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Spring/summer 2021 trends: The top 4 signature fashion looks you need to know this season

By Ashley Pearson on 21st April 2021

Nautical is now and retro reigns supreme – here’s what you will be shopping for this spring.

With great anticipation and optimism in the air, it looks as though what felt like the longest winter on record is now officially behind us.

Looking ahead to spring’s warmer and sunnier days, we have much to look forward to, least of which are the season’s top fashion trends. Full of flowing fabrics, an air of joyful vibrancy and whimsical and playful aesthetics – there is a lot of happiness and fun afoot in fashion. And is there anyone that could say, that after the last 12 months we’ve all endured, we don’t jolly well deserve it?

After analysing the searches of its 120 million users, the global fashion search engine Stylight has drawn up the four signature looks that will define the spring season: nautical influences that are going to make you want to escape on holiday, a seventies-vibe wardrobe with a breezy bohemian aesthetic, and a varsity blues/back to school comeback.

Anchors away!

Anchors away

Nautical has never been more now – but this time around it has a bit of an edge. This season, traditional sailor stripes are lengthened in the form of a second-skin dress with a contemporary twist. Like every year, stripes are riding high, but particularly on dresses (+54%) and high-waisted shorts (+20%). Expect to see classic sailor shorts reimagined as high-waisted, to be worn with a loose printed blouse. In total, the searches for ‘marine’ have increased by 88% on Google.

Old is gold

old is gold

1970’s fashion has never been hotter. From comforting cardigans and patchwork, to flowing trousers and silk scarves, more and more have decided to let their wardrobe take a page out of one of fashion’s most iconic decades. Think bohemian chic – or boho-chic – with loosely cut, colourful pieces that are considerably more elegant than those we’ve got used to wearing in recent months. There’s been a 62% increase in searches for folk-inspired hippie coats and jackets alone! So grab a scarf and a folklore-inspired jacket, because bohemian chic is back in a big way.

Baby love

baby love

As we bravely make our way back into normality, nostalgia is in the air this spring. And along with that, a trend that virtually no one saw coming – Baby Chic. This means what it sounds like – a desire to dress the way you did as a child. So go right ahead and donate all of last year’s brightly coloured balloon-sleeved dresses as this spring is all about baby doll pieces with an emphasis on cardigans, a crochet hat, and charmingly vintage gingham pieces. The colours of choice? Baby pink and baby blue, which, according to Stylight, are currently enjoying a 30% and 47% increase in searches, as opposed to last year.

Varsity blues

Varsity blues

And it may be spring, but as we head out of lockdown everyone is back to school this season. It’s all about old school varsity. Whilst the college trend has established itself as a firm favourite in the menswear wardrobe over these past few seasons – it was particularly prominent at the Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh and Celine by Hedi Slimane – right now it is building up buzz in womenswear. With cardigans and university shirts leading the way for spring, there will be a preppy-inspired polo shirt comeback. Start flipping those collars now.

Palette wise, leading this season’s looks are a host of pretty pastels. The fashion-savvy pack are right now diving into dreamy blues, pale sunny yellows and baby pinks galore. And let’s be honest – skinny jeans have had more than their fair time in the sun. Curve-loving fashionistas will be delighted to note that this spring, they can safely shop for flowing, beautiful, boho-looking clothes that beautifully frame their physique.

While it’s been an entire year since we probably tried out new looks in the mirror in advance of a big day or night out – this spring is bringing with it some wonderful trends to try on for size.