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Welcome to the Starter Pack series, a Who What Wear column that dives deep into the seasonal trends everyone’s talking about.

Summer is quickly approaching, and as usual, there is a lot of sartorial newness to be discussed. We’ve been tracking spring/summer 2021 trends for quite some time, and now that the season is so close that we can almost taste it, it’s time to start shopping for them. If you’re already familiar with our ongoing Starter Pack series, then welcome back. If you’re new here, get ready for a shopping experience unlike any other

Below, you will find a curated list of trends to know as you embark on yet another stylish summer season. No, not every trend under the sun is mentioned here, but that’s kind of the point. The list of eight summer trends ahead is here to start you off on the right foot when it comes to your new-season style, and according to us, these trends are the most important ones to know now. So get ready for full carts and hearts because every item below is sure to spark joy and anticipation for the days to come. 

Bright, bold, and beautiful is the sandal theme for summer 2021. The more saturated and fruity the shade, the better, and if you happen to find a pair that incorporate more than one color at once, more power to you. We love this shoe trend for many reasons, but my personal favorite is that even if you live your life in jean shorts and white tanks, saturated sandals will take your ‘fit to the next level with little to no effort. 

The recent resurgence of all things Y2K has been quite overwhelming (in a good way). While Gen Z has certainly taken the lead on a majority of those trends brought back from the early aughts, kitschy Y2K-inspired dresses have managed to find a home in everyone’s closets. The retro prints and throwback silhouettes make this dress trend prime real estate for summer, so get your hands on a couple ASAP. 

Speaking of trends that are a major throwback, this season, floral prints are looking more retro than ever. From swimsuits to dresses, there has yet to be a summertime staple I haven’t seen this trending print on, so stock up and enjoy a floral print that finally feels pretty groundbreaking. 

Shop the matching Tia String Bottom ($70).

If you have an Instagram and follow fashion girls, there’s no way you’ve missed the transparent sunglasses that everyone’s been wearing. Lexxola is, undeniably, the most coveted and popular brand churning out the trend, but we found a couple of others that will get the job done as well. 

Does it seem like we’ve been talking about cutouts forever? Well, that’s probably because we have been. This trend has been growing for quite a while now, but as we begin to enter the summer season, we’re seeing no sign of a trend slowdown. Instead, cutouts are ramping up, and we see no reason why we shouldn’t continue buying into and wearing the trend. 

Platform sandals are officially everywhere. The go-to style is definitely the platform thong (and no, you don’t have to have a pair quite as high as the one pictured above to be on-trend), but we’re also seeing platform slides and lace-up styles hit the market. 

This just might be one of my favorite summer trends of all—the summer suit. No, this isn’t suiting in the traditional sense but is instead a way to enhance your already-cute swimsuit. Brands have been selling sarongs, shirts, hats, and more that match your swimsuit exactly, making summertime dressing easier than ever. 

Shop the matching Better Band Reversible Top ($39). 

Shop the matching Lumiere Bikini Set ($245).

Shop the matching Buttercup Bikini Top ($89).

Last but not least, we bring you the belly chain. We’ve been watching this trend bubble for a little while now, and summer 2021 is when we’re anticipating it to finally dominate the scene. Wear one of these delicate chain belts over your bare stomach with everything from low-rise jeans to bikinis. Trust me. It will be the summertime accessory you didn’t know you needed. 

Next up, The Ultimate Sustainable Shopping Guide


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