It’s officially summer, and with the season a chance to try on something new. Whether that’s a pair of sandals or an entirely new look, summer has a tradition of offering the opportunity to slip into a new, more carefree identity.
This year, there are a handful of clear trends that point not just to singular products or silhouettes, but entire personas that propose the idea of a new summer identity with a healthy does of fantasy. Daydreaming of more romance this season? Try a corset or puffy sleeve from the regencycore trend. Nostalgic for the early aughts (regardless of whether or not you lived through them)? The Y2K movement marches on. Want to fast forward to a more mature, beach-adjacent wardrobe là Diane Keaton in “As Good As It Gets”? Try on the coastal grandmother craze.
Here, a rundown of seven summer ’22 fashion personas we’re bound to see this season.
1. Coastal grandmother
Everyone’s current favorite fashion buzzphrase, there is a lot less to the coastal grandmother look than all the talk it has generated. Keep things neutral, monochrome, lightly loose in the silhouette and with a heavy emphasis on linen. Throw in a summer turtleneck (very Keaton — both in the movies and IRL), and it’s easy to see that the coastal grandmother is a look for any and all genders. Footwear should convey a similar ease, whether that’s with an easy slip-on sandal (Birkenstock’s Arizona’s once again apply here), a gardener-chic clog or a classic all-year leather loafer.
“Bridgerton” may have started this trend, but dressing regencycore doesn’t have to mean wearing a full period costume. In real life, the trend is playing out through specific pieces that convey an antique sort of romance, whether it’s a puffy sleeve, a corset or a bejeweled headband or ornamental handbag. Elsewhere, the Regency-era empire waist of “Bridgerton” is making a comeback in ornate jacquard or brocade dresses, often styled over shirts and with socks and Mary Janes that make the look more modern (and a bit mod).
Yes, this means the “Nap” dress, but the Millennial-friendly trend goes even further than the now-ubiquitous summer dress. Think prairie skirts and dresses in ditzy florals, and the still-expanding crochet trend to convey a homespun, back-to-the-simple-life vibe that populates locales like upstate New York, Vermont — or any rural town anywhere. One might think the Western boot trend fits here; on the contrary, the boot seems firmly planted in an urban setting this time around, while cottagecore is filled with ballets flats, all-purpose work boots — and bare feet.
4. The revenge dresser
Summer ’21’s pandemic trend flop is destined to have another go this summer as more people assume a back-to-normal approach this year. Yes, this means showing skin, but only if it showcases true showmanship in doing so. The revenge dresser will also use bright colors and flirty shapes to attract attention. And nothing says revenge dressing more than a party shoe with a sky-high heel — platform or pump.
5. Y2K all the way
A mega-trend reflective of the 20-year trend cycle, the nostalgic Y2K trend continues this summer in key silhouettes, such as the halter top, the low-rise pant, the key-ring top and key accessories such as handbags and strappy sandals.
6. That ’70s guy
No doubt influenced by the Adidas x Gucci collaboration — and the wardrobe that Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele has crafted for Harry Styles both on and off the stage, the ’70s are once again holding sway in fashion. From flared trousers to crochet and oversized lapels and denim, expect this trend to resonate through next year for men and women.
7. Summer goth
Blame it on the bizarre nuptials of Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, with the reality TV star donning Dolce & Gabbana black tulle gown that was truly a one-of-a-kind wedding gown — or the couple’s his-and-hers style in general. Cutouts, studs, gender fluid skirts and combat boots are bringing a different type of heat for summer.