6 Small Trends That Will Make a Big Difference to Your Summer Outfits

If there's one thing I've learned from my days as a fashion editor, it's how to track down microtrends before anyone else catches wind of them. Being overly perceptive my whole life has clearly stood me in good stead. Now, you might be wondering what differentiates a trend and a microtrend. Essentially, they’re smaller offshoots of the core trends we see on the biannual runways that only begin to become apparent once the bigger trends are in full swing.

Take the overarching '90s trend, for example. It started out on the runways with pared-back silhouettes and boxy tailoring, and now we’re seeing it morph into pieces such as capri pants and large pendant necklaces, both of which I’d consider to be some of summer’s funnest microtrends.


(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

As a simple dresser myself, I never encourage buying into trends based solely on the fact that they’re "in fashion". Instead, I like to think long and hard about any I’m tempted by, discerning whether or not they feel "me”. If, after deliberation, I decide that they are, then, yes, I’ll invest. More often than not however, it’s microtrends I find the most compelling, as they’re an easy way to dip your toe into an aesthetic without having to fully commit, but will still make your outfits feel current.

Below, I’ve assembled six summer microtrends for 2023 that will bring some immediate joy to your wardrobe, but that I also believe have staying power, too. The print on the last dress, for example, has been omnipresent in the fashion space ever since Carrie Bradshaw first wore it in 2000. How's that for longevity? So, let's get better acquainted with summer 2023's microtrend line-up. 

1. Pyjama Trousers


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Style Notes: Comfy trousers are what everyone seems to be shopping and wearing right now, and the style I keep seeing around is of the blue-striped cotton variety. Akin to pyjama bottoms, these pairs typically come with a drawstring waistline (personally, I welcome this extra comfort) and a straight leg. Should stripes feel too bedtime for you, there are always colour-block options to consider.

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2. Bright Tops


(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: I don't wear much colour, but I'd like to start, and Monikh Dale has carved out the perfect way to do so with her bright-top-and-jeans pairing. Looking at the market, orange is definitely the "nice top" colour du jour. 

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3. Beaded Details


(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

Style Notes: Everywhere I look right now, I'm reminded of the retro seat covers my granda used to have in his car, as wooden-bead details are featuring heavily in the summer collections. Everything from dresses to necklaces have been given this throwback update, so you can pick and choose how much you want to commit to the trend. 

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4. Heart-Shaped Sunglasses


(Image credit: @heartzeena)

Style Notes: I love my Ray-Bans, but sometimes I yearn for fun eyewear to update my looks. Cue fashion's latest obsession with heart-shaped frames. Unlike previous seasons which have zeroed in on chunky acetate styles, this summer is all about thin metal iterations, which I'd say look significantly sleeker than their predecessors. 

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5. Flared Skirts


(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

Style Notes: I swear I owned this exact skirt from Tammy Girl in 2000. Fitted at the top and flared at the hem, this fishtail silhouette is just one of the many Y2K microtrends to land this summer. 

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6. Newspaper Prints


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Style Notes: Carrie Bradshaw's Dior newspaper dress will go down in history as one of the character's most iconic looks, and has cemented it's appeal in fashion circles. For summer 2023 we're seeing a resurgence of the print in the form of dresses, bustier tops and pencil skirts. 

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Next Up: Experts Agree: These Autumn/Winter 2023 Fashion Trends Really Count

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.