Celeb Stylists Reveal Their Favorite Looks for Summer

The beauty of style is that everyone is free to have their own. But when it comes to what’s trending, most of us are happy to leave it up to the pros to guide us to our own versions of hip and chic. To get a preview of which styles will take over summer 2017, we reached out to some of the top stylists in the country for their expert insight. Here are some on-trend styles to update your wardrobe with this summer.

 1. The shirt-dress

beautiful young woman trying on dress and looking at her reflection

A shirt and a dress? We’ll take it. | iStock.com/g-stockstudio

We love the shirt-dress, whether it has long or short sleeves, because it’s the perfect mix of casual and chic. You can wear it to work, brunch, or even as a clever cover-up when you’re sitting by the pool or at the beach. “This casual trend that saw popularity during the Dior postwar ‘New Look’ era in the late ’50s is making it’s comeback,” Toni Ferrara, celebrity stylist who’s dressed Kim Kardashian, Matthew McConaughey, and Kate Beckinsale, said in an interview with The Cheat Sheet. “It’s a little bit tomboyish and a little bit structured sophistication.”

2. Off the shoulder

smiling fashionable woman on the street

Go ahead — show off your shoulders. | iStock.com/brickrena

“Tops and dresses continue to dare to bare — shoulders that is!” said Ferrara. We saw a glimpse of this trend in 2016, but it’s definitely taking charge again — and, to be fair, it’s also a throwback to some looks we saw in the ’80s. “We’ve seen already many dresses and tops from award season this winter and spring featuring off the shoulder, and can continue to expect it to heat up this summer with many different new styles,” Sean Panella, wardrobe stylist to the stars, told us.  

3. Printed, high-waist shorts

Young woman in high waisted shorts

Have fun with some high-waist shorts. | iStock.com/rilueda

Printed shorts will surprise the fashion jaded in summer 2017. “Depending on your mood, treat this like a neutral and wear graphic tees and your boyfriend’s varsity jacket to complete the look,” Sam Russell, head of The Wardrobe Department and founder of Giving Closet, told The Cheat Sheet. “Accessories can be a bold vintage brooch or delicate jewelry with a message or heart.” It’s all up to you.

Also, don’t settle for the familiar. “Alexander McQueen featured waist-cinchers on the runway, so that’s our signal to know things are going to get wild for this trend, forecasting the masses are all out on this one ready to bring it to life this season,” Panella added. Invest in a detailed waist-cincher and pair it with your favorite dress this summer.

4. Overalls

Beautiful girl with long silky hair in denim short overalls

Overalls can look amazing, as long as you know how to style them. | iStock.com/Nikkolia

Overalls have been reworked and refined in an exciting way that actually looks good and fashion forward. “Gone are the days of overalls being viewed as a denim monstrosity men wore to hold their snuff and the keys to a tractor, or the baggy Tommy Hilfiger variation seen in so many 1990’s hip hop music videos,” Mickey Freeman, celebrity fashion stylist, said.

Accessories are important for this look, so don’t forget your bucket hat! “To add a bit of panache to your polo and trousers, bucket hats are giving men of all ages and walks of life shade, while keeping them ‘cool,’” Freeman said. “The bucket hat is once again getting its time to shine.”

5. Gender-neutral garments

Black far west modern fashion man

Not every garment has to be overtly masculine or feminine. | iStock.com/Lunamarina

As the world further embraces individuality, more and more men will continue experimenting with out-of-the-box looks. This look, known as ‘Generation Y,’ includes a lot of architecturally inspired, gender-neutral pieces, ranging from outlandish biomorphic shapes to quite reserved pieces. “It’s a look that takes classic menswear to new extremes with unconventional cuts and gender-bending silhouettes,” Freeman said. “An irreverent luxury that makes deconstruction look, well, refined.”

Recently, the often one-dimensional fitted trouser has become synonymous with chic. “The current resurgence of baggy trousers demonstrates that good tailoring ultimately determines what looks good, while bringing variety in an array of shapes and proportions for the masculine silhouette,” Freeman explained.

6. Men in kilts

row of kilts

It is not taboo for a man to wear a kilt. | iStock.com

There are a number of prominent celebrities, athletes, and role models who’ve been spotted wearing a kilt. By choosing to wear them, they not only help expand the definition of menswear, but they inadvertently redefine masculinity. “The kilt is no longer a trend, it’s a fresh silhouette for men,” Freeman said. “A man wearing a skirt isn’t exactly a new concept in the world of fashion, however, society seems to have a distorted yet singular view of what a black man is and should be, when we’re as assorted as any other race.”

How to pull it off? Kilts are the essential add-on to any trouser or can be a bold statement piece for the brave soul who chooses to go pant-less. The look can be dressed up or dressed down, meaning a T-shirt or dress shirt can change the look from day to night.

7. Leather dresses

Beautiful lady with black shades

The only time this look won’t work is when it’s insanely hot outside. | iStock.com/grinvalds

Leather dresses for summer don’t make much sense on paper, but looking at the current state of political affairs, they make a bit more sense. “This style embodies looking defiant and feminine,” Ali Levine, celebrity stylist, fashion expert, and TV personality, said in an interview with The Cheat Sheet. “Celebrities, such as Lady Gaga, really inspire and embody this trend with their outgoing style. And, of course, Alexander McQueen loves this trend with [the label’s] flamboyant outlook on fashion.”

Choosing the right accessories for a look like this can make or break it. “The accessories can go tough or soft — spiked envelope clutch is an ideal fit,” Russell said. “Leather dresses don’t take much to finish, so a simple scarf and driving shoes are really all you need to complete this look.” Have fun and feel free to break away from darker leathers that are more popular. Do, however, avoid wearing one on record-breaking heat wave days. 

8. Flatforms

Golden alien shoe with a shiny metallic finish

Take fun shoes to new heights by opting for something a little out there. | iStock.com/Photology1971

The person in colorful and quirky platforms typically gets all the attention, but the “flatforms” got jealous and came for revenge this season. “Embellished, adorned and colorful, eclectic flats came along hard and heavy for summer 2017,” Russell said. “Capris, dark denim jeans, and pleated shorts help take this look from magazine to office party to third date.” But remember, these are not your mom’s flats — these are younger in spirit and may remind you of your offbeat aunt who always traveled with a young, male companion.

9. The bralette

Short black top in flower

Bra-like tops are a favorite among celebs. | iStock.com/SomeMeans

There’s no denying the sexy, lacy bra you can see through your clothes has planted its flag on style and is here to stay. “Fashion trendsetters, such as Kendall Jenner, have been frequently seen sporting the unrestrained style, while designers, such as Alexander Wang and Tory Burch, have sent out major amounts of bra tops on the runway during fashion week,” said Levine.

The perfect way to rock the bralette in real life? Pair it with an evening skirt, silky suit pants or cropped pants, and a blazer. Great color schemes that work for this are all black with a pop of color in the bralette. For, example, you could go with a black blazer and black pant with a brightly colored or printed bralette underneath. “There are so many fun different color schemes you can use to play this look up and down, and take it from day to night,” Levine explained.

10. Neon

Yellow fashionable dress

You can’t go wrong when you opt for something bold and bright. | iStock.com/NeonShot

This might be a tricky look to pull off, but our experts say that when neon is done right, it’s a look for the books. “Tokyo Fashion week was electrified with the fluorescent, high-wattage trend,” Levine said. “Designers, such as 5-Knot and Akiko Aoki, were all about the high-brights look this year.”

There are definitely different ways to pair this striking trend if you have no desire to go full Glow Goddess. Pair your vibrant colored shirt with a more toned down color pant and some nude shoes or a simple color outfit with booming bright shoes with accessories to match.

11. Floral

A young woman wearing a summer dress

Florals are here to stay. | iStock.com/lolostock

Floral is a timeless, feminine style that can go from cute and casual to very high fashion. It’s that perfect style transition to get you in the summertime mood, and is appropriate for everything from a daytime garden party to an evening cocktail hour. “Chloè, Balenciaga, and Tory Burch all charmed the runway with the ever so beautiful floral this year,” Levine said. “My favorite way to wear this trend is with a high neck-collared, full-length maxi dress covered in a soft floral print.”

12. Cut-outs

Beautiful Lady sitting holding black hangbag

Cut-outs show just enough skin. | iStock.comMoustacheGirl

While it’s clear that skin is in, the let-it all-hang-out look is for the birds. The current trend aims for the perfect marriage between class and sex appeal, which is great for summer. “Some brands that are doing it really well, and unexpected cut outs, and not basic are House of CB, Balmain, Halston, For Love and Lemons,” Levine explained. “There’s a certain edge and high fashion approach when this is done right.”

An easy starting point? Find a cocktail dress that has cut outs on the sides or in the back. Dress it up with some accessories and go to town!

[Editor’s note: This story was originally published April 2017]