Fashion trends come and go, but they're not as fleeting as they may seem. What we're pining for often speaks to something bigger—a mirror that reflects how we're moving about the world. In short, fashion trends are a timestamp in history. Marie Claire Style Editor Emma Childs wrote about how fashion's quiet luxury pieces reign in times of uncertainty, while in times of prosperity, a wardrobe chock-full of brightness and opulence appeals. The same is true for the spirit of the seasons. While cold weather makes us long for pieces that exude warmth and comfort, summer brings with it a craving for lighter, breezier fabrics, fun prints, and vibrant hues. "Summer clothing also skews more casual," notes Diego Abba, CEO of Italist. So, what will this summer's trends say about the world five years from now? We'll have to wait and see. For now, here are the biggest fashion trends for summer 2023 that you can wear well into the fall season.
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Marrying the nonchalance of streetwear and athleisure trends, that perfectly baggy T-shirt or blazer will in one of summer 2023's trending colors offer an effortless je nais se quoi that requires little to no fuss— forever our summer attitude. “Oversized pieces naturally lean more casual and offer a variety of ways to style them,” says Abba. Courtney Grant, VP of Buying at Elyse Walker, recommends styling forgiving tees with a slightly baggy blazer or alongside a smaller vest that will help play up layers and proportions.
Remember the leopard midi skirt that took the scene by storm in the summer of 2019? You might want to fish it out of your closet. Akin to neutrals, animal prints have versatility and a timeless appeal but bring a punch that can make a powerful fashion statement—empowering wearers to express their style. Grant suggests investing in an animal-printed silk set for summer, while Abba suggests pairing a stand-out animal print piece with subtle pieces that won’t compete for the spotlight.
Once reserved for the 1930s starlets of the red carpet enamored with metallic flecked fabric, modern metallics, from silvers to gold, are no longer just a prominent trend on red carpets—they’re a mainstay for everyday wear. “Most people assume metallic is synonymous with ‘80s party wear,” says Tiffany Hsu, Fashion Buying Director at Mytheresa. “But with fine knits and dresses, you can easily incorporate them into your summer wardrobe. To conquer the trend for summer, you can opt for a subtle hint of metallic thread or go all out with coated golds and silvers à la the statement makers on the runways at Altuzarra and Gabriela Hearst.
Warm Weather Leather
While leather is often associated with the colder months, lighter-weight, breathable leather options are great for your airy summer wardrobe. “When it comes to summer leather, less is more,” advises Hsu. Lighter than their heavyweight winter counterparts, Abba foresees a lot of leather button-downs, skirts, and separates for the upcoming warmer months. Grant suggests styling seasonal staples, like shorts in a leather fabrication with flowing tops or an oversized printed button-down or cotton blouse.
Rise to the Occasion
Making a significant comeback in recent years, high-rise pants harness a slightly retro flare that plays up proportions and offers more polish than their low-rise counterparts. For inspiration, Abba suggests looking to the runways of Chloé, the originator of the cool-girl aesthetic. Hsu recommends investing in summer’s high-waist, loosely fitted pant offerings and pairing them with a slightly shrunken top or vest for a contemporary take.