Fashion Forecast: 16 Trends Online Shoppers Will Love in 2022


Samantha Mehra

May 25, 2021

For fashion designers and retailers, 2020 and 2021 certainly presented a series of creative constraints and pandemic-inspired trends that catered to audiences seeking comfort during lockdowns, and also adapting their professional uniforms to better suit their new work-from-home scenarios.

Be forewarned: many of the trends Canadians enjoyed this past year will linger as consumers cling to comfort and convenience in the post-COVID era.

It makes sense: many companies are now strictly remote-first, accelerating a work-from-home trend that was already well underway. Because of this, the demands around office attire have lessened, and remote workers will likely favour clothing and accessories that are ‘virtually’ no-fuss and no-muss. So, Zoom calls are here to stay. Remote work is real. And the fashions that accommodate this relatively new scenario? They’re here for a while, at least.

But there is the other segment of the population who have been waiting with Zen-like patience for the reopening of Canada’s social environments, readying themselves for when restrictions are lifted on in-store shopping, patios, parks, public spaces, events, and other glorious populous gatherings. And they are ready to respond to these positive changes with a serious closet upgrade in 2022.

**If you’re a Canadian retailer working in the beauty or apparel industries, the time is now to keep these two types of audiences in mind by taking stock of both COVID classics and forward-thinking fashions. Our 2021-2022 fashion trend list presents you with the types of products you’ll likely need to back order, especially before the new year. **

Read on to learn how best to stock your stores this season, and see which PayBright retailers are already doing it right.

Fabric Trend Watch: Denim

Well, we say it every year, but jeans are back! According to the Thompson Citizen, apparel sales are set to soar as Canadians will be eyeing a wardrobe refresh to wear loud and proud in a post-pandemic era. This includes a reinvestment in a style staple: jeans. Leverage skorts, soft denims, and wide cut legs in 2022 - it’s a little too early to get used to skinny jeans again. #babysteps

Who’s doing it right: Garage Street Wide Leg Jeans in Dakota Blue

Colour Trend Watch: Lilac

As Canadians look to inject some spring into their wardrobe in the midst of a dreary winter, ‘pretty in purple’ will replace ‘pretty in pink’ in 2022. Leverage this blushing bloom colour for your non-binary, mens, womens, and childrens’ lines as early as January.

Who’s doing it right: Hudson’s Bay En Thread Lilac Belted Midi Coat

Element Trend Watch: Silver

In 2020 and 2021, gold was everywhere: around our necks, in our bathroom accessories, and holding our belt loops together. As part of the great post-pandemic accessories blitz, silver will make a stellar comeback in our lives.

Who’s doing it right: JEWLR Charmed Initial Disc Pendant

Ski Chic is 'On Fleek' (Do people still say that?).

Being famous (or infamous) for its hearty winters, Canadian retailers should have no problem giving customers life with ski-chic lines. Jackets and boots in attractive hues, and accessories that would catch they eye of anyone in a Quebec chalet should play a big role in your product suite this season.

Who’s doing it right: Kanuk STUD Semi-loose fit puffer

Pleats, Please

One sure way consumers can dress up their more casual duds is by adding pleats to their look. Usually associated with sophisticated pieces, your customers will be looking for clothing options that meet the midway point between laid back and luxurious, such as pleated sweatshirt dresses, soft pleated shorts, and wide-leg pleated joggers.

Who’s doing it right: Bestseller Nathalie Balloon Sleeves Sweatshirt Dress

Sittin’ Pretty in Knits

Winter is upon us, and so is a thirst for big bold crochet patterns to warm up winter closets. Canadians will be upgrading the sweater segments of their closets with oversized sweater turtlenecks, big cable knit button-ups, and more.

Who’s doing it right: Dynamite Cable Knit Sweater Dress

I Die for Tie-Dye

It’s the fashion trend that wouldn’t die. Whether in the form of a baby tee or a bulky sweatsuit, this fashion pattern has reached new heights in 2020 and 2021. Showing mass consumer popularity in the mid-1960s, this colourful clothing pattern shows no signs of slowing down this century.

Who’s doing it right: SHEIN Tye-Dye Drop Shoulder Top with Knot Sweatpants

Flying High in High-End Loungewear

For those who wish to lag behind in leggings, loungewear, bike shorts, and sweatsuits, no need to worry: the new business suit for the remote worker is here to live another day (or year).

Who’s doing it right: Boohoo Colour Block Oversized Joggers

Faux fur? Yes, Sir

While leather will remain a hot commodity this coming year, ethical alternatives like faux fur will reign supreme for those investing in their 2022 style. Showcase pieces in your collection that go full tilt (faux fur coats and vests) or simply tease (faux fur-trimmed jackets, hats and scarves, etc.).

Who’s doing it right: Steve Madden Fuzzy Bright Multi

Masking Questions

Even as vaccines and decreasing numbers indicate that Canada may be returning to (somewhat) normal times in late 2022 or early 2023 (we’re just guessing), medical face masks will continue to be a hot commodity amongst Canadians. The more modern, branded, and unique, the better.

Who’s doing it right: Hudson’s Bay Face Mask Collection (multiple brands)

Walk-Friendly Footwear

As consumers adapted to their remote work days, they also ramped up their running and walking routines as a way of ensuring their daily dose of fresh air. As work from home remains in place, and gyms open up, you’re likely to see an uptick in sales on safe and comfortable footwear that make working out a breeze.

Who’s doing it right: Browns Shoes Reebok - Club Cardi Style

Smart InVESTments

No blazer? No problem. Shoppers may be looking for alternative ways to make their easygoing look more extravagant. Enter vests: they’re not just for grandparents or old Hollywood wardrobes. Adding a vest to a t-shirt, mock neck, or dress instantly changes a look, sometimes for the better. Give these kinds of pieces a starring role in your marketing materials leading up to the new year.

Who’s doing it right: Garage Mini Vest

Zoom in on This Top

Many the employee has seen Zoom meetings become a daily reality, and are now hyper aware of how they look from the shoulders up. You’re likely to see a spike in sales that support this theory, as Canadians snap up jewel-toned and patterned tops that make them feel camera- (and meeting-) ready.

Who’s doing it right: Dynamite Austin Wrap Bodysuit

Earth-Friendly Fabrics

With every year, consumers become more discerning about whom they shop with. A recent PayBright survey found that over half of Canadians are likely to only do business with brands that align with their ethical values, including on issues like the environment. With this in mind, if you have sustainable clothing or accessories in your arsenal, give them a starring role on your homepage this season.

Who’s doing it right: Tentree Men’s Juniper T-Shirt

Longer Locks

Short hair? Long hair? Don’t have to care: you can have both. With more time at home, Canadians have extra bandwidth to experiment with hairstyles without committing to a severe cut. If you’re in the business of wigs or extensions, you may be in for a prosperous 2022 as a result.

Who’s doing it right: Wigs R Us Bugglegum Babe Wig

Less-is-More Makeup

Canadian people have embraced a trend that (perhaps) Glossier recently restarted and was already well underway: wearing makeup in order to look like one is not wearing makeup. Subtle hues, shimmering skin glosses that give the impression of a healthy glow, and mildly tinted lip balms are key components of the contemporary cosmetics bag.

Who’s doing it right: Beautycounter Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick

Make 2022 wardrobe shopping easier on your customers by providing them with the trends they need, want, and expect to find, whether they are ready to return to physical spaces or linger in the home space. And, make sure to make their buying experience as smooth as possible: the above merchants offer PayBright Payment Plans at checkout, ensuring Canadians are able to access and afford their products by paying over time in a way that best suits their unique budgets.

Need more tips on marketing, sales tactics, or the retail industry in general? Check out our full library of articles on Talking Shop, PayBright’s blog built for Canadian retailers big and small.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not an exhaustive review of this topic. The content is not financial or investment advice. No professional relationship of any kind is formed between you and PayBright. While we have obtained or compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, we cannot and do not guarantee its accuracy. We recommend that you consult your personal finance professional before taking any action related to this information. PayBright is a provider of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solutions. BNPL providers offer plans with a variety of terms and conditions, including interest rates, fees, and penalties, and have different standards for qualifying for loans. Laws and regulations governing BNPL providers vary by jurisdiction. We recommend that you compare and contrast plans, read the fine print, and conduct detailed research into any BNPL provider before using their services.

Share this article

Samantha Mehra

Senior Content Manager

Follow on

Never miss a story

Brighten your inbox with Talking Shop news!

Join our email list

Get promotional offers from our merchants delivered right to your inbox.