28 Fashion Must-Haves for Instagram Gold This Summer

It’s time to start organizing all kinds of fun summer activities, because the hottest season of the year is finally upon us! After what always seems like a wait that’s entirely too long, we now get to put on brand-new swimsuits and flaunt the bodies we’ve been working on all winter. Those workout sessions weren’t for nothing, after all!

With all the exciting summer activities comes plenty of opportunities for great Instagram photos hashtagged #wanderlust or #summer16, but those photos won’t look nearly as cool without some seriously stylish garb. There are too many easy-to-wear and covet-worthy trends in the fashion world this season for us not to buy into at least a few (although, let’s be honest, we’re going all out!). With that being said, we though it’d be very helpful to have a list of all the hottest summer trends this season. This way you can scroll through and see what might work with your own style—you’re bound to find a few!

The summer fashion trends this year are way too cool to say no to. Here are the must-haves styles for this season that are sure to be Instagram gold…

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Peek-a-boo Shoulders

Whether in the form of completely off-the-shoulder tops or cutout style frocks, it’s certain that shoulders are the must-show body part of the season. Just enough skin to intrigue, but modest enough to spark curiosity, you’ll feel flirtatious in any peek-a-boo shoulder garment you choose.

Tie-Dye Dresses

Perfect for the beach or a carefree day spent swinging in a hammock, flowy tie-dye dresses are all the rage this season. The print just screams “summer!” It’s totally relaxed and is a great piece to throw on for any casual summer event.


If you’re looking for an easy shoe to wear that will make you look extremely fashion-forward, the flat mule is your footwear. Available in all kinds of styles and colors for every type of fashionista, there’s sure to be a mule that you’ll fall in love with.

Choker Necklines

Following suit with the huge ‘90s trend that hit stores recently, choker necklines are a take on the decade’s popular necklace. You’ll find attached necklines to tops or dresses that wrap around the neck but leave a V underneath to show the chest. It’s a very sexy style that’s perfect for summer nights out!

Punchy Orange

Arguably the color of summer 2016, bright orange was seen on the runway at Erin Fetherston in the form of a neon pleated frock, as highlighted by Stylecaster. Something about it was so sophisticated yet bold that it could make anyone feel confident enough to wear such a loud hue.


A fashion detail doesn’t get much more fun than a tassel. Free to move with your every step, tassels can be found as strings hanging from dresses or ties to secure flirty heels. Anything with a tassel (or a couple) goes this season!

Slip Dresses

Nothing says sexy quite like a slinky slip dress with bedroom eyes. This year, sleepwear is becoming outerwear, and it’s surprisingly versatile! Try a pair of boots with your slip dress and a masculine, light jacket on top to balance out the femininity of the piece.


On the same playing field as tassels, fringe is right up there in the details that make dancing even more fun. Snag a bag with fringe detail or a skirt hemmed with the free-flowing fabric.

Denim Skirts

Just when you thought they had retired forever, jean skirts have resurfaced with the ‘90s revival. Wear your denim skirt how you’d like, complete with a choker necklace and a mauve lipstick, and you’ve got the decade down pat.


Finding a comfortable shoe that is equally as chic has never been easier. Lucky for us, slides are in style, which means no pesky buckles necessary! Just slip your foot right through the straps, and you’ve got a low-key yet stylish shoe to take you from the beach to the bar.


Big or small, pleats are no longer reserved for the prim and proper bunch. If you pair a pleated skirt with a cool tee and a pair of sneakers, you instantly skyrocket in chicness.

Little White Dress

While this isn’t as much a trend so much as a summer staple, every stylish woman needs a fabulous little white dress in her closet for the warmer months. The “Dress Every Girl Needs This Season” compilation at Lyst will remind you why LWDs are vital for sunny days. Read it here.


Netted or mesh clothing isn’t as scandalous as you might think. With all the bralettes on the market, layering is uber-important with this trend, and it gives you a great opportunity to be creative!

Spanish Influence

Ruffles are big this season, and everyone’s wearing them. Think Spanish-inspired dresses that beg to be cha-cha’d in—those are what you’ll want to wear on your weekend getaway.

Neck Ties

Reaching into the fashion archives, neck scarfs are making a huge comeback. Tie a scarf around your neck a la retro flight attendant for a truly cosmopolitan look that’s impossibly chic. Bonus points for this style because it can instantly transform any tired outfit.


Skinny jeans are seeing their way out, and wide-legged pants are moving onto the style scene. Culottes hit at the calf, and they’re breezy enough to keep you cool in even the hottest summer sun. Pair them with a crop top or tight shirt to contrast the shapes.


The old classic is getting a makeover of its own this year. Button-downs are the unofficial “cool” garment that’s easy to throw on but polished enough to seem put-together. Opt for one with a fun print that reflects your personal style, and wear it with jean shorts.


Carry your favorite things around in something a little different than a handbag. Transfer those goodies to a backpack. There are plenty of high-street styles for you to choose from, but just remember that rugged is preferred over polished this time around.

One-Piece Swimsuits

Summer fashion wouldn’t be anything without swimwear trends. Many consumers are thrilled to see that one-pieces have a much larger appeal than they did in recent years. Designers are putting out crazy cutout styles and cheeky cuts alike to turn even the avid bikini-wearer to the one-piece side.


Glam out your nails or invest in a shiny new bag, because metallic accessories and details are what will make you stand out this summer. A silver handbag is basically your neutral, go-with-anything accessory.

Bell Sleeves

Take it from Lauren Conrad’s feature on AOL—this ‘70s staple is back in style and you’d be crazy not to give it a try. Get ahold of a pretty peasant top with modern flair to make the trend current.

Victorian Romance

When it comes to maxi dresses and modest tops, designers turned to the Victorian era for inspiration. Plenty of romantic floral details and embroidery can be found on these pieces. You can always mix in additional edgy elements if the style is too feminine for you.

High-Neck Bikinis

The days of the basic triangle bikini top are long gone. The swimwear industry has really stepped its game up, and as a result, there are a lot of adorable bikinis that look fabulous in photos but leave very inconvenient tanlines. One of these bikinis is the high-neck halter style. Regardless of tanlines, it’s a must-have.

Paper-Bag Waist Pants

Retro waistlines have never felt so sexy. Finally, the extremely low-cut pants of the 2000s are gone, and high-waists are back. Especially feminine is the paper-bag waist, which features a giant belt to tie. These pants are a great excuse to throw on some cat-eye sunnies!

Festival Dresses

You no longer have to go to Coachella or any other major festival to don festival wear. Floral frocks are a summer 2016 staple. Channel your version of a field fairy with no-fuss braids and a pair of ankle boots.

Graphic Stripes

Stripes may seem like a given for summertime, but this year they’re a bit more bold and defined. Orange is paired with blue, and other elementary colors make for stark contrast that gives this year’s stripes a much more futuristic feel.

Lace-Up Shoes

Although we saw some sky-high gladiator sandals last year, only the bold wore them. Now, dramatic sandals are expected. To spice up the gladiator look from last year, get a pair that lace up and you have to tie at the top. They’re like a cross between ballerina shoes and gladiator sandals—the perfect balance!

Shirts Under Dresses

Forget what you heard about T-shirts under dresses being tacky. It’s the next biggest thing sure to score you some points if you feel confident enough to pull it off. Get a fitted white tee and wear it under a spaghetti strap dress (a great opportunity to wear that slip dress!), and voila!

Summer isn’t half as fun as it should be without the proper fashion to wear during all your fun adventures! This list has covered all the bases, so you don’t have any excuses for lackluster summer outfits this year. Wearing just one of these trends in your next Instagram post is sure to yield all kinds of comments laden with complimentary emojis. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!