︎︎︎episode 66

The Department 2023 Crystal Ball Trend Predictions

Dec 26th, 2022

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The Department 2023 Crystal Ball Trend Predictions

We are excited to share this, our final episode of 2022, with you. Our focus? Our own trend predictions for next year.  And I have to say, we have some pretty good ones. From makeup to clothes to social media to the final demise of the #girlboss era, we are going to share what we see happening in 2023. Our predictions are based on things we are already seeing, our understanding of how trends play out, and all of the information and content we both consume on a regular basis.  Also, not to brag…but we are experts in this area!  One important component of being a buyer is seeing trends happening…before they are actually happening!


  1. I think 80s style is going to come back in a big way…it’s been close to 20 years since it was au courant and it seems ripe for a return.  The film Cocaine Bear is also leading this resurgence in interest in the 1980s.  I’ve been seeing it here and there with shoulder pads and body con dressing…but I also see it feeling more relevant from an aesthetic/design perspective.  I would cite the Vacation website as an example of 80s design maximalism. But I also see the vaporwave aesthetic coming back too. The original design inspo for vaporwave was the Memphis group, a collective of post modern designers and architects founded in Milan, Italy in the early 1980s. Bold colors, maximalism…it’s really the extension of avant basic and it feels more needed than ever during these depressing times.  I also think the “Viva Magenta” pantone choice points to this 80s resurgence as well. The question is: who’s ready to wear magenta lipstick?

  1. That said…every trend needs a counter trend (remember the 00s?). And I think the counter trend will be a return to dark, solid color dressing. More earthtones even: burgundy, dark olive/army green, black, and grey.  I’m thinking 90s “no makeup” makeup (which was really just lots of brownish eyeshadow and lipstick) and faux dirty hair (TIGI is probably stoked about a possible return of Bedhead sales).  Less trendy silhouettes and lots of layering of existing pieces. I think this could be a great time for reviving Calvin Klein and its iconic 90s intimates.
  2. School uniform dressing…okay maybe this is wishful thinking, but I do feel like I’ve been seeing this more and more on TikTok and other social media platforms: plaid skirts, sweater vests, button ups layered under cardigans. Not in the weird way on OG Gossip Girl where Serena tried to make her uniform look sexy and undone.  No, I’m talking about a more literal version of it.
  3. Instagram will revert to focusing on photos.  I think they are losing to TikTok and they just can’t catch up in the video realm. Does this mean IG will become a collective of elder millennials (much like Facebook is the realm of boomers and my sister-in-law)? I don’t think so.  I think it will give a whole new generation of photographers and artists a new platform for sharing work.
  4. The end of Glossier and the few other millennial mega-brands that are hanging on right now. The once-and-for-all demise of #girlboss branding and culture.  RIP ban.do? Away?
  5. A return to drug store cosmetics brands.  I don’t think it will apply to skincare (especially with brands like The Ordinary and The Inkey List offering high powered products at drugstore prices), but as the Glossier era of pricier make up screeches to an end, we will see more and more content shifting to drugstore cosmetics and away from Sephora.  Also perhaps the end of the celebrity beauty line? Like why is Brad Pitt getting into skincare?!
  6. And speaking of beauty, I think we will see more and more people hosting “salon services” parties, where they will help one another get manicures, dye their hair, etc, as the cost of living crisis has made these services out of reach for many…and they are getting more expensive.
  7. Increased focus on sobriety/the end (for now) of party/drunk culture.  More and more people are feeling the impact of years of drinking.  Gen Z-ers don’t love it (they would rather smoke weed) and all of those “wine moms” have ruined wine for us.
  8. Increased backlash against Starbucks for resisting unionization. Could force the company’s hand here as more and more consumers stay away.  I could possibly see a wave of more workers rights/unionization at Target, too based on what I’m seeing on Reddit.
  9. The end of the mega-influencer. Already seeing this with backlash against Danielle Bernstein (WeWoreWhat) and Arielle Charnas (Something Navy).  Followers are disenchanted with the constant sponsored content from people who don’t wear/use the things they are selling and consider themselves superior to their fanbase. Furthermore, no one wants to see these “perfect lives” any more.  I predict more authenticity and imperfection becoming the norm on social media.  And brands are going to be cutting their influencer budgets next year.
  10. The resurgence of Tumblr?! Seems like a strong possibility in 2023, especially now that the platform is allowing nudity again.
  11. Implosion of The Real Real and ThredUP!


  1. Recession, Inflation will have an effect on the population as a whole - I expect that some trends that were hot during the pandemic to come back as we flex the skills that we accumulated through the pandemic that also just so happen to let us live happily and affordably - cooking, entertaining at home, cocktails at home and fixing clothing instead of replacing. I know that people really learned to be more resourceful so leaning back into that during times of high inflation and financial uncertainty makes a lot of sense.
  2. Black is Back baby - not only has Wednesday Adams (from the excellent rendition now streaming on Netflix) taking the world by storm, especially the influential Gen Z and young millennials - but we do know that the pendulum swings both ways with trends and it has been a while since black has reallllly trended.  Truthfully maximalism needs a bit of a balance and what is the opposite of maximalism and color? But black! As people are nostalgic for earlier times - like 2014 many of these people still have closets full of retired black clothing they can bring back as if new - which would be cost-efficient and feel fresh and relevant.
  3. Denim is coming back - also something that offers not just longevity - but also is flush in your closet and resale market.
  4. Boho - bohemian - a massive part of the aughts was BOHO and I dont’ feel like we have seen this play out enough. I have heard that maxi skirts are trending now what about the boho aesthetic like the core of what Anthropologie was founded on? With western trends taking over I feel like the next step is a slide into prairie and then that just takes us right into Boho.
  5. Little luxuries - neil and heath were out of town for 10 days which gave me time to clean and organize and add a few little elements to make the home life just a little more luxurious. I got a new soft cozy blanket and pulled out some candles. It doesn’t sound like
  6. We are going to see more DTC brands collapse - The conditions are just not conducive to stability. And not just on the sales side - but feeding the capitalism beast is clearly wavering. Acquiring new customers is now so expensive and ruthless DTC isn’t a walk in the park -  Winc and Haus both collapsed for not being able to support the costs and not getting the funding to keep going.
  7. Online Classes - This might just be me - but I feel like there is going to be a lot more people taking online courses from certificates to masterclasses this year. 2023 feels like it is primed not just for reinvention but preparing people for new opportunities especially as we move deeper into web3 and the creator economy (both of which I have on my list to do actual episodes on). The access to educational resources and free tools is better than ever - Even Google has launched their Grow with Google program that I am doing myself. I left my job in August and we all know how much of a struggle it is to get a job these days. I am doing consulting which is emotionally rewarding - so I am working on my own marketability and skill set to make me more competitive in the market landscape for future opportunities (that we likely won’t see until the economy turns a bit) as well as learning a new skill set that I can lean on in the future - I am taking the UX program they offer which I find fascinating and useful!

The Boozy Seltzer Awards for best Hard Seltzers

In no particular order.....
1. Lone River Ranch Water
2. Tolago Hard Seltzer
3. Madre Desert Water
4. Happy Dad Hard Seltzer + Electrolytes
5. Happy Coffee
6. Elenita Sparkling Mezcal
7. Amass Botanical Hard Seltzer