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2021 Style Trends

When looking at the forecast of upcoming trends, you’ll see everything from leather textiles to muted floral patterns to vests for both men and women.

Photography by Lisa Staff

Heavy plaids and camouflage prints are both continuing to make an appearance, and puffy sleeves, along with a little shoulder pad action, are coming back in a big way. We asked local boutiques and shops to share their predictions of what trends they see making it big in 2021, and LOCAL Life stylist Roxanne Gilleland worked with the owners to find the perfect way to showcase their forecasts.

Ann Marie Goodliffe • Owner of Cocoon


How it all began
In the fall of 2015, Ann Marie Goodliffe opened the doors of COCOON in the heart of Old Town Bluffton. The boutique perfectly captures the essence of Lowcountry chic living. A true lifestyle shop, you will find beautiful rugs, pillows, apparel, jewelry, shoes and gifts all carefully curated by Ann Marie for Lowcountry life.

Fun Facts
COCOON proudly features many lines from Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island designers, offering styles and colors unique to The Lowcountry.

While always seeking new local talent, the latest lines currently featured are from La Plage (Beaufort), Janet Gregg Jewelry (Charleston), J. Mills Jewelry (Beaufort), Votivo Candles (Spartanburg), Low Country Linens (Hilton Head), and Charleston Shoes (Charleston).

Other collections highlighted are Jade Connally, Sail to Sable, Sailor Sailor, Duffield Land, and Bella Tu.

Find COCOON while exploring The Lowcountry Oyster Trail at #7.

Our 2021 Trend
With a focus on colorful, easy care fabrics with comfort and style in mind, COCOON is excited to put an emphasis on animal print this year. Bold prints can be found during the winter months, while leading into more muted patterns to reflect the softness or spring and summer. This trend is threaded through the apparel, shoes, and accessories offered.

Dennis Jaworski and Chuck Hall • Owners of Palmettoes


How it all began
In 2006, the team of Dennis Jaworski and Chuck Hall took on the challenge of creating Palmettoes, a unique shopping experience for men and women in Sea Pines. Dennis’ background in menswear with a 36-year tenure with Redwood & Ross / Acorn stores and Chuck’s background in womenswear with Neiman Marcus brought a wealth of expertise to work with. They pride themselves on successfully cultivating longstanding relationships with their clientele, whom they consider their friends.

Fun Facts
They allow all of their employees to be an “owner” of the store, where they’re encouraged to run daily operations as if they were the owner themselves.

Their multi-generational customers are always sure to make Palmettoes a stop during their vacation. Clients whose parents took them to the store now take their own children along with them.

Our 2021 Trend
Honey-colored denim is trending in both men’s and women’s clothing. It started getting hot for fall, and then in the spring, it started showing in virtually everything.

Meghan Cline • Director of Retail at Outside Hilton Head

Outside Hilton Head

How it all began
The first Outside store was established in 1979 on a card table in the back of the South Beach General Store. After a few years of success selling windsurfing clinics, a store front was opened in South Beach, selling the gear and beachy lifestyle goods to accompany Outside’s growing windsurfing business. In 1986, Outside opened its flagship store in the Plaza at Shelter Cove, where it still lives today. There you can find gear for outdoor fun – like kayaks, paddleboards, and beach toys – along with fashionable men’s and women’s sportswear, footwear and accessories to complement the active lifestyle. Outside also has a store in Wilson Village, Palmetto Bluff, and a bike shop in Moreland Village, Palmetto Bluff. In 2021, Outside will open its newest store on River Street in historic downtown Savannah.

Fun Facts
Outside is more than an outdoor store. The company also offers kayaking, fishing, boating, history and culture tours and group travel experiences.

Outside owns a private island, Page Island, that sits between Daufuskie and Savannah. It is the location of many Outside programs and available to rent for your next private event.

Outside is dedicated to our local community and supports a number of local nonprofits. In January, it is running its Recycle Your Jacket program to benefit Deep Well.

Our 2021 Trend
Sustainability is becoming more and more apparent in clothes and accessories. Our purse and fleece Patagonia jacket picked for this project are both made from recycled materials.

Kay Stanley • Owner of Spartina 449

Spartina 449

How it all began
Inspired by the unspoiled, natural treasures of Daufuskie Island, founder Kay Stanley had an idea that led her to create her specialty lifestyle brand in 2009. Spartina 449, named after the lush grass along the South Carolina coast and Kay’s island cottage lot number, consists of beautiful patterns and shapes in apparel, handbags, and jewelry, all inspired by the Lowcountry’s salt marshes and sandy beaches. But Kay is inspired by other areas as well, and the idea of her Greetings From collection was born. Maps from more than twenty magical destinations can be found on everything from totes to embroidered pillows and quilted throws. What ideas will spark next for Spartina 449? We hear there’s more to come soon!

Fun Facts
A portion of Spartina’s proceeds benefit the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation.

The mermaid logo can be found on every piece created, ready to bring fun and sun into your personal style.

Kay finds inspiration all around the Lowcountry when she takes Boo, her fluffy sheepadoodle, on walks.

Our 2021 Trend
Spartina’s latest collection, the 1738 Collection, is inspired by Drayton Hall, built that year by architect and homeowner John Drayton. It’s a remarkably built home with little, significant details seen in the carved wood ornamentation on doorways, ceiling moldings, cornices, friezes, and mantels. This collection of brush-stroke floral prints, velvet accessories, and 18-karat-plated gold jewelry was created with the unique craftsmanship of this well-preserved Lowcountry treasure in mind.

Roxanne Gilleland • Co-owner of SHOP!


How it all began
Co-owners Roxanne Gilleland and Kim Hall opened the doors to SHOP! only three years ago. They saw there was a definite need for a high-end women’s fashion store. Kim at the time was a representative for Worth New York and Roxanne was a 18-year employee of Porcupine before it closed. They decided to venture into this very niche market together, and so happily they did. They are so proud that even though the store has only been open a few years, they have made it through the tough times, including Covid. They love catering to their market of women from young teens to the mature woman. Their expertise is helping find just the right clothing to make each client feel special and beautiful for any occasion.

Fun Facts
Roxanne and Kim have a combined 45 years of retail between them, which is why they are successful today.

From blue jeans to formal gowns, they pride themselves in carrying unique, high-end brands such as Zadig & Voltaire, ML by Monique and Love Shack Fancy.

In addition to the retail store, SHOP! also offers personal styling, in-home consultations, closet organization and alteration guidance.

Our 2021 Trend
When looking at the top trends forecasted for 2021, floral patterns seem to be at the top of the list. It’s said that flowers often signify new beginnings, which is exactly what we all need after the year we’ve had.

Jock Miller • Manager and buyer at Knickers


How it all began
Back in the summer of 1971, Dick Crose founded the store that carried traditional men’s tailored clothing, which dominated the fashion scene back then with brands such as Ralph Lauren, Hickey Freeman, and Norman Hilton. In the early ‘80s, Knickers began focusing on colorful and casual resort wear, and ended up possessing the largest Polo Ralph Lauren accounts in the country. In 1993, the store partnered with a freshly founded brand called Tommy Bahama. Today, it focuses on providing diverse menswear that fits the needs of gentlemen of all styles.

Fun Facts
Knickers provides menswear for several different styles. Brands like Vineyard Vines, Sperry, Southern Tide, johnnie-O, and Faherty cater to those who seek a more youthful, trendy look, whereas brands like Peter Millar and Tommy Bahama will cater to a more discerning style.

Our 2021 Trend
Polyester has become KING in all the brands we carry (we still have cotton). The vest has become a super important piece that easily transitions from fall and winter into spring. They are both comfortable and fashionable for men and women alike. As always, plaid is big in the South, but we’re seeing more patterns. Five-pocket jeans in different fabrics are a must.

Senny Powell • Owner of Island Child

Island Child

How it all began
Senny Powell distinctly remembers conversations with her father about one day running a children’s department store. What began as a mom and pop business has grown into a 3,400 square foot specialty store business filled with kids clothes and items up to children’s size 14. For a boutique that is steeped in rich family heritage, its conception actually began when the Powells were unable to have children, and Senny began making baby quilts as gifts. The couple found the demand so positive that the Chicago school teachers began a cottage industry in the Windy City area and spent weekends selling their goods at craft fairs. When they moved to Hilton Head Island in the early ’80s, they bought an existing shop — the Snappy Turtle — and a year later, opened Island Child. The Powells have seven adopted children — four girls and three boys — and have fostered seven children. They see Island Child as an extension of their own family and delight in every chance to make childhood a bit more magical for their customers.

Fun Facts
When purchased, the store was one-third of the 3,400-square-foot space that it is today. Whether they’re ringing up customers or rearranging window displays, the Powells’ seven adopted children are involved in the store, just as Senny’s father was, truly making it a three-generation company.

Our 2021 Trend
We’re seeing a lot of florals with muted tones, such as rose, lavenders, and different shades of blue. It’s soft, gentle, and dainty. I think after 2020 this is what we need — soft, gentle rainbows in everything.


For over 20 years now, Pantone has had the leading influence in color when it comes to fashion, interior decorating, industrial design, and even product packaging. When these industries are making development and buying decisions, Pantone’s color of the year is usually what they look to first. The process of deciding on a color, or sometimes colors, takes a lot of analyzing of entertainment, films, popular travel destinations, new and upcoming artists, and even socio-economic conditions.

Pantone has chosen Ultimate Gray and Illuminating as the colors of 2021. Here’s the reason behind their decision: “As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”