The Summer 2021 Trends to Start Shopping

From minimalist basics to maximalist shine.

khaite ferragamo
(Image credit: khaite ferragamo)

Our sights are set on summer and for many, the sweet sound of freedom is ringing through the air. With that, our desire to get dressed up again is stronger than ever. As cold days roll away, airier fabrics and lighter hues will have recharged powers. Leaning into color and showing hints of skin will also feel fresh again. Striking a balance between everyday apropos and joyful, the summer trends for 2021—from pastels to mini skirts to strap details—are fun, but also wearable. Ahead, six summer trends to get lost in.


Primetime Pastels

A pale pastel palette is calming on the nerves and easy on the eyes. Wearing candy colors isn't just for babies (or millennials). Everyone can don a cool mint skirt or a tranquil lavender blazer to celebrate the solstice.

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Emilio Pucci Pre-Fall 2021

(Image credit: Archives)

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Salvatore Ferragamo Pre-Fall 2021

(Image credit: Archives)

Minimalist Maven

Perfect the art of the uniform by simplifying your summer wardrobe. Incorporating basics in subdued colors and no-fuss silhouettes isn't reinventing the wheel, but it is a foolproof approach to chic summer dressing.

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Khaite Pre-Fall 2021

(Image credit: Archives)

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Jil Sander Pre-Fall 2021

(Image credit: Archives)

Mad for Minis

This summer, minis are making a major comeback. An abbreviated hemline will lengthen the look of your legs and showcase your season's most fashionable footwear. In a variety of silhouettes, fabrics, and loads of floral prints, minis do not fall short.

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(Image credit: Archives)

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(Image credit: Archives)

Strap Happy

There's no way around it. This summer, skin is in. Vying for a dress with sophisticated strap work is the best way to bare flesh, without revealing too much at all. Intricate back detailing, slinky front straps, and tie-fastening drawstrings are all part of the dress code.

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Proenza Schouler Pre-Fall 2021 

(Image credit: Archives)

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Beautiful People Pre-Fall 2021

(Image credit: Archives)

Cream of the Crop Top

Championed by the pop stars of the early aughts, tiny tops are having a moment yet again. Warm summer temps offer the optimal time to sport one. Opt for a slight spaghetti strap version or a carefree, midriff baring bralette. They'll pair well with high-waisted shorts and skirts, as well as lightweight cardigans and blazers.

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No. 21 Pre-Fall 2021    

(Image credit: Archives)

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Etro Pre-Fall 2021

(Image credit: Archives)

Rise and Shine

After a year spent social distancing from our own wardrobes, it's time to let our clothes shine—quite literally. From motorcycle jackets to maxi dresses, gilded garments are making the case for every day/all day wear.

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Dior Pre-Fall 2021

(Image credit: Archives)

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Alberta Ferretti Pre-Fall 2021

(Image credit: Archives)
Sara Holzman
Sara Holzman

Sara Holzman is the Fashion Editor at Marie Claire covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to.