back to top

FW21: Key Dresses

Dresses that make us dream.

Adding a touch of decadence and drama to everyday life, the dresses for FW21 are definitely setting us up for upcoming party-seasons. With new performing silhouettes, like the mini-style or full volumes, a sense of everyday drama is added to the assortment. The revenge hems of the silhouettes have historically shown to introduce brighter and more positive periods, which goes hand in hand with the radical optimism that has been sparked during this period of change. While a focus on fluid slimline and column styles can also be interpreted in more seductive and body-revealing manners, those silhouettes also offer a range of possibilities to be adopted to new elevated comfort pieces, that add a sense of sophistication to the traditional knit-dress assortments. 

Beside the new core silhouettes, several distinct must-have styles have passed down the runway. A total of 201 transparent dresses was featured on the runways, a design that is embracing the desire to seduce while keeping an airy second-skin comfort. Their slimline silhouettes and daring materials also capture a new sense of body positivity and sexiness. Similar sentiments are embraced by a wide array of sexy dresses that play with cut-outs and slits, they have grown by +70% compared to the past season, while the catsuit as a more bold and edgy piece has increased by +155%, entering the market at a skyrocketing pace.

For the more sophisticated styles, knit dresses with comfortable properties and simple aesthetics were represented in 201 shows, making them one of the core trends. Fully-fashioned knits, soft ribs or subtle textures are the most trending features to capture the trend. Talking sophistication, draped styles with creative pattern-making increased by +54% this season and seem to propose the perfect transitional style. The versatile properties make them an easy to style piece from day to night and home to offices.

Lastly, there was a sense for nostalgia whipping over the runways: new prim and pastoral styles have taken over. Mainly in black and white, they propose a historic update to the little black dress, design details include ruffled for lace collars and cuffs, preppy bows and contrasting button detailing.

Take a look at all the trends and their visibility on the shows.  Let’s get inspired now to select your new trend pieces:

Key Silhouettes

The Revenge Hemline

Mini dress is considered a BIG TREND by Livetrend methodology, that comparing the visibility of the trend, the growth index year on year and the evolution of category assortment. Analyzing the visibility of the trend, detected on 541 outfits of the shows, the magnitude of this silhouette is going to be big in the market, and hit luxury to mass-market. Analyzing dress category, mini-dress gain 1% compared to FW20 fashion shows, but growth is forecasted at 2 to 4%.on main collections.

Full Volume

Full Volume Dress is considered a STABLE TREND by Livetrend methodology. Analyzing the visibility of the trend, detected on 226 outfits of the shows, this silhouette is going to have a medium magnitude on the market, and hit luxury, premium and trendy mass-market brands. Analysing FW21 fashion shows, full-volume-dress represent 9% of dress category, and it has a growth index of 6% compared to FW20.

Slimlines & Column Styles

Slimline and Column Dress is considered a SAFE TREND by Livetrend methodology. Analyzing the visibility of the trend during FW21 fashion shows, these silhouettes were detected on 158 outfits, representing 6% of the dress offer, and showing a growth index of 27% compared to FW20.

Key Styles


Second Skin Transparency


Comfort Knit Styles


Sophisticated Drapes


Flamboyant Party Styles


The Catsuit


Subversive Sexappeal


Seductive Slipdresses


The Pastor's Daughter


Get your bestseller-dresses ready

These are the top trends for the dress category, according to Livetrend data. On the top of the report, we resumed the best dress shapes of the season. Even if the dresses have been declining (-27% YoY) while the separate sets rise, they still hold the 18% of the product mix.
The mini-dress is certainly the biggest trend related to visibility, representing 574 outfits and 23% of the product category. Long length are loosing importance meanwhile designers are preferring Midi length, that are gaining 5% this season on dress category. The craze for volume dresses to party, celebrate and mesmerize is gaining 6% yoy, demonstrating the desire to dress up again. On the other hand, slim-line dresses are a rising silhouette, increasing 17% from last year.
Knitted dresses are an important part of the product mix, due to the increase in comfort-driven styles, the designers have been able to spice up collections with fresh design ideas and stimulating forms. Make sure to set your collections up with a balanced assortment of cosy and comfortable design and a parallel-running set of more fancy styles to feed into the excitement for celebration.

Consider mini-styles as the hottest trend of the season and sheers and knits as the core fabrics to include within your range. Take a look at the Top Prints and Key Details of the FW21 shows and get some more design directions on how to twist the classics, so you will be guaranteed to create new best-selling products for the upcoming FW21 season.