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The Evolution of Summer Fashion: Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re Going

2023, the year cowboy boots came back!

Shutterstock/ IOIO Images

Style is always personal, no matter the year, age, or gender. However, every year, there are prominent trends from high fashion brands that generally set the tone for stylistic choices, popular colors and trendy shapes.

These trends get passed down the line to high-street and online shops, where they take the trends put forward by fashion professionals, and create options with a smaller price tag.

As the always iconic film, ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ told us, ‘In 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns, then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets?… Then it filtered down through the department stores…You’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room, from a pile of stuff’.

And that is exactly how fashion continues to prevail and evolve and grow.

2023 summer fashion seems to be a fantastic mixture of a throwback to the nineties, the beginning of the coastal cowgirl aesthetic, and ensuring casual Friday, is every day with the return of quiet luxury.

Quiet Luxury style example, classic blue jeans and white shirt.
Credits: Shutterstock/ Look Studio

But, with this in mind- how did we get here? Has fashion evolved completely past the last few decades? Or, is it simply influenced by, and evolving year by year?

But hey, at least we aren’t still wearing mustache print t-shirts- hello 2012!

Denim, Denim, And More Denim

So much denim has been showcased this year at multiple high fashion shows, but it is one of those materials that is classic, timeless! However, it’s the shape and styling of denim that is prone to the most change- as seen throughout the years.

The ’90s is known for showcasing one of fashion’s biggest no-nos- until now. Double denim. She’s back.

Runways this year have showcased many variations of the double denim, including Givenchy. Their SS23 collection showcases printed denim, which was modeled by Gigi and Bella Hadid.

Here, the double denim is an ode to both the 1990s for the trend itself, but also to Y2K, with the low-waisted denim skirt, and very small, bikini-style top.

Delving into the more everyday style, denim has been a prominent staple in wardrobes for a very long time.

From the jean jacket, which reached the height of its popularity in the noughts, where retailers such as Calvin Klein, Levi Strauss, and more were all reproducing them in their own way, to the high waited, button-up shorts of the 2010s- there is so much versatility with the denim material.

This year, denim is most popular in the form of a long skirt or angular crop top often worn cohesively.

Coastal Cowgirl Aesthetic

There are always new ‘aesthetics’ or ‘cores‘ becoming trends every day, mainly since the rise of TikTok. Over the past few summers, we’ve seen VSCO girls, E-Girls, Cottage Core, Fairy Core, most recently Barbie Core, and now the Coastal Cowgirl Aesthetic.

This style mainly consists of cowgirl boots, light knitwear, and neutral colors. It’s sort of Taylor Swift 2009 meets, well, Taylor Swift 2023.

Coastal Cowgirl Explanation Tiktok. Credits: TikTok/offtrendhq

Cowgirl boots seem to be the IT boot of the year, replacing the previous trends of ankle boots, Dr. Martens, and platform boots- but of course each to their own.

Furthermore, the beach aesthetic can be derived from the original ‘hippy’ style, with flowing garments and chunky accessories. Mix this with the current throwback to Y2K, with ultra mini skirts, and an abundance of lacy cami tops, and you have the coastal cowgirl aesthetic.

So, where did this style evolve from? If we look back on some summer styles before, around circa 2010, we know that it was trendy to rock some denim shorts, a slouchy blazer and to accessorize Panama hats.

And what did we call this? Boho Chic.

Arguably, coastal cowgirl is an updated version of the ‘boho chic’ era, as it keeps with the general ‘hippy’ style of clothing, features denim, free-flowing shirts, and of course- the cowboy boot.

Hello Summer, Hello Green

It is safe to say that the color of the the year is green.

The variations of green clothing this year has been unmissable, from neon green to sage green- everyone is loving the earthy vibe green brings to outfits.

From clothing to furniture and accessories, green is taking over and people are loving it!

Green was seen in many 2022 collections, according to the ‘Wardrobe Oxygen’ article, ‘The Colour Trend You’ll See Everywhere‘. From Versace to Botega Veneta, it has been an upcoming trend since last year.

Bottega Veneta Green Bag, October 2022 collection. Credits: Shutterstock/photo-lime

It’s reached it’s peak in 2023, especially with the popularity of ‘cottage core’ style, which incorporated woodsy, earthy vibes into the style- green of course being the most earthy colour of all.

Going back a decade or so, monochrome outfits were an essential part of the teenage fashion industry. So how did we get to sporting bright colors consistently, from an era of black and white.

We can thank the ‘pop of color’ trend for this! One of the most quintessential memories a lot of us who participated in the monochrome clothing trends have is thinking:

‘Maybe I need a little pop of color! How about a colorful jacket?’ And then, over to the slouchy blazers we would go…

This pop of color turned into a splodge, a smidgen, a dollop, and then all of a sudden we are head to toe in green- who could’ve predicted?

Well, we love it either way!

Written By

Hiya, my name is Megan! I am currently studying towards a degree in Journalism in Cardiff. I am in my third year, and my goal is to be a successful writer for a women's magazine one day, and possibly specialise in media law! I want my brand to be feminine, meaningful and boundary breaking. Some things about me: Christmas is my favourite holiday, even though summer is my favourite season and I am the oldest sister, daughter and grandaughter!

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