These 6 Summer Trends Are About to Hit the Big Time

In my time as a fashion journalist, I've always been more interested in the little trends that are poised to go big. I'm talking about the ones that magically bubble up to prominence on the streets or that your friends start messaging about. I'll devour a Bottega Veneta runway collection as hungrily as the next fashion lover, but my passion lies in finding the looks, items and styling ideas that are organically growing through the season, day by day, IG post by IG post. Many of these microtrends do indeed have Instagram or TikTok as their fertile ground, which makes them easier to chart than ever—if you're looking closely.

Things in the world of microtrends do move fast, but that doesn't mean that pieces on the rise fall out of favour quickly once they've peaked. What happens is they reach a tipping point—take Birkenstocks or tie-dye as a good example—and just become a standard part of the fashion outlook. Neither on- nor off-trend, former microtrends may not be as edgy as they were at their inception, but they still have plenty of mileage to offer.

With the fashion mood for summer 2021 being exuberant and joyful, it's no great surprise that the microtrends I'm noticing are all pretty upbeat or loud. Think basics that come in bold colours or retro throwbacks and outrageous detailing that provide uniqueness. Now is the time to try something different, so keep scrolling for the six microtrends I think are about to hit the big time.

1. BRIGHT BUTTON-DOWNS

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(Image credit: @carmelharrison_)

When we posted this shot of Carmel wearing Bottega's green button-down to our IG feed, the speed of likes was pretty wild. A bright shirt does lend itself to denim, so take note of the combination here.

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(Image credit: @laurennicolefk)

Lauren-Nicole always finds the best pieces on the high street, and this H&M shirt and matching trousers make for the kind of outfit that has plenty of wow without requiring a great deal of effort.

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(Image credit: @naaomiross)

We're 100% convinced that Naaomi's Zara shirt isn't going to hang around for long.

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(Image credit: @trinekjaer_)

If punchy brights aren't your thing, try a vibrant pastel shade instead, like Trine did.

Shop the microtrend:

2. PARTY-BAG JEWELLERY

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(Image credit: @thatcurlytop)

Jazmine is one of quite a few girls we've seen favouring fun, naïve jewellery instead of serious, timeless pieces.

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(Image credit: @couturekulten)

All of these kooky plastic, resin and rubber pieces look even more fun set against this season's rainbow manicure trend.

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(Image credit: @jessiccaroselambregts)

Just think: What would you have worn in the '90s? That's a solid starting point for this jewellery trend.

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(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

I like Nnenna's combination of delicate chains with quirky, colourful rings and cuffs.

Shop the microtrend:

3. CROCHET

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(Image credit: @joy_monty)

If you're a fan of retro style, then crochet is the one. Our shopping editor Joy Montgomery has been an early adopter of crochet for summer 2021.

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(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Lucy's Sea tank has been so popular in the influencer set that we can't find it in stock anywhere.

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(Image credit: @sara_waiste)

A crochet top with cherries on top! I mean, it doesn't get more "I can't wait to go out" than that.

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(Image credit: @nicole_huisman)

If you really want to invest in this trend, Etsy is a treasure trove of crochet, both vintage and new handmade pieces.

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4. CRINKLE CUTS

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(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Jessica snapped up this crinkly co-ord from & Other Stories, and I can see why. It looks so premium.

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(Image credit: @nicoleocran)

There are many plain crinkly co-ords out there, but if you fancy something printed, make like Nicole and get thee to Monki.

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(Image credit: @hannahlewisstylist)

Hannah's white set from 4th & Reckless has been an Instagram hit lately.

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(Image credit: @abimarvel)

The cornflower blue of this Mango set is just so rich and deep—a head-turner that Abi kindly brought to our attention.

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5. TRIANGLE HEADSCARVES

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(Image credit: @mariejedig)

Whether you're picnicking or cooking in the kitchen, a little headscarf is actually quite useful.

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(Image credit: @lenafarl)

We've noticed the trend has been particularly popular in France and Scandinavia. England, you're next.

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(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

If you're after that romantic Riviera vibe, the headscarf will do it.

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(Image credit: @heartzeena)

Matching your headscarf to your dress? It's a thing now.

Shop the microtrend:

6. WAIST TIES

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(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

The sassier the top, the baggier the jeans.

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(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

The majority of these tie-up pieces come in black or white, which makes them all the more sophisticated.

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(Image credit: @isabellecoheen)

The G-string detail started on the runways and has snowballed on social media.

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(Image credit: @bellathomas)

Many tie-up tops are designed to be paired with matching tie-up skirts or trousers.

Shop the microtrend:

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the editor in chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was hired to launch a UK sister site and social channels, localise content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 15 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times and MatchesFashion.com, among many others.

Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy toddler and highly Instagrammable cat.