Spring 2024's Most Divisive Fashion Trends

Fashion trends move with the seasons, sometimes in small pivots and sometimes in great leaps. On one hand, fashionistas might start buzzing about something as tame as the latest "it" color, such as the emergence of sky blue as spring 2024's official fashion color. These trends can be dreamy, inspiring, and a lot of fun to work into your daily wardrobe, but to call them shocking or controversial would be hyperbole. On the other hand, there are always a few unexpectedly out-there trends that instantly polarize audiences, including us.

From over-the-top throwback looks to avant-garde reimaginings that strain the limits of modern fashion, every new season of runway shows brings surprising through-lines that make us question current trends and wonder where fashion is headed next. The spring/summer 2024 collections were no exception. From itty-bitty short-shorts to larger-than-life pattern mixing, some burgeoning 2024 trends are pushing boundaries and dividing fashionistas' opinions.

Micro shorts

Dramatic and eye-catching, micro shorts were a staple of fashion shows for spring/summer 2024, both on runways from designers like Tom Ford and Stella McCartney and donned by guests. Whether worn individually or in a set of trendy compact co-ords, these leg-baring garments are only a step away from underwear, which is likely the root of their controversial status. Are they sexy and empowering, or do they evoke adult diapers? With such a bold statement piece, styling is key, but we'd still argue that this niche fad is one of the season's less accessible trends.

Dresses over trousers

Thought we'd escaped the '00s throwback trend of skirts and dresses worn over full-length pants? Think again. Spring/summer 2024 runways showed that this styling moment is still hanging on to life whether we like it or not. The layered skirt-and-trousers look appeared in collections from names like Issey Miyake, Calcaterra, and Collina Strada. While the continued resurgence of dresses over pants serves eclectic playfulness, it's also a known point of contention among fashion enthusiasts, making it one of the more divisive fads this season.

Aprons as haute couture

For spring/summer 2024, Dior took some of its designs in a surprisingly domestic direction by playing with aprons. This quickly became a trend, as apron-like halters and silhouettes were also spotted on runways from designers like Sacai. Some looks were referential and deconstructed while others were more obviously rooted in outright workwear, but all of them raise the question: Aprons as fashion, yes or no? Although intriguing, this specific point of view is surely not for everyone, especially for daily wear. 

Preppy, professional polos

From the fierce, girl-boss spirit of corporatecore to the growing office siren trend, fashionistas are proving that office-inspired styles can be chic. However, polo shirts may be a step too far away from the CEO aesthetic and toward cheap uniform vibes. While the humble polo sits at the crossroads of professional, sporty, and preppy, its versatility is so ubiquitous that it risks becoming a bland and watered-down version of any given style. While notable labels like Miu Miu are playing around with the polo, this trend has yet to grab our interest for spring 2024.

Super-loud prints

At the other end of the spectrum, some designs went bold for 2024. Colorful offerings from designers at Marni, Comme des Garcons, and other fashion houses sparked conversation around upcoming trends and inspired guests to dress in louder-than-loud ensembles as they attended runways for Spring/Summer 2024. These fashion-forward looks celebrated bright hues, busy patterns, and the mixing of unexpected prints — but we're not sure if these styles embodied broad appeal for real consumers. Sometimes, what happens at fashion week has to stay at fashion week, and editorial looks simply don't always translate well into widespread fads.