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Summer Style Watch

Rediscover a love for fashion with this season’s bright and breezy trends By Taylor Shillam

This summer, fashion will reflect a shift in energy alongside the shift in temperature. While stay-home comfort was the emphasis of 2020’s clothing trends, the summer of 2021 reflects the refreshing new outlook that comes with leaving last year behind.

From their months of working from home, many designers have emerged inspired, with looks that will help us rediscover what we love about dressing up. This season’s top trending looks in fashion are bold and colorful—stepping away from excess use of safe, neutral tones to reflect the dreamy optimism of moving forward into a lighter, brighter period of time.

Now is the time to put away those sweatsuits and embrace the feel-good colors and prints headed our way.

Full-Length Fantasy Even as emphasis pulls away from cozy cottons and athleisure, you can still embrace maximum style with minimal effort using a single statement piece: the maxi dress. Breezy and full-length dresses will be everywhere this year, in hues and prints of all kinds.

Summer Sheers Functional summer fashion is all about staying cool, and light layers are one of the best ways to do so. Sheer dresses and tops are here in abundance, for draping warm-weather layers in the form of sheer maxi dresses, fishnet-inspired skirts and wide-open knits. Accessories will play a big part in embracing this trend—add a thin belt to tie the open knit look together, or layer with a macrame-inspired boho bag sharing a similar, stringy vibe.

Embellishments and Sweet Details The warmer season will hang onto accessories and jewelry enhanced by key elements like chains, charms and pearls. Layered necklaces will add interest while shiny baubles on earrings and chokers will add enough glitz to easily dress up an outfit.

Beach Vibes Many of this season’s looks will take you to the tropics without having to leave your hometown. Beachy prints and island-inspired accessories will help you bring the vacation vibes wherever the summer takes you.

Pastels Taking a softer turn from the neons trending in recent months, dreamy pastels will bring cooler pops of color to your summer outfits. Seafoam green and lavender take the lead with this trend—pair them with neutral staples like white and denim, or embrace a head-to-toe look with a suit, matching set or maxi dress.

Shades for the Season This year’s eyewear are statement-making frames incorporating modern updates to classic designs, creative tints and retro-inspired frames. Take your pick from sleek aviators, colored lenses, and bright frames in new shapes like round, rectangle or statement-making cat eyes.

Yellow Accessory Aesthetic Yellow purses are the must-have accessory this summer. More versatile than you might expect, these bright accessories are a seamless way to instantly brighten an outfit. Whether you choose a sleek clutch or a structured handbag, a golden yellow or a mustard hue, this is one accessory that will quickly make a difference in your summer look. If you find one with fringe, even better—this high-impact embellishment is back for 2021 and packs its biggest punch as part of your wardrobe!

Crop Tops You’ve likely already seen them in abundance everywhere from major retailers to your local boutiques—but crop tops are here to stay and will continue to thrive in their prime season. Now a summertime staple, crop tops are a go-to in 2021, with many variations available from embellished and puffy-sleeved, to structured and tailored, down to vacation-inspired printed bralettes. From the beach to the farmers market, this trend will help you stay cool through all of your summer adventures.

Cut-Outs Adding interest to full-length tops, minidresses and jumpsuits will be a breeze with this year’s cutout trends. Let those obliques breathe with subtle cutouts at the waistline that add a flattering element to your silhouette.

Wrapped in Straps This season, you’ll see summer tops with a twist. Straps wrapped around an exposed waist will bring additional detail and interest to summer silhouettes. This trend will most often be found at the hem of crop tops, but you’ll even see it incorporated into this year’s swimwear. Pair those strappy tops with wide trousers or mid-length skirts and laid-back footwear for a seamlessly chic look.

Statement Sleeves With ever-fluctuating temperatures in the Northwest, sleeves don’t ever completely go away for a season. This year, statement sleeves are trending—think voluminous sleeved blouses paired with short shorts, underneath trousers or overalls, or incorporated into a light sundress.

Wide-Leg Trousers High-waisted, roomy trousers leave space to breathe while embracing tomboy-inspired comfort. Wide-legged trousers can be paired with fitted tops for a feminine accent and day-to-night look; or fully embrace a slouchy-cool vibe with a vintage T-shirt.

Platform Shoes Elevate your summer shoe game this season with platform sandals. This season’s platforms come in all shapes, styles and heights, making it easy to find a pair that suits you best, whether it’s a strappy sandal or a taller take on the flip-flop.

Tie-Dye Tie-dye made its return to popular fashion months ago, but it’s clear that the trend is here to stay with many more ways to wear it! This summer, the colorful trend transfers from the stay-home sweatsuits of 2020 and finds more fun in tie-dyed shorts, bathing suits and breezy tees with dyes of all shades and color combinations.

Silk Scarves This new beach essential has new ways to rock it in 2021: as a lightweight top or a smooth head wrap. Wrap a folded square scarf over the top of the head and secure at the base of the neck for keeping heated hair at bay, or pair with classic sunglasses for a retro-inspired look.

Shop Local for Summer Style The Inland Northwest has an array of stylish, forward-thinking boutiques ready to help you step up your style game this season!

North Spokane’s Swank Boutique is full of selections both in-store and online shopping with a range of trendy pieces from naturals to pastels that can be easily incorporated into looks for day or night. The Swank team regularly posts to their Instagram profile showcasing new arrivals! Catch them on social media at @swankgirl or online at

Coeur d’Alene and Hayden’s three Tiffany Blue stores carry boutique and national brands that are always on point with the most sought-after looks. Check their Riverstone, downtown Coeur d’Alene or Hayden locations for dreamy dresses and sets, stand-out shoes and an accessory collection wide enough to complete any look.

Additional local shopping destinations include Spokane’s Boutique Bleu, a boho-chic shop currently operating online at, and Coeur d’Alene’s Muse + Maven boutique, promising closet essentials for every occasion. Check out Muse + Maven’s Instagram profile @musemavenboutique for regularly updated styling tips using trendy pieces!

The summer of 2021 will likely be a burst of fresh air after what has seemed like a very long time spent indoors. It’s time to embrace all things bold and bright while reconnecting with the joy of expressing yourself through fashion.

The current fashion trends promise a chance to do just that, with just the right mix of color pops, effortless pieces and retro nods. Take advantage of the beautiful boutique selection the Northwest has to offer and treat yourself to the novelty of a refreshing new season!

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