Summer 2021 fashion trends

While summer is typically greeted with open arms, this year it is even more highly anticipated for so many reasons.

After a long winter hibernation made even longer because of the pandemic, it’s time to turn our attention to the outdoors and warmth once again. While wearing comfy clothes for those work-from-home days has had its place, it’s time to welcome the return of real clothing and outfits. We, for one, can’t wait. It’s time to look the part!

We’re breaking down five must-have summer 2021 fashion trends. Be sure to shop your local Goodwill thrift store to give all these summer styles a try. If you find out you’re not a fan of a fad, you’re not out much. Plus, if you find a look you love you know where to score more.


This 2020 trend isn’t going anywhere and, if possible, it’s even hotter this year than it was last. Tie-dye is everywhere and on everything, from lightweight lounge pants and duster cardigans, tanks, dresses, swimsuit coverups and skirts. This casual style is perfect for summer’s relaxed vibe.

Romantic dresses

If there is an underlying theme in summer 2021 fashion, it’s a focus on things that bring us cheer, joy and hope. This optimistic and celebratory approach not only includes bright colors but dreamy romance. In the case of dresses, we will see feminine styles that include ruffles, frills, lace, chiffon, floral patterns and everything from white to bold colors like sunshine yellow. Bring on the mood boosters!

Pastel tones

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! In the case of summer 2021, however, we will be screaming for sorbet and its pastel tones. Think mint green, soft lavender, pale pink and barely there blue. These light shades were made for summertime!

Simply sheer

Spring’s sheer trend is staying around and seeing us through summer. Sheer might not be your thing, but there are many ways to embrace this popular look. Consider a sheer layer such as a kimono over a dress or shorts and tee outfit. These fabrics also can be worn as button-down shirts, tulle skirts, swimsuit coverup and baby-doll blouses. If you are more daring, wear a sheer layer over your crop top — another summer 2021 fashion trend.

It’s in the bag

From small shoulder purses to bold, fun colors, handbag trends for summer have something for everyone. Some of the looks you can expect to see are chain straps, envelope purses, oversized bags that can haul it all and market totes. Thrifters also will love to hear that vintage purses that no longer are available in retail shops are in and make unique additions to your summer collection. Talk about your secondhand store score!

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