Christopher John Rogers

The Best Fashion Month Trends For Spring 2021 According To TZR's Editors


Fashion month was a play in contrasts. As designers worked to find their footing in a new era, there were seemingly two camps of thought: cozy up or break out. There were the season's easy sweats, knit underwear, and padded slides, but also the blazing colors, stark proportions, and funky accessories. As designers debuted their vision of the season ahead, the best trends of Spring/Summer 2021 were those that were intended for the wearer — not an audience. Whether it was about offering comfort or joy, the clothes you invest in next year are the ones that offer you a little added boost when you slide them on in the morning.

Consumers' motivations have shifted over the last six months. With little occasion to show off one-and-done trends, they're turning to investments that while on trend will still feel inspiring when the time comes to finally wear them somewhere loud and crowded. As such, brands are looking to reinvent the way you wear your clothing — breaking your bra out as a standalone piece, layering your dresses on top of pants, and pairing jarring colors together into a single look. While there was an emphasis on the classics: white dresses, suiting, and neutrals, the season wasn't simply a minimalist free-for-all. Below, our editors cherry-pick their favorite trends from New York, London, Milan, and Paris to keep an eye out in the months ahead.

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: LWD (Long White Dress)

Khaite Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Khaite
Gabriela Hearst Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Nothing feels more like summer than the perfect white dress. I'm particularly drawn to the one from Gabriela Hearst with the strategically placed cutouts — it would look perfect, and utterly effortless with a pair of simple flat sandals and a soft pouch-like bag. — Kathy Lee, Editorial Director

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Netting

Nanushka Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Nanushka
Burberry Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Burberry

I live for a microtrend and for Spring/Summer 2021, my pick is netted textures. The beauty of netting is that it adds depth to an outfit without covering up what's underneath. It also crosses over several aesthetics; including punk, bohemian, and artistic. It's a must-have trend in my book." - Nicole Kliest, Contributor

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Holes In Your Clothes

Prada Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Prada
Fendi Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

I love that it is flirty and sexy, but [still] a sweater as seen at Prada. Prada, with new co-creative director Raf Simons, was my favorite show of the season. At Fendi, it was the complete basketweave coat that reminds me of a picnic, perfect to match your basket weave shoes and bag. It was also at Valentino in the form of crochet dresses and perforated sweaters, and at Dries Van Noten as a netted tunic with a sporty twist. - Tiffany Reid, VP Fashion

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: High-Fashion House Slippers

Rosetta Getty Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Rosetta Getty
Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Balencaiga

I became a Birkenstock convert a couple of years ago, and ever since, all I want to wear are easy-to-slip-on slides. What better trend could I ask for than the polished version designers delivered on for Spring/Summer 2021, especially as an offset to dresses and the more feminine silhouettes that ground my wardrobe? - Laura Lajiness, Contributor

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Slouchy Suiting

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Estrop/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The Row Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: The Row

While I'm not planning on returning to the office any time soon, I swear that dressing up a bit at home makes me more productive. The slouchy suits that appeared on the spring runways are that happy in-between for the work from homers — comfortable, but could fly on the set of Succession. — Aemilia Madden, Senior Fashion Editor

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Balloon Shoulders

Altuzarra Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Altuzarra
Tibi Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Tibi

Listen, I'm an absolute sucker for a puffy sleeve and acknowledge it's not necessarily a new trend. You can trace it back to the Victorian era, the 1980s, or plenty of collections in the last few years. However, I especially loved the subtle shoulder volume on classic silhouettes at Tibi, Prada, and Altuzarra. It's my outerwear of choice for spring. - Gina Marinelli, Contributor

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Doily / Ruffles Bag

Fendi Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Balenciaga

This season I love the super over the top feminine bags I spotted at Fendi and Balenciaga. I'm drawn to the playfulness of the trend, especially since right now everything is heavy, and this is airy and light. — TR

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Slip Dress

Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Kwaidan Editions Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Léa Dickley

My affinity for slip dresses date back to my '90s youth, scouring vintage shops on Melrose Street for the best Courtney Love neglige look alike. The versatility of dressing it down with a pair of rugged moto boots and a long cardigan, or accessorizing it with sheer black tights and my favorite kitten heel sandals makes the slip dress a wardrobe essential for any time of the year. - KL

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Polos

Marina Moscone Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Marina Moscone
Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Miu Miu

There's something so nonchalantly chic about a polo to me. The recent runways proved their timelessness with iterations that ranged from classic polo tees to knit dresses featuring a collar and buttons on top. It's the kind of retro trend that miraculously always feels timely. —NK

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Rainbow Stripes

Kenneth Ize Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Estrop/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Christopher John Rogers Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Christopher John Rogers

I'm paraphrasing Marie Kondo here, but I'm trying to only make closet space for fashion that makes me feel comfortable and happy. Good thing the brightly colored stripes seen in the Spring/Summer 2021 collections were sparking joy. Christopher John Rogers, Kenneth Ize, and Gabriela Hearst brought a bold kaleidoscope of warm colors that really spoke to me. That said, I'm not typically a brights-head-to-toe kind of gal, so I'll probably wear these pieces with classics straight-leg jeans or a neutral blazer to balance. - GM

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Chains Remain

acquemus Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Hermès Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Chainlinks are sticking around for spring, from shoes to jewelry, and I am here. for. it. I love how the look oscillates between polished and edgy depending on how you style it, with varying sizes and metals on offer to suit any aesthetic. I plan to pair chain-link shoes with jeans and a great top for occasions like dinner or drinks. With simple tees and knits or a minimal dress? I'll be rotating between necklaces in gold and silver (which is seeing a resurgence!). - LL

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Color Clash

Stella McCartney Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Stella McCartney
Tod's Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Tod's

As a jeans girl, there's generally only so much color I can infuse into my wardrobe — perhaps a neon tee or bright jacket to add a little intrigue to my look. But, with the searing contrasts of bold colors spotted in each city of fashion month — at Jason Wu, Tod's, Fendi, Stella McCartney and many, many more — I'm convinced it's time to take my saturation up a notch or two. The key: pick colors that are either on opposite ends of the color wheel, think blue and yellow, or orange and purple, or try for two colors that are close but not quite the same, like red and blush pink. — AM

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Breath-of-Fresh-Air Dresses

Cecilie Bahnsen Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Cecilie Bahnsen
Brock Collection Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Brock Collection

So many experts I've spoken to in the last six months have repeated that designers and consumers alike are looking for clothing that's comfortable and uncomplicated. Perhaps that's why simplistic, flowy, dresses for spring seem so irresistible. The ones I've spotted at Cecilie Bahnsen, Brock Collection, and Staud are easy and ethereal but not too precious that you wouldn't wear it to lay on a blanket in Prospect Park or toss it in a suitcase for a road trip. — GM

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Desert Hues

Max Mara Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Valentino Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Valentino

I'm usually a sucker for sweet florals and sherbert shades, but with a renewed sense of simplicity as of late, I'm totally drawn to spring's desert palette. Perhaps it's an ode to my growing up in the South West, but I'm craving the light-as-air fabrics and fluid shapes that predominantly make up this trend, from Ferragamo's sandstone slip dress to Valentino's asymmetric pleated maxi. — LL

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Dress-Over-Pants

Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Jil Sander
Peter Do Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Peter Do

Sometimes I find the styling tricks from the runways equally as inspiring as the actual clothing itself. For Spring/Summer 2021, the layering combination several designers revived and reworked was the dress-over-pants duo. The silhouettes felt structured and pared-down, making the entire look feel effortlessly cool and perfect for warmer temperatures. — NK

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Technicolor Dream

Acne Studios Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Dries Van Noten

The range of colors producing a light-show-like effect feels joyful and fresh, like an instant shot of dopamine at first glance. It's an instant mood-changer! - KL

Best Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends: Bra Out

Chanel Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Estrop/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Victoria Beckham Spring/Summer 2021. Photo: Victoria Beckham

Whether it be the bra-as-top motif as seen at Chanel, Emilia Wickstead and Dior, or the more subtle styling at Victoria Beckham and Jason Wu, this is the trend that will convince me that it's time to start wearing bras again. This trend also plays well with all of the sheer tops spotted on the runways this season — consider it a two-for-one trend sampler. — AM