How to be a Trendsetter and Still Wear the Summer’s Most Popular Fashions

It’s officially here! Summer, bitches. Booze cruises, outdoor concerts and happy hours await us all –rosť in one hand and a straw bag in the other. While it’s arguably one of the best seasons for fashion, the trends roll out DEEP in the summertime and every girl with an Instagram account wants to wear them.

Basic sees and basic does.


Being basic†sucks for sure, but when it comes to fitting in, which on some level we all want to do (while simultaneously standing out), there’s an impulse to go out or go online and buy up all of the hottest trends. Regardless of whether we think we can pull it off or even plan to wear it more than once, we just have to have whatever it is to feel cool.

So, there are two things we need to address here:

1. What are the summer trends anyway?

2. How do you make sure you look like a trendsetter instead of a fashion follower?

The Trend: Off-the-shoulder

Basic (left) vs. Trendy (right)

Left: This is the baseline version of the off-the-shoulder trend we’re seeing this summer. Cute, yes, but it can be found in every store from Target to Express to Nordstrom. And that means you’ll be seeing it over and over again at your summer events.

Right: This version of off-the-shoulder adds a small spaghetti strap, great for extra support and to make your look just a tiny bit different. The embroidered pattern and tie-up sleeves give your eyes a few more places to gaze aside from those bare shoulders.

The Trend: Straw

Basic (left) vs. Trendy (right)

Left:†These embroidered straw hats are popping up all over social media but are so hard to find online on a credible site (there’s plenty of $12 versions on Groupon, though). Again, the idea is great but the trend itself took off like crazy. Worth it for a beach Boomerang to share on social, but not 100% practical for the trendiness it’s worth.

Right:†Straw bags are super cute and have an awesome retro flair –two years ago you could’ve picked one up at Salvation Army for $6 now they’re selling at $29.99 or more at vintage shops and big name retailers. This Kate Spade bag below, though pricy, is timelessly cute and sets itself way apart from its straw bag competition.


The Trend: Pom-Pom

Basic (left) vs. Trendy (right)

Left:†This trend mixes the new pom-pom style with the seasons-old gladiator sandal. The tie-up top is not the most practical look (lots of sliding down and constant adjustment), and after a wear or two these poms start fading or falling off (I have a similar pair myself).

Right:†Kate Spade does it again! What I admire about this version of the trend is that the poms are minimal and the focus is actually on another hot summer ’17 item, the block heel. This look takes the first version up a notch in a sophisticated, classy style.


I could go into detail on way more trends for this summer (one-piece bathing suits, ruffles, chokers†still,†bandanas, overalls/jumpsuits, etc). But to wrap up we need some general rules to live by regarding basic vs. trendy:

  1. If you’re going, go big†

People say to me all the time, “I don’t know how you wear _______, I could never pull that off!”†Confidence is key and there isn’t one garment out there that you can’t rock the hell out of as long as you feel good in it. So when it comes to the hits for this summer, wear them in a BIG way and everyone will take notice†(i.e. dramatic white bellbottom overalls, a dress completely covered in ruffles).

2.†Observe the trends and wear them ASAP

Of course #1 would not be possible without #2 here. If you like fashion and want to be in-the-know, you’ve got to do your research and take a look at what’s on the runway. Though runway trends might seem out of your league, they 100% are –but that’s the trickle down effect. The runway trends always modify and adapt to regular RTW.

3. Weigh price vs. longevity

Think a little bit before you dish out for a super trendy item. Instead of the $200 Ray-Ban reflective sunnies, try a pair from Madewell or Urban Outfitters before you fully commit. Ask yourself if you think this trend is going to be in next year –and if the answer is no, do you love it enough to continue wearing it?

4.†Put your own spin on it always, but it’s OK to be basic sometimes

These trends are cute and we all know it, right? This isn’t to say you can’t embrace what’s fashionable during any given season. But with all the photos we see, the bloggers we obsess over and the looks we want to have, it’s better to put your own spin on it and not be a total copycat.

Like I said at the beginning, basic is†not a great term but it just had to be used for comparison’s sake. So wear whatcha wanna wear just try and add some of your own personality behind it. That’s a no-brainer.

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