Summers are here. Which means it is time to up your fashion quotient. However, fashion isn’t the same anymore, with the pandemic having altered its meaning. For example, work from home has begun to mean yoga pants and loungewear, replacing the need for that sharp suit one would wear to the office everyday. Functional silhouettes and comfort, above all else, became the priority for people last year. But with people focussing on their sartorial choices, there is still hope for fashion. And what can be a better season than summer to flaunt that perfect look! Here are five trends to look out for:

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LARGE PRINTS

“There is a general mood of escape in people which is being expressed increasingly through fashion, and prints narrate the same emotion effortlessly,” says Shivan Bhatiya, head designer, Shivan & Narresh, a luxury swimwear and resort wear brand. The designer duo suggests that apart from usual favourites like tropical, botanical, and foliage prints, bold art strokes, and even strong geometrical prints will take centre stage this season.

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SUSTAINABILITY

With consumers and designers both becoming more conscious about the environment, sustainability is no longer just a word you throw around casually. “Now, more than ever, it has become important to be conscious of our approach. Slowly, consumers are making this shift in their choices and adopting the no-waste policy. They are going in for options that can stay the test of time,” points out designer Ritu Kumar.

Shivan & Narresh also believe that one needs to invest in pieces that are timeless. The swimsuit, they feel, is a versatile wardrobe piece that can be continuously re-styled and regularly re-used.

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FLORALS

There is something about summers and floral prints, as if they are Siamese twins. Whether it is a chiffon saree with hand-painted flowers or linen shirts with floral prints, our hot and humid summers are all about breezy fabrics and cheerful flowery prints. Shivan & Narresh have a range of floral prints inspired by their trip to South Korea.

Jaipur-based ethnic wear brand Gulabo Jaipur, too, has a whole series of Indian wear in soothing colours, but combined with florals.

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HOLIDAY WEAR

After being locked up at home for the better part of 2020, this year, people have been making a beeline for getaway destinations like Goa and Maldives. Of course, fashion will play an eminent role in your holiday wardrobe. “As part of a packing list, a bold, versatile swimsuit or a pair of swim shorts paired with a paneyo or robe [is a good option]. For women, it’s always a good idea to carry easy resort dresses and a silk scarf as part of their day-to-night outfits. Must-have accessories include a pair of statement earrings and skein belts, an oversized hat/cap, a spacious tote, and of course, masks to match it all,” suggests Shivan & Narresh.

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WHITES AND PASTELS

As the temperature rises in parts of the country, whites and pastel colours are the most calming. Fashion designer Ritu Kumar says, “Fabrics like georgette and crepe in pastel colours would work best for summer, making a shift to festive colours towards the winter season.”

So whites, creams, baby pink, lemon yellow, sky blue, and light green are the colours of the season. Nitisha Jain, founder, Bari, points out, “Spruce up your wardrobe in softer shades. You could experiment with pastel shades in various styles including co-ords, pants, or as simple and basic as an off-white kurta.”

(This story originally appeared in Fortune India's May 2021 issue).

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