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Hot pants and ballet flats captivated the fashion crowd's attention in 2023

After mini-skirts dominated 2022, hot pants and ballet flats proved to be the most popular items over the past 12 months, demonstrating our appetite for looks that are chic, casual and sexy all at the same time

Published: Dec 2, 2023 09:17:00 AM IST
Updated: Dec 2, 2023 09:54:59 AM IST

Hot pants and ballet flats captivated the fashion crowd's attention in 2023Whether you call them micro shorts or hot pants, these barely-there garments are an iconic fashion item of 2023, having graced the catwalks of the biggest fashion houses including Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant and Tom Ford. Image: Julien De Rosa / Miguel Medina / Gabriel Bouys / AFP

As the year draws to a close, it's time to take stock of the past 12 months' major fashion statements: the styles, accessories, shoes, brands, logos, designers and fashion shows that stood out in 2023. After mini-skirts dominated 2022, hot pants and ballet flats proved to be the most popular items over the past 12 months, demonstrating our appetite for looks that are chic, casual and sexy all at the same time.

The popularity of pleated mini-skirts last year may have led us to believe that the length would be back in 2023, but women eschewed that style, instead opting for an even shorter garment: hot pants (also known as micro shorts) or even high-waisted knickers in some cases, worn as an item of clothing—not an undergarment—to elongate the silhouette and create an assertive and casual yet ultra-sexy allure. The hot pant has even become a fashion standout of the year, with searches up +133% year-on-year, according to the Year In Fashion Report by global shopping platform Lyst. Miu Miu stood out from the crowd at the Autumn-Winter 2023 shows, seeing its popularity soar (+257% of searches) after showing a hot pant covered in gold sequins worn by Emma Corrin.

Miu Miu on top

Of course the hot pant isn't the only fashion item making a statement on and off the runway this year. When it comes to footwear, ballet flats—and transparent ballet flats in particular—dominated the conversation. In fact, Alaïa's net ballerinas, priced at over 800 euros, were voted shoe of the year, with searches up 56% on Lyst in February. But consumers weren't just searching out luxury products, far from it, as demonstrated by the sneaker of the year: the  Samba model from adidas, was extremely popular on the shopping platform, with search interest up 43% over the last four months.

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Balenciaga and Gucci have been dominating trendsetters' must-have lists in recent years, but those days may be over. For the second year running, Miu Miu has been crowned Lyst Brand of the Year, with searches up 39% year-on-year. After making micro-skirts more popular than ever, the Italian fashion house succeeded in both bringing back ballet flats (yes, we have Miu Miu to thank for that) and elevating the hot pant to being named fashion trend of the year, thereby establishing its iconic status in the style sphere.

Other fashion pieces that defined the year include Uniqlo's half-moon shoulder bag and Loewe's logo garments. As for the fashion event highlights of 2023, the Versace Autumn-Winter 2023 show and the spectacular virtual Jacquemus campaigns (including the giant Bambino bags seen crisscrossing Paris) were in the spotlight. Interest in Dilara also was on the rise this year, making it one of the brands to watch closely in 2024.

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