Summer is an interesting season for fashion; at a time when we want to wear as little clothing as possible, we have to push ourselves harder than ever to get dressed. Creativity and innovation are absolutely paramount to keep from hitting outfit fatigue and wearing the same cutoff shorts every day from now until September, office days included.
Fortunately, we don't have to do all of the work ourselves. There are trends to guide us and thousands of social media #OOTD posts to inspire us. Unfortunately, those trends and outfits aren't always so easy to pull off IRL, especially when you're heading to class or the office instead of the beach.
Here, we've rounded up 21 of the most promising and creative trends of Summer 2018 so far; from the spandex short to the bow-covered sandals. We added styling tips and outfit ideas to help plan your future outfits, hopefully helping to make getting dressed in this level of humidity a little bit easier. The goal was to figure out the good in each of these trends and use it to our advantage, creating outfit plans that are wearable and fun! Click ahead for some serious summer outfit Inspo!
21 Bike Shorts
Maybe the least expected and biggest trend of the summer is the bike short. Taking athleisure to new heights, the dawn of the bike short was fast moving and quick to take hold. Whether you wear them for a night on the town, à la Bella Hadid’s silver pair coupled with a crop top, or underneath a blazer in a business-casual look, the style is uniquely 2018.
Undeniably the short of the summer, bike shorts are unapologetically spandex, which, coupled with their length makes them pretty flattering.
They pretty much look cool peeking out of anything, but we say, the less expected the pairing the better!
20 Wearing Your Swimsuit As A Shirt
The only outfit hotter right now than a striking one-piece swimsuit on the beach is that same one-piece layered and stacked for everyday non-beach wear. It makes sense! Cute swimsuits can be pretty pricey, and you want to get as much use out of them as possible. However, the trend can be a tough one to crack; you don’t want to look like you think you’re on the beach when you’re heading to work. The best way to make this look work is to stick with a like colorway and to only do one or two patterns and accents at a time. The key is that the look has to be based around the swimsuit, and not the other way around!
19 Leopard Print Without Looking Like A Cougar
This is that skirt, the one that everyone big on Instagram owns all at once for some reason that keeps selling out. And of all things, it's leopard print. A pattern once associated with wealthy older women in red lipstick (which, tbh is still pretty chic), leopard print seems almost edgy again.
The tan and black coloration is very in Vogue currently, as are simple abstract prints.
To wear leopard, either embrace the cougar stereotype and buy some bust-hugging vintage Dolce & Gabbana, or go modern in a loosely draped luxurious silk. This skirt also fits the current preferred mid-length trend, as well as the required high waist. We probably wouldn't mix prints in this one, but Leandra is all about taking risks!
18 A Summer Midi
By now, you've probably mastered wearing the mini and the maxi, but what about the Midi? Also known as "tea length" or "shin length," it's a look we wouldn't have touched in high school with a ten-foot pole. The length is actually pretty flattering; usually high-waisted and displaying the slimmest part of the leg, the shin-grazing hemline is elongating to the leg and makes the wearer appear taller. Plus, the length is breezy for hot days and easy to walk in without tripping, with an elevated elegance from the classic summer mini. To wear it: good with flat or heeled shoes, the key here is to not cut up the line of the ankle. On top, a breezy blouse can dress things up, or a slinky tank top can make it more evening apropros.
17 Pair Fanny Packs And Tiny Glasses
Two massive trends of 2018 are tiny sunglasses and fanny packs; both comeback-kid accessories from the 90s and 80s, respectively. Small frames may not do much to protect your skin from UV or your eyes from the sun, but they definitely look really cool. Available in a ton of retro-cool styles, they were ushered into the mainstream by the likes of the Hadids and Kardashians, notably after Kanye emailed out a memo declaring large glasses over with. Clout glasses with thick white frames, super slim cat-eyes with extra pointy tips, and see through-framed angular shades with monochrome lenses are all over, and very cool.
Fortunately, we live in the age of Amazon, and you don't have to invest a ton to get a great pair that will last at least through the next two seasons, while this trend does.
Also: fanny packs. Or belt bags, the fanny pack's slightly more polished cousin, which is actually what is pictured here. The half belt-half pouch all-vintage tourist accessory is cool once more; probably because they just had finished phasing out of the tourist mainstream. The fanny pack is actually a multifaceted fashion accessory: wear it to add definition and shape to an outfit or break up a monochrome look, and to solve the Women's Pocket Crisis(TM) because even though it's 2018 women's clothing still doesn't have pockets deep enough to hold iPhones. Basically, wear it over normal clothes, not your uncle's vacation-survivalist outfit, and you're good to go.
16 A Full-On Print Party
Polka dots? Sure, anyone can wear polka dots. But it takes a special je ne sais quoi to wear a full body dotty look. Or any print, for that matter! So, if you're ready to try the head-to-toe print trend, take a couple of cues from the chic ladies here, featured by Harper's Baazar. Firstly, black and white are usually the easiest to pull off, but if you do want color, keeping it to one or two (tops) helps things look purposeful and refined. This includes accessories! A serious dad sneaker or a pair of feathered kitten heels takes things even wilder, but if you're not quite so bold, a simple black Birkenstock would go great here too!
15 Un-ironic Flames
Similarly to the fanny pack, the un-ironic Thrasher-esque flame pattern is a so-bad-its-good type of look. Throw it on a leather skirt, jean jacket, almond-shaped fingernail or beauty vlogger's eyelid and it actually looks... cool? And not like you're just dressing as a biker for Halloween? In this episode of Everything Old Becomes New Again, the flame print feels fresh and youthful.
Unless you're a teenager, you probably remember when anything with a flame on it was pretty low-brow, which makes this trend feel a little risky.
We love it on this skirt with the platform pink glitter lace-up boots, which show you're not taking it too seriously. Another great idea is the print on a denim jacket, which we would wear with a succulent print button down underneath because we're millennials. Basically, don't go overboard with additional biker regalia and you'll be okay!
14 Taming The Shirtdress
A shirtdress might be hailed as a notoriously easy-to-wear item, but once you leave the beach and hit the streets, the no-pants style starts to feel a little too funky. The way to keep this style in the running for your summer wardrobe is to swap out your oversized, shapeless button down for a slightly more tailored approach. If you're buying a new one, look for one with a defined waist, like this woman's, and bonus points for long sleeves, which always make a look feel more pulled-together and polished. If you already have a classic shirtdress that you want to style for city wear, try belting it; the shape definition will help. But, if the length simply isn't there, don't push it!
13 White Pants Anywhere But The Beach
A summer classic, white pants are the beach's best friend and the worst enemy of just about anywhere else. Subway seat stickiness, pizza lunches, and people spraying down their sidewalk garden will be out to get you, but we promise, you can make this look work anywhere. Firstly, don't make the rest of the outfit too casual.
A buttoned front or a collared top will help, as will a statement bag.
If you're in the city, avoid adding any other accessories that too obviously say "I'd rather be at the beach." Secondly; flat shoes help you to not sit anywhere public, and allow you to better ditch those sidewalk waterers! Good luck!
12 Color Without Holding Back
Season of color, thy name is Summer. But honestly, color can sometimes be overwhelming! More clothes are sold in black than in any other color, and with good reason; it's easy to wear. But on a day when you'd rather not be attracting the maximum possible amount of sun, color is coming to the rescue. Believe it or not, full, all-over color is sometimes even easier to wear than just a pop, and it can be incredibly striking. We love this prairie-chic bright yellow number, and the tiny allover print helps to ground the color. Basically, once you've chosen your color, the most important thing that you can focus on is fit. A fit that flatters but isn't skintight is easy and breezy, and soon you'll forget all about your beloved Morticia Adams winter look!
11 Cowboy Boots Without Going Too Rodeo
The "it" boot of 2018 is the classic Americana cowboy boot. The pride-and-joy of the Cowboy, these down-and-dirty boots are actually quite used to being "gussied up," historically coming in a ton of expensive premium leathers, bold colors, intricate embroideries and stylish studs.
With a ton of options already available, the fashion world was quick to swoop in on this classic style of shoe.
Since their astronomic rise in popularity, Cowboy boots are now available at almost any clothing retailer, not just stores in the midwest. To wear this white-hot trend without looking like a barn hand, we recommend keeping your pair very clean, and never wearing them with bootcut jeans or anything bedazzled!
10 A Not-So Casual Open Back
One serious summer trend is the open back. Usually super casual and relaxed, we love this take on the trend that introduces structure and elegance. Although her dressed-down styling with jeans is totally cool, we like to think of this top as an opportunity to take an open-back to business casual. A top like this with crisp, clean lines and a high neck in the front would look amazing layered with a pair of high-waisted trousers underneath, to minimize the exposed skin while keeping the statement, and a waist-cinching belt over top. The one serious no-no would be any exposed bra parts; that would totally outweigh the ensemble's elegance. Voila! The first to take the open back into the office!
9 Some Serious Statement Sliders
Slide sandals are nearly as ubiquitous as flip-flops and have quite possibly been a part of your casual wardrobe for years. Today, slide sandals are going where none have dared go before: street style. So how do you wear this trend without looking like you're about to hit the shower at the dorms? Firstly, embrace the statement styles available!
Furry, jelly, gem-encrusted, bright neon; the options on the market are endless, as are the styling options.
Perfect with a schoolgirl skirt and a pullover like above, or a skater sundress, or even a denim jumpsuit, the hardest part about wearing this trend is committing to buying a pair!
8 A Hawaiian Shirt Without Looking Like A Dad
Hawaiian shirts are everywhere, and not just on vacation dads and ironic hipster dudes anymore. The boxy cut is a hallmark of the style, but a cropped version of the style as pictured above feels fresh and cool. The oversized sleeve could lean towards sloppy, but the tailored pants leave no room for question as to the pulled-together nature of this 'fit. Aside from keeping your bottoms professional, choosing the right shoe is key. Anything more dressy here would make the shirt feel forced, whereas the black wrapped sandal lets the shirt keep the spotlight without making it seem out of place. Finally, the ladylike accessories show that this look was thought out, and not just borrowed from Dad.
7 Taste The Rainbow? Easy. Wear The Rainbow...?
With Pride at a historical high of acceptance and support, rainbows have never enjoyed a moment in the sun as special and meaningful as this. If you want to show your support but aren't sure how to wear the trend, we got you!
We love the idea of doing a slightly more subdued colorway, like this look full of head-to-toe rainbow pastel goodness.
The metallic sheen keeps things fun, in case your rainbow outfit needed more fun, and the pink accessories work because they match the exact shade of the statement skirt. It's also a skirt that you can wear again and again, whether you're marching to support the LGBTQ community or just getting brunch.
6 Wearing That Shade Of Lilac
A close match to Pantone's Color of the Year of 2014 Radiant Orchid, this shade of purple has actually been the color of 2018. Used on everything from pantsuits to dresses to jumpsuits, the shade of lilac is at once striking and flattering, but honestly, a little intimidating. Somewhere between a pastel and a neon, the color is difficult to pin down and even harder to compliment with another hue. So, how to wear it? Stick with your classic summer whites. Just like this Pop Sugar street style star's look, a plain white clutch and a pair of white booties will complete your "Radiant" ensemble.
5 A Jumpsuit You Actually Want To Wear
Jumpsuits are the modern woman's secret fashion weapon.
The all-in-one look is easy to throw on any day, and could even become a uniform if you were devoted enough.
Plus, the style is flattering, as the long hems elongate the body. However, if a jumpsuit doesn't fit right, it will simply never look good. So how do you choose the perfect one? There are a few tricks. Boilersuit styles, like the above, are usually loose-fitting and comfortable, which makes the fit easier, and the torso length usually works for everyone because of the dropped crotch. A set with a belt (or adding one yourself) is a great trick because the rest can be baggy but the defined waist keeps it looking finished. Also, look for a fabric with some stretch; pure cotton or denim is nice, but you want to have room to move!
4 A Daytime Slip Dress
A slip dress is a timeless piece, whether it's worn around the home as is traditional or styled up and worn out. A 90s mega-trend, the slip dress outfit has experienced a serious resurgence over the past several years. However, in the 90s, the slip-dress held major sex appeal and was an outfit designed to shock: today, the slip dress outfit has evolved into a look of luxurious comfort. Oversized numbers, like the one pictured, cut in high-end silks and satins in muted pastel colors are a wear-anywhere treasure. The key to wearing this trend is just that: find a style that isn't too fitted but also doesn't hang too loosely. Completing the effortless outfit is an easy denim jacket and a pair of slides. Perfect!
3 Straw Hat
The wide-brim straw hat with a flat top and ribbon tie is more or less every influencer’s favorite this summer, and we absolutely find ourselves coveting the look. However, if you’re not careful, it can get a little Pride and Prejudice looking pretty quickly.
You can buy similar styles on Etsy and support small-scale artisans.
Once you have the hat, pair it with any little white cotton or linen dresses or sets you may have, plus any rattan slides or woven straw bags. The key to this look is to keep it beachy rather than Little House on The Prairie. When dressed, drive immediately to your nearest coastal town and buy an ice cream cone. Instagram. Repeat.
2 Matching Sets That Stray From The Norm
While the number of cute and girly matching sets sold at Forever 21 and Zara is through the roof right now, a slower growing trend of less fitted, unisex sets is growing steadily. The cool prints and relaxed cuts make this style casual and fun, but we love the styling options that stem from a loose-fitting set. Pair them with chunky heels or flatform espadrilles, tie up the top and pile on jewelry to dress the setup, or wear it with tennis shoes and tuck in the shirt for a casual and cute day look. The cute black and white print on this set is great, but we also love the idea of a set in a bold color!
1 Pedal-Pusher Length Shorts
Second, only to bike shorts, pedal-pusher length shorts are a hot trend set to only gain traction. This pair worn by Leandra Medine are Celine, and the non-quilt like patchwork denim goes great with the modern peasant blouse and upgraded Birkenstock style slides she chose.
A length we haven't touched since middle school, the pedal-pusher is flattering and fresh, and Kim endorsed.
A high-waisted pair goes with any crop top in your arsenal and will define your waist while elongating your legs. We suggest buying one pair to start and dipping your toes in the water. You might love them!