Style

7 Spring Trends (Thoughts?)

7 Spring Trends 2020

Want a mental break from all the heaviness? Let’s escape by talking about spring trends. Many of us are chilling on our sofas in sweats — but trends are still fun to see and analyze, right? For kicks, tell us what you think of these seven looks…

1. Tiered dresses. The bottom of these dresses look like cascading water, and they feel loose and effortless for warm days. (This yellow one and this long one are pretty, too.)

2. Mixed stripes. We love a good stripe around here (remember this?), and these new styles shake things up a little.

3. Polka dots. Polka dots always feel cheerful, and that feels good these days. I especially love this midi skirt for easy lounging.

4. Long shorts. Long shorts — people seem to either love them or hate them. Where do you fall? (If you’re curious to try them out, this Old Navy number is only $25.)

5. Sling bags. They look like half moons (or bananas), and they’re easy to carry crossbody, either front or back.

6. Sporty sandals. We’re all into comfort these days, and sporty sandals let you walk forever without blisters. I used to wear Tevas in high school and they’re such a flashback.

7. And, the best for quarantine: Matching sweatsuits! The same color on the top and bottom, done and done.

Thoughts? Do you like these? Hate them? Please share below…

P.S. Spring trends in 2019 and 2018.

(Photo by Jackie.)

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  1. I’m not really feeling any of it tbh. I do have sporty sandals by Merrell. And I love them but don’t exactly feel they are fashionable. I get lots of jokes made about them like they fit with the whole academics have ugly shoes or look like they are always ready for a hike, or you can tell you like the ladies too wearing them. (These jokes are not mean spirited but rather loving teases but still not exactly a compliment) I do like the idea of midi but I just can’t do it in practice. I’m too short and while I like my calves just fine, I feel like they look “too thick” in that style.

  2. Kelly M says...

    Love the tiered dresses. So comfy looking. And just pretty! I do love how comfy sweats are but I must say I sometimes take a couple seconds to just look at my other clothes hanging in my closet! I feel like it will be as if I have all new clothes when I get to go back to work again!

  3. Ashley says...

    I notice people commenting about a break in consumerism but I still like to look nice when I walk around the neighborhood! It does seem though where I live in Boston, it feels almost inappropriate to dress nicely. Like if you’re not in workout clothing you’re out of touch or insensitive to the pandemic. It might be from my mother’s European upbringing, but I was raised to ‘get ready’ before leaving the house, I like to look nice too, it just feels better!

    So I like the clothing updates I think it’s still fun and it’s ok to want to look cute :)

  4. Claire says...

    Sporty sandals are a HARD NO for me.

  5. Abby Ann says...

    This seems *slightly* out of touch. Kind of odd? I live in a suburb of NYC, thoughts of literally everyone I know are on the immediate; food scarcity, job security, mental health of all the kids I love. NOT fancy overpriced summer sandals. Come on you can do better. This is not the season for “affiliate links.”

    • Amy says...

      As a counterpoint, I want/need an escape from daily worries and this post accomplished that. And it helps keep a small business (a cup of jo) alive and employees paid — so important!

    • LB says...

      Joanna and team seem to do a lot to show they’re aware of the state of the world and offer doses of compassion. I don’t think one post about shopping is out of touch. Personally I could not tolerate 100% of what I see and read being all about food scarcity, PPE scarcity and the failed US govt.

      Many COJ posts are meant to be a nice distraction from the world of doom and gloom and sadness. Even with my full time WFH job (that I am fortunate to have) I won’t be going out and dropping money on a new spring wardrobe, but I think it’s nice to find distractions like spring trends here on the internet in between meetings, screaming kids, and life.

  6. Michelle says...

    I don’t wear open toed sandals. Because I don’t need them in the PNW and my toes get cold fast… But it’s totally obviously cool to wear supportive shoes! Duh! Shoes that you can live in and that accommodate even wide feet! Some of these other trends are less revealing than trends tend to be and I’m in such support that clothes don’t have to reveal all body curves everywhere. Move and Flow- do your thing- be imperfect- feel ok about it seems to be the vibe.

  7. emily yelencich says...

    I really was hoping sweats would be on the list! I have the rainbow tevas (bought for a spring break trip that was cancelled) and love them! They’re a comfy statement piece!

  8. Evelyn Rodd says...

    Never have enough sweats – love matching top and bottom.

  9. lexi says...

    Nooooooo to Spring trends. Consumerism is officially canceled. (Now we can all get 20% of our brains back!)

  10. Trish O says...

    These are all cute…it is not that. I just can not get into anything like this anymore. I have always loved clothes and textiles, the art of it all. I just feel blah about it now. Where would I wear these? Where would I wear anything that was not my leggings and a sports bra…unless i am out walking and wearing running shoes, i have not had on shoes in 6 weeks. Crazy

  11. Maywyn says...

    Most of the trends are worthy of a try.
    Sporty sandals, one element of a footwear wardrobe, might require a color assortment as well as patterns. Imagine a rose print or polka dot sandal. Long shorts with a slight flare as super comfortable.

  12. olive says...

    I would love to experiment with longer shorts! but ummm, here in Utah, long shorts send a certain message that I’m not trying to send, haha! ;)

  13. AP says...

    Was anyone else taught to never separate the girls (boobs) with a purse/strap? I swear it was on TLC’s what not to wear or the original Queer Eye. I love the cross-body bag but hate the look of a strap running in between my boobs!

    • KJ says...

      I never heard that before but recently nytimes had an article about loathing Claire Danes’ crossbodies on Homeland. I never knew it was such a fraught accessory!

    • Trish O says...

      I don’t think boys, even the ones on Queer Eye, should influence what I do with my breasts. If they dont want to see a strap between my boobs, don’t look. All part of me being so over other people’s expectations. But (1) I am almost 50 and (2) global pandemic. I am really over what other people think.

    • M says...

      Omg what not to wear. I used to love that show!

    • Hilary says...

      I have never heard of that, but I *always* wear crossbody bags now that I have a toddler. Who can manage a purse dangling all willy nilly from your side?!

    • Yael says...

      I refuse to wear anything BUT a crossbody. I have things to carry, places to go (well not right this second but you know what I mean) and cannot be fucked with worrying about my purse staying on my shoulder (an exception is clutches if I need to be fancy).

      Also yes to the sporty sandals. They are a mainstay in the Israeli wardrobe (even when not trendy) but I do appreciate them being COJ approved this season! ;)

  14. Lisa says...

    It feels necessary to say that at 45 years old I can solidly ignore trends that do nothing for my body type. I have a long torso. It’s a no to long shorts and midi skirts. I know what makes my body looks more proportional and no trend will change my mind (like it did for a solid 40 years of my life).

    • Ashley says...

      I’m with you on the long torso and choosing proportions which look good – not just trendy. It gets annoying to find knee-length skirts which I think look best, not midi length which has been getting tiresome!

  15. Kara says...

    I am not a “sporty” fashion person by any means (I work out in black leggings and old t-shirts because I just can’t spend money on athleisure even for what it’s technically meant for), but in the past year or so I’ve been very drawn to the sporty sandal. Enter the St. Agni Sportsu Sandal: https://www.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/st-agni-womens-sportsu-strappy-sandals?ID=3687693 (25% off right now)

    That sporty silhouette in leather! My foot is slightly too wide for them to fit perfectly but I don’t care because I love them so much ha!

    P.S. for any fashion entrepreneurs out there, I really think there’s a market for active clothes that don’t look like athleisure! But also not like I’m a hippie hiker/rock climber a la Patagonia, etc. (Not knocking these looks because I do like them on other people!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love that, kara!

  16. Carole says...

    I just bought the fun sporty sandals because of this post! SO fun and comfortable and fun for the summer!! Love it :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love that! i got the white ones :)

    • Suze says...

      I ordered the rainbow ones last month in an act of hope that spring was coming. And also because they make me smile. :)

  17. Ellen says...

    Dear god no to the sporty sandals! Feels like people trying to bring back the scrunchie. #neveragain

    • Denise says...

      But, but, I love my scrunchies!! I’m with you on the sandals though lol.

  18. Esss says...

    On long shorts:
    When I moved to the Southern US, I learned the magic of long shorts as a work wardrobe piece! Twill long shorts, a nice blouse, and flats or low heel sandal, some simple jewelry, and I’ve got a professional outfit more comfortable than a skirt-suit and not too casual for work!

  19. cg says...

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but a strange thing is happening when I visit COJ now. I know recently you added ads to help pay your employees, that’s fine by me. The site was still working for me with my AdBlock on since you don’t have the annoying pop-ups, just the ads on the sidebar. But starting on Monday I would go to your site and it would load for a split second (I’d see it), and then it would disappear, with only your url showing. I saw I had to update my Chrome, did that, and it worked once. So I paused my AdBlock and now the site is working. Do you know why it’s doing that now? Did you guys change the way the ads load? Like I said, I don’t mind the ads, I get why you have to do it. But I would rather not have to pause my AdBlock each time I visit your site, if possible. Plus, I don’t understand why it was working with AdBlock on for weeks before. Do you know if anything is different? If nothing else, I just wanted COJ to know that it’s happening… at least for me, I don’t know if it is affecting others. Thanks.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      We are looking into this! Thank you so much!

    • CL says...

      Yes, I had the same issue yesterday, too. Was curious about whether it was just me…

    • Leena says...

      Also could not load on chrome so I switched to safari! Would like it to load on chrome again :)

    • Mary says...

      yes CG, this weird site glitch happened to me too today! In fact, I am only reading this article right now because of the link from Joanna’s email newsletter :)

    • cmg says...

      Same thing has been happening to me

  20. Tania says...

    A highly personal taxonomy:
    Yes!: stripes, polka dots, sporty sandals, matching sweats
    maybe?: long shorts
    no: tiered dresses (for me, they look lovely on others!)
    indifferent: sling bags

  21. Jamie says...

    I love long shorts (I’ve always called them Bermuda shorts). They hide (almost) all of my cellulite. :) I have a big butt, and I prefer the kind that taper in slightly above the knee, it’s a more flattering than the straight cuts.

  22. shannon says...

    Excited about tiered dresses, because I’m pregnant and they should work well for a second trimester summer bump. Planning to pair with white keds!

    Also bookmarking the Lou and Grey set for postpartum. Looks like my perfect 2020 Thanksgiving outfit.

  23. Lane says...

    I’m secretly glad that long shorts are in. They’re not as flattering as shorter ones, but they’re so much more comfortable.

  24. Andrea says...

    I love a mixed stripe shirt, though while shopping one time with my best friend and her husband (another story for another day!) I tried one on and he told me, ” it looks like they ran out of fabric for that shirt.” Undaunted, I bought it anyway. Fast forward a few weeks and I put it on for work. I took a quick selfie and texted them both, “Quick, I’m headed out the door, have either of you found the rest of my shirt yet?” We all had a good laugh and everyone at work loved my shirt!

  25. liz says...

    love the long shorts look but not sure I can pull them off. have extra muscular (read: bulky) thighs and feel like that style just emphasizes that! (please prove me wrong!)

    Not a fan of the tiered dresses, but generally down for any flowy sundress + comfy shoes.

    Also really not liking the banana style bags, let’s see if that changes!

  26. Rue says...

    I’m a professor, which thankfully means that my summer wardrobe can be pretty casual. I’ve hit on a uniform (for all parts of my life that aren’t work meetings): sporty shorts, slightly polished linen t shirts, sporty sandals, all in fun neutral colors like deep forest green, pale millennial pink, etc. I hope I’m brave enough to keep this up after it stops being trendy because it is so comfortable! And it really feels like me. Paired with a cardigan or light sweatshirt for over-air conditioned spaces, and I’m all set.

    Sporty shorts, y’all. Get on this.

  27. Roxana says...

    Sporty sandals! Bought a pair of bright red Chacos last spring and wore them all throughout the summer. I love them. They’re super comfy. I love to pair them with “unexpected” skirts and tops (i.e. something kind of “feminine” and soft).

    Also, long shorts and midi everything.

    • I love my Chacos too! I’ve been wearing them since 2009, and they are the best for walking (and they help me not have any knee pain).

  28. Kristen says...

    Love the sporty (good for your feet) sandal! My feel need a change in summer shoe option. Does anyone have recommendations for other brands as well?

    • Twyla says...

      The rubber Birkenstocks are so unbelievably comfortable! And the thong style looks more chic and less hippy.

    • Samantha says...

      i second birkenstocks. i have the rubber pair and they are super comfortable, but my feet sweat and start to rub after walking for a long-ish distance. perfect for every day/work, but not the best for long walks IMO. i prefer the traditional cork bed for those days

  29. Kat says...

    Why can’t there be medium shorts!? For the past few years all the shorts in stores have been really really short which feel way to revealing. The high waist trend also feels weird with shorts. I want to wear them in the summer in hot weather but now my back starts sweating.. :D
    The long shorts are a little bit better but as a person with shorter legs I feel they make me look even shorter. I also can’t figure out what to pair them with for a cute look. :/

    • shannon says...

      Try 4″ or 5″ inseams. I’ve found them at Old Navy, Target, JCrew, Loft… especially if your legs are on the shorter side, they hit at a nice mid thigh spot and prevent the constant tugging and adjusting that 3″ and shorter shorts cause.

    • Kate says...

      LL Bean has fantastic options for shorts!!

  30. Kat O says...

    I love midi dresses, sporty sandals, and matching sweats. I’ll pass on everything else, personally – especially polka-dots, which just remind me of the mid-aughts resurgence of the trend.

  31. kat says...

    Thanks so much for showing a curvy model in your images here. Love to be able to click on something I like and have it in my size. Golden.

  32. Neela says...

    I have a long-time passionate aversion to those sporty sandals- they were always a visual deal-breaker for me regarding men, too (plus I live in Germany, where you’d occasionally even spot people wearing them with socks!!! Gargh!). But these versions have made even me doubt my convictions. I would possibly, maybe, in a moment of weakness, try the white ones.

    Nah- can’t.

    • Emily R says...

      I feel ya! I can’t stand sporty sandals. Hard pass!

    • A says...

      Also a hard pass- Tevas and Chacos and other Jesus style sandals–Nope
      While we’re at it also a hard pass on Crocs and any sandal with socks

  33. Liz says...

    Trend implies someone is wearing it. Just saying. But on the other hand, I love this blog and want it to continue. Maybe (other) people are shopping? Maybe?

  34. Rashmi says...

    I live for long shorts. I have a considerable butt, and every regular size shorts always rides up my thighs and I have to keep pulling them down. Long shorts means no such problems. Plus they somehow look more dressy. I get mine from M&S and Next.

  35. CS says...

    Long shorts: Love! These were in style when I was in high school and they really used to suit me!! I’d be curious to try them on now and see if I still enjoy wearing them. But I’ll always be grateful for how good that length of short made me feel in my youth! Lol.

  36. RM says...

    Wearing the Lou & Grey sweatshirt right now. (Thanks to Cup of Jo.) They are so comfortable! Note: Size Down. I’m usually a 4/6 or a Small/Med., and the XS is very roomie.

  37. Becky says...

    very on board with sporty sandals!

  38. Jessica says...

    I have been resisting getting the super-trendy Mate the Label matching sweat suit SO HARD.
    But I did get this really cute (but not as soft as I’d like) sweatshirt that kinda matches my existing navy “sweat” pants: https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women-high-neck-3%2F4-sleeve-sweatshirt-jw-anderson-426421.html?

    The other trend I’m seeing, aside from the tiered dress, is wide-elastic flowy linen shorts, or paper-bag waisted. These Madewell ones are affordable, but I’m gonna hold out for Elizabeth Suzann: https://www.madewell.com/linen-cotton-drawstring-pull-on-shorts-AJ512.html?

    I’m not seeing the polka dot thing here in Portland, but then, I didn’t see the daisy thing last year either!

    • Catie says...

      Hi Jessica,

      Since you say you’re holding out for ES, I just wanted to make sure you saw their very, very sad news about shutting down. (It sounds like the lovely Liz may re-open in a very different capacity post-pandemic, but all is unclear). If there is a pair of shorts you have your eye one, don’t miss their final sample sale happening in the next month!

    • Jessica says...

      Catie: Nooooooooooooooo!
      Oh man, that’s so sad!

    • Catie says...

      I know! There’s a lot of discussion from devastated supporters of the brand on IG, and I assume on their blog as well (where Liz has explained everything in full). It does sound like she’s going to continue to produce items herself at home at a much smaller scale, and may also offer the rest of their fabric stock for sale, as well as patterns so folks can make clothes at home (if you’re a sewist. and if not, what a good reason to learn!). It’s so sad that doing things ethically, responsibly, and thoughtfully means that profit margins are so tight, and that business like that struggle to survive crises like this.

  39. Taylor says...

    I got the Lou & Grey sweatsuit in red for Christmas this year and they are my favorite sweats ever! Seriously the softest most comfortable material. I love my Birkenstocks, but I really love the Teva trend right now too!

  40. Chelsea says...

    Really like the midi dress in the first set of pictures. I’ve been looking for breezy dresses like that on resale sites lately. I also wore teva s in middle school and again in college- I appreciate their utility but not sure I’m into the look anymore. Long shorts are good on taller thinner ladies but tough for those of us with curvy hips and Big booties.

  41. Margaret says...

    LOVE striped shirts! I wear stripes at least 4 days a week and always gravitate to them when shopping for new clothes. I’ve been a long time lover of long shorts and am excited to see more people enjoying them.

  42. Since quarantine, I’ve scaled back on the shopping, so did a little home fashion show where I recreated spring trends from my closet. One of the looks involved bermuda shorts, like you pictured. I kept them from my high school days (when I wore everything 1-2 sizes too big), and paired them with a mid-heel slingback and button-down shirt for a more grown-up look!

  43. Leah says...

    Though I have to endure teasing from my siblings and friends, I own and love those white tevas!

  44. Donna says...

    Tie Dye or more specifically, ice-dye is very trendy at the moment. I’m going to order some fabric dye powder and give ice-dyin a try.

  45. Julia says...

    Yes yes yes to Tevas. I started wearing them a few years ago and it was the best decision for my feet. They are super comfy, fairly inexpensive and (most styles) can get wet. For a mom of two active young boys they are perfect for summer. My boys wear them too.

  46. Janine says...

    What perfect timing! I was just looking through old trend posts bc I was craving a little retail therapy. Love the long shorts!

  47. Leah says...

    Love those dresses, everything else is blah. Tired of reworked 90s and if we’re going to just pilfer early aughts for the next go-around don’t forget those skinny neck scarves and a popped polo!

  48. Ann says...

    I love that the TEVA is having a moment because I’ve been wearing them forever for more sporty things like camping, kayaking, paddle boarding, and hiking!!!! They are the most comfortable thing to wear on your feet!

    • I love TEVA. I grew up with them. Although my current pair of sport sandals are Merrell which I also really like. But it’s weird to me to think of wearing them as fashion. I wear them because I’m outdoorsy and they do well with my activities.

  49. Emily says...

    After watching Normal People, I’m looking for the perfect black cotton/linen spaghetti strap dress, like the one Marianne wore in Italy… maybe your team can interview their costume designer?!

  50. Blythe says...

    Just ordered the navy polka dot dress. It’s cute, machine washable and has POCKETS – a winning combo in my book!

  51. Vanessa says...

    Glad you included sweats as a trend.

  52. Katy says...

    As someone who is both short and curvy, I will be sporting exactly none of these trends this year :) That said, I wish the Gwyneth Paltrow’s of the world joy of them.

    • Susannah says...

      I think that polka dot dress would look beautiful on you Katy! Pair it with a cross body sling bag and comfy sandles and you’ll be good to go!

    • Laura says...

      Katy, I’m with you!!

    • Meredith says...

      Totally, Katy! I’m medium height but quite curvy and I look at midi skirts and the rest and think — nope! :)

    • megs283 says...

      I bet the sporty sandals would look cute on you! I have size 11 feet and Tevas are…not good on me. (The other things wouldn’t look good on me either, so at least you have the Tevas? LOL)

    • Laine says...

      Same! After the first time I saw Dirty Dancing, I wore the long shorts with Keds look a lot. It looked funny on me (I’m still glad I did it though:) )

    • Alene says...

      These hit some of my buttons. I’m sorta preppy, leftover from my Connecticut childhood. Polka dots, striped tees, and leopard sling purses. Probably going to buy at least two of those. You are a bad influence, lol!

  53. Suzanne says...

    Loooove a bermuda short!!!

    I’d also love to find a way to wear a more sporty sandal without looking *too* casual.

    This reminds me – I should dress-up more, even if I’m just working from home.

  54. Ellen says...

    Love there’s long shorts! I’m 5’10” with long legs and tight short or mid length shorts just don’t work for me. Plus they provide a bit more sun protection plus (hopefully) large pockets! Can’t wait to wear a tiered skirt either.

  55. I told myself I was done buying clothes while in Quarantine since no one will even seen them, but I might just need that midi polka dot skirt!!

  56. Kate says...

    Man, these are really making me miss mid-2000s Gap!! Tiered dresses, long shorts, the most adorable polka-dot everything…really love that all these are coming back around :)

    • Sarz says...

      It was a great time for the Gap, wasn’t it?! I still lived at home in those days, and travelling an hour-and-change to the closest one was such a thrill!
      I remember buying a silky, polka dot, mandarin-collared shirt from them circa 2006 or so. Dang, I wish I still had it…

  57. Erin says...

    I have reeeeeallllllly been wanting a sporty jumpsuit, but as a nursing mom, that’s just not feasible. So I’m loving the idea of matching sweatpants and sweatshirt. I’ll throw on my Chaco’s with them and be ready to go (no where)!

    • Elizabeth says...

      Not precisely a sporty jumpsuit, but I recently bought a Smash+Tess romper and the stretchy neck is perfect for nursing – I actually bought mine from a local nursing clothing boutique!

    • K says...

      There’s a nursing boutique? Do they have website? Looking for good nursing clothes…

    • Amanda says...

      A lot of jumpsuits have looser necklines, smocking, or button plackets at the front. (See: Gap jumpsuits). As long as the buttons go down at least to your bra band, you should be okay (but it depends on your nursing preference – I always preferred slipping something off my shoulder to lifting up my shirt and showing my belly!).

    • Katie says...

      Yes, I was going to suggest Smash and Tess too. I bought a jumpsuit that zips halfway so it’s been perfect for nursing and with the draw string waist and hood I think it’s kind of sporty!

    • Elizabeth says...

      @K – The shop is called Milkface (Milkface.com). Britt, the store owner, is incredibly helpful, and the whole store is such an incredible resource for new and nursing moms.

    • Rachel says...

      K, have you seen Latched Mama? I loved them when I was nursing – affordable but super cute nursing clothes:
      https://latchedmama.com/

  58. Mariel says...

    I’m all about the long shorts! I bought some that are high-waisted and mom-ish and I LOVE them. So comfy!

  59. Melissa says...

    Just started watching Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever, and totally noticed Fabiola’s fabulous striped crew necks last night. Fun seeing something similar on here!!

    • Julia says...

      Hilarious show that everyone should be watching!

    • Sadie says...

      Let’s hear it for Fab’s white suit!

  60. Katherine says...

    Did you forget the affiliate link disclosure? I feel like you usually disclose this and I like that.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! Adding now! Thank you xo

  61. jeannie says...

    I love the black sweatshirt and pants and I think I had a beloved look alike crew neck stripy top similar to that one back in the 70’s!!! Also, the midi dress is so pretty.

  62. Christy says...

    Oh wow, between the long shorts and the sling bags, I feel like I’m back in 2005!

    Absolutely love the tiered midi dress trend – have been alternating between these and yoga pants for the past few weeks.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, love those dresses, too!