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Trend Watch: Best Summer Outfit Trends 2021

Trend Watch: Best Summer Outfit Trends 2021

I have never felt more ready than right now to finally be able to debut all the great finds that I have collected during quarantine in preparation for this very moment! Alas, I will reserve the infamous TikTok leggings and other embarrassing fashion purchases I made for another time. For now, it’s about putting your best foot forward as you begin to reemerge into the social world again. Yes, you’ll be visiting friends, attending summer BBQ get-togethers, and resume attending dinner parties out again. This means you must dress the part. So let’s round up the best summer outfits and ideas for 2021 that will get you started thinking about it.  


Isn’t it true that wearing a dress just makes you feel a bit more elegant and beautiful? This summer, dresses are all across the board from mini to maxi, and come in all shapes and styles. Some of the most trending styles are styles with cutouts, bright colors like bubblegum pink, sheer maxis, tie-dye, mesh, off-the-shoulder, and halters to name a few. So the next time you want to play dress-up, pick a style that makes you feel gorgeous.  

Shorts sets 

This is another personal fave of mine. So, you heard it here first, I think this is going to be a major fashion “do” this summer. I just saw this on Instagram yesterday and quickly researched how, when, and where I could find one ASAP. Turns out it was designer, so I’ll be over here on Zulily finding the next best thing or similar set. In the meantime, shorts sets are super cute because they are a matching short and short-sleeve button-down combo. You can wear the top flowy and unbuttoned with a tank or crop top. Or, you can wear it buttoned and front tucked. Your choice. Shorts sets are also perfect as bathing suit cover-ups for your next vacay too! They pair so well over bikinis or one-pieces. 

Colorful button-downs 

As we have discussed, button-down shirts are a must always more now more than ever. While white will remain a safe and fashionable choice, so is an oversize button-down in a bright shade. We are seeing bold colors pop up everywhere for summer, so why not add a little color to your button-down? These work well as bathing suit cover-ups or with cut-off jean shorts too! 

Three-piece swimsuits 

Yes, this is now a thing. Just like matching sweatsuit sets became a major fashion must in 2020 and 2021, so is the matching three-piece bathing suit. This means a bikini and matching button-down which you can style worn open, buttoned up or front tied. It’s a super chic idea and one of the biggest trends this summer. So, whether you find a coordinating three-piece suit in a bold colorful print or the ever-popular lurex, it’s going to be a hit. It’s not just a swimsuit anymore, it’s a whole LEWK! 

Palazzo pants and crop top 

I am loving a cool high-waisted wide-leg palazzo pant and crop top set for summer. These sets also come in so many unique styles and prints so you can let your imagination run wild. Speaking of wild, during quarantine, I purchased a wide-leg flowy palazzo pant with a front tie and matching button-down top that I can’t wait to wear. Plus, the best part about a set is they are so versatile you can wear them as separates too! Bold retro-inspired prints from the ‘60s and ‘70s are also on-trend.  


Crochet is another trending item to add to your summer must-haves. This is such a fun retro trend that I myself couldn’t be more excited for. I recall a purple crochet bikini I once had as a young girl that I was fully obsessed with. Brands like Free People have some great crochet items that will bring that boho vibe to life. Look for bold crochet designs like floral printed crochet shorts, neutral striped crochet tanks, or even crochet bikini tops and bottoms. You’ve been warned, crochet is weaving its way onto the scene and is going to be hot this summer. 

Platform sandals 

Be prepared to see lots of platform sandals in your future as they are going to be everywhere this summer. From dad sandals to thong sandals, even Crocs, yes Crocs, this is a style that will bring back that Y2K fashion in full effect. Snag a pair in a classic black thong style or even a bright-colored platform that will literally lift you and your spirits up!  

Colorful accessories 

From the Instagram famous acrylic colorful rings to colored aviator lenses expect to see lots of colorful accessories to complete your look this summer. We are even seeing lots of colored handbags (baguettes and clutches) that fit the bill perfectly. Colorful accessories are a great way to add a little bit of life to any classic outfit too like a t-shirt and jean shorts. So be sure to add a few fun and colorful pieces to complete your summer wardrobe. 

So are you ready for summer yet? I don’t know if you can tell but I am! I hope you can find some fun summer inspo out of this complete list of summer 2021 trends!  

Happy shopping! 

About The Author

Bailey Stuvland

Bailey Stuvland is a California girl who loves talking about all things fashion. With more than ten years of styling experience for personal clients and with brands like Stitch Fix, she enjoys helping others find what they love to wear. Her mission is to help people not only look good on the outside, but feel good on the inside by having fun with outfits, accessories and beauty. You can find her blog at .

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