By Angela Harrison

It’s time for summer trends, y’all! This season is packed with a lot of fun garments and accessories; summer is a great time to bring the color and camp. You’ll be seeing this season’s Pantone color trend report in all walks of fashion life, be it prints, shoes, handbags, jewelry, etc. I keep my wardrobe pretty neutral and incorporate trend colors I like with a layering piece or fun accessory. You don’t need to stock up on trendy clothing items, since the chances of them being around next summer, in the same way, are slim. So, I’m breaking down all things color, clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry to give a visual of what’s on trend for this summer, and it’s up to you to make it your own! Pick and choose things that feel like a natural addition to your wardrobe and accessory collection.


Colors for this season, based on the Pantone Spring 2018 Color Report, feature dusty bold hues of purple and lime green, punchy pastels, and warm neutrals. These colors were first showcased this past winter in the Spring/Summer ’18 fashion shows, and now are trickling into department store finds and home accessories. Almost anything sold in a retail store will be influenced by this color report. Once you spot the colors, you’ll be noticing them everywhere!


Some key trends that have been around for a couple seasons now are big bell sleeves and off-the-shoulder necklines. These retro-inspired styles are a major summer design element for linen peasant tops, cabana striped sundresses, and even formal sheath dresses. Another element getting a lot of use is ruffles. This summer, we’ll be seeing ruffles trimming flirty wrap dresses, ruffles lining an off-the-shoulder neckline, and ruffles finishing off hems of fitted skirts. Embroidered mesh overlays are being spotted on summer cocktail and eveningwear, while wrap dresses in gingham prints are making their way to casual glam nights. The pieces this summer are light and airy: wide leg floral print pants, relaxed rompers, flowing maxi dresses, and billowing blouses with boyfriend jean shorts. “Relaxed holiday” is the feel as if you were on an island vacation all summer long.


Popular shoe styles emerging from this summer’s trends are the mule loafer, mule espadrille, and strappy slide. The mule loafer is an updated style from the ‘80s and ‘90s, now shown with a pointed toe and in a print or textured fabric like jacquard or suede. This style of shoe is perfect with released-hem jeans, sundresses, or black pants for work. Mule espadrilles are a fun update on classic flat espadrille sandals and slip-ons. Styles this summer will feature embellishments like 3-D sequin flowers or pearls. Another nod in the direction of our “relaxed holiday” summer theme. A strappy sandal is always a must for summer, and there are so many comfortable options. Wide double straps with a block heel look great with any outfit and won’t compromise comfort.

Handbags and Accessories

Handbags are shrinking! A trend from last season that’s garnered momentum is the mini-bag. These are any style of satchel or top handle bag, shrunken to a third of their normal size. Mini-bags are super cute for summer, being charming and tiny, but not very practical when it comes to carrying anything larger than a lipstick. Other great styles of bags for summer are belt bags (formally known as the “fanny pack”), chain cross-body bags with patches and embellishments (made popular by Gucci this past season), and of course the boom of the backpack. Almost everyone makes a backpack style in their handbag collection for summer, and if you’re on the fence about this trend, try a convertible backpack that can be worn in multiple styles!

Jewelry this season is on fire — so much color and texture. Earrings have really dominated the accessory scene in the past year. Anything bold and creative goes —massive tassels, geometric metals, abstract florals — they all make the perfect finishing touch to any casual or dressed-up look.

Summer is only here for a few short months, but these trends won’t be leaving anytime soon. Play with your wardrobe, add new color, try something different, and make these trends your own this summer!

Angie Harrison received a BS degree in fashion merchandising from Western Michigan University, and after merchandising for a large retailer, went on to start Angela Harrison Style; a personal, print, and film wardrobe styling service. Her experience has led her to build a loyal client list of people from all backgrounds and professions. Angie has also worked in wardrobe on local and national tv commercials and has started a visual merchandising branch of AHStyle, providing styling and merchandising expertise to Michigan retailers. @angelaharrisonstyle