9 Dress Trends Shopping Experts Are Backing This Summer

Summer Dress Trends 2021



I am a procrastinator in most areas of my life, but when it comes to seasonal shopping, there's nothing I love more than getting a head start. Since the fashion industry is always bouncing from one trend to another, deciding on which trends to actually buy into can be quite daunting, which is why I prefer to reach out to some of my favorite shopping experts for their hot takes before I add anything to my cart. Considering the women featured ahead are constantly thinking about not only the most current sartorial shifts in the industry but also the mindsets and preferences of their consumers, I feel beyond confident with their shopping advice, no matter the topic. 

Today you're in for a real treat, as the fashion directors, senior fashion editors, and more speak on the summer dress trends they are backing this year. From whimsical frocks fit for a much-deserved societal reemergence to classic, breezy white dresses, all nine of the summer dress trends ahead are going to put a smile on your face, so get ready for carts full of the prettiest dresses you could ever hope for. 

Joyful Dresses

"Looking forward, as we hope to embrace an optimistic point of view for the summer, we have all been in need of dresses that bring joy to our closets. Dresses in bold, bright colors in a multitude of fabrics and textures is definitely the mood for S/S 21. Following the launch of our S/S 21 global brand campaign, customers were quick to search for and purchase items in sumptuous, bright fabrics, such as Erdem's floral-print cotton minidress and joyful and embellished pieces from the likes of The Attico." Libby Page, Senior Market Editor, Net-a-Porter

The Day Negligé

"Bringing a bit of risqué to day, lace-trimmed slips straight from the bedroom are once again working their way into the daytime wardrobe, demonstrating our collective determination to break away from the back-to-basics dressing brought on by the pandemic." Celenie Seidel, Senior Womenswear Editor, Farfetch 

Easy Silhouettes 

"This spring is all about easy no-brainer, breezy dresses. I am specifically loving the apron and trapeze silhouettes. These styles can be worn alone or layered with your favorite tee or tank underneath for an effortlessly chic look." Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director, Shopbop


"High hemlines are synonymous with summer, so it's no surprise this season's must-have style is the minidress. As the weather heats up, the minidress is perfect for any summer escape. For S/S 21, look to brands like Zimmermann, Andrew Gn, and 16Arlington." —Page

The Reemergence Dress 

"Making up for all the opportunities lost to lockdown, the reemergence dress is all the 'out out' we've missed out on in one garment. Lurex, Glomesh, thigh splits, paillettes, fringing—this trend suggests the spirit of the roaring twenties 2.0." —Seidel

Garden Party Prints

"We're all in need of some mood lifters, so bold fashion details are an obvious must this season! Popping prints—animated florals, prominent polka dots, or gingham—mixed with a few unexpected details and novel embellishments will definitely bring an optimistic outlook to our closets. I have been loving this print across both maxi and mini styles." —Maguire

White Dresses

"For S/S 21, white has taken back its place as fashion's default shade. White dresses in a number of styles took the collections by storm in different cuts and silhouettes. They are the perfect clean canvas—a summer staple for me. I love a white dress for day and night, making it effortlessly versatile." —Page 

Cutout Dresses

"We are seeing multiple trends when it comes to dresses this summer, which I love, as there is really something for everybody: blazer dresses, minidresses, knit dresses, and dresses with cutouts." —Tiffany Hsu, Fashion Buying Director, Mytheresa

High-Volume Dresses

"Feminine and flirty pieces with a touch of high volume are perfect for summer! From the über-feminine balloon sleeves to tented silhouettes, these styles make for beautiful (and versatile) staples in my closet." —Maguire