While the world gradually reopened for a normal summer post-Coronavirus peak, clothing became a primary outlet for teens to openly express their styles and identities. As individuals adjusted to the challenges that came with venturing out into the world once again, new and improved wardrobes were finally in full bloom with trendy personalities and flair. Recurring and new fashion trends filled both online and shopping mall charts this summer. The days of wearing sweatpants, loungewear and pajamas all day are long behind, now that the summer of 2021 introduced lighter fabrics, pastel tones and carefree cutouts. This summer season, these trendy pieces defined the fashion forecast.

  1. Statement Sleeves: Shirts with a patterned, textured or ruffled sleeves 

This past summer, teenagers ditched off-the-shoulder shirts and tube tops and replaced them with a solid color shirt made with a unique cut sleeve called a “statement sleeve.” Sleeves with added accents originally became fashionable in pop culture during the ‘80s when large, extravagant dresses and excessive perms swept the country. Since then, statement sleeves have evolved into a combination of more modernized styles. Statement sleeves that had a comeback this summer included ruffled smocked sleeves, slightly puffed oversized sleeves and sheer sleeves with small hidden details or designs. Additionally, these accented tops also circulated in various dress styles. Mini and maxi day dresses made with lightweight fabric often now have puffed or ruffled sleeves along with floral and pastel prints. Statement sleeves made a big splash this summer and will remain a bold, yet delicate trend in our wardrobes in the seasons to come. 

Sophomore Gracie Koeppel wears a puffed long-sleeved shirt from Target. Photo by Amelia Haggins.
  1. Mad for Minis: Mini Skirts 

Although sweatpants were one of the most popular garments to wear around the house during quarantine, mini skirts finally made a style comeback this summer. With the hot summer weather, mini skirts served as a trendy and suitable alternative to jeans. Out of the three main skirt lengths, mini, midi and long, mini skirts were the style that had a significant resurgence this summer. The smaller hemlines of mini skirts accentuate the look of both long and short legs, while also showcasing fashionable footwear. Runway and commercial designers such as Miu Miu, Zara and Balmain adopted a “less is more” philosophy among mini skirts by incorporating sheer fabrics, low waisted silhouettes, ruffled and pleats or daring slits to their designs. The mini-skirt trend did not fall short of its expectations for the 2021 summer season and will continue to be a staple piece that can be worn on countless occasions.

  1. A Bold Type: Bold color strapped sandals and heels 

As the warmer months progressed this summer, brightly colored sandals replaced neutral styles in the shoe department. The trendy, bold color strappy sandals appeared on the feet of both teens and celebrities, such as Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa. These color soles struck a perfect balance between practical everyday footwear and over-the-top shoes with a slight heel. Unlike the neutral tones of sandals in the past, these brightly colored sandals can instantly reinvent a basic outfit. Saturated, bold hues with endless shades also added a healthy dose of summer style to people’s step for local staycations or exclusive getaways. Footwear was the center of attention during the summer of 2021, likely due to the bold and bright shoes’ ability to elevate any outfit from traditional to eye-catching. 

Sophomore Samantha Lee wears bold, spiked Steve Madden Travel Flats. Photo by Amelia Haggins.
  1. A Pop of Color: Colorful beaded chokers 

Whether jewelry acts as a finishing touch on an outfit or a statement piece to a look, it’s a versatile component and companion of fashion. Shiny gemstones, crystals, pearls and metals are the perfect tools for exhibiting more individuality through accessories, which is probably why jewelry was seen everywhere in June and July. The summer jewelry trends satisfied the demand for traveling and exploring again by serving as a reminder of the carefree times of past summers. Colorful beaded chokers paired with pearl accents or lettered phrases took over everyday delicate and expensive jewelry. Additionally, the playful rainbow options withstood day-to-day summer activities as well, such as swimming on the beach and applying constant sunscreen. Although beaded chokers are less valuable than fine silvers and metals, the necklaces were easy to pair with any summer outfit, and had the versatility to be worn for the many events that came with venturing out once again.

After a year of isolation, the clothing trends from this summer gave a glimmer of hope for what may be in store for the remaining year. The bold colors, altered hemlines and statement pieces that topped the list of this summer’s trends reiterate a theme of finding excitement in picking out outfits and getting dressed up once again. This newly found enthusiasm in fashion trends will hopefully carry on into everyday life and activities as the country ventures out once again post-pandemic.

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Amelia Haggins is a Staff Writer for the Andalusian. Outside of writing for the publication, she is a member of the Maclay volleyball team, track and field team and multiple clubs. She enjoys listening to her countless Spotify playlists, hanging out with friends and family and traveling when she is not having to meet deadlines for the publication. In her free time, you can find her online shopping for shoes, clothes and miscellaneous items that Tik Tok recommends.

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