People in Europe, especially the countries that are closer to the equator, really know how to dress for summer, their looks anchored with an effortlessness that’s difficult to emulate. Difficult, but not impossible. Embracing the sun-kissed season, stylish Europeans (and those visiting the region) are opting for breezy silhouettes, vibrant colours, and lightweight fabrics to inform their summer wares, and I for one wouldn’t mind dressing like them. So, let’s take a look at the European summer fashion trends that are currently dominating, shall we?
I don’t know what it is, but Europeans have a penchant for '90s-style dressing. This is something I see everywhere, Calais to Capri. For example, setting sensible shoes to one side for a second, people from across the continent seem to share an affinity for Carrie Bradshaw circa 1999 mules. In terms of prints and colours, the general consensus seems to be the sassier, the better. This such notion transcends across many of the other European summer fashion trends I've unearthed in my search.
From dresses to co-ords right the way through to jewellery and, yes, pretty shoes, scroll on to see the looks and aesthetics that are already sweeping Europe this summer.
1. Gauzy Dresses
Style Notes: Lightweight fabrications are essential in balmy heat of southern Europe, and gauzy, thin-knit dresses provide the perfect alternative for when you tire of linen.
2. Big Pendant Necklaces
Style Notes: Gen Z travellers have declared this the summer of the big pendant energy. Look for chunky styles involving hearts, flowers or abstract shapes to give your European wares Y2K appeal.
3. Waistcoat Co-Ords
Style Notes: Co-ords are popular everywhere but Euro girls have been embracing one style in particular. It can be trousers, shorts or a skirt on the bottom, so long as your top half is covered by a waistcoat.
4. '90s Mules
Style Notes: Perhaps it's the Barbie influence but pretty, retro-style mules are back on the fashion this summer. Look for cute details such as crystal flowers and hearts to add to the throwback appeal.
5. Leopard Print
Style Notes: From Rome to Paris, if there's one print trend that everyone in Continental Europe embraces, it's leopard print. Sure, they may flirt with others along the way but it's this, for lack of a better word, sexy motif that seems to stand the test of time (and geography).
6. Bandeau Tops
Style Notes: Just as popular abroad as it is on home soil, the simple bandeau top has made an impressive comeback this summer, and acts as the perfect pairing to your denim skirts, shorts or jeans.
7. Natty Scarves
Style Notes: Scarves, for summer? Now that is groundbreaking. Of course I'm not talking about woollen styles; I'm instead referring to those of the silky square variety. Worn in your hair, tied to the strap of your bag, styled as a top, or simply knotted around your neck, this is one small but mighty inclusion in your holiday suitcase.
8. Rosette Details
Style Notes: They were all over the summer 2023 runways and now rosettes (or corsages, whichever terminology you prefer) are cropping up on outfits from London all the way to Athens. Use a brooch or necklace to breathe new life into your existing wardrobe, or try a piece that's readily in bloom.
9. Boxer Shorts
Style Notes: Denim shorts will always be a warm-weather mainstay but those exploring Europe this summer are packing light with cotton boxers. Choose a blue pair so that they go with everything you would have worn a denim short with. That, or you can't go wrong with classic white or black.
10. Flashes of Red
Style Notes: While the rest of the world is currently enamoured with pink, some fashion types are favouring red-hot tones. There's just something about this shade of chilli red that feels inherently European, and I am here for it.