The Best Summer Dress Trends To Wear Now

Post-vaccination vacay. Outdoor festival. Day trip to a winery. Summer is almost here, and we might actually have reason to put on our pretty frocks this year. So, what should we wear? Today, I’m rounding up 3 top summer dress trends for 2021.

Saturated Shades

Saturated colors are coming in hot this year, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Bold hues look especially dashing on dresses. So, skip the black and neutral dresses, and reach for your brightest frock. Need some inspiration? I found this poplin mid dress at Zara for under $50.

summer dress trends

What I’m Wearing:

Zara dress | Telfar bag | Birkenstock sandals | Fendi sunglasses (shop options for less here)

Sizing: I’m wearing a medium, but a small or even extra small would be a better fit. The top of this dress is very stretchy and the bottom is voluminous.

Color aside, I also love this dress because it offers some cool styling possibilities. The straps could be worn up or draped on the shoulders for a subtly sexy vibe. I’m sure I could get away with tucking them for a strapless look as well. And, of course, with bold color numbers like this one, colorblocking with contrasting colors always offers fresh styling options.

Pastel Palettes

If bolder hues are a bit much for you, but you want to embrace color this summer, this next trend has your name all over it. Pastels hues pack their own power. Pale shades of blue are especially popular this year. So, this tiered dress from Zara was a must for me. It also has puff sleeves. Nuff said, right?

summer dress trends

What I’m Wearing:

Zara dress | Zara denim jacket (similar) | Teva sandals (also here) | Jacquemus bag

Fendi sunglasses (shop options for less here) | MaskC face mask

summer dress trends

Sizing: I’m wearing a medium in this dress. While it’s oversized, the buttons across the chest and the cuffs on the sleeves fit snug, so I’m glad I took the Zara size recommendation and sized up to a medium.

Fresh Florals

Thought you were over florals for summer? Wait a minute. You must see the amazing collection of pieces featuring this fresh floral print at H&M. There’s something so irresistible about the hand-painted, wild flowers print. I opted for the bandeau dress because showing shoulders is kinda my thing. The print is available on several pieces at H&M though.

summer dress trends

What I’m Wearing:

H&M dress ($19.99) | Birkenstock sandals | Jacquemus bag

summer dress trends

Sizing: This dress runs large, so size down. I sized down to an extra small.

Shop summer dress trends:

Cut It Out: The Coolest 2020 Swim Trend

One-piece swimsuits have come to prove that they can be just as sexy and more interesting that bikinis this year. Enter, the cut-out swimsuit! Since it’s never too early to get ready for swim season, I’m checking in with several affordable options in the coolest swim trend of 2020. Psst…my suit is from Target. I kid you not.

cut out swim trend

What I’m wearing:

Cut-out swimsuit | Kate Design cover-up | Dale Kelley hat | Sunglasses

Earrings | Anklet | Lip: Mac “Ruby Woo”

It’s totally still winter in St. Louis, but I’m working with the St. Louis Boat & Sportshow this weekend. I had a ton of fun of exploring the largest yacht at the convention. Of course, I had to style the moment.

Dale Kelley Hat

My black one-piece is $39.99 at Target. For size reference, I’m wearing a small. I was immediately drawn to this beauty because of its striking silhouette with front and back cutouts. It also offers a great deal of coverage for a swimsuit with so many openings. The bottom is high-waisted, and the leg cut can be adjusted to your personal taste.

cut out swim trend

My cover-up is actually a robe by Kate Design St. Kitts. I’ve always found it too adorable to just wear at home. And, my magnificent hat (did you peep the details on the top?) is by Dale Kelley of Dale Original Art & Style in St. Kitts.

cut out swim trend

Et voila! I had the perfect yacht day style.

Going on vacay? Check out some fly vacation style options here.

Location: St. Louis Boat & Sportshow

Shop the cut-out swim trend:

Make Your Exits Fabulous In These Backless Styles

Tis the season to show a little skin. Mix things up by showing some unexpected skin–your fabulous back–in the backless styles featured in today’s post. These styles make your exits as fabulous as your entrances.

backless styles

What I’m wearing:

Dress from Kindred (see cool alternatives in widget at end of post)

 Gucci belt | Mules (similar, similar, similar)

backless styles

My dress is an affordable find from Kinded, a local collective boutique in St. Louis. I loved the print at first sight, but it was the backless feature that piqued my interest. Don’t you just love styles that are subtly sexy too?

backless styles

This lightweight number is a perfect option for a beach vacation. It can double as a dress and a swimsuit cover. To make it city-ready, though, I cinched the waist with my Gucci belt. I’ve been so blown away by how versatile this belt has been. See for yourself here, here, here, and here.

By the way, did you shop the Zara summer sale? I’ve received a few questions about these mules on Instagram. I bought them (see a few pairs left here) during that Zara sale. If you’re shopping for something similar, check out this pair, which has the same color and an equally fun, low heel.

Location: AO&Co, St. Louis

Shop fabulous backless styles:

Great Lengths: How To Wear Maxi Styles

Maxi dresses and skirts have become style staples in every season. That should comes as no surprise because they can take your style to great lengths. While longer styles run the risk of approaching dowdy, ankle-length skirts and dresses are everything but dowdy when styled fabulously. So, I’m sharing my go-to styling technique in today’s post.

Maxi Skirt

What I’m Wearing:

Print skirt | Top | Shoes | Sunglasses

Maxi Skirt

This Billabong skirt caught my attention because of the standout print. It has striking layers of vibrant parallelograms all over. Its additional details bring cool styling opportunities too. The button-up front, for example? You can use them to create a super sexy slit or just a subtle slit in the front. I’m totally here for the high slit.

Sizing on this skirt? I purchased a medium (a size up for me) at the recommendation of the brand’s size guide. But, since this skirt has an elasticized waist (it stretches in the back), I could’ve worn a small. So, I recommend getting your usual size in a skirt.

My approach to styling maxi lengths is to strive for balance. Since my skirt is loose and flowy, I opted for a fitted, cropped tank. This skirt wold also look amazing with a halter top, a tube top, or a fitted tee. If the skirt was fitted, however, I would choose an oversized top. But of course, all rules can be broken.

Maxi Skirt

Want more inspiration for styling ankle-length styles, see here and here.

Shop Maxi Length Styles:

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Tropical Vacation Styles

She’s back! You all really enjoy style posts with my mom. And, we love creating them. So, on my recent trip home to St. Kitts, we got together and as always, a little style magic ensued. In today’s post, we’re styling Lilly Pulitzer’s Blue Haven Little Flamenco print in our personal favorite selections. The print holds down the best tropical vacation styles. Be sure to browse the widget at the end of this post to see the many styles available in the print.

Lilly Pulitzer tropical vacation styles

What we’re wearing:

Mom: Lilly Pulitzer Taryn Maxi c/o | Prada sunglasses | Sandals (similar) | Kendra Scott earrings

Me: Lilly Pulitzer 5″ Buttercup Stretch Short c/o | V-neck tee (similar) | Fendi sunglasses | Sandals (similar, similar)

tropical vacation styles

My mom and I are fond of similar silhouettes. So, I wasn’t surprised when she chose the Taryn Maxi dress. It has a flattering fit-and-flare silhouette with a deep v-neckline. It’s a comfy knit dress made super elegant by its banded neckline and waist. For reference, she is wearing the dress in a size 8.

tropical vacation styles

This print really pops, so you can keep accessories minimal. My mom wore turquoise Kendra Scott drop earrings to complement the pink, blue and white in the print. She’s also wearing flat white sandals.

tropical vacation styles

For me? I went with scalloped shorts. This particular pair of shorts is a Lilly classic (available in a few other prints). I’m wearing a size 4, and they fit perfectly because of the stretch poplin fabric. They’re a must-have for me because they’re such an essential for vacay style. They can be dressed up with a shirt/blouse, worn casually with a tee, and even be worn as a swimsuit cover-up.

tropical vacation styles

I’m wearing a my shorts with another season must-have–platform sandals. My exact pair is sold out, but this other style is quite popular.

What’s your favorite style in this print? Browse all of them in the widget at the end of this post. See more looks in the Like Mother, Like Daughter series.

Location: Port Zante, St. Kitts

Shop tropical vacation styles in this print: