Pinterest Predicts Airy Styles Will Take Center Stage In 2023

Cottagecore aesthetic lovers, rejoice! Soft, romantic, and feminine looks are back in style for 2023, but with a modern twist that's more inspired by daydreams than farm life. Where cottagecore was full of earth tones, thick fabrics, and boxy silhouettes, fashion trends are shifting towards a more refined, luxe direction that overlaps more with goddess fashion and balletcore, according to a new report released by Pinterest.

Instead of house dresses and peasant tops, ethereal fashion calls for romantic femininity, one that embraces delicacy over hardiness. But this style isn't about fragility; it's about strength and empowerment, your outfit a siren-song warning for people not to mess with you, no matter your gender.

During New York Fashion Week, Pantone saw the beginnings of the ethereal trend in the colors designers were using for their Spring and Summer 2023 lines. "Blending escapism with reality, wholeness, and joy, we embrace the exploration of extreme contrast in color and mood," explains Leatrice Elsman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. "There is utility and basicness to [2023's] color story, while at the same time there is an uplifting vital sense of play that comes through."

To achieve the perfect airy outfit, Pinterest reports their users have been searching for very specific fabrics and styles in order to create the perfect ethereal-inspired wardrobe. Here's what you need to know.

Tulle is no longer just for ballerinas or brides

Despite the long association with tutus and bridal gowns, for some, tulle has become a material that symbolizes subversion of conforming to traditional ideas of beauty and femininity. A staple at runway shows during Fashion Week for the last few years, Pinterest reports "tulle sleeves" specifically have seen a 65% increase in searches since 2020.

If you're looking to try out the tulle trend this holiday party season, Shein's Sweetheart Neck Flounce Bodycon Dress has sheer ruffled tulle sleeves that add a flirty, playful element to an otherwise smoldering look. One of our favorite, easy ways to mimic the ethereal tulle trend is to pair a tulle skirt, like Anthropologie's Hutch Pleated Tulle Skirt with a cozy sweater.

Lace is an essential aspect of the airy fashion trend

Like tulle, lace has a long association with delicacy, opulence, femininity, and delicacy. Lace also had a major showing at Fashion Week 2022, with designers like Dior and Versace showcasing gothic-inspired eveningwear (via Hello! Magazine). This kind of dark yet ethereal glamor is an easy trend to take advantage of for New Year's Eve, especially in the Lulus Appetite for Seduction Black Lace Long Sleeve Dress.

However, Pinterest users are also lusting after a different lace-based clothing item that is sure to show up everywhere in 2023. In its trend report, Pinterest revealed that "lace top long sleeve" had a 225% increase in searches between 2020 and 2022. With tops like the Mare Mare x Anthrolpolgie Sheer Lace Blouse, we're finding it hard to wait for warmer weather to wear airy fashion.

Add sheer layers to achieve an airy look

Layers — specifically sheer clothing layers — were all over the 2022 Fashion Week shows. Perhaps that's why Pinterest saw a 70% increase in searches for "sheer pant outfit." Off-White, for instance, featured sheer catsuits in their spring 2023 runway show at Paris Fashion Week, per Fashionista.

Whether you're reaching for mesh, lace, or tulle, tops like Free People's Under It All Bodysuit will be your new favorite pieces. It's a perfect base layer easily paired with a tulle skirt. You can also mix lace and sheer by adding something like the By Anthropologie Lace Layering Turtleneck to your 2023 wardrobe. Whatever the material of your sheer layer, the piece will add an alluring, dreamy quality to an otherwise subdued office outfit.

Pearls will be a major accessory in 2023

Another way to take part in the airy styles taking over Pinterest is in how you accessorize. Borrowing from balletcore, Marie Claire reports seeing simple pearl studs or low-hanging dangling earrings with single, small pearls as part of the Dior, Erdem, and Chloé runway shows during 2022 Fashion Week. Oscar de le Renta pushed the pearl trend even further during their show, draping models with multiple strands.

You don't have to stick to earrings when adding pearl elements to your airy outfit. You can pair one or multiple of Anthropologie's Set of Three Pearl Headbands with your tulle skirt or lace top for an added touch of soft girl glamour. To mix the Oscar de le Renta vibe with the pearl earring trend, try wearing Anthropologie's Asymmetrical Peal Drop Earrings with a black lace dress.

Break out the ballet flats

Otherwordly creatures tend to move soundlessly in popular mythology, the same way ballerinas move across the stage. The ballet flat — a long-time wardrobe staple of balletcore fans — is coming back for 2023, but with a sharper edge. At the Spring/Summer 2023 fashion shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, Refinery 29 saw the pointed flat as a prominent staple of many designers' collections.

The thing about the pointed flat, or pointed sling-back, is that you can wear a pair with any airy-inspired outfit. Rothy's The Point comes in an amazing amount of colors and goes perfectly with either a more casual look, such as a midi tulle skirt and a t-shirt, or something fancier like one of the lace or tulle dresses we mentioned above.

You'll make the whole place shimmer in these ethereal dresses

Metallics and sequins were all over the New York Fashion Week runways and now are having a major moment on Pinterest. On the runway, metallics were seen in the form of statement skirts and knits, but according to the Pinterest report, it's shimmery dresses users are hunting for. With a 365% increase in searches, we can't but wonder if "shimmery dresses" got a Taylor Swift bump following the "Bejeweled" music video.

To bring some shimmer to your ethereal-inspired wardrobe, we recommend picking up something like Free People's That Girl Sequin Slip, which blends both the lace and shimmer trend together. For something that makes a bigger, bolder statement, Urban Outfitters' Glamorous Metallic Sequin Mini Dress (or something similar) can make the whole place sparkle at your New Year's Eve party.

Ruffles are trending on Pinterest in this surprising way

Femmewear isn't the only style of clothing showcased at Fashion Week, nor is it the only style of clothing that's becoming a staple of the airy style trend. Vogue reports that not only are sheer tops trending for menswear, but so are Shakespearian-style ruffles. Pinterest users are a fan of this style too, with searches jumping 96% between 2020 and 2022.

If you're looking to take advantage of the ruffle trend before the new year hits, get your hands on a shirt like the Men's Puff Sleeve Ruffle Neck Button Shirt from Newchic ASAP. If you're looking for something a little more modern, try a tuxedo-style ruffle shirt like the ASOS Design regular satin shirt with '70s ruffle front in blue.