From retro prints and bold colors to chic-kitsch jewelry, this season’s hottest fashion trends are playful throwbacks to the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s – with a slightly modern twist.
Wistful, feminine pieces and tropical, beach-worthy items are all making a huge comeback. Think light, billowy fabrics, and accessories that could have come straight out of a ‘90s sitcom. But above all, this summer’s fashion is all about having fun and staying cool.
Let’s look at the 12 hottest trends that are defining this season.
1. Graphic Tees and Bold Prints
Graphic t-shirts are a throwback to a Y2K trend, and they are making a massive resurgence this summer. Whether you’re looking for cute and quirky or (literally) a statement piece – you can really wear your heart on boutique graphic tees.
Bold prints are also perfectly on-trend this summer – think large ‘80s and ‘90s botanical prints, colorful gingham, tropical beach locations, and painterly swirls.
2. Puffy Sleeves
Puffy sleeves in billowy cotton poplin and linen add a romantic, old-school charm this summer. You can choose a dress, crop top, or blouse in breathable fabric. This trend began in 2018, and puffy sleeves are still a huge fashion trend right now – the puffier, the better.
3. Bright Colors
Retro ‘90s and ‘80s colors are making a reappearance – think lively, vibrant colors like tangerine orange, neon purple, and lime green. You can combine punchy pastels or make a splash with one highly saturated statement piece. Boring beige is out, joyfully bright is in.
4. Feminine Necklines and Corsets
Romance and feminine whimsy are also this summer’s vibe – bustier necklines and corseted waists in retro floral prints take center stage.
You can take styling cues from celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa by combining one of these feminine designs with some slouchy jeans or low-slung shorts. Add a pair of chunky sandals or sneakers for extra chill.
5. Bare Skin
The “flossing” trend is set to be a big hit this year, and it’s the perfect opportunity to discreetly bare some skin. Strategically-placed cutouts, open-backed dresses, and halters held together with ties can be dressed up or toned down depending on the mood – and they can give your skin some breathing room on sweltering days.
Ribbing has also made a huge comeback this year, but you might be squirming just thinking about wearing knitwear in the summer heat. Don’t worry though, this season’s ribbing is all about heat-proof silhouettes and lightweight weaves – think open-back short dresses, swingy sets, and cutouts to beat the heat.
7. Slide-On Sandals
Sandals that slide on are one of this season’s hottest trends – and they’re a great way to finish a casual, beach-ready look.
Iconic slide sandals like Steve Madden’s platforms are a good choice when you’re looking to add a bit of height, but be sure to add a few flat slide sandals to your collection for more relaxed moments.
8. Spaghetti Straps
Oh-so-cute crop tops, tank tops, and dresses with spaghetti-thin straps are right on trend this summer. Although leaving your shoulders almost bare while you were at school would have earned you a trip to the principal’s office, spaghetti straps are the best way to keep cool in the summer heat.
9. Y2K Jewelry
Y2K and ‘90s jewelry is making a big comeback this year. With bright, bold acrylics, big beads, chunky polymer clay, and daisies coming to the fore, you can choose to add a ton of personality to your outfit or opt for a single accent piece.
10. ‘90s Sunglasses
‘90s-inspired sunglasses are a hot accessory to this summer’s wardrobe. From slim rectangular and oval shapes to round mini frames, sheer lenses and fun colors add an extra nostalgic vibe to this season’s fashionable sunglasses.
11. Camp Shirts
Short-sleeved, button-down Hawaiian shirts with bold, colorful prints are all the rage this summer, and they give off a hang-ten, super-chilled vibe. Wear these shirts open over a swimsuit or half-tucked into loose pants or shorts. Add a pair of sandals to complete this beach-ready look.
12. Floppy Hats
Bucket hats dominated last summer, and they are still going strong. This season, however, the brims are growing wider, floppier, and more colorful.
You can choose from canvas, straw, fuzzy faux fur, or denim (á la the‘90s), and they come in every color – you can even opt for botanical prints. Pair with a swimsuit and some sandals to get this cool, poolside look.
Smocking is yet another feminine trend that’s made a comeback. You can find every summer essential – including tops, skirts, dresses, and even swimsuits – made from this lightweight, stretchy material. Add a wide-brimmed hat and some thong sandals to complete this somewhat old-world look.