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Why Smocked Dresses And Tops Should Be On Your Summer Shopping List

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Summer is the season to embrace all things romantic, lightweight, and breezy. A simple summer dress or top with a breathable silhouette and dreamy details can transform not just your look, but the mood of an entire day. Rosé at noon seems entirely reasonable, right? In 2019, smocked dresses and tops are particularly enticing, and have quickly become a sartorial favorite alongside the equally romantic puff-sleeve.

You can trace the rise of this trend back to breezy contemporary brands like Reformation, LPA, and Doen, who have found modern, elegant ways to resurface the style. Back from the early '00s, smocked styles skewed a bit more casual — think elastic tube tops and terrycloth dresses — but today, not so much. Sweeping maxi dresses and sultry crop tops alike have become favorites of many fashion insiders. “The smock trend is perfect for all shapes, and it’s super comfy,” says fashion stylist Jasmine Betancourt. Adding that while fitted, its stretchy nature makes it ideal for an active summer day.

This season's smocked pieces are crafted from light fabrics like linen and silk, and unsurprisingly, feature seasonal prints like floral and gingham. All of this makes them ideal to throw on when you're in need of an outfit that feels decisive, but takes next to no effort. Ahead, see how influencers are styling this pretty trend and shop the smocked pieces we’re eye right now so you too can find your perfect summer style.

Stick Of Butter

Coined by editor Harling Ross, the stick of butter aesthetic means embracing a head-to-toe buttery look. (Here, Stephanie Broek opts for a cream smocked top and linen white trousers.) The top's smocked detailing and the hardware on the pants make this monochrome combo a bit more polished.

Maxi Dress

This summer, editors and influencers alike are embracing high-octane color. This plaid lime smocked dress speaks for itself, and is best paired with simple accessories like delicate necklaces and sneakers for day. For a more pared-back style, try a maxi dress with just a pop of color via a fun print.

Floral Top + Denim Cutoffs

For a laid-back way to style denim cutoffs, pair them with a floral smocked top. The sweetheart neckline gives denim and cowboy boots a romantic twist that is perfect for a summer concert or dinner al fresco.

Blush-Hued Dress

If you're in need of a wedding guest dress, a smocked style checks off every box. It's fashion-forward, breezy, and romantic to boot. No matter the event's dress code, a style in a summery blush hue should do the trick. Finish with a pair of dainty heeled sandals, and a small clutch.

Off-The-Shoulder Top + Midi Skirt

Give your shoulders some breathing room and transform a puff sleeve smocked top into an off-the-shoulder version. Pair with a midi skirt and style with sleek sandals and a woven bag for a dreamy weekend ensemble.

Dainty Top + Bermuda Shorts

“A smocked top can be styled with light denim, which can be worn from day to night,” Betancourt suggests. Since Bermuda shorts continue to be a top trend, make them your summer shorts choice. A sheer smocked crop top is the perfect contrast.

Mixed Prints + Colors

If you’re not ready to fully lean into a smocked bodice, opt for a dress with a little bit of smocking detail instead. The scrunched look around the waistline will keep a maxi silhouette from feeling too boxy. For risk takers: mix prints by layering a contrasting T-shirt underneath.

Matching Set

A matching set is one of those outfits that everyone should have in their summer repertoire. While this smocked floral top and matching skirt are a match made for a vacation, the top can be worn with a pair of jeans for a ‘90s-inspired look too.

Ruffle Top + Denim Skirt

The season is here to swap out jeans for a denim skirt. The perfect top to wear it with? How about something with volume and ruffles. A smocked top adds a feminine touch to a jean skirt, whether you opt for a mini variety or one that offers a bit more coverage. Style with PVC heels and a neutral bucket bag for a polished off-duty uniform.