sugary mocktails of the past. Owing to their health-boosting properties, the category of fermented beverages is also set to grow. And because we’ll continue to eat in a lot more, we’ll expect more of our dining out experiences – personalised menus, more intimate settings, or inclusive of cooking classes.
While it’s impossible to pinpoint which industry was most negatively impacted by the pandemic, one thing is for certain: travel is up there on the list. According to the experts at Expedia, this is the year we’ll take our GOAT trip – a.k.a. the Greatest of All Trips. It comes as no surprise that after two years of not travelling, we’re ready for excitement and willing to splurge. And because planning during a pandemic is an oxymoron, travellers will be a lot more spontaneous, especially as airlines and hotels continue to offer more flexibility in case of cancellations. Like 2021, wellness retreats and nature-centric destinations will continue to soar in popularity, drawing focus away from big city breaks. Opting for staycations and domestic travel over far-flung locales is another travel trend carrying over into 2022 from last year.
2022 will bring with it a continued focus on self-care, resulting in wellness trends that should’ve been a part of our lives much earlier (yes, better late than never). Workouts that benefit both mind and body will gain popularity, as will practices like breathwork. Another seemingly simple activity, walking, will help us cope with yet another year of uncertainty – who can forget the Hot Girl Walk that took over social media in 2021? And because we’re increasingly invested in the health of the planet, menstruation products will be a lot more eco-friendly, with the likes of The Period Company, Looni, and Lunette paving the way. Lastly, both reducetarian and flexitarian diets will encourage us to eat fewer animal products, with The Gaggler soon making a case for such a lifestyle over eliminating them entirely.
Watch this space.