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The Summer’s Biggest Trends According to New Yorkers

What two street style photographers are seeing in real time.

street style trends

In theory, trends begin on the runways, then slowly trickle down to the masses. However, with social media and celebrity culture, that outdated trajectory no longer applies. Trends can begin any and everywhere, and in fact, often reverse that theorem, as streetwear exerts its influence over the runway. So where better to investigate up-and-coming trends than the fashion hub of New York City? We decided to consult the experts: two NYC-based street style photographers, Liisa Jokinen of @nyc_looks and Johnny Cirillo of @watchingnewyork, to hear which trends they spotted in real time.

Most of the reported trends are pairings and items that subvert traditional fashion "rules." Ranging from wearing vests or bras as tops to genderless fashion to wearing sweatpants with high heels, all sartorial bets are off. "Old distinctions are not valid anymore," says Jokinen. "Men's versus women's clothes, work versus free-time clothes, private versus public clothes. We don't need to dress up for work as often as before, and you can wear your pajamas in broad daylight if you want to." Not to mention, as more and more of us turn to pre-owned clothing, we are no longer restricted to shopping the current-season options. Continue scrolling to discover the uninhibited, unrestricted ways New Yorkers are getting dressed.

Dressed-Up Comfort

"We have been wearing comfy clothes for more than a year now, and I don't think we are going to give that up. BUT those comfy elements, like sweatpants, will be mixed in with some dressier and contrasting elements, like high heels, bike shorts worn with cowboy boots or other heeled boots, or boys wearing more skirts and dresses for the sake of comfort. Many people predicted that once the pandemic was over, we would ditch the sweatpants and dress up in showy statement elements again. As the transition from the lockdown back to so-called normalcy is a gradual one, there is not going to be a dramatic, sudden change from total comfort to the opposite. Instead, summer will be an interesting mix of styles." —Liisa Jokinen

Waffle Pant




Wide-Leg Trousers

"I'm going to say the comfy sweatpants that were enjoyed during quarantine have melted into really comfy wide-leg baggy trousers for both men and women." —Johnny Cirillo

Pilar Belted Pants

The Frankie Shop


"Loose sweater vests, vintage granny square vests, and suit vests all worn without any layers underneath. Tighter suit vests look fun with baggy or bootcut jeans—a perfect Y2K look! And looser sweaters are being combined with miniskirts—another fun trend this summer!" —Liisa Jokinen

The Vest

Scout Goods

Alps Vest


Cashmere V-neck Vest

Dries Van Noten

Bathing Suits and Bras as Tops

"The world has realized the importance of comfort, and women are wearing bathing suits and bras as tops—and good for them!" —Johnny Cirillo

Kata Top

Daily Paper

Platform Crocs

"They will be the official shoe of summer 2021. They combine the comfort trend and the provocative, rebellious nature of street style—bringing back items that have once been condemned ugly and unfashionable." —Liisa Jokinen

x TFS Slip On Clog

Porte & Paire


"Another huge one that I thought of is cutouts—different shaped and sized holes in short tops." —Johnny Cirillo

Bondi Dress


Cutout Ribbed-knit Tank Top

Christopher Esber

No Style Rules

"We will see all kinds of styles, decades, and items mixed together partly because people are wearing more and more vintage and secondhand—when you choose used, you have all possible styles to choose from instead of the handful of trends that fashion is offering at a time. This is also partly because old distinctions are not valid anymore—men's versus women's clothes, work versus free-time clothes, private versus public clothes. Fashion is genderless. We don't need to dress up for work as often as before, and you can wear your pajamas in broad daylight if you want to." —Liisa Jokinen

Harlow Silk-satin Pajama Set

Olivia von Halle
$560 $280

Wool Striped Skirt Suit

Thierry Mugler
$1225 $980

Nano Speedy

Louis Vuitton
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