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These Style Tips Will Change the Way You Dress for Spring/Summer 2021

@whitstreet on Instagram

We can’t deny that living in loungewear throughout lockdown has brought both good and bad. On one hand, we’re loving the way we’re almost always engulfed in cloud-like hugs in warm knits. On the other, it’s gotten some of us in quite the fashion slump as we’ve fallen into a routine and forewent the creative styling process we’re now accustomed to. But now that a new year is upon us, it’s time to get out of that funk and go back to our roots to remind ourselves why we love dressing up in the first place. Plus explore new things along the way too. 

There’s no one better to pick us back up from our sartorial rut than an expert, of course. So we caught up with LA-based stylist Whitney to dive deep into fashion in the new normal, Spring/Summer ‘21 trends, and how to step up your sartorial game. And you’ll surely be thrilled to hear that great style actually doesn’t have to require a lot of effort.

@whitstreet on Instagram

Dressbarn (DB): What is your creative process when styling? How does it all come together?

Whitney, stylist (WS): A mood board is essential whether it is styling someone for a shoot for a brand or styling a new client when cleaning out their closet and helping them create a new overall look. I not only reference clothing, shoes, and accessories, but I also look at makeup and hair, so the whole process is complete. This way, I can also have a cohesive vision with the [makeup and hair] teams. It is essential to have clients try full looks on to make sure they (or the brand) are happy, as well as I feel like it is a good representation of the product and my style.

DB: What are the trends you’re currently loving for Spring/Summer ’21?

WS: Menswear is always one of my favorites. You will see a lot of oversized shirting that also looks great paired back to denim or leggings. You will continue seeing tie-dye in the mix. I love all of the khaki that you will see in trench coats, pant options, etc. 

@whitstreet on Instagram

All of these khaki items will pair back nicely to the above colors I mentioned. Elevated sporty/athleisure, bold shoulder designs, floral and interesting prints overall, and beautiful coats in various styles and colorways are also important things to keep an eye out for.

“You will see a lot of aqua, chocolate brown, lavender, burgundy, yellow, and kelly green. These are also all colors that look great on all different skin tones.”

DB: How do you think Dressbarn translates those particular trends through the current collections?

WS: Dressbarn has a lot of great coat options coming. Some are more feminine, while other options are great for everyday wear and can dress up the typical WFH look if you need to head out of the house.

@whitstreet on Instagram

You will see a lot of sporty options with elevated details that you can dress up or down. There are also many exaggerated shoulder blouses that I’m excited to see as they look great tucked in with a pair of Secret Agent pants or Westport denim.

DB: What are your favorite colors and prints of the season?

WS: I am SO inspired by the colors this season. You will see a lot of aqua, chocolate brown, lavender, burgundy, yellow, and kelly green. These are also all colors that look great on all different skin tones.

@whitstreet on Instagram

Floral prints are huge, and in the colors I’ve mentioned above, I am super inspired. There are also tropical prints, paisley, leopard (always), tie-dye, destination, geometric, and ombré for other print options.

DB: We’re seeing lots of sporty, tie-dye, and knits this season. How do you feel the Dressbarn pieces relate to these themes?

WS: I feel like there are a lot of pieces at Dressbarn that relate back to the trends. You will see a lot of loungewear in tie-dye, and in February, you will begin to see more dresses, blouses, and popovers. 

@whitstreet on Instagram

Some amazing sporty jackets have a wide range in ways you can style them based on your own style. There are also a lot of knits coming out in the colors of the season. Get excited for those!

“Loungewear always has been and always will be a trend. People like to have comfy/cozy clothes but also want to know how they can wear them in multiple ways.”

DB: What is a 2021 trend that you think people should explore and experiment with more? Any advice for those wanting to refresh and expand their style?

WS: I think people should always expand and refresh their coats for the season. Many of the coats for SS21 are in fun prints and pops of color and can make any simple look more exciting. Don’t be afraid to buy a floral print or an aqua blazer or coat. You can pair it back to denim, dress pants, over dresses, etc!  

@whitstreet on Instagram

I love investing in new coats because you can wear them for multiple seasons and use them all of the time with different outfits. Also, a bold shoulder blouse option is a style that can edge up your look a bit, and it can also dress it up without trying too hard.

DB: How have you seen people adapt to the new normal sartorially? Will we see more loungewear or are we done with that?

WS: I have been getting asked this question a lot and something important to note is that loungewear always has been and always will be a trend. People like to have comfy/cozy clothes, but also want to know how they can wear them in multiple ways. 

@whitstreet on Instagram

I have seen a lot more people buying knit sets as the new update to sweatsuits. I think knit sets feel slightly dressier and you can mix up the pieces to wear separately or together.

DB: Which loungewear pieces from the DB collections are you loving? How will you style these pieces to elevate them?

WS: Knit sets, sweatsuits, sweatshirt dresses, and cotton dresses. Remember that when you buy sweats you can always mix and match the tops and bottoms. You can pair back a sweatshirt with a pair of jeans or a skirt and ankle boots, and it creates a really cute look. 

The cotton dresses are perfect for around the house or you can dress them up with a leather jacket and ankle boots to go out.

DB: What is your philosophy when it comes to dressing up? How do you define a great style?

WS: I have always tried to wake up and put on what makes me feel happy and inspired for the day. When I wake up, I usually have a color in mind for the day or a vibe I feel like I want to portray. Now that I mostly work from home, I try to wear something that feels fun and elevated at least 2x a week for Zoom calls.  Some days I just wear loungewear because I can. 

“I also feel that when I see someone with a great style, they also have a lot of confidence.”

@whitstreet on Instagram

Great style is knowing how to pair colors, prints, and nice fabrics together. I also feel that when I see someone with a great style, they also have a lot of confidence. This is why so many women are photographed on the streets in Milan and Paris. They are confident and their style is effortless.

DB: What articles of clothing are you most excited to wear when the lockdown is over?

WS: Dresses AND sandals! I have bought a couple of beautiful dresses during the pandemic because I just couldn’t resist. I have also bought some mules and heels that have been sitting in my closet, and I can’t wait to style them with denim and my new dresses. 

@whitstreet on Instagram

I also have a new handbag that I can’t wait to travel with and show the world as I used to go to all of the fashion weeks in NY and Paris.


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