10 predictions for life in 2023

(Photos: NYTimes)
Oh, the possibilities of a new year. This will be the one, we say, when we will exercise more, spend a little less and stop devoting entire weekends to binge-watching “House Hunters.” اضافة اعلان

Nevertheless, change is in the air. What will the rest of 2023 bring? We cannot see into the future, but let us try. Here are some of our best guesses for what’s in store this year. 

No more ‘vibes’Imprecise by design, “vibes” defined our vague feelings of uneasiness in the beginning of the pandemic.

The “vibes are off,” Steve Macfarlane, who works in the film department at the Museum of Modern Art, wrote in a viral tweet he now regrets, describing the atmosphere of summer 2021.

Not long after, there came news of a “vibe shift” gathering on the horizon.

Writers and critics tried to pin down exactly what vibes were, but the word remained slippery and frustratingly overused. There will always be a term to account for that which we cannot clearly express in the moment — in the 2010s it was “mood” — but at a certain point, mere “vibes” crystallize into hard facts, and we are forced to look around and evaluate the circumstances of our lives.

Comfort in the softLast month, designer Marco Simonetti posted images he had created, using artificial intelligence, of a hypothetical Jacquemus and Nike pop-up shop in the French ski resort Courchevel; the proposed collection includes squishy knit sneaker boots and bulbous padded bags.

Jil Sander’s spring 2023 runway show had fuzzy, feathery garments, and clutches; Instagram favorite Selkie has built a cult following with dreamy, delicately hued cream puff dresses. Lucy Sparrow installed an all-felt McDonald’s during Miami’s Scope Art Show in November, complete with cuddly burgers and fries.

Two million people watched a TikTok featuring cozy crochet covers for headphones created by Alexandria Masse, a textile artist.

A post about a teacher who turned her students’ drawings into plush toys spread widely on Twitter. Even the concept cars at the trade show CES in early January were mostly rounded with bubble wheels.

A soft-rock documentary series, “Sometimes When We Touch,” just debuted on TV. Soft boys and soft girls may have been gaining momentum for a while, but this is the year we all go soft. 

Supersize liesBy now, most people have accepted little white lies — those small fabrications that keep polite society humming along, inflating a bit of praise here, safeguarding against hurt feelings there — as the cost of doing business.

In 2023, it is going to take nothing less than bald faced lies on an international scale to get our collective blood pumping, the type of lie that occasions a scandalized “if that even is your real name!” Rep. George Santos has gotten the ball rolling in fine fashion, of course, but we predict that time will reveal him to be only the tip of an iceberg of mendacity, bobbing insidiously in a sea of deceit.

Be careful out there.

The end of shoelacesThey have had a nice run. But the many hot slip-ons of 2022 suggest that 2023 may be the year we retire shoelaces.

We have already been shuffling around in the Birkenstock Boston clogs and UGG slippers that exploded on TikTok last year, and we have returned to the office in loafers, ballet flats, and Mary Janes. As evidence mounts that the sneaker resale bubble is bursting, even the streetwear crowd has been trying out puffer clogs and the terrain-chic toggle closures on Hoka Hoparas and Salomon XTs.

Maybe we have become more willing to wear lightly disguised slippers outside since spending so much time cooped up during the pandemic. Or maybe we are just sick of tying two Boy Scout-level knots every day before 9am.

Butter crocksLast year brought us the TikTok phenomenon of “butter boards” — gussied up butter, softened and spread over a cutting board, sprinkled with garnishes like herbs, edible flowers, salt, or honey. Delicious!

Butter’s appeal is eternal, but even butter has trends. So this will be the year of the butter crock, a vessel that sits outside of the refrigerator, designed to keep butter soft and fresh.

Happy spreading.

Crafty skillsAs inflation decimates our spending power and fast fashion becomes ever more uninspiring and ethically dubious, we can expect lots of talk of shopping for tasteful “investment pieces” in 2023.

But for those of us with neither the budget nor the interest in a $1,300 black turtleneck from The Row, we hope this year ushers in a resurgence of do-it-yourself clothes crafting.

Thrift stores may no longer offer the inexpensive hidden gems that they did 10 years ago, but they still provide plenty of raw material to shred, dye, bead, appliqué, paint, patch, or otherwise mess with to create one-of-a-kind statement pieces.

We are expecting the TikTok algorithm to deliver more tutorials on how to turn a T-shirt into a dress, and we foresee craft night invitations in the place of clothing swaps.

Amid a collective nostalgia for the early aughts, it is as good a time as any to embrace uneven hems and unfinished edges.

Fake fashion items TikTok helped usher in a new era of fakes in fashion.

“Dupe” accessories took off thanks to faster-than-fast-fashion websites selling bootleg Bottega Venetas, and Balenciagas. But fashion’s cyclical nature suggests that in 2023, we are due to see more meta-fakes: merchandise created by troublemakers poking fun at logomania and the obsession with luxury that proliferates on social media.

The last time bootlegging became a trend was around 2017, when brands like Gucci made “Guccy” shirts and paid homage to its most famous provocateur, Dapper Dan. Luxury brands getting in on the joke somehow made it much less funny.

Still, in-your-face fakes will always be more interesting than straight-faced fakes, as I was recently reminded by Johnny Cirillo of Watching New York. He is a street photographer who caught one stylish pedestrian carrying a Hermès Birkin dupe covered with the words: “You fake like this Birkin”.

Hair care > skin careLeave your 12-step facial routine in the past, and trade caring for the cells on your face for the ones growing out of your head. This is going to be the year of upgrading your drugstore shampoo and conditioner — or maybe just finding a drugstore brand that works better for your hair — and giving your strands a little more TLC.Whatever that means for you!

Maybe it is a microfiber towel, a fresh cotton T-shirt for plopping your hair, or a Denman brush for curl definition.

The 2022 return of the claw clip, a ’90s staple that can be less damaging than a hair elastic, was just the beginning.

Keep an eye out for heatless styling methods on your TikTok’s For You Page and Instagram ads peddling scalp scrubs and conditioning masks. And if that is not enough to convince you, just look at the TikTok discourse that broke out in the first week of the new year over a rosemary hair oil.

Talking to strangersIt is notably weird when someone next to you on the subway or at a restaurant strikes up a conversation, no matter how innocuous. We anticipate, perhaps somewhat wishfully, that 2023 will change that.

More strangers in public settings will start conversing with one another on matters small and large.

It will make us feel like we are all living in this world together rather than going about it ourselves, and new ideas will be spread and debated like we are in one never-ending French salon.

A crusade against caffeineLast year, alcohol-free rosé crept into the club and exorbitantly expensive mocktails showed up on bar menus. In 2023, the crackdown will come for caffeine.

Think mugs of matcha-flavored brew without the kick, a booming decaf menu at Starbucks — or, as one perhaps soon-to-be-former tech executive prefers, soda-flavored sludge sapped of caffeine.

Wellness influencers will post pastel infographics that rail against caffeine-induced jitters; before-and-after videos will clog your TikTok feed, showing people a day, a week, a month without coffee.

If indie sleaze really is oozing back, this time around, we will be chugging caffeine-free Red Bull instead of Four Loko. See you at the coffee less coffee bar.

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