Fashion design

Art of applying design and aesthetics to clothing and accessories

Fashion designers in 1974 in Dresden.

Fashion design is the art of applying design, aesthetics, clothing construction and natural beauty to clothing and its accessories. It is influenced by culture and different trends, and has varied over time and place. "A fashion designer creates clothing, including dresses, suits, pants, and skirts, and accessories like shoes and handbags, for consumers. He or she can specialize in clothing, accessory, or jewelry design, or may work in more than one of these areas."[1]

Fashion designers typically use a runway of models to showcase their work.

Fashion designers [ edit ]

Fashion designers work in a variety of different ways when designing their pieces and accessories such as rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Because of the time required to put a garment out in market, designers must anticipate changes to consumer desires. Fashion designers are responsible for creating looks for individual garments, involving shape, color, fabric, trimming, and more.[2]

Designers conduct research on fashion trends and interpret them for their audience. Their specific designs are used by manufacturers. This is the essence of a designer's role; however, there is variation within this that is determined by the buying and merchandising approach. When thinking of product quality control budget retailers use inexpensive fabrics to have a quick turn around on production, but high-end retailers will ensure that the best available fabrics are used and lots of time is utilized.[3]

Fashion designers attempt to design clothes which are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. They consider who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn, and they work within a wide range of materials, colors, patterns and styles. Though most clothing worn for everyday wear falls within a narrow range of conventional styles, unusual garments are usually sought for special occasions such as evening wear or party dresses.

Some clothes are made specifically for an individual, as in the case of haute couture or bespoke tailoring. Today, most clothing is designed for the mass market, especially casual and every-day wear are called ready to wear or known as fast fashion.

Education [ edit ]

To become a fashion designer there is training and certifications that will help you succeed in this profession. However, you don't need a college degree, but experience and love for fashion is ideal in this industry. An associates or bachelors degree in fashion design would aid in this success. "As a fashion design major, you will take classes in color, textiles, sewing and tailoring, pattern making, fashion history, and computer-aided design (CAD) and learn about different types of clothing such as menswear or footwear " .[2] When receiving education it will help new fashion designers understand every important detail in fashion and designing clothes and footwear. Also, it will be beneficial for new fashion designers to complete an internship, it will give new fashion designers good experiences while assisting a fashion designer and have access to the world of fashion.

Structure [ edit ]

Fashion designers may work full-time for one fashion house, as 'in-house designers', which owns the designs, or they work alone or as part of a team. Freelance designers work for themselves, selling their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops, or to clothing manufacturers. Most fashion designers set up their own labels, under which their designs are marketed. While others are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-end fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-end fashion department stores. These designers create original garments, as well as those that follow established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men's, women's, and children's fashions for the mass market. Large designer brands which have a 'name' as their brand such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Justice, or Juicy are likely to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a design director.

Designing a garment [ edit ]

Fashion designers work in different ways. Some sketch their ideas on paper, while others drape fabric on a dress form, another term for mannequin. Some designers work along with certain apps that can help connect all ideas together and expand their thoughts on a design.When a designer is completely satisfied with the fit of the toile (or muslin), they will consult a professional pattern maker who then makes the finished, working version of the pattern out of card or via a computer program. Finally, a sample garment is made up and tested on a model to make sure it is an operational outfit. Fashion design is expressive, the designers create art that may be functional or non-functional.

History [ edit ]

Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth's success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 is considered as fashion design.[4]

It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images were shown to clients, which was much cheaper than producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked their design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.

Types of fashion [ edit ]

Garments produced by clothing manufacturers fall into three main categories, although these may be split up into additional, different types

Haute couture [ edit ]

Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis (French for high-sewing), with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make.[5][6] Due to the high cost of each garment, haute couture makes little direct profit for the fashion houses, but is important for prestige and publicity.[7]

Ready-to-wear, or prêt-à-porter, clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a citywide basis and occurs twice a year. The main seasons of Fashion Week include: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, swim, and bridal.

Half-way garments are an alternative to ready-to-wear, "off-the-peg", or prêt-à-porter fashion. Half-way garments are intentionally unfinished pieces of clothing that encourages co-design between the "primary designer" of the garment, and what would usually be considered, the passive "consumer".[8] This differs from ready-to-wear fashion, as the consumer is able to participate in the process of making and co-designing their clothing. During the Make{able} workshop, Hirscher and Niinimaki found that personal involvement in the garment-making process created a meaningful “narrative” for the user, which established a person-product attachment and increased the sentimental value of the final product.[8]

Otto von Busch also explores half-way garments and fashion co-design in his thesis, "Fashion-able, Hacktivism and engaged Fashion Design".[9]

Mass market [ edit ]

Currently, the fashion industry relies more on mass-market sales. The mass market caters for a wide range of customers, producing ready-to-wear garments using trends set by the famous names in fashion. They often wait around a season to make sure a style is going to catch on before producing their versions of the original look. To save money and time, they use cheaper fabrics and simpler production techniques which can easily be done by machines. The end product can, therefore, be sold much more cheaply.[10][11][12]

There is a type of design called "kutch" originated from the German word kitschig, meaning "trashy" or "not aesthetically pleasing". Kitsch can also refer to "wearing or displaying something that is therefore no longer in fashion".[13]

Income [ edit ]

Median annual wages for salaried fashion designers were $61,160 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,150 and $87,120.[14] The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,780. Median annual earnings were $52,860 (£40,730.47) in apparel, piece goods, and notions - the industry employing the largest numbers of fashion designers.[15] As of 2016 ,a fashion designer's median annual salary was $65,170. High end designers can earn around $92,550. In 2016, 23,800 people were counted as fashion designers in the United States.[16]

World fashion industry [ edit ]

Men pulling carts of women's clothing in Garment District , New York, 1955

Fashion today is a global industry, and most major countries have a fashion industry. Seven countries have established an international reputation in fashion: France, Italy, United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Germany and Belgium. The "big four" fashion capitals of the fashion industry are Paris, Milan, New York City and London with Paris often being considered as the World's fashion capital.[17][18]

United States [ edit ]

Fashion show at a fashion designing college, US, 2015

Most fashion houses in the United States are based in New York City, with a high concentration centered in the Garment District neighborhood. On the US west coast, there is also a significant number of fashion houses in Los Angeles, where a substantial percentage of high fashion clothing manufactured in the United States is actually made. Beverly Hills, particularly on Rodeo Drive, is globally renowned for its fashion design and prestigious shopping. Burgeoning industries in Miami, Chicago, Dallas, and especially San Francisco have developed as well. A semi-annual event held every February and September, New York Fashion Week, is the oldest of the four major fashion weeks held throughout the world. Parsons The New School for Design, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City, is considered one of the top fashion schools in the world. There are numerous fashion magazines published in the United States and distributed to a global readership. Examples include Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan.

American fashion design is highly diverse, reflecting the enormous ethnic diversity of the population, but is largely dominated by a clean-cut, urban, hip aesthetic, and often favors a more casual style, reflecting the athletic, health-conscious lifestyles of the suburban and urban middle classes.

Famous American brands and designers include Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Coach, Nike, Vans, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Tom Ford, Caswell-Massey, Michael Kors, Levi Strauss and Co., Estée Lauder, Revlon, Kate Spade, Alexander Wang, Vera Wang, Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany and Co., Converse, Oscar de la Renta, John Varvatos, Anna Sui, Prabal Gurung, Bill Blass, Halston, Carhartt, Brooks Brothers, Stuart Weitzman, Diane von Furstenberg, J. Crew, American Eagle Outfitters, Steve Madden, Abercrombie and Fitch, Juicy Couture, Thom Browne, Guess, Supreme, and The Timberland Company.

Belgium [ edit ]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Belgian fashion designers brought a new fashion image that mixed East and West, and brought a highly individualised, personal vision on fashion. Well known Belgian designers are the Antwerp Six: Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck and Marina Yee, as well as Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simons, Kris Van Assche, Bruno Pieters, Anthony Vaccarello.[19]

United Kingdom [ edit ]

London has long been the capital of the United Kingdom fashion industry and has a wide range of foreign designs which have integrated with modern British styles. Typical, British design is smart but innovative yet recently has become more and more unconventional, fusing traditional styles with modern techniques. Vintage styles play an important role in the British fashion and styling industry. Stylists regularly 'mix and match' the old with the new, which gives British style that unique, bohemian aesthetic that many of the other fashion capitals try to imitate. Irish fashion (both design and styling) is also heavily influenced by fashion trends from Britain. Well known British designers are Thomas Burberry, Alfred Dunhill, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, John Galliano, John Richmond, Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Gareth Pugh, Hussein Chalayan.

France [ edit ]

Most French fashion houses are in Paris, which is the capital of French fashion. Traditionally, French fashion is chic and stylish, defined by its sophistication, cut, and smart accessories. French fashion is internationally acclaimed.

Spain [ edit ]

Madrid and Barcelona are the main fashion cities of Spain. Spanish fashion is often more conservative and traditional but also more 'timeless' than other fashion cultures. Spaniards are known not to take great risks when dressing.[20][21] Nonetheless, many are the fashion brands and designers coming from Spain.

The most notable luxury houses are Loewe and Balenciaga. Famous designers include Manolo Blahnik, Elio Berhanyer, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paco Rabanne, Adolfo Domínguez, Manuel Pertegaz, Jesús del Pozo, Felipe Varela and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.

Spain is also home to large fashion brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Mango, Desigual, Pepe Jeans and Camper.

Germany [ edit ]

Berlin is the centre of fashion in Germany (prominently displayed at Berlin Fashion Week), while Düsseldorf holds Europe's largest fashion trade fairs with Igedo. Other important centres of the scene are Munich, Hamburg, and Cologne. German fashion is famed for its elegant lines as well as unconventional young designs and the great variety of styles.

Italy [ edit ]

Milan is Italy's fashion capital. Most of the older Italian couturiers are in Rome. However, Milan and Florence are the Italian fashion capitals, and it is the exhibition venue for their collections. Italian fashion features casual and glamorous elegance. In Italy Milan Fashion week takes places twices a week in February and September. Milan Fashion week puts fashion in the spotlight and celebrates it in the heart of Milan with fashion lovers, buyers and media.


Japan [ edit ]

Most Japanese fashion houses are in Tokyo. The Japanese look is loose and unstructured (often resulting from complicated cutting), colours tend to the sombre and subtle, and richly textured fabrics. Famous Japanese designers include Kenzo Takada, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo.

China [ edit ]

Hong Kong clothing brand Shanghai Tang's design concept is inspired by Chinese clothing and set out to rejuvenate Chinese fashion of the 1920s and 30s, with a modern twist of the 21st century and its usage of bright colours.[23]

Soviet Union [ edit ]

Fashion in the Soviet Union largely followed general trends of the Western world. However, the state's socialist ideology consistently moderated and influenced these trends. In addition, shortages of consumer goods meant that the general public did not have ready access to pre-made fashion.

Switzerland [ edit ]

Most of the Swiss fashion houses are in Zürich.[24] The Swiss look is casual elegant and luxurious with a slight touch of quirkiness. Additionally, it has been greatly influenced by the dance club scene.

Mexico [ edit ]

In the development of Mexican indigenous dress, the fabrication was determined by the materials and resources that are available in specific regions, impacting the "fabric, shape and construction of a people's clothing".[25] Textiles were created from plant fibers including cotton and agave. Class status differentiated what fabric was worn. Mexican dress was influenced by geometric shapes to create the silhouettes. Huipil a blouse characterized by a "loose, sleeveless tunic made of two or three joined webs of cloth sewn lengthwise"[26] is an important historical garment, often seen today. After the Spanish Conquest, traditional Mexican clothing shifted to take a Spanish resemblance.

Mexican indigenous groups rely on specific embroidery and colors to differentiate themselves from each other.[27]

Mexican Pink is a significant color to the identity of Mexican art and design and general spirit. The term "Rosa Mexicano" as described by Ramón Valdiosera was established by prominent figures such as Dolores del Río and designer Ramón Val in New York.[27]

When newspapers and magazines such as El Imparcial and El Mundo Ilustrado circulated in Mexico, became a significant movement, as it informed the large cities, such as Mexico City, of European fashions. This encouraged the founding of department stores, changing the existent pace of fashion.[28] With access to European fashion and dress, those with high social status relied on adopting those elements to distinguish themselves from the rest. Juana Catarina Romero was a successful entrepreneur and pioneer in this movement.

Malaysia [ edit ]

In Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is the major fashion and production city.[29] and Malaysia Fashion Week[30]

Fashion design terms [ edit ]

A fashion designer conceives garment combinations of line, proportion, color, and texture. While sewing and pattern-making skills are beneficial, they are not a pre-requisite of successful fashion design. Most fashion designers are formally trained or apprenticed.

A technical designer works with the design team and the factories overseas to ensure correct garment construction, appropriate fabric choices and a good fit. The technical designer fits the garment samples on a fit model, and decides which fit and construction changes to make before mass-producing the garment.

A pattern maker ( also referred as pattern master or pattern cutter ) drafts the shapes and sizes of a garment's pieces. This may be done manually with paper and measuring tools or by using a CAD computer software program. Another method is to drape fabric directly onto a dress form. The resulting pattern pieces can be constructed to produce the intended design of the garment and required size. Formal training is usually required for working as a pattern marker.

) drafts the shapes and sizes of a garment's pieces. This may be done manually with paper and measuring tools or by using a CAD computer software program. Another method is to drape fabric directly onto a dress form. The resulting pattern pieces can be constructed to produce the intended design of the garment and required size. Formal training is usually required for working as a pattern marker. A tailor makes custom designed garments made to the client's measure; especially suits (coat and trousers, jacket and skirt, et cetera). Tailors usually undergo an apprenticeship or other formal training.

A textile designer designs fabric weaves and prints for clothes and furnishings. Most textile designers are formally trained as apprentices and in school.

A stylist co-ordinates the clothes, jewelry, and accessories used in fashion photography and catwalk presentations. A stylist may also work with an individual client to design a coordinated wardrobe of garments. Many stylists are trained in fashion design, the history of fashion, and historical costume, and have a high level of expertise in the current fashion market and future market trends. However, some simply have a strong aesthetic sense for pulling great looks together.

A fashion buyer selects and buys the mix of clothing available in retail shops, department stores, and chain stores. Most fashion buyers are trained in business and/or fashion studies.

A seamstress sews ready-to-wear or mass-produced clothing by hand or with a sewing machine, either in a garment shop or as a sewing machine operator in a factory. She (or he) may not have the skills to make (design and cut) the garments, or to fit them on a model.

A dressmaker specializes in custom-made women's clothes: day, cocktail, and evening dresses, business clothes and suits, trousseaus, sports clothes, and lingerie.

A fashion forecaster predicts what colours, styles and shapes will be popular ("on-trend") before the garments are on sale in stores.

A model wears and displays clothes at fashion shows and in photographs.

A fit model aids the fashion designer by wearing and commenting on the fit of clothes during their design and pre-manufacture. Fit models need to be a particular size for this purpose.

A fashion journalist writes fashion articles describing the garments presented or fashion trends, for magazines or newspapers.

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

Bibliography [ edit ]

Fashion Design & Merchandising

Start your career in the fashion industry! Prepare for transfer to a baccalaureate degree, or start your sales, management, or buying career in the wholesale or retail fashion industry, through this combination of fashion studies, business, and general education courses.

You will be able to: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the fashion industry from concept to consumer

Compare and contrast historical costume dress to contemporary dress

Apply appropriate visual merchandising and advertising techniques

Demonstrate techniques and use of materials required to construct sewn products

Demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationships between the consumer and the primary, secondary, retailing and auxiliary segments of the fashion industry

29 stylish summer sets of 2022 for warm weather occasions

When the weather gets warm, a comfortable and easy-to-throw-on outfit is an absolute must. Whether you opt for a breezy nap dress or a cute romper, there’s no question that an all-in-one outfit makes getting dressed a whole lot easier. And the latest style trend that’s just as convenient (and even more versatile) than a single piece? A matching set.

According to NYC-based celebrity and personal stylist Samantha Brown, matching sets are “having a major moment.” People want to achieve a chic and cohesive look, she explains, but also want to look and feel effortless. Fashion stylist and costume designer Alison Brooks agrees. “Matching sets are in the initial stages of blowing up this summer,” she explains, “because it takes the guessing and stress of what you’re going to wear with what out of your daily equation.”

Celebrity and editorial stylist Avon Dorsey echoes this sentiment. “They work well because they provide an inherent cheat code to getting dressed — there’s a built-in monochromatic or print aesthetic right at your fingertips,” he explains. “The convenience of snap decision-making is what’s most enjoyable about choosing a matching set,” Dorsey shares. “You don’t have to deliberate too long about pairing the perfect top and bottom.”

The ease of a set is also what appeals to celebrity stylist Brian Meller, who has worked with stars like Bretman Rock and Lea Michele. “They’re easy and take away part of the stress of putting together an outfit,” he explains. “Especially during the hotter summer months, a set is one way to look put together or purposeful with your outfit, without having to layer or wear too many pieces.” And if you’re traveling during the summer, all the more reason to add one to your wardrobe. “You can pack a matching set but use it for multiple outfits, mixing the top and bottom with other pieces you packed,” explains Meller.

“A lot of the most popular sets these days are often a top and bottom combo that incorporate cropped pieces with a skirt or pant,” explains ​​LA-based stylist Estelle Aporongao, who describes matching sets as “the easiest way to pull together an effortlessly chic outfit.” Stylist and creative director Veronica Graye agrees, noting that she loves how versatile a matching set can be. She calls it an equally perfect option “for those moments when you need to feel incredibly put together, like a job interview or meeting the parents,” and also for the everyday errands like picking up your kids from school or running to the grocery store.

Ahead, these six stylists share some of their favorite sets, all of which are sure to keep you feeling and looking effortlessly stylish all summer long.

Two-piece matching summer sets

$58 at Madewell & $78 at Madewell

Breezewoven Abbie Crop Top and Breezewoven Pull-On High-Rise Straight Pants Madewell

“Many sets have an exposed midsection since crop tops are very popular,” explains Brown. This set from Madewell is a cute way to wear the trend without feeling too exposed. Brown recommends throwing on a blazer or moto jacket if you’re looking for that bit of extra coverage.

From $47.99 at Madewell & from $39.50 at Madewell

Madewell Lightspun Renwood Button-Back Top and Lightspun Easy Pull-On Shorts Madewell

It’s gonna be a hot summer, so linen and light cotton can be a real lifesaver. This cotton gauze set from Madewell is not only affordable but available in tons of sweet summer colors, which you can mix and match too. It’s a Madewell shopper bestseller right now.

$108 at Free People

Endless Summer Modern Summer Set Free People

This top-rated summer set from Free People can easily be dressed up with a pair of heels or dressed down with a swimsuit. It’s made with cotton and linen too, so you know you’ll be able to stay cool.

Dancing Stripes Tiered Maxi Skirt and Dancing Stripes Puff-Sleeve Crop Top Neiman Marcus

“This just brings me joy,” shares Brooks. “It’s so fun and a little flirty.” Perfect for a beach day, international travel and any dressy summer soirees, this set would pair perfectly with a bright, solid-colored shoe as well, explains Brooks.

From $31.99 at Amazon

Safrisior Long-Sleeve Shirt and Loose High-Waisted Shorts Set Amazon

An Underscored editor favorite, this set is not only adorable but has kept us sweat-free and covered up from the sun whenever we’ve worn it. Cute enough for brunch and also lazying around the house, it’s become an immediate closet staple.

$98 at Free People

Endless Summer Stay Cool Set Free People

With a cropped twist-front top and a pull-on waistband on the shorts, this set keeps true to its name. Plus, it’s made from 100% cotton.

$99 at Good American

Good American Terry Romper Good American

Not technically a two-piece, but we’re too obsessed with this not to include. Made of terry cloth material (which Meller says is “so perfect for summer”), it can literally help wick away moisture from you and be a fantastic swimsuit cover-up.

$248 at The Reformation

Cleo Linen Two-Piece The Reformation

Brown recommends this linen set as a perfectly breezy yet still sophisticated outfit option for hot summer days.

$128 at Free People

Endless Summer Whatta Sight Set Free People

Got a vacation planned in Europe this year? This is the set you’ll want to wear. A longer skirt keeps you cool and covered, and the cropped top features rolled sleeves. Naturally, it’s a cotton-linen blend too.

$218 at Nordstrom

Two-Piece Denim Dress Nordstrom

There’s nothing like an all-white outfit for summer, and this denim option is an absolute dream. “The skirt and vest are great pieces that can be mixed and matched into other outfits,” explains Meller.

$89 at COS & $135 at COS

Slim-Fit Pleated Vest and Regular-Fit Pleated A-Line Skirt COS

Graye recommends COS if you’re on the hunt for matching sets, since the brand’s website has a section dedicated to them. Plus, she loves its great price point, incredible quality and commitment to sustainability. “This skirt set will be my summer staple,” she shares.

$278 at The Reformation

Mylie Two-Piece The Reformation

“This set reminds me of a very iconic look that Gwyneth Paltrow wore in ‘Great Expectations,’” shares Brown. “I love that it shows skin without being skimpy.”

Ribbed Crop Whisper Bra Tank and High-Waist Ribbed Whisper Pant. Alo Yoga

“Matching loungewear sets are the perfect way to look chic when traveling,” shares Meller. This set is absurdly soft and comfortable, and perfect for summer travel as well as errand days or just lounging around the house.

$89 $54.99 at Urban Outfitters

Urban Renewal Recycled Cord Shirting Top & Shorts Set Urban Outfitters

For a more covered-up look this summer, this easy-breezy long-sleeve shirt and shorts set can be your everyday outfit. It’s made from 100% cotton and was upcycled from other garments.

$245 at Nordstrom & $225 at Nordstrom

KkCo Canyon Oversize Cardigan and Canyon Drawcord Ankle Pants Nordstrom

Graye recommends this set from KkCo, which she describes as one “you can throw on and just look like you made every effort to look as put together as you do.” And the fabric lends itself to every body type while not being too warm for summer.

$190 at Anthropologie

Maeve Floral Top & Skirt Set Anthropologie

Brown explains that this versatile set can be styled together for dressier occasions or dressed down for a more casual look. Simply pair the top with some jeans, and the skirt with a basic tee, she explains.

Joey Top and Alma Short Cult Gaia

“Cult Gaia has a variety of beautiful matching sets ranging from dress sets to top and bottom pieces,” shares Aporongao. “Their bright colors, gorgeous prints and unique textures are versatile for any summer event where you want to make a statement with your look.”

$178 at The Reformation

Callista Knit Two-Piece The Reformation

“The empire waist skirt updated with a tiny crop top is all over red carpets recently,” shares Meller. “This set takes inspiration from that, but in a fun outfit perfect for a summer party.”

Ted Baker Talah Boxy Short-Sleeve Shirt & Erlena Tailored Short With Wide Self Belt Ted Baker

While Brooks explains that these two pieces work perfectly as a set, you can just as easily break up the two pieces and wear them separately. She recommends pairing the top with a denim skirt, and the shorts with a bodysuit and blazer. The lesson here, she explains, is that “sets offer up additional style options and are investment pieces.”

$128 at Free People

Get Away Fauxchet Set Free People

“This knit set is fun and relaxed, and comes in many color options,” shares Brown. It’s perfect for those late summer nights when the temperature starts to drop but you still want something lightweight and cooling.

$70 at Everlane & $118 at Everlane

The Linen Button-Front Crop Tank and The Linen Way-High Drape Pant Everlane

In the heat of the summer, “style comes in second to simply staying cool,” explains Graye. This linen set from Everlane is perfect when you want to avoid overheating while still looking super polished and put together.

Lei Top and Makana Skirt Ulla Johnson

Brooks calls this set the embodiment of the “one and done” expression. “Coordinate with a handbag, fun earrings and shoes,” she explains, recommending a neutral-toned heeled boot, and you’re ready for any summer occasion.

$395 at Nordstrom & $295 at Nordstrom

Khloe Ruched Sleeve Blazer and Elaine Shorts Nordstrom

“Cinq à Sept always does a great job with designing satin and silky fabric matching sets for women,” explains Dorsey. “The brand understands the power of item options, and provides the same colorways in skirts and pants to match a top or jacket.”

Men’s summer short sets

$85 at Madewell & $72 $65.50 at Madewell

Variegated Corduroy Easy Short-Sleeve Shirt and 6 1/2-Inch Variegated Corduroy Shorts Madewell

“I love the easy, relaxed vibe of this corduroy set,” shares Brown. The soft blue fabric is a perfect alternative to your standard denim.

Hamilton and Hare Linen Shirt and Straight-Leg Linen Shorts Mr Porter

“A classic white linen set is great to have for the summer,” shares Meller. “Both pieces are super useful to have on their own and make a perfect combo on a hot day.”

The Luxe Work Shirt and The Luxe Short Christos New York

“Christos New York is a staple for many NBA players,” shares Aporongao. She calls this work shirt and short pair “the perfect matching set for any summer outfit.”

$99 at COS & $79 at COS

COS Relaxed Fit Camp-Collar Shirt & Relaxed Fit Board Shorts COS

“COS is incredibly affordable, and their pieces are of such great quality,” raves Graye. “I love this short set from them, which is the perfect color and weight for summer.”

$180 at Reiss & $160 at Reiss

Ripley Cuban Collar Geometric Shirt and Miller Geometric Shorts Reiss

“It takes a bold man to pull off this ’70s-inspired set,” shares Brown. “But I love that it’s so different from what we’ve seen in menswear lately,” she explains.

Organic Cotton Hooded Sweatshirt and Organic Cotton Sweat Short Scotch & Soda

“A sweatsuit is a very easy way for guys to integrate this trend into their wardrobes,” explains Brown, “since it feels more familiar.” This unisex option can be a fun, foolproof way to incorporate some brighter colors into your summer wardrobe.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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