10 Key Items to Look On-Trend This Summer

With summer just around the corner, my mind is clearly already in warm-weather mode. I’ve updated my outdoor patio furniture, purchased a new linen bedspread, booked a tropical vacay, and bought a set of ice-pop molds. The only last thing to do is get my wardrobe into gear.

While I don’t need to go overboard with a whole new season closet, I do want to invest in a few essential pieces that will have me looking altogether on-trend and ready for the sultry days to come. So what’s hot in the sartorial department this summer? I looked to the S/S 21 collections along with what’s buzzing on Instagram to see what key items you need to look on-trend this summer. From micro mini skirts to strappy tops and cushy thong sandals, take a peek below to get inspired for a sunny and hopeful new season ahead.

1. Open-Back Dresses

key summer items to buy



Backless dresses are a must-have trend for summer—spotted all over Instagram and at countless designer collections from Victoria Beckham to Nanushka. They work for everything from beachwear to more formal occasions.

2. Cushy Thong Sandals



Cushy thong sandals (aka flatform flip flops) have been elevated to cool-girl status. Seen all over the runways and on our favorite fashion girls, the comfy trend is one we fully stand behind this summer. Plus, they go with everything in your wardrobe.

3. Micro Minis


Courtesy of Jacquemus

Hemlines are rising this summer with micro skirts and mini dresses reigning supreme. From 60s-style micro skirts and mini slip dresses, it's time bare those legs.



Tops with wrap-around ties and crisscrossing cords (or what we like to call floss tops) are having a major moment this warm-weather season. Pair them with high-waisted shorts or for full-on midriff flossing style with a matching wraparound skirt.

5. Laid-Back Long Necklaces


Courtesy of Chloe

While we may not be getting rid of our chunky chokers altogether, this summer is all about long necklaces. Many designers introduced statement pendants on longer chains (featuring everything from beads to colored stones) or for a more bohemian, laidback feel layer your necklaces as seen at Dior and Chloe.

6. Feel-Good Prints


Courtesy of Stine Goya

From rainbow stripes to checkerboard prints and bright florals—colorful and optimistic prints are a sure-fire way to boost your mood this summer.

7. Broderie Anglaise

It's all about romantic and delicate textured fabrics this summer such as lace, eyelet, and broderie Anglaise. Opt for a little white dress to pull off the trend.

8. Market Totes & Straw Bags


Courtesy of Staud

The best bag for summer 2021 is humble and handmade. Think net market bags, straw carryalls, and woven totes.


Coperni, Kristy Sparow/Getty Images

Lean into casual lounge shorts this season to pair with your cushy thong sandals and a breezy top. Perfect for the sweltering heat.

10. Bras On Show

Ok, so you may not step out the house in just a bra, but bras were literally everywhere in the spring/summer collections and the easiest way to pull off the trend is to layer it under a breezy button-down resort shirt, sheer top or let it show through under a dress.