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After a year of being cooped up at home, we’ve never been so ready to show off our outfits. Taking cues from our favorite stars, there is a slew of fun summer 2021 fashion trends to incorporate into your closet to freshen up your threads.
From frills and ruffles to menswear-inspired tailoring to slides and pastels, these trends will rule this summer. Among the stars who have worn ruffles recently are Lizzo (at the Grammy Awards in Balmain); Bridgerton’s Kathryn Drysdale (in a gown by Jenny Packham for the SAG Awards) and Bella Hadid (who posted a photo to her IG wearing a ruffled Junya Watanabe top), while Rihanna was recently spotted out in Los Angeles wearing the pastel trend, pairing a pale blue Maisie Wilen outfit with a vintage light-pink-and-blue Chanel jacket.
To help you sport these styles, we’ve rounded up the top picks for the best summer 2021 fashion trends. Make room in your closet now …
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Trend to Try: Ruffles and Smocking
1. Loveshackfancy Prezia Floral Cotton Top
It’s all about the details: Frills and ruffles will make even the most basic piece stand out, like this ruffled and smocked top by Loveshackfancy (the brand has been spotted on stars including Heidi Klum and Yara Shahidi). Smocking on the bodice and ruffled straps transform the staple into a showstopper. The sunny yellow floral print is another great summer 2021 fashion trend. It can easily be dressed up or down, going from picnic in the park with denim shorts to cocktail hour with a sleek skirt.
2. Francesca’s Petra Floral Off-Shoulder Maxi Dress
Whether you pair it with boots or sandals, this breezy floral maxi dress hits all of the summer 2021 trends without trying too hard. This off-the-shoulder piece has smocking on the bust and a high-low silhouette that can be dressed up or down.
3. Free People One Maia Smocked Bandeau
Whether you wear it solo or underneath an open blouse, this Free People smocked bandeau adds a vintage-inspired touch to summer looks. Available in a variety of floral-print colors, this sweetheart neckline piece has removable straps and a ruched cinch-tie front. (Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are a few stars who are often spotted in the bohemian label.)
4. BB Dakota Under The Sun Dress
If subtlety is more your style, this BB Dakota dress is the perfect way to wear the summer 2021 ruffles fashion trend. Just a touch of ruffles on the straps is all you need to work the look. Since the maxi dress is tiered, you get two trends in one. Breezy yet beautiful, this comfy but elegant dress will be in heavy rotation this summer.
Trend to Try: Menswear-Inspired Tailoring
5. Rails Alyssa Top
After many days spent in sweatsuits, tailored essentials are making a welcome return, with a twinge of menswear inspiration. This breezy button-down shirt by Rails is a great take on the classic piece. The stripes give it a fun borrowed-from-the-boys touch.
6. Sugar Lips Women’s Double Button Blazer
Essentially the double-breasted blazer of your dreams, this versatile jacket can easily go from work to weekend. Its slightly oversized fit and back slit detail make for a flattering cut. It comes in black, navy and a pretty lavender that is spot on for spring and summer.
Trend to Try: Utilitarian Touches
7. The Kooples Shirt-Style Button-Down Dress
Military details always make for a stylish staple. The Kooples brings its French aesthetic to the tradition with this button-down dress with a twist. The quarter-length puffed sleeves add a dash of whimsy to an otherwise serious style, minus the flirty hemline.
8. The Drop Faux Leather Long Shirt Jacket
Who doesn’t love a good twofer? Doubling as a shirt or a jacket, this faux-leather piece by The Drop elevates the army basic. Between the classic cut and neutral hue, this piece is sure to go the distance.
Trend to Try: Pretty Pastels
9. H&M Conscious Linen-Blend Dress
This breezy wildflower-print dress from H&M’s Conscious collection makes the perfect eco-minded summer staple, thanks to the adjustable spaghetti straps and airy woven fabric made from a linen and organic cotton blend.
10. Astr the label Sleeveless Lace Fit & Flare Midi Dress
One of the biggest summer 2021 fashion trends is pastels — and it’s also one of the easiest to wear. There’s a pastel hue out there that works for everyone. This Astr the label lace dress comes in a slew of shades, making it tempting to buy a few. The perfect dress for summer weddings, all it needs is a pair of strappy heels and dainty jewelry for the night.
Trend to Try: Crisp Cotton Poplin
11. French Connection Besima Belted Cotton Poplin Dress
For those hot summer days when you want to feel cool but look put-together, this lightweight poplin dress by French Connection is the answer. Made from lightweight poplin, its short puffed sleeves, belted waist and front-button closure check off so many boxes when it comes to summer 2021 fashion trends.
12. Everlane The Pinafore Dress
For a bright pop of red, try this pinafore dress from Everlane, which is hosting a rare summer sale that’s bound to have plenty more options for restocking your hot weather closet. Made with lightweight cotton that has a bit of stretch, this tiered midi dress features a fitted top, square necklace and criss-cross straps so you can wear it as tight or loose as you want.
Trend to Try: Sleek Slides
13. AllSaints Karli Slide Sandal
It doesn’t get any more minimalist-chic than these sandals by AllSaints. The streamlined design makes them effortless to wear, and (bonus!) they’re part of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, which is a great time to stock up on all of your summer-to-fall staples.
14. Loeffler Randall Phoebe Slide Sandals
These are the type of shoes that will have you planning your outfits from the feet up. Slides are all the rage this season and this of-the-moment gingham pair adds another trendy element. They’ll pair perfectly with both your go-to jeans and breezy summer dresses.
15. Steve Madden Delay Sandals
Bold hardware gives this otherwise basic slide sandal an edge. The chunky chain turns it into a statement shoe that commands attention. Super comfy, you’ll live in these all summer. They’re available in other colors.
This story was originally published April 9.
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