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While summer may come and go, you can always achieve a beach/vacation-ready vibe with the summer dress aesthetic. It’s just a matter of going with the trendiest styles, colors, and footwear – the basics you need this 2021 to rock a Pinterest-worthy outfit.


The Best Colors for Your 2021 Summer Dress Aesthetic

For the summer dress aesthetic, color is everything. After all, this season is reminiscent of anything bright and vibrant. So if you want to achieve the summer style this 2021, then make sure to pick dresses in these Pantone-recommended colors:

Marvelous Marigold

Marigold is a balanced combination of the colors yellow and golden orange. While it usually goes well with warm hues, it also works excellent with deeper tones.

Marigold is perfect in plain, though it’s nice with prints too. Such is the case with this beautiful summer dress, which is reminiscent of the lovely sunsets you spend on the beach. Just put on a pair of shades and a straw hat and you’re all set for a well-deserved vacation!

Chic Cerulean

Cerulean is a blue shade that Pantone describes as the “color of the sky on a serene, crystal clear day.” Now if it isn’t the description of a perfect summer day, I don’t know what is!

A great thing about Cerulean is that it complements virtually any other color. It flatters other blue-leaning shades such as teal, turquoise, and cornflower blue. At the same time, it pairs well with shades from the other end of the spectrum – such as peach, fuchsia, orange, or mustard. Indeed, you can go crazy with pairing Cerulean with other colors!

Romantic Rust

While summer colors usually lean towards bright, vibrant colors, Pantone has decided to venture out of the box with its Rust recommendation. Described as an earthy brown reminiscent of autumn leaves, it’s a warm shade you have to wear this summer.

Given its neutral palette, rust basically goes well with most colors. Be it white, green, gray, blue – even millennial pink – any of these are sure to glamorize your Rust summer dress aesthetic.

Gorgeous Green Ash

Green ash evokes somewhat of a pastel green color – the likes of which you’d see during Spring (specifically Easter). It’s very cool on the eyes, which balances the fact that you’ll look sizzling hot in this shade!

Despite its spring-themed shade, green ash is something you could take up until summer. With its toned-down hue, it pairs marvelously with other softer colors such as lilac, periwinkle, dusty rose, gray, and nude.

Beautiful Burnt Coral

Coral – which is a pinkish/reddish-orange – is undoubtedly a popular summer color. And since it comes in a variety of palettes, you might find it hard to spot the right shade for summer 2021. For all intents and purposes, this year’s Pantone-recommended coral shade is burnt.

While it’s hard to literally define this color – Pantone describes it as something that “expresses conviviality,” – it’s safe to say that this warm color is all about looking friendly and lively. Now that seems easy to do!

Amazing Amethyst Orchid

Amethyst orchid, as the name suggests, is reminiscent of the beauty of orchids. In literal terms, it offers a soft purple touch that’s great for the hotter seasons. Like green ash and burnt coral, amethyst orchid is one of the many pastel shades that work well with a summer aesthetic.

And while matching amethyst orchid with other colors seems complicated, it’s actually not. It’s a matter of choosing shades that flatter the purple range. That being said, make sure to pair your amethyst orchid attire with either yellow, green, pink, or orange.

Summer Dress Aesthetic Fashion Trends for 2021

The summer dress aesthetic, as with most styles, has trends that come and go. So if you want to look updated this 2021, then make sure to choose these styles – all of which are fresh off the runway!

Puff Sleeves

Summer is all about keeping cool – which is why this aesthetic is all about light, airy details. The best example for this is the oversized puff sleeve, which provides the volume you need to keep your arms breezy.

Apart from being super comfortable – and pit-stain-free – a puff-sleeved dress can also make you look (and feel) girly. Given this ‘innocent’ look, puff-sleeved dresses are best worn with pieces that balance their soft look. Good examples include a structured bag and a chunky pair of sneakers, just like that of this model.

Vintage Boho Dress

A summer dress aesthetic is not necessarily laborious, as the vintage boho dress trend will tell you. With this light, flowy frock, you can achieve a beach vacation vibe in just a few minutes!

A favorite of Nicole Ritchie and the Olsen twins, a vintage boho dress is an outfit that’s really easy to style. It’s all about wearing a straw hat, aviator shades, and a low-key pair of shoes. It also looks great with a fringe bag, which is another one of summer 2021’s hottest trends.

Knit Dress

Knit dresses are famous for their looped, entwined wool (or another type of yard). And while they’re usually reserved for autumn or winter, they’re great for a summer aesthetic as well.

The key to achieving so is picking knit dresses that imbibe a summery feel. Instead of long-sleeved, turtleneck knit dresses, go for tank or maxi designs – both of which are seen in this model. It’s also great to go with something colorful – most notably the colors mentioned above.

More than just being trendy, knit dresses are notoriously comfortable. So if you like to move about needlessly, then this summer aesthetic trend should be your top choice.

Sporty Dress

Although most equate the summer aesthetic look with delicate, ornate frocks, it’s not always the case. In fact, you can still achieve this style with a very sporty dress.

A sporty dress usually comes with a loose straight fit – in plain colors or striped designs. It may also come with the occasional sport elements, such as a collar, polo-type buttons, drawstring, or a zipper.

While a sporty dress is often worn with sneakers, it also looks good with more feminine shoes (as this model will tell you). This 2021, try to experiment with the year’s girly shoe trends – which include square-toed sandals, flatforms, and clog mules.

Sheer Dress

As seen on most fashion shows, the sheer dress is a summer trend that isn’t expected to go anytime soon. And why would it? It’s the perfect embodiment of the summer aesthetic – light, flowy, and airy – all the characteristics you could ever want during hot weather.

And while sheer dresses are synonymous with summer, this is an aesthetic you can wear during colder seasons as well. It’s just a matter of layering, but of course! With the right outerwear and accessories, it’s a style you can rock even at a conservative workplace.

Backless Dress

The summer look is mostly about revealing some parts of your body. But if you’re uncomfortable baring your legs or your cleavage, then a good alternative is to expose your back with a backless frock instead.

Though most backless dresses usually come with minimal coverage, you can also go for more conservative styles. Long-sleeved backless dresses, for one, are something you can wear in the office – provided you have another layer on. (Hint: a good garb to wear with this is an oversized blazer, which will be discussed next.)

Oversized Blazers

Although the summer dress aesthetic will also fit the colder months, its wearability depends on your layers. So if you want to look good without freezing to bits, then make sure to throw an oversized blazer into the mix.

This phenomenal piece does more than just keep you comfortable (it’s very loose after all) – it elevates your style to a work-worthy look as well. So if you’re looking to bring your summer dress aesthetic right into the office, then make sure to pair it with a nice, oversized blazer.

Also Read:

How to Achieve a Casual Chic Look With a Black Blazer: Ideas on Outfits, Accessories, and Shoes Right Here!

How to Wear Dresses with Sneakers (and Other Accessories too!)

18 Style Hacks on How to Wear Leather Jackets (Women’s Edition)

Head Scarf

A headscarf is one of the most versatile pieces you could ever have in your closet. It’s one of the trendiest too, as it has become a hands-down favorite for the summer aesthetic.

For a fresh-off-vacation feel, wear your favorite scarf with a flowy summer dress. It goes without saying that the more vibrant your scarf is, the better. That said, you should try and wear it with a plain or simple dress, as you don’t want the scarf’s pattern to class with your overall look.

Fringe Bag

Fringe is all about the boho look, the style you frequently see during summer concerts. This notoriety has helped elevate fringe, specifically fringe bags, into the summer aesthetic dimension. After all, fringe gives some added ‘oomph’ into a particularly simple outfit.

A great thing about fringe bags is that they can be paired with most summer dresses. Be it striped (like this model) – or plain – the bag’s unique design helps complete the look with much accessorizing.

Shoes to Go with the 2021 Summer Dress Aesthetic

Just as “Good shoes take you to good places”, the right type of footwear can make or break your summer aesthetic look. For this reason, it’s a must to add one (or more) of these shoes to your current collection:

Square-Toed Heels

Square-toed heels are making a fashion comeback, many thanks to Bottega Veneta. Now, everybody’s who anybody – including models Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Elsa Hosk – are copping this trend.

While considered an autumn staple, square-toed heels are perfect for the summer aesthetic as well. For one, they provide a sexy feel – even if you’re wearing a long, loose dress. They’re also minimalistic in design, which makes them the perfect footwear for highly-embellished summer frocks.


If you’re a person who’s unwilling to trade style for comfort, then you’re in luck. With flatforms, you can channel the summer aesthetic trend – without suffering from corns, calluses, and blisters.

Flatforms are some of the greatest shoes ever for summer (and other seasons as well) because they provide height without the usual struggle. With these, you can walk all day – which is what you can expect during summer vacation. And since they’re inherently stylish, you don’t have to suffer to look good at the beach – or wherever you wish to go.

Clog Mules

Clog mules are more than just summer aesthetic trends – they’re beneficial for your body as well.

Like other clog shoes, these mules offer additional back support. Since they can help align your back, they can help you stand up straight better.

So if you’re guilty of adopting a hunched posture, then make sure to wear clog mules with your summer dress. With this, you can achieve comfort and style all at the same time.

Sporty Sandals

Are you a fan of the athleisure look? Well, you’ll be glad to know that an integral piece – the sporty sandal – works harmoniously with your summer dress aesthetic.

How these 2 opposites blend together is a matter of balance. In essence, they’re yin and yang. The summer dress aesthetic is all about a cute look, while sporty sandals appear more rugged. Better yet, sporty sandals are so comfortable that you wouldn’t mind walking several miles in them.

Chunky Boots

The summer aesthetic is all about looking cute and feminine. So if you want to add some style contrast to this outfit, then you need to pick a rugged-looking shoe – the likes of which are fully embodied by chunky boots.

Chunky boots are especially perfect for wearing your summer dress during the colder temps. You can even layer it with tights for the complete warming experience.

That said, you can still wear your chunky boots during summer – especially with the hottest trends of 2021 (like the puff-sleeved dress of this model).

The summer dress aesthetic is all about sporting the right colors, fashion trends, and shoes. By taking the above-mentioned tips in stride, you’re sure to look beach-ready – even if it’s winter!

Other Articles That May Also Interest You:

Scarf Outfit Ideas (Women’s Edition)

How to Wear A Combat Boots in Winter – Outfit Ideas & Styling Tips (Women’s Edition)

How to Style Timberland Boots (Women’s Edition) Outfit Ideas

About The Author

May is totally crazy about the 80s and everything the decade inspired! Having grown up in a household that was totally taken over by 80s music and fashion its only natural that May lives and breathes the 80s!

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