Seven Fashion Trends for Spring/Summer 2018

Every February and August, the retail industry gathers for the MAGIC convention—a comprehensive marketplace with apparel, footwear, accessories, and manufacturing—which brings acres of fashion and tens of thousands of attendees to Las Vegas. Buyers peruse miles of hangers and shelves, figuring out what pieces will prove irresistible to their customers. Looking at all of the fashion, one gradually begins to pick up on recurring motifs. Here’s a peek at what you’ll see on racks—and backs—later this year. 

Spring/summer 2018 brings roses and ruffles, trenches and top handle bags, shiny shoes and cat eyes: Fendi dress, Kenneth Cole shoes, Yaaas World bag, Miu Miu sunglasses, Ted Baker London trench coat

Spring/summer 2018 style: pattern-on-pattern, kitten heels, Baroque jewels, red and ruffles, sequins and shoulder straps: AliExpress jacket, Impo Edva boots, Alexander McQueen ring, Tory Burch bag, Ted Baker London blouse, Rose & Rose scarf, Valentino RED skirt.

ASOS sequin hoodie

Sequins in the Sunshine

Of course, we Las Vegans know that sequins are appropriate at any time and on any outfit, but the rest of the world is now catching up. There are sequins on cocktail dresses and tuxedo jackets, sure, but also on sweatshirts, hoodies and daytime midi skirts. Designed with a low-key shape and/or combined with sportswear pieces, it’s a way to bring a little Liberace to your day.

Color Palette

MAGIC is a riot of color, but a few shades stand out. Pink is still here, but it’s a dusty pink, rose gold, pink-beige or all three—combining pinks either in a print or in an outfit pop up in a number of looks. Another popular hue is a vivid tropical-flower red, such as a hibiscus or bird of paradise. And, of course, our friend Pantone ultraviolet, who we met not long ago at World Market Week, although it is likely to appear in lighter tints than the full Prince


Side-snap trousers by Topshop

Pull Shapes

It may be spring/summer, but two of the recurring pieces are outerwear: the trench coat and the bomber jacket, in nontraditional colors like pink or bright blue and in fabrics such as lace or sequins. On tops, shoulders are often puffed or decorated with ruffles (a little ’80s flair), and sleeves get the same treatment. On the bottom, track pants seem to be making a comeback, or at least those with the side-snap and/or side-stripe detail.

Am I Blue?

If there is a recurring motif in accessories this season, it is navy blue, an increasingly popular color for bags and footwear. In shoes, kitten heels lead the way, with boots favoring chunky heels over stilettos. For purses, there seems to be two choices: hands-on or hands-free. One of the most popular options are retro-style frame bags with a top handle, sometimes multiple handles in different materials. One the other side, there are action-friendly backpack or fanny pack options. Artphere’s Dulles Bloom bag and Banned’s Cohen model both convert from top handle to backpack (and come in dark blue). There is also some subtle whimsy, such as Loungefly’s mod patent leather satchels with a Star Wars design you have to look twice to recognize, as well as Yaaas World’s bags that look like amplifiers or keyboards.


Marilyn Monroe circa 1953 is on trend for 2018 with a tie-front dress in this season’s red | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Ruffled and Tied

Ruffles are another popular fashion flourish, but not the fluffy, fussy kind found on a bassinet or a Laura Ashley skirt. Think something looser, more in the way of a flounce. Ruffles are a popular finish, from putting rows of tiny ones on a puffy sleeve to finishing off a bracelet-length cuff with a swish of movement. Another touch found on sleeves, necklines and midriffs is the use of fabric ties—they don’t use a ribbon or lace to make ties, but use the fabric itself—offering a peep of skin or fixed into the ever-popular pussy bow. 

Pattern Mix

Taking pattern mixing beyond a striped top and floral skirt, there is pattern mixing within a single piece. One way this is handled is by transposing one print over another—floral on top of plaid or stripes. The alternate method is fabricating different components of the garment in unique, albeit coordinated prints—placket in one, yoke in another, sleeves in yet another. 

Twinkle Toes

From a ring of rhinestones or a scattering of studs on the heel to full-on, stiletto-to-toe sparkle, glitter and metallics are another favored look for feet. Shine is often added with rhinestone embellishments, but silver, gold and iridescent finishes also lighten things up.