Between the runways, fashion magazines, enviable Instagram feeds and features by our favorite fashion editors, it’s hard to know what the best trends of the season are. And half the time you find that perfect piece only to have the designer price tag put it way out of reach (cue the T.J. Maxx commercial faces). To narrow down the best dress styles for the season, and help your shopping list, we got help from the newly opened Rent the Runway boutique in Chicago.
Known for renting online-ordered designer duds at a fraction of their original price, the previously online-only retailer has begun opening storefront locations, including one in the Windy City. There, Jessica Mullevey, Head Buyer at Rent the Runway, broke down her top trends for summer that you can find in their collection. And of course, we had to give our two cents on how to style the looks as well! Let the hunting begin…
The Circle Skirt
Mullevey’s Pick: Skirts are in full bloom this season and so is this circle-skirted dress by Monique Lhuillier (top left). The fuchsia color makes it perfect for any summer event, whether it be an evening wedding or a special date night.
How We’d Style It: Also great for other wedding functions like engagement parties or showers, this is a stand out color and cut so keep your accessories and beauty simple. Think classic gold or nude jewelry and a sleek clutch, complimented by a blush lip and chic chignon.
Mullevey’s Pick: This summer, stripes are evolving beyond your basic nautical look. Bold colors and modern silhouettes add a fresh take on a classic, like this dress by Hunter Bell (top right).
How We’d Style It: This is a great day-to-night dress that you could wear with a blazer to work, and then switch out for a cardigan or even jean jacket for after work event. Add another pop of color with a bold red lip or bag.
Mullevey’s Pick: ‘70s-inspired silhouettes are a definite style staple this season. This white shift with oversized sleeves by Milly (bottom right) is something you can dress up or down for all of your summer occasions.
How We’d Style It: Show off your stems in this one by adding a trendy wedge for more height. This shoe is on-trend for summer and goes well with the ‘70’s vibe. Avoid additions like sparkly eye makeup or hoops though, as that can make the outfit look costumey.
Mullevey’s Pick: A sleek jumpsuit with a unique design, like this one by Cedric Charlier, is perfect for the transition from spring to summer (bottom left). If you’re not sure that you’ll love this mod look, Rent the Runway is a great way to try out the trend!
How We’d Style It: Jumpsuits can be tough to rock, so Mullevey makes a great point that renting one is a perfect way to dip your toe into this stylish pool. Slick back hair, like seen on the model, for a Miami beach vibe and choose a great cuff bracelet set but leave your neck bare for some sex appeal.
Sheer Fabrics and Neutrals:
Mullevey’s Pick: Sheer fabrics and neutrals will be very popular this summer, and this Vionnet gown is a whimsical blend of both (center). I love this dramatic look for a romantic summer evening event.
How We’d Style It: This should be your go-to for a black tie gala or wedding this summer! The neutral shade keeps it from looking too over-the-top and the neckline makes it perfect to wear with your hair pulled up. Everything about your look should be easy and elegant, letting the dress take center stage…and giving you freedom to dance the night away!
For more views of the new store, and serious retail envy, check out the slideshow below: