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25 Most Iconic Summer Fashion Trends

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25 Most Iconic Summer Fashion Trends

Summertime is upon us, which means it’s time to break out some iconic summer fashion staples. As you transition your wardrobe from spring to summer, there are many hot, new trends that you need to know about. Luckily, we"ve done all the research for you. We"ve gathered lots of summer styles that will make you look and feel your best. These are clothing pieces and trends that will keep you cool and fashionable Many of these trends are iconic and reappear every time the weather warms up, but some of these trends are up and coming. They"re fresh and fun and will totally change your outlook on summer fashion. It"s not just about super short denim cutoffs and tiny crop tops. 

Keep reading to find out what summer fashion staples you need this season. Splurge a little now and you"ll be styled for the remainder of the summer. Trust us, these are trends that aren"t going anywhere anytime soon. And if you need more inspiration, check out your favorite fashion bloggers and celebrities on Pinterest and Instagram. They know how to style the latest trends, which is why we totally recommend looking to them for fashion advice.

Without further ado, here are 25 styles you need for the warmer months ahead!

Swimsuits
Swimsuits

Most people live in swimsuits during the summer months. If this is you, it"s time that you invest in a high-quality swimsuit that fits you just right. When you finally find and purchase a one-piece or bikini that you love, make sure you take care of it. It"ll last you multiple summers by the pool or beach if you do.

The trendiest suits of the summer have unique cutouts or super high-waisted bottoms. If you"re a fan of hip-huggers, then these suits are for you. Just be aware of the weird tan lines that occur with the especially strappy bathing suits... You might not want a tanline resembling a tantalizing G-string poking out from your shorts... But you do you! It"s summer after all. Long live the "90s!

(Image via Instagram)
Bold Tropical Prints
Bold Tropical Prints

There"s nothing better than a bold tropical print for a summer dinner party, a vacation outing, or a morning by the pool. Whether you decide to rock a tropical dress, coverup, or swimsuit, you"ll be sure to look your very best. Bright colors and busy patterns scream summer! Because summer immediately follows the allergy-laden spring season, flowers and flowery prints are no longer a sore subject for your nose. 

Big and bold prints ranging from traditional tropical to giant cherries. That"s right! Now"s the perfect time to bust out all the printed button-downs that are shoved at the back of your closet. If anyone makes fun of you, just point them to Vogue or any major fashion publication. Big prints are cheerful and joyous that embody the happiness of summer, perhaps in a silly manner, but you can"t deny the fun of it all! 

(Image via Instagram)
Platform Sandals
Platform Sandals

There"s no better way to show off your summer pedicure than by wearing open-toed shoes. While sandals are always fashionable and trendy, platform sandals are everything this season. They"re the updated version of your flat sandals. Not only will they give you a little extra height, but they"ll also provide you with a little extra comfort.

Platforms tug on the heartstrings of retro fans in an inexplicable way because they can be paired with flare jeans and tinted sunglasses for the trendiest throwback outfit. But if the "70s aesthetic isn"t quite your thing, espadrille platform sandals put a modern twist on a Spanish classic. Once you buy a pair, you"ll never go back!

(Image via Twinklemoda.com)
Denim Shorts
Denim Shorts

Denim shorts never go out of style—and you"re going to love the newest way they"re being worn. Instead of purchasing the shortest and tightest denim cutoffs you can find, look for a looser and baggier denim. Not only is this more trendy, but it"s way more practical for the sweltering summer months.

Mom jeans have been back on the scene for years, and the high-waisted, long short followed in it"s stride. A complete counter-movement to the uncomfortably short Daisy Dukes, the resurgance of vintage trends keeps your goodies covered while staying comfortable. Plus, platform sandals are a great piece to pair with your denim!

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Linen
Linen

Linen is one of the most summery fabrics. It"s lightweight, neutral, and so comfy. The only true flaw to linen is how easy it wrinkles. As long as you"re prepared to iron or steam your favorite linen blazer, dress, jumpsuit, or trousers before wearing, you"ll be so trendy. There"s a reason why it"s never gone out of style! Vogue writes about linen and why we gravitate to it during the hottest months of the year:

 

"But despite the supermodel appeal of the skimpy cotton tank top, lighter-feeling materials and large amounts of exposed skin don’t necessarily mean you’ll feel cooler. The strategy to beat when it comes to staying sweat-free is linen. After all, the material has been used for that purpose since ancient times. "Linen fabrics have been reported ever since humans learned to make fabrics, and from many civilizations.""

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Aviator Sunglasses
Aviator Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a necessity on sunny summer days, and some researchers would say for most days of the year! But if you"ve yet to find a pair of frames that suit your face, try a pair of aviator-style sunglasses. They"re universally flattering on both men and women, and we think the public will hold onto these classic frames for decades to come, not to mention the health benefits that come with protecting your eyes and skin from harmful UV rays. 

If you want to spice up your sunglasses game a bit, get some aviators that are a little more colorful than the original frames.  Color-tinted sunglasses have had their moment these past few summers due to a resurgance of retro trends. Vogue reported that colored sunglasses are “mood-boosting so they"ll offer a much needed happy pop of color to your summertime wardrobe.” 

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Summer Dresses
Summer Dresses

If you"re looking for a summer fashion trend that"s fun and flirty, invest in two or three summer dresses. They"re light, airy, and perfect for warm, sunny weather. Whether you prefer soft pastels, bright colors, or bold prints, you"re sure to find the summer dress for you.  They can be maxi or mini, linen or silk. It doesn"t matter what dress or pattern you choose, they"re the best option for those hotter -than-hot summer days. 

 

Want to add some dimension to your ultra-sweet summer dress? One of our favorite trends is the combination of the angelic and punk aesthetics. Dainty florals styled with chunky combat boots give an edge to a traditionally innocent outfit. Life is all about balance, right? Look at it this way: after a year of complete darkness and confusion, regain the sense of “good” in the world, and flowy dresses with some platform boots are part of that mantra.  

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Gingham
Gingham

It"s the season of picnics and skipping through meadows, so you know what that means: gingham! One of this season"s biggest trends is gingham. It was huge last summer and will be huge again this summer. If you have lots of black and white gingham in your closet and are looking for a change, purchase a colored gingham clothing piece. 

 

Most people love to sport their monochrome for the summer, espeically the light nudes and bright whites, but why not give patterns a chance? Loud graphic prints of fruits and flowers are having a moment, but that style"s for the most of the adventurous among us. So get some simple gingham, throw on cute strappy sandals, a wide brim hat, and you"re good enough to star as the lead character of a Hollywood rom-com!

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Fedora Hats
Fedora Hats

One of the best ways to protect your skin from harsh UV rays is to wear a hat. Sunscreen is always a must, but a hat will add additional protection to your face. Fedora hats are the trendiest style at the moment and can be found at almost any clothing store or boutique! They"re available in a range of colors, styles, materials, and sizes to fit anyone"s style. 

 

Perhaps the undercover-spy look doesn"t quite fit your style; good thing there"s another fashionable hat trend rising from the ashes of the "90s. That"s right, bucket hats! From fluffy materials to beachy prints, These simplistic round outfit toppers come in an even wider range of colors, materials, and patterns for you to choose from.  With these two hat trends under your belt (rather, on your head), you"ll feel like a royal in your own way (just on a budget)!

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

White Button-Ups
White Button-Ups

A classic white button-up is a closet staple, especially for summer. They transition beautifully from straight-leg jeans and platform sneakers to denim shorts and platform sandals. There"s no wrong way to style this iconic clothing piece. The most stylish of women have started embracing oversized pieces and repurposing them to fit a variety of looks. Ranging from DIY shirtdresses to a breathable basic, a white button-up is a closet essential for the summer.

 

Vogue writer Brooke Bobb clarifies the beautiful simplicity of the white button-down: "With the advent of Instagram-friendly fashion, we may have lost sight of the magic of this classic look, favoring eye-catching corsets and bra tops in place of its looser, more masculine silhouette... This season it’s time to recommit to the button-down shirt and use it to express your personal style."

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Crop Tops
Crop Tops

It isn"t summer without a crop top.  With the warmer weather ensuing, wearing as little as possible while remaining legal is the summertime snag we all have to get past. Looks like crop tops are the perfect loophole! They look so trendy with denim jeans, denim shorts, midi-skirts, and loose-fitting trousers. We recommend buying two or three in neutral colors that can be styled with anything.

 

And as "90s trends make an unprecedented comeback, everything including crop tops, fanny packs, bucket hats, and (god forbid) low-waisted jeans are crawling their way onto fashion blogs everywhere. At least the high-waisted trend is still going strong because we"re not sure we can get behind the ultra-low rise and G-string pairing again. Spare us, please!

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Midi-Skirts
Midi-Skirts

High waist midi-skirts are the new maxi-dresses, and for good reason. They"re comfortable, stylish, and easy to wear. Just pair yours with a summer knit or a slouchy tee and you"re set. Some of the best skirts come in breathable linen fabric that can survive a long walk on the beach without flying up and exposing you to the world.

 

Remember what we said about crop tops? Try pairing one with a midi skirt for a uniquely balanced summer look. The trend is to reach for the booty shorts to complement the crop top, but the bohoemian-inspired look of a short top and long skirt counteracts the summer heat while remaining modest, if that"s important to you.

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Wide-Leg Trousers
Wide-Leg Trousers

If you"d rather wear pants during the summer months instead of shorts, try a pair of wide-leg trousers. They"re loose and flowy, which will keep you cool in the summer heat.  Wide leg trousers combine the comfort of loose pants and the drama of statement pieces. Anyone can rock this style, but it"s especially flattering for tall or curvy folks.  the cut balances figures characterized by wide hips and thighs. The high-waisted aspect creates the illusion of a taller and leaner body.

The silhouette of wide leg pants compliments anyone"s figure. On top of highlighting the waist, it balances out wide hips and thighs with the rest of the body. Make sure to get the high-waisted variety to further the illusion of a taller and leaner body! 

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Rompers
Rompers

Rompers are the playful versions of dresses, haven"t you heard? They can be fashionable and dressy while allowing for more movement and comfort than mini dresses that always put you at risk for exposure at any gust of a summer breeze. They"re perfect for nights on the beach, luncheons with friends, and so much more. Lightweight summer rompers probably aren"t the best option for a weekday meeting, depending on the fabric, because they"re made with the weekend in mind.  

 

Who What Wear agrees, saying, "When it"s 80-plus degrees out, the last thing you want to put on is tight, constricting clothing, especially when it"s the weekend and you know you"ll be running from early morning farmers markets to afternoon brunches to evening beachside picnics. Finding attire that suits a full day"s worth of activities is a definite must, and one piece we think is always a great option is a one-piece—i.e., the stylish and easy-to-wear romper."

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Lightweight Sweaters
Lightweight Sweaters

While summer temperatures are usually warmer than normal, some states don"t experience super hot summers like the southern U.S. Northern states usually stay a little cooler after a winter and spring of sub-zero temperatures, so it"s only natural that the crop tops and mini skirts aren"t doing it for you. If that"s what you"re used to, invest in lightweight knits. They"re thin enough to still be breezy, but also warm enough to keep out the chill. 

 

The key is investing in knits that are breathable and loose, or you"ll start to feel claustrophic during the months that are supposed to be about maintaining maximum relaxation. Who What Wear gives some valuable advice: "Yes, it might sound like an oxymoron or a misguided option of a morning"s getting-ready routine, but this cross-species intermingling has created a hybrid of elegant dresses, tank tops and skirts—all instantly elevated when rendered in a fine knit... it"s important to get the right fit with this look. Also, opting for a ribbed knit or wrap-around style are good ways to ensure some shape is retained."

(Images via Pinterest 1 & 2)

Gold Accessories
Gold Accessories

The right accessories make or break an outfit. If the metals of your jewelry clash anythwere, it can immediately make the entire look imbalanced. It"s a small detail, but it"s important! Go ahead and streamline your accessory game by sticking to gold for the summer. Gold accessories can range from rusty to pale to rosy for any mood. Hoop earrings, chains, and chokers are especially trendy right now that reflect summer sunlight for a beautiful glowing effect. 

 

The summer season is all about happiness and leisure, so gold accessories are the best option for effortless style worthy of the vogue front cover! Well, at least a Pinterest board or two. We recommend hoop earrings because they"re playful, attention-grabbing, and draws the eye to your face. This draw of focus naturally makes you appear more open and attractive. Plus, gold accessories can be dressed up or down for all occasions. 

Puffy Victorian Sleeves
Puffy Victorian Sleeves

Your grandma"s favorite trends are coming back, and they"re coming back hard. Look no further than the Victorian-style puff sleeves. For the vintage-inclined folks, these styles of sleeves blouses are wearable for a shift at work and evening parties alike. A step up from traditional blouses, without all the ruffles or embellishments, puffy sleeves can be adapted for any style of top.

From crop tops to jackets to flowy sundresses, if you ever feel like standing out from the sea of white button-down blouses in the summer, try out puffy sleeves! will make you stand out from the crowd. This style"s popping up on runways everywhere. And in this day and age, "the bigger the better" is the foundation of chic fashion.

(Image via Target)
Bucket Bags
Bucket Bags

Remember what we said about bucket hats? Well, the bucket-shaped fashion item trend is taking over runways everywhere. We"re not sure how or why this obsession with barrel-type things originated, but this type of bag is definitely a step up from the hype for ultra-small handbags that celebrities like Lizzo sported on the red carpet. While you probably shouldn"t tote around a house"s worth of stuff in your day purse, some of us need some room to breathe! 

 

These chasm-like purses look so chic because they"re so new. The concept of the bucket bag isn"t revolutionary, but the materials used and variety of sizes and colors to choose from changes the game drastically. What was once a statement piece that only A-listers could wear without stares, the bucket bag has become a summer staple for walks in the park, on the beach, or relaxing by the lake. Throwing a full water bottle in your bag while you"re racing out the door has never been so easy!

Braids
Braids

Popular historical and fantasy TV shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings have clearly inspired our favorite summer hairstyles. Intricate braids might not be the easiest style to pull off, but after enough practice, they definitely are worth the time spent! From fishtail to French, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube to learn how to get the perfect braid! Even better, try a braid updo for those particularly steamy summer afternoons.

Plus, working from home means that people with long hair everywhere need a fun way to get their pesky hair out of their faces in order to maintain a sliver of concentration.  The wrap-around and milkmaid braid is both practical for work, professional for meetings, and uniquely adorable. It’s just one step past a normal braid, so it doesn’t take up any more time than it needs to besides using some extra bobby pins and strong hairspray!

(Image via Unsplash)
Highlights
Highlights

Everyone knows that sunshine naturally lightens hair depending on how much you"re exposed to it"s rays, and the summer is the best time to get the free highlight treatment. But if you"re not willing to risk the UV damage, try the salon staple “foilayage,” a popular balayage technique where the color is hand-painted onto individual sections of the hair and wrapped in foil for processing. This technique gives highlights an extra boost of shine while remaining the sun-kissed look that everyone adores during summer vacay.

Yeah, traditional highlights are a valid option, but repeatedly treating your hair with any kind of chemical can damage it as much as the sun, and quicker! So what"s the alternative? That"s right: babylights! This hair trend adds delicate highlights into your lovely locks to make it look as though your hair was naturally lightened by the sun—without all that damage or chunky blonde sections! Golden babylights add depth on any hair color, especially warm brown or blonde shades. Plus, the sublte golden sheen complements a variety of skin tones, making you appear healthier while out in the summer sun.

Square-Toe Heel
Square-Toe Heel

Though not an overly trendy style in recent years, the square-toe silhouette has quickly elevated into a go-to shoe style for both casual and dressy affairs. The shape of the toe can apply to any style of heel, but we"re specifically hyping up strappy silhouttes for the summer. There"s a reason why sandal and flip-flops are summer staples -- nobody wants to suffocate in thick socks all season. And square-toed heels that are close-toed might be more appropirate for business professional environments, strappy shoes reign supreme for any other event. 

Vogue reports that the square-toed trend is rapidly replacing shoes, “with pointed or round toes" because “the season"s flagship footwear plays with volumes by opting for graphic lines anchored in the minimalist trend," which is inherently more modern.  Plus, they report that it"s an accessible trend for "every style and budget" to be chic in the summer. If you won"t listen to us, at least listen to the fashion experts! 

(Image via Amazon)
Gel Manicure
Gel Manicure

Clear stiletto acrylic nails might be the weird beauty trend that celebrities and influencers are pushing at the moment, but some of us actually have to get things done with our hands. Not to mention all the time and money that goes into applying and taking off acrylics. If you"re wanting nourished skin, avoid acrylics and the acetone-based poslish remover.  Gel manicures and non-acetone products have their own cons, yet they’re much gentler on both the skin and nail.

Yeah, yeah, gel manicures are also nothing new, especially nude polish or French tips. We"re giving it to you straight: nude nails will never go out of style, especially for the summer! Winter is the time for experimentation because we all have nothing better to do while trapped inside. But summer is about fun and exploration, not worrying about your nails. Get your self a simple gel manicure that"ll last for what feels like forever, and you"re set for the season. 

(Image via Unsplash)
Monochrome
Monochrome

Even on the busy streets of New York City and Paris or in the suburbs of small-town America, anyone will be able to spot this new trend bleeding into the farthest corners of society. What exactly makes monochrome so aesthetically pleasing? Vogue writer Willow Lindley gives her thoughts: "... my love for monochrome outfits is completely out of a desire for simplicity... That said, there are interesting color theories out there. From colorful auras readings to make sense of internal feelings to design-forward color schemes to help order a room to color-based acupuncture treatment plans to sooth body, mind, soul there are a lot of ways to understand how the rainbow both affects and is reflected in us."

One of the trendiest ways that models for major fashion houses present their affinity for monochrome is through the suit. Lindley writes, "With sweatsuits replacing more traditional workwear, suiting is definitely as much about color coordination as it is style so far this year." Monochrome suits are a style for all genders. The shirt-and-pants combo is inherently androgynous due to it"s complete simplicity and accessibility for most social classes. Plus, suits come in variety of colors, ranging from subdued to a complete lack of subtlety, and fits (if you want to branch into the oversized trend). 

Jumpsuits
Jumpsuits

Most of us summer lovers wouldn"t expect one-piece and long-legged jumpsuits to be at he top of the trending list. Well, prepare to be surprised! If the summer is all about being carefree and leisurely, then the simplicity of a one-piece outfit that makes you look presentable in under two minutes is honestly a godsend. There"s no fear of exposing yourself in those new ripped booty shorts or gravity-defying tube tops. Who said modesty couldn"t be just as hot?

Liana Statenstein of Vogue clarifies, "A jumpsuit is no mere laze-about adult onesie; it’s a fierce, figure-elongating classic." We completely agree! Jumpsuits don"t have to be confined to full-coverage green velvet that you wore to that one Christmas party in 2018.  Norw there"s plenty of options, ranging from breathable linen to summery gingham and all-out denim. Want to take it a step further? Look into getting a boilersuit, a trend that"s right off the presses. The time for utilitarian fashion is now and we couldn"t be happier. Move aside, skinny jeans. This season, we"re focused on comfort. 

(Image via Pexels)
Belly Button Rings
Belly Button Rings

No, we"re not trolling. Belly button rings have been the butt of jokes for years, and unfortunately have delved into the realm of shaming women who merely want to flash a bit of tummy.  And can you blame them when it"s 102 degrees out? And if you"re particularly offended by a piece of metal shot into someone"s stomach, (1) it"s  not your body and (2) it"s not like people with belly rings only wear crop tops. 

All we"re saying is that you can"t deny the impact belly button rings have had on summer fashion. Six years ago Vogue staff writer Liana Statenstein asked the bold question "Is the ’90s Belly Button Ring Making a Comeback?," and we think they"ve finally made it back to the mainstream. "Even women who had their navels pierced in the nineties are coming back to get them re-pierced," she writes, "this time sans the naughty barbell or dangly bijou... I attribute it to the resurgence of nineties fashion—mainly the crop top."

Author Darby Tanner Last Updated: April 05, 2021


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