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5 Amazing Autumn/Winter Youth & Denim Color Trends for 2023

Youth smiling while sitting on grass

Youth use various ways to showcase their style and personality and colors help them reflect who they are. With more of the younger generation shifting their attention to holistic wellness and healing, 2023 will see mindful pastels redefining youth essential palettes.

Businesses must prepare for the revival of several trends like back-to-school and workleisure this season. Discover five remarkable youth and denim color trends that will dominate the A/W 2023 catwalk.

Table of Contents
Overview of the global apparel market
5 youth & denim color trends to look out for in A/W 23/24
Rounding up

Overview of the global apparel market

Men and women laughing while wearing stylish apparel

The global apparel market expanded from US $610.12 billion in 2022 to US $652.94 billion in 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7%. Experts predict the apparel industry will grow to US $830.69 billion by 2027, at a 6.2% CAGR. In addition, they predict the rising demand for online shopping will help break the limits and allow a speedy recovery.

Western Europe emerged as the dominant region in the 2022 apparel market. Asia-Pacific followed closely behind, with countries like India boosting sales with e-commerce portals.

5 youth & denim color trends to look out for in A/W 23/24

1. Classic prep palettes

Smiling woman in a violet hoodie and sweatpant ensemble

Classic prep palettes rely on the rising influence of the #newprep look, drawing inspiration from varsity mid-tones. But that’s not all. This trend remixes staple colors with hybrid streetwear and denim accents for a contemporary twist.

One trend that matches this seasonal hue is the soft girl aesthetic. Delicate, cute, and overly feminine best describe this sensational style. The soft girl aesthetic draws heavy influence from Y2K styles, allowing ladies to include comfortable and stylish garments in their wardrobes.

More importantly, the soft girl aesthetic works perfectly with pastel shades, warm tints, and gentle prints of girly images. Ladies can rock galactic cobalt wide-legged jeans with lacey camisoles, and finish the look with Crimson cropped cardigans. Although the soft girl aesthetic looks similar to Japan’s Kawaii aesthetic and preppy styles, its subtle variations make the trend a killer.

Y2K also looks amazing with classic prep palettes. This unbeatable distinctive style comes with irresistible pastel-colored pieces, like black high-rise flare jeans and wholegrain camisoles. Adding and mixing these hues will create a youthful, streetwear-savvy aesthetic.

Colors under this trend include wholegrain, violet light, tranquil blue, crimson, galactic cobalt, malachite, and black.

2. Grounded tones

Woman rocking a multi-colored jacket and galactic cobalt corset

Grounded tones are rocking the youth apparel market, but they look even better with rich reds and deep blues. This color trend reflects a deep interest in vintage aesthetics, drawing inspiration from upcycled fashion’s eclectic mix-and-match appeal.

Vintage aesthetic takes its inspiration from various elements of previous decades, like band T-shirts from the 60s, a color palette from the 80s, wide-legged jeans from the 70s, and 90s styling.

In truth, vintage styling has no limits as consumers can choose their favorite items from each generation for the perfect outfit. However, grounded tones enhance the classic vintage palette for a subtle modern touch.

Another trend that forms a heavenly match with grounded tones is the Indie aesthetic. The style embraces alternative clothing and showcases independence and individuality. The days of oversized flannels and dark shades are over—the indie aesthetic adopts pieces from the early 2000s, taking them for a modern spin.

Businesses can invest in high-waist jeans, cropped graphic tees, and other vintage items dipped in grounded tones. This palette includes colors like pink clay, cranberry juice, sepia, pineapple, galactic cobalt, and sundial.   

3. Therapeutic greens

Lady posing in an outfit with multiple shades of green

Therapeutic greens and calming neutrals continue permeating the fashion world as more focus shifts to wellness and health. This color palette taps into the youthful desire for enhanced basics and flexible workleisure wear. Items such as utility-inspired denim also receive updates from this color story, increasing their trans-seasonal appeal.

The pastel aesthetic is one-way consumers can rock therapeutic greens. While this trend doesn’t have ties to specific pop culture references, pastel styling is all about the colors. It adopts soft and delicate shades, making whiter versions of the original tint.

Light fabrics and textures make the perfect outfit under the pastel aesthetic. Think light green cardigans with mini skirts or beige pants. Hues thriving under this palette include malachite, sage leaf, bay leaf, oat milk, green fig, pineapple, and basalt.

4. Energizing red

Lady wearing an energizing red net and strap top

Energizing reds offer a youthful edge, especially when paired with core monochromes. With the revival of pop punk, the younger generation is regaining interest in bold reds and grunge-inspired layering.

There’s no better way to rock energizing reds than with the baddie aesthetic. This style remains dominant on social media platforms and hosts many sub-trends under its wings. The key elements of baddie outfits include oversized streetwear, bodysuits, and bodycon mini dresses, usually with cutout designs. Consumers can rock this style by pairing crimson wide-legged pants with black leather jackets and bra tops.

The Kidcore aesthetic is another stylish way to step into energizing reds. This style draws a nostalgic influence from the 90s kids’ theme and utilizes bright primary colors, including red. Dressing in this style involves matching loose-fitting denim with baseball T-shirts. Kidcore combined with energizing red offers a bright way to stand out and look unique.

In addition, the retro 80s style also looks heavenly with energizing red and core monochrome themes. The 80s offered the peak of music and fashion and it’s ready for another round this season. The iconic look of this aesthetics involves color blocking, turtlenecks, and eye-catching colorful appearances. Consumers can tap into the retro aesthetic by pairing denim overalls with a bold roll neck or sweater. 

Energizing red and core monochromes host several eye-catching colors, including crimson, black, pineapple, circular gray, cranberry juice, optic white, and lazuli blue.

5. Moody mid-tones

Multiple people wearing black outfits

The after-hours appeal comes to life with soothing moody mid-tones. This palette embraces the youth’s desire to exude #subversivesexy styles in day-to-night loungewear. It also creates a stronger interest in mid-tones mixed with brights, helping to foster online visibility.

Looking for a modern twist? Soft grunge aesthetics mixed with moody mid-tones is the way to go. The style adopts elements from the underground 90s, adding them to current trends and pastel shades. This modern spin on the iconic “grunge” also draws influence from Instagram and TikTok.

Soft grunge is all about items like crop tops and flared pants. The aesthetic stands out due to its typically darker palettes, combined with soft colors and dapper vibes.

Dark academia also emerges as a top style this season, and its aesthetics are a perfect match for moody mid-tones. The trend focuses on classical literature, allowing consumers to enjoy shades like black, dark brown, and charcoal.

Ideally, consumers can tap into this aesthetic with black turtlenecks, checked trousers, and other varying shades of brown. But that’s not all. The style permits layering coats with blazers and mixing monochromatic ensembles.

Moody mid-tones host colors like black, candied orange, crimson, terracotta, dusted grape, and circular gray.

Rounding up

Youth are redefining the apparel market as wellness and health become priorities. Businesses must organize their palettes with colors that reflect versatility and longevity while catering to the changing desires.

The digital world is fast gaining prominence and retailers have to stay updated with metaverse-compatible hues. Classic prep palettes, grounded tones, therapeutic greens, energizing reds, and moody mid-tones are the youth and denim color trends to follow for an updated catalog in 2023.

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