Your Comprehensive Guide To Spring Trends

The six trends that will keep you effortlessly chic through summer.


I am transfixed with spring this year. It could be because we're on the heels of a rough 2020, or the longing desire to sip mimosas with my girlfriends on a patio until the wee hours of the afternoon. Or, it could be because, for the first time in a long time, it feels like fashion has awakened. We're seeing chic combinations of colors, textures, fabrics, and silhouettes that range from the mod-inspired 60s to the sportswear-centric, late 80s to the bubblegum-pop of the early 2000s. The runways of Balenciaga, Valentino, Balmain, Pyer Moss are all filled with ruffles, puffs, exaggerated silhouettes, and colors that make you believe that you were just transported to springtime in the South of France. It might seem impossible but through the bevy of predictable floral gowns and exceptionally tiny bags, there are several realistic trends to get excited about for spring.

As we get closer and closer to a truly newer normal, these spring trends will sweep you right into summer without guillotining your wallet.

Cushioned Shoes

Made famous by Bottega Veneta seasons back and inspired by the resurgence of the romanticized nostalgia, the puff shoe trend has saturated the spring runways and city streets. There is a sleek yet comfortable element that ascended this to cult status over the last few years. The oversized cushioned band elevates the simplicity, which allows it to blend beautifully with any outfit. The style's latest variation is in slingback form, instead of the coveted backless, accessorized with dainty anklets and adorned with small pendants for a luxurious touch. In all its many styles, the trend is evocative of a Marie Antoniette-era of dress when accessories were as scrumptious as her oversized cakes and pastel pastries.

Candy Colors

An assortment of delicious and candy-inspired colors are on display for the 2021 spring palette. Paying homage to the early 2000s when neon Juicy sweatsuits reigned supreme, there's a noticeable infusion of dynamic and eclectic colors in the spring collections. Hues of bubblegum pink, tennis court green and fresh tangerine are bound to be on the curated feeds of your favorite style icons and influencers alike.

Bucket Hats

One of the older trends on the list, the bucket hat is a perfect example of the impact that black culture has on the world of fashion. Primarily used by Irish fishermen in the early 1900s and then as military-issued hats in the mid 20th century, bucket hats skyrocketed to cultural prominence in the 80s - thanks solely to hip hop culture. With the help of industry icons like LL Cool J and Run DMC, this handmade accessory was a sign of a counter-culture movement and redefined what black fashion meant, especially to a white-washed industry. Due to the bucket hat's layered history, it is one of the easiest trends to style and acquire. You can simply throw a rock and find a luxury house, premium designer, or fast-fashion retailer that has produced their version of the trend.

Halter Neck Tops

The halter top is the season's most covetable neckline for a plethora of reasons, including but not limited to the extremely flattering silhouette it creates. Reminiscent of the early 2000s and acquiring immense popularity in the late 60s, the neckline beautifully and sensually highlights the decolletage while maintaining a shred of playfulness. One can easily style this trend as the hemline to a beautiful dress, like Zendaya's character in Malcolm & Marie; as the retro-fitted top accompanied with high-waisted denim for a quick brunch; or as a chic top to your bathing suit on your next beach soiree.

Anything but Skinny Denim

Without hesitation, whenever I think of baggy denim, the chorus of "Return of the Mack" plays in my head, over-filling me with joy. It took a global pandemic and a full calendar year of staying at home to dethrone the skinny jean, arguably the only relevant denim trend for the last decade. An extraordinary aspect of denim is the flexibility; any person can make the style personalized to their preference. The antiquatedly named 'boyfriend jean' has been reimagined in various forms, and upgraded in fit to complement the figure of a real woman. From cropped to sneaker-hugging, baggy denim is easy to style and forecasted to make waves through the fall and winter season.

See You On The Court

A prominent staple of classic Americana style, the tennis skirt is experiencing a vigorous comeback in 2021. Adorned only by athletic icons like Serena Williams, the tennis skirt has remained on the outskirts of mainstream fashion for decades. But with the rise of athleisure outside the home and the ongoing influence of black culture, it's quickly become the go-to skirt for sneakerheads and preppy girls alike. Since the skirt is simple and minimalist, you can expertly style it according to your exact preference.

Read all about fashion and style here.

Featured image courtesy of @astyledmind/@ashleygalleraniphotography

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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