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Featured May 24, 2017 3 min read

This Summer’s Unlikeliest Trends

Some trends are baffling. Where's the unicorn thing come from? And laced-up jeans? Here are this summer's head-scratch moments.

Not all trends are created equal.  Here are this summer’s ‘huh?’ moments.

They’re all making retailers money, so cast your aspersions aside.

Meet 2017’s go-figure summer trends.

1. Men’s Rompers

Last week the ‘RompHim‘ was introduced to the internet, and met with that medium’s characteristic sarcasm-masking-delight rigmarole. Mind you, this news is not exactly surprising or fresh;  followers of  menswear will know that  men’s rompers have been around a while. In retail we mean roughly since 2012 (you’ll remember the onesie craze later that year). But then again, who hasn’t had the image of Sean Connery’s Bond in pale blue toweling romper from 1964’s Goldfinger  burned into their retina?

Right now men’s jumpsuits are more thing-ish than full blown thing. But rest assured they are on track to be a bonafide  thing by mid-summer. For those  that were looking closely, the evidence of the trend’s imminent arrival shouldn’t be that surprising – dude rompers were on Spring 2017 runways at J.W. Anderson, Valentino, Sacai and Hérmes.

The results?  A 64% hike in new arrivals this season. Luxury retailers Farfetch and Yoox are stocking the shape, but it’s the mass market leading with workwear inspired pieces. H&M is going romp-lite, pushing summer co-ords for men – printed t-shirt and shorts pairings for that one-piece look. UK supermarket Asda is stocking an Elvis onesie no one is likely to call you the King in.  

2. Unicorn Everything

From tech startups like Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox to power-pink colored  Starbucks frappes, we’re naming things unicorns like we’re trying to will them into existence. So no surprise here,  we now also want them emblazoned upon us.  All things unicorn have increased  125% in the last three months compared to one year ago. Unicorns, if you’re really out there now’s the time to  step out and strike while you’re hot.

It’s not just the mass market that the trend is impacting. Undercover has a men’s unicorn bomber retailing at $1,472 and No. 21’s embellished peep-toe mules for $674 at Selfridges have sold out across six sizes.  Meanwhile, ASOS’s unicorn pumps have been replenished three times. Think your child is precious? You can get them a uni-horn headband to show the world how  mythical they are.

3. The Baywatch Swimsuit

Baywatch is back, and regardless of critic’s opinions, the film is already a hit in the fast fashion world. New arrivals of red swimsuits have grown by  58% in the last three months. These styles below have riffed hard on the theme and have either already sold out, or are performing well. Somewhere in Germany Hasselhoff is scratching his head.     

4. Laced Jeans

Legs laced up like a baseball? This summer,  why the hell not. Laced jeans are up 70.5% from a year ago. This one is led by runway denim innovator, Marques ‘ Almeida. It’s a strong look, but one that mass market shoppers are into. Laces have sold out up the front of black skinnies at Topshop and Pretty Little Thing, down the sides of H&M jeans and across the legs of ASOS’s Farleigh (which sold out in 11 days).

5. Boob Tees

We’re not sure you’d call it a feminist movement thing exactly. It’s  definitely a boob thing though. T-shirts which appear to geolocate the wearer’s breasts – lest there  be any doubt – are springing up across the  mass market. We’ll pin it to the general body beautiful movement, this one has been driven by social media, specifically Instagram, who decree female’s nipples have to be covered (most often by emojis). Just sling a motif where the nips would be, and hey presto you’ve got this trend stitched up!

6. Yellow Pants

No really. Yellow pants are selling well. New arrivals are up 21% from a year ago, but sell outs have  outpaced the growth in number of styles – having jumped by 27%. Where’d it come from? The shade featured on the Spring 2017 runways at Acne, Chloé, Mulberry and Jil Sander. Using it on pants was retail’s idea. And those that thought it are thankful: the below styles have all sold out this season.  

7. Ridiculous Ruffles  & Gutsy Gingham

Sometimes, just sometimes, a hot trend will come along that’s crying out for pairing with another high profile trend. Somehow, the duo avoid the over-done label and accelerate sell outs. This summer, gingham meets ruffles. In a big way. See ASOS’s ruffle-fronted half-gingham, half-pinstripe jumpsuit for details. And the trend is selling well: the Marks & Spencer midi skirt below arrived on March 19 and has sold out twice.  

In the last three months, gingham’s presence is up 125%, and sell outs have grown in line, up 126%.   The biggest stockists of the trend are ASOS, New Look, Matches, Nordstrom and Farfetch. Meanwhile, the number of ruffled products new in the last three months is up 124% and sell outs are up 171%. You can see why they’re a match made in heaven.  

Seven of the unlikeliest trends heading your way this summer.