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When Taylor Swift released her album Midnights in late 2022, I don’t think she expected the first track, “Lavender Haze,” to inspire one of 2023’s biggest color trends. "Digital lavender" has officially been named by trend forecasting website WSGN—along with its sister company Coloro—as 2023’s color of the year, and it’s already one of winter 2023’s key fashion trends. Ahead, we spoke to trend forecasting experts about how to shop and style digital lavender for the year ahead, including a few on-trend items broken down by category to make shopping just a little easier.
While Barbiecore pink—which was first spotted on the Valentino Fall/Winter 2022 runway before spreading to just about every corner of the fashion and beauty worlds last year—was all about maximalism after years spent in loungewear sets and leggings, this new trendy color brings a serene touch to our wardrobes for the year ahead. “Digital lavender is a color full of hope and positivity,” says Clare Smith, a Colour Strategist at WGSN. “It’s a shade that poses that much-needed cautious optimism and escapism that people are craving post-pandemic and even in times of budget crunch; it is imaginative and creative but also speaks of serenity and balance."
The Digital Lavender Trend
While it’s definitely having a moment this year, this specific shade of purple isn’t necessarily new. In fact, WSGN said that the color has been trending for a few years. “[When] we first forecast digital lavender back in 2021, purple was one of the fastest rising colors year over year on the Autumn/Winter 21/22 catwalk shows, with cooler levels of purple like digital lavender up 55 percent year over year,” says Smith. The color has only gained popularly from there, “with pastel purple making up 57.2 percent of the mix” for the Spring/Summer 2022 season, Smith says. She also noted that lavender’s popularity and frequency on the runways “rose to 61.6 percent for the Spring/Summer 23 collections.”
And it looks like digital lavender won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. A quick search for “how to style lavender” on TikTok brings up hundreds of fashion videos, many of which have racked up tens of thousands of views. Beauty videos on the app which feature purple blush have also spiked lately, with the hashtag #purpleblush bringing up videos with a total of 41.5 million views.
“Already a firm favorite within the youth sector, and as Gen Z spending power begins to take hold, this generation will continue to push this color and a new narrative around purple will take hold,” says Smith. “2023 will be all about showcasing this color and using it to its true potential and moving away from the narrative of pastels only being for Spring [and] Summer.”
How To Style Digital Lavender
If you’re thinking of adding a few lavender pieces to your wardrobe for 2023, take some styling tips from the runways—and the red carpet. It can be styled alongside other bright colors like red or mint green, as it often was on the runways for the Spring/Summer 2023 show season at brands like Tibi and Brandon Maxwell. At the former, sheer and silky lavender layers were styled with warm brown oversized suiting or under muted teal blazers. At the latter, sparkly lavender mini dresses and skirts were layered under baby pink oversized blazers or with embellished knits in the same shade. Elsewhere, like at Veronica Beard, lavender popped up alongside lime green once again, in the form of a matching short suit set with coordinating platform heels.
The shade also looks great when worn entirely on its own, as with Barbiecore pink. Models wore open-knit matching skirt sets in the shade on the runway at Acne Studios’ Spring/Summer 2023 show, for example. Celebrities like Kaley Cuoco and Laura Harrier have also worn lavender gowns lately—to the 2023 Emmy Awards and in Paris for the Saint Laurent Menswear Fall-Winter 2023-2024 show, respectively. To emulate the look, trend forecaster Jessica Richards recommends wearing the shade from head to toe this year, including your footwear and the rest of your accessories. “What I loved to see from the SS23 runways was how designers had a new take on hyper-feminine and romantic styling by shifting from pink palettes into Digital Lavender, instantly refreshing this trend,” she says. Think: Delicate socks, oversized jewels, and flouncy dress silhouettes.
Or consider pairing the shade with other traditionally feminine shades, like pink. Digital lavender appeared in Blumarine's recent Resort 2023 collection in the form of a bedazzled lavender cropped sweatshirt styled with sheer trousers in a shade of baby pink so cool-toned it could almost pass for lavender, depending on the lighting. “Digital lavender also has the unique ability to lean into this moodier feel and pairs incredibly well back to hits of black,” Richards continues, citing Victoria Beckham's use of ruffled, sheer lavender dresses over opaque black tights, matching heels, and a black bralette. For a maximalist take on the trend, turn to Interior’s Resort 2023 collection, where one model wore a glitter floor-length gown in a muted lavender shade.
Ahead, shop the best lavender pieces across every category, from a cream blush currently going viral on TikTok to a series of soft-as-anything coats to brighten up your winter wardrobe.
Digital Lavender Makeup
From a viral purple cream blush to a graphic waterproof eyeliner, 2023's beauty scene is leaning lavender. Layer a cream eyeshadow or one from a palette like the below ones from ILIA and Pat McGrath LABS with a sparkly silver topper for a fun night-out look.
Digital Lavender Tops
From a viral under-$100 corset to an update to your classic white button-down from J.Crew, this season's lavender offerings run the gamut. A cozy sweater from Vince or H&M is easy enough to add into your rotation, while brands like Victor Glemaud and MIAOU make tops perfect for a night courtesy of an ultra-sheer fabrication or in combination with a statement-making red hue.
Digital Lavender Bottoms
Mini skirts continue to be popular for 2023, so this is the perfect time to upgrade your wardrobe with one that comes in a trendy color—consider the dainty tweed one from & Other Stories, for instance. On the other hand, cozy-as-anything lounge pants from Out from Under make for a way to wear the trend on your own terms. Or, swap out your maxi skirt for a midi one from Free People, and change out your black trousers for a colorful pair from Mango for the rest of the year.
Digital Lavender Dresses
Lavender is one of the few colors that could work for day or night. ELOQUII and COS make ones that work for the office, while Acne Studios, Anna Quan, SKIMS, and Lulus have others that you can wear for date night or as a guest to a winter wedding.
Digital Lavender Coats and Jackets
Winter is still very much here, so add a new on-trend winter coat or jacket to your collection. Dramatic options like Hill House Home's Duvet Coat or NA-KD's shearling option are great for dressing up a simple outfit, whereas The North Face's iconic Nuptse Short Jacket is revamped for the new season in this muted lavender colorway. Vests and shackets from brands like Free People and Abercrombie & Fitch are also gaining popularity as a lightweight layering option, while H&M offers its take on an under-$100 puffer jacket.
Digital Lavender Shoes
From slippers to sneakers to heels, this season's lavender shoe options are great for any event you have coming up—even if that "event" is sitting on your couch. Tibi, Sam Edelman, and Reformation offer up sandals for maybe a time when the weather is warmer, while Katy Perry offers a retro pump alternative. Or, keep it casual in cult-favorite picks from UGG and ON.
Digital Lavender Bags
Looking for a trendy new handbag? Look no further than the below selection from brands like STAUD and JW PEI. Shoulder bags continue to be popular even in the lavender hue—see: Mach & Mach's tie-dyed pick and BY FAR's slightly larger option—while Longchamp's netted take on their iconic Le Pliage (a Marie Claire favorite as a laptop bag) is a great option for your light load days.