Women's Summer Fashion
Despite the unusually cold spring experienced across the country, some new and classic trends in fashion will start to appear as the weather begins to warm up. February fashion weeks in the major fashion capitals--New York, London, Paris, and Milan--have dictated this year’s top spring and summer looks, and some of these trends are worth trying out with your own wardrobe. Whether hitting up your favorite in-store and online retailers or thrift stores, updating your hand-me-downs, or making your own clothes, you’ll want to update your closet and swap out those winter clothes for warm-weather ones, from shorts to sandals to sundresses.
A major spring and summer trend, seen on numerous top designers’ runways and on world-famous models, is pastels. Pastels tend to be a classic spring fashion because these soft, delicate colors resemble the flowers budding and blooming on every street corner. Light pinks, like champagne or baby pink, and purples, like lilac and thistle, seem to be the ideal pastels this season, popping up in the Emilia Wickstead, Tom Ford, Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors, and Céline fashion shows. Blue, green, and yellow pastels--seen on Hermès, Preen, and Peter Pilotto runways--are also refreshing; their summery “ice cream” hues are perfect for sun-kissed days to come. Pastel hues are worn in a variety of ways--cotton blazers, taffeta skirts, as well as accessories such as shoes, jewelry, and purses. They’re the perfect way to brighten and feminize your look as we move away from the dark, heavy clothes of winter. As Victoria Beckham says, “Delicacy can be strong,” and these eye-popping colors--soft yet powerful at the same time--will make anyone stand out.
If the sugary, flowery, baby shades of pastel are not edgy enough for your ideal summer look, try another new trend: sheer fabric, whose lightweight, semitransparent properties make it a perfect material for these blazing, bright months. Wearing a camisole or bandeau under a sheer shirt, or sheer leggings or a sheer long-sleeve under a skirt or dress, provides an edgy, offbeat look that shows a little more skin than other warm-weather looks. One sheer piece of clothing is a wardrobe must-have and will provide variation to your bright, summery looks. Sheer has been spotted on countless February runways; it seeme to be unanimous seasonal choice from top designers all over the world: Dior, Preen, Prabal Gurung, Simone Rocha, Anna Sui, and many more.
Another notable trend seen on the runways this season, but certainly not the last, is sequins and glitter, which speak to the fun, creative side of summer fashion. Seasonal sequins debuted on runways for Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Coach, and Balmain, some of the world’s most admired and distinguished designers. Because these metallic-looking sparkles can glam up almost any look, they’re a great way to stand out at outdoor events and summer music festivals such as Sloss Fest here in Birmingham. Although sequins and glitter are often considered too eccentric and over the top for everyday wear, adding one glittery piece can brighten up and bolden a bland look. Or you can just opt for a sequined accessory, such as a necklace, purse, or eyeshadow.
The hard work of all the aforementioned designers and countless more has produced powerful new fashions that will influence this summer’s most prominent looks. In addition to pastels, sheer fabric, and glitter, other unique spring and summer fashions to explore are rainbow pieces/outfits, floral prints, gingham, and ruffles. These designs have already been seen on models, movie stars, and other celebrities recently and will hopefully provide some inspiration for your sophisticated, fun, memorable summer style updates.
-- Cecilia Reisner and Caroline Baker '18