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In an article about summer fashion trends, an image of a girl shopping.
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To avoid being ensnared in constantly changing trends, build a summer wardrobe with items that are worth the investment.

One week you’re in, one week you’re out — in the world of TikTok and Instagram, fashion trends change like the weather. With each swipe on your screen, you see a new advertisement for the latest trend, allowing everyone, not just those involved in the fashion world, to have their fingers on the pulse of new fads. This makes it hard to avoid the pressure to keep up. However, not all of us are influencers with the bank accounts to afford a revolving wardrobe, so which summer fashion trends are worth the investment and which ones should you ride out?

1. Linen

If you have been using social media this summer, you have most definitely seen the rising trend of linen clothing, from wide-leg trousers to button-up shirts. Linen, while more expensive than cotton or synthetic fabrics, has some impressive perks that make it a must-have. A sustainable fabric made from flax fiber, this textile is one that is both good for your closet and the planet. Linen is also three times stronger than cotton and holds dyes incredibly well due to its porous nature, meaning once you make the investment in linen, the pieces can last a lifetime in your closet with the proper care.

Additionally, linen is an ideal summer fabric. Both naturally moisture-wicking and breathable, linen clothing is a perfect way to stay comfortable in the summer heat. Linen pants in solid basic colors such as white or nude are closet staples that are comfortable and easy to wear. Influencers are pairing them with tank tops and button-down shirts for an easy, effortless summer outfit. To get the linen look, try these pants from Princess Polly or these pants from Amazon.

2. Sport Sunglasses

While sunglasses may seem like a simple accessory, they actually have a huge impact; the right pair can elevate any outfit. This summer, sport sunglasses are having their moment in the sun. With curved silhouettes and spunky colors, this style polishes the classic sporty look we’re used to into a new playful design, making it the perfect summer accessory. The aerodynamic, wrap-around design evokes a futuristic feel that can help elevate basic outfits into an effortlessly cool look. As functional as they are stylish, this is a trend that is worth opening your wallet for. Check out these classic frames from Ray-Ban or these from Oliver Peoples x The Row Edina.

3. Cargo Pants

With the Y2K fashion revival, it is no surprise that cargo pants are back in style as one of the latest must-haves. Worn intentionally baggy and oversized, cargo pants are the perfect loose-fit bottoms for summer, keeping you cool and comfortable. Featuring many functional pockets, they are also the perfect way to hold everything you need on a weekend adventure. Influencers dress this item up and down: For a night out, pair it with a basic top and a statement kitten heel for a look you can dance all night in; for a day look, pair it with a baby tee or button-down for a casual, functional outfit. Alo’s “It Girl Pant” is perfect for the gym, going out to dinner, or a day on the town. Alternatively, check out this pair from BDG. With their clean lines and stitch detailing, you can’t go wrong with any of their bold color choices.

4. Long Skirts

Maxi skirts have been on the rise for some time, however, the ’90s-inspired long skirt is a must-have for this summer. With more coverage than a mini skirt, the maxi style is much more versatile and can be paired with any accessory. They can be worn for a wide variety of occasions, making this closet staple worth the investment. This summer, try solid-colored, form-fitting skirts like this one from Nasty Gal, paired with other neutral basics to achieve the “clean girl aesthetic.” Alternatively, try a fun, patterned skirt such as this floral skirt from PacSun to make a statement.

5. Basic Tees and Tanks

No matter what season, basics are a necessity in any wardrobe. Without a few solid-colored neutral pieces, it becomes very hard to layer and build outfits. This summer — which is all about fun prints, long skirts and interesting textiles — make sure to find basic foundational items to pair with more spunky trends. Cropped, ribbed tanks and baby tees are the perfect tops to match with your cargo pants or wide-leg linen trousers.

And while basics may be a little boring to shop for, the right ones can allow you to experiment with other parts of your outfit, making them worth the investment. Additionally, they never go out of style, which means a quality basic could last a lifetime. Aritzia is a great place to look for solid-colored staples, and H&M provides a cheaper option that is still climate-conscious.

6. Loafers

Perhaps as an unforeseen side effect of the recent popularity of academia aesthetics, loafers are once again all the rage, particularly chunky black loafers reminiscent of the 1990s. Celebrities such as Bella Hadid and Alexa Chung as well as fashion influencers are pairing these shoes with other trendy items like maxi skirts and matching sunglasses. A perfect way to dress up an outfit without a heel, these summer shoes are great for weekend adventures and nights out without hurting your feet. Even better, they can transition seamlessly into your fall wardrobe when paired with socks or legwarmers, so invest in a pair now.

Overall, try not to get too blinded by trends this summer. When building a wardrobe, it is important to consider the longevity of the pieces that you invest in to avoid falling victim to the ever-churning cycles of the fast-fashion storm. This doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in the new, hottest fashion, but when doing so, make the effort to cherry-pick the items that will outlive the trend.

Writer Profile

Kaitlyn Anderson

Cornell University
Communication, Biology and Society

Kaitlyn Anderson is a student at Cornell University. She loves to explore the intersection between science and humanitarian studies. She lives in New Hampshire where she enjoys hiking and surfing.

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