Summer is here! It’s time for beach trips, long days by the pool…and an update to your wardrobe! This season’s trends are comfortable, vibrant and fun. Everyone’s excited to get out of lockdown restrictions, and the summer 2021 fashion trends are certainly reflecting that hopeful and uplifting energy.
Celebrity style, the advice of fashion experts, and the looks we’ve seen on the runways have made the upcoming trends pretty clear. From floaty maxi dresses to baggy pants, we’ve got all the key styles for you to try out this summer.
Summer 2021 fashion trends to work into your wardrobe
Maxi dresses are a perfect addition to your summer wardrobe, particularly if you’re looking for a way to balance style and comfort while working from home. However, maxi dresses aren’t just for work. They’re a great choice for an afternoon picnic, or enjoying evening cocktails at a rooftop bar.
The spring/summer runways showed off many gorgeous maxi dresses for the coming season. The Dolce & Gabbana show featured a long sleeve maxi dress in a patchwork of eclectic warm-toned patterns. At the other end of the spectrum, Emporio Armani showed off a long-lined, flattering, semi-sheer white maxi, paired with matching statement hoop earrings.
This is a simple summer trend that everyone can work into their look. Maybe you’re bold and vibrant, wanting to grab attention with a statement dress. Or, perhaps you want to lean into an ethereal, cloudlike quality. No matter your personal taste and style, a maxi dress is bound to be a staple for you this summer.
Maxi dresses aren’t the only work from home staple that’s picking up popularity. Enter the “classy cardigan”. Cardigans are super comfortable, but do have the downfall of feeling a bit drab or frumpy. In the past, no one has really thought of a cardigan as a way to feel dressed up. However, in summer 2021, that’s all about to change.
Cardigans are great for work, as they’re a little less corporate and more lowkey than a blazer. For an office appropriate look, dress up your cardigan with leather shoes, high waisted trousers or a midi skirt, and subtle jewelry. Or, play up the slightly vintage energy of the look with art deco style drop earrings.
On the high street, many cardigans are also now sold with matching bralette tops to be worn underneath, which is great for a weekend look. You can do up one or two buttons and pair with jeans for a casual outfit, as we’ve seen many times on the glamorous Bella Hadid.
Artistic statement jewelry
There’s always going to be a place for subtle gold and silver jewelry, but this season, fun and bright pieces are coming in hot. The summer 2021 jewelry trends have been described as looking like “summer camp” jewelry. This means that, when shopping, you should look out for bright colors, non-precious materials, and anything that looks like it might have been made by a (stylish) 13 year old.
Fashion experts theorize that the rise of artistic statement jewelry comes from all the Zoom meetings people have been doing over the past year. Tiny rings and earrings just aren’t easy to see over a video call. In these working from home times, bold is better.
Plus, brightly colored jewelry and beads also add a cheerful tone to any outfit. Try adding stacks of beaded bracelets, vibrant floral earrings, and charm necklaces to your looks this season.
Kendall Jenner was recently seen in a burnt orange tube top, which she wore with black jeans. Chrissy Teigan wore a small pleated top with puffed sleeves, paired with an orange maxi skirt. Hailey Bieber loves a casual crop. Summer time is the perfect opportunity to work a tiny top into your look, and the celebrities know it, too.
From crop tops to bralettes, you have so many options this summer. Go for a minimalist pale blue crop top and skirt combo like we saw from Boss, or get bold with animal prints like Dior. Little casual tops look great with high waisted shorts or trousers, and are easy to layer under a light jacket.
Capes were all over the spring/summer runways and are a gorgeous twist on outerwear for summer. Capes are more dreamy and less utilitarian than many jackets – which may well be the point. Designer Simone Rocha said that this trend represents “the escapism we’re all craving.”
Capes come in many different sizes, shapes and styles. In a gorgeous neutral, such as navy or black, this would be great to throw over your shoulders during the cooler nights. Silver or gold earrings, a bangle bracelet, or an elegant pendant necklace would bring this look to a new level for a classy evening of cocktails.
However, a bolder print or pattern would be a great bohemian look. You could play up an animal or floral print cape by accessorizing with big sunglasses and warm-toned jewelry, such as chunky gold hoop earrings.
The dreamy pastel color scheme has been a huge trend during the pandemic, and it’s carrying on into the summer. Big names such as Kate Spade, Chanel, Prada and Valentino have all been working with this gentle color palette in their spring/summer collections.
Part of the appeal is that light pinks, peaches, blues and yellows are very calming. Fashion psychologist and author of The Psychology of Fashion, Carolyn Mair, states that we like these candy shades because “they’re gentle and soothing.”
There are many great ways to work pastel into your outfits. A monochrome look is gorgeous, but a pastel top with bright bottoms is also lovely. Pastel colors tend to pair well with pale neutrals. This means that pearl jewelry, white wide-legged pants, and your staple white sneakers or sandals are great ways to finish the outfit.
If you’re looking for summer outfits that are great for wearing at work, look no further than this trend. Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and many other designers have presented gorgeous black and white outfits that are subtle and sophisticated.
This is a great way to look timeless, day or night. These may not be the most vibrant looks of the season, but you just can’t go wrong with monochrome. Wearing neutral colored basics and with no-fuss silhouettes is a key way to look chic this summer.
Cut out fashion was popular in the early 2000s, but it appears to be re-emerging this season. Some designers, such as Givenchy, have gone for huge holes in their looks. However, others such as Christopher Kane and Burberry have been somewhat more lowkey with how they’re using this trend.
The cut outs look great this season because of how much designers have reigned it in since the 2000s. If you want to work this trend into your summer fashion, it’s a good idea to be subtle about it – a little bit of skin goes a long way.
Look for pieces that have slits and cut outs in flattering locations, such as the sternum or back. Then, make sure the rest of the garment is fairly understated. This trend looks best with flattering lines and solid, neutral colors. Add some elegant jewelry such as silver drop earrings or a thin chain bracelet to complete the look.
A cousin of the cut out trend is midriff flossing. This trend refers to having cords wrapping and crisscrossing around the torso area. It looks a little like dental floss – hence the name.
Altuzarra and Michael Kors worked symmetrical cords into midi length dresses, creating a sexy overall look which would be great for an evening event. However, other designers were more creative, using asymmetrical cords for a slightly haphazard appearance. This is more casual, and would be great for a day on the beach or at the park.
Just like with cut outs, you want to avoid having this trend look cheap. To keep it classy, accessorize with high quality or designer jewelry and make sure the rest of your outfit isn’t too busy.
Fitted and baggy trousers are always taking turns in the spotlight, and for 2021 it’s all about the relaxed look. With the trend towards working from home, it makes sense that comfort would be king when it comes to bottoms this year.
However, relaxed trousers can be just as elevated and chic as tight pants. When Kendall Jenner was in New York at the end of April, almost all of her looks included loose, pleated trousers. She kept her outfits fairly plain, with traditional waist-cinching silhouettes and subtle gold earrings.
When styling loose bottoms, you can get creative about what you pair them with. Adding different textures and shapes for your other pieces can be fun. A loose button-down creates a fashion forward work look. Or, adding a bralette top with layered necklaces and stacks of rings is a youthful and casual style.