Move over, boring florals and in-your-face Barbiecore — summer 2023 is actually all about seashells. What began with #mermaidcore has evolved into an entirely separate trend of its own. It’s nearly impossible to scroll through Instagram or TikTok without spotting eye-catching iridescent shells that’ll make you pine for a vacation. Brands such as Cult Gaia, Staud, PatBo, and Retrofête have all released shell-adorned clothes worthy of Ariel’s treasure trove, while Simkhai’s sculptural oyster clutch and Cass Dimicco’s conch jewelry offer a surreal finishing touch. (As for those puka shells you used to pick up on spring break, consider an elevated upgrade from Lizzie Fortunato or Anni Lu.)
And if charms and embellishments aren’t your thing, try an all-over print, like Leonie Hanne’s Loewe dress, designed in collaboration with artist Maruja Mallo. Everyone can use a bit of under-the-sea magic this summer. Fair warning! Many of the aforementioned collections will require a dip into your savings. But hey, isn’t that why it’s called splurging?
This Loewe x Maruja Mallo collaboration has German model and content creator Leonie Hanne’s seal of approval, so you know it’s chic.
Leave it to Scandinavian jewelry designer Helle Vestergaard Poulsen to elevate the beloved puka shell necklace with alternating discs in 18-karat gold. If a new piece of jewelry isn’t in your budget, run to find your version from childhood; It’ll do just the trick.
Retrofête, a brand known for its glorious sequins, is now getting recognized for shells. This mermaid shell embellished Regina dress takes summer whites to the next level.
What better way to channel a sea goddess than by dripping in gold? These Myrna earrings feel simultaneously delicate and decadent.
Everyone loves a loose-fitting, oversize blazer (hello, Hailey Bieber), and PatBo designed a beautiful summer-weight version adorned with beaded seashells. Considering it’s so hot (everywhere), I love the way it’s styled here with a shell-decorated bandeau top.
I like to imagine that this is the ocean equivalent to a Birkin. Simkhai’s oyster shell clutch is a fantastical addition to anyone’s handbag collection.
Lizzie Fortunato’s beaded necklace offers an elevated and playful take on puka shells, particularly because it’s dripping in ocean-hued quartz and 18-karat gold. Warning: this necklace is highly stackable— meaning you’ll want several.
This cut-out mini dress from PatBo screams beach club. I would style it with a strappy sandal and a spicy margarita in hand.
Shells for date night? Yes, please! Staud’s cut-out shell trimmed dress certainly has me swooning.
Here’s another playful accessory I can’t get enough of. Cult Gaia’s Sirena clutch will keep your essentials secure while making an artful statement.
These textured shell earrings are an easy addition to any summer outfit. Dress them up with a floor-length maxi for dinner, or dress them down with a bikini and head scarf on your way to the beach.
Protection from harsh UV rays is crucial in the summer, hence why Lack Of Color’s seashell fedora is a necessity.
This necklace would make for an excellent finishing touch to any strapless dress or top.
These off-white leather lace-up sandals are a subtle, yet sophisticated way to embrace the trend.
The Valez bag is crafted from real shells, making each unique and truly one-of-a-kind. It also has a detachable chain, making it beautifully versatile.
Talk about a bombshell! This dress is perfect for those sultry summer nights when you want all eyes on you.
Whether you’re lounging by the pool or just running errands, this limited-edition seashell tote is a cute and functional way to store your essentials.
No need to swim to the bottom of the ocean to score this one little treasure. I can’t get over the sweet Mirabel conch ring from Aureum Collective.
Unfortunately, this beach shell clutch from Chanel’s 2019 spring/summer collection is sold out. But use it for inspiration when you decide to try the seashells trend. For the perfect example, see just how well entrepreneur Emma Leger understood the assignment.