Girls' Summer Fashion Photos

Crystal Schwanke
blue tank and matching shorts

Breezy, Adorable Summertime Fashion

When it comes to summertime clothing, girls need a mix of breezy fabrics that will allow them to move freely and play hard, and then come clean in the wash without too much extra effort from you. Options include shorts and tank sets, dresses, rompers, or even lightweight pants and tees.

You'll probably want a few gorgeous dresses on hand for family photo shoots, special occasions, and those days she just feels like dressing up. Look for bright colors, crisp whites, and the occasional pastel to make the most of summer fashion.

girls running and wearing leggings

Comfortable Leggings and Tops

Skinned knees and scratches are a part of summer, but some activities call for at least a little extra protection. That's where cute leggings (or long shorts) and tops come into play. If she's running or riding a bike on asphalt, leggings or shorts in a lightweight, breathable fabric may be perfect. If she's wearing knee pads, having that extra fabric there may keep them comfortable for a longer period of time.

denim shorts, polo, and flip-flops

Classic Denim Shorts and Polo Combo

Could there be a more classic summer playtime outfit for older girls than a pair of blue jean shorts, a brightly colored polo, and flip-flops? Jean shorts make getting dressed easy in the mornings because they go with almost any top. Having a few tucked away in her drawers may cut down on wardrobe-related arguments and headaches. Bonus: they don't require too much special treatment where doing laundry is concerned.

floral dress

Floral Dresses

A knee-length, brightly colored floral dress could easily be the epitome of summer fashion for girls. It's short and cool enough to wear outdoors during playtime, celebrates the beauty of the season with its colors and flowers, and looks great in photos in a pinch.

Dresses like this will serve most girls well until about age 10. Beyond that age, she may want something a little more grown-up or default to shorts and tops more often, depending on the activity.

white dress

Feminine White Dress

For photos on the beach or in a garden, a lightweight, white cotton dress with lace or crocheted trim is a wonderful go-to choice. Short, fluttery sleeves are a sweet addition. The true white looks beautiful in the summer sun and against backdrops of all types.

Skip the shoes in photos if you'd like, or if you're not taking photos, just let her play barefoot on any given day so she can feel the lush green grass or sand between her toes. The dress isn't exactly the best choice for playing in the mud, but it's perfect for embracing the warmth of the sun while lounging with a good book and celebrating time off from school.

yellow outfit, big sunglasses, and braids

Bold Color, Big Sunglasses, and Braids

Oversized sunglasses aren't just for grown women, and nothing says summer like the combination of a bright yellow romper or sundress, big sunglasses in white or another bright color, and a pair of braids secured with sunny yellow hair ties. This combo demands time on the beach while keeping her cool. A girl of any age could pull off this look, though the older ones may prefer a different hairstyle.

tee and khakis

Sometimes Something Simple's All You Need

Sometimes, the best summer outfits are just light shades that will reflect the sun in fabrics that keep the skin cool. They're easy to mix and match, as well as easy to care for. A t-shirt in her favorite color paired with khaki capris and flip-flops are perfect for short walks to soak up the sun, errands, and play time.

If she likes her outfits to have a little pizazz, opt for sandals that have embellishments like flowers or jewels on them. They'll go with almost everything in her summer wardrobe and add interest to outfits made up of solid colors and simple lines.

denim capris and blue cami tunic

Denim Capris and a Flowy Cami

A strappy tunic will pair well with longer shorts, capris, or even full-length pants, and it's a good look for any age. The denim bottom here will be easy to wear with other t-shirts, tanks, and camis of all lengths, and she'll even be able to wear them when the school year begins. Roll up those capris to make a fashion statement or just keep her a little cooler.

The swingy cami on top adds fun, girly interest to an otherwise basic outfit, and it's perfect for girls regardless of their summer pastimes, from reading to sports, playing with dolls to climbing trees.

swimsuit and matching flip-flops

Matching Swimsuits and Flip-Flops

What's summer without at least one swimsuit on hand? Whether she likes a one-piece or two-piece, finding chunky flip-flops to match will make it even more enjoyable for her to wear. Consider taking it a step further with a sunhat for when she's playing in the sand.

girl in bright shorts and top, headband, and hoop earrings

Bright Clothes and Accessories for Fashionistas

If your daughter's a total fashionista, she's going to want to dress in layers and add accessories that allow her to put together new outfits and really express herself. Look for metallic sandals that will go with everything without being the basic black, white, or brown.

From there, check out the brightest colors, breezy dolman sleeves, and shorts and tanks in matching shades that will create a good base for accessorizing. Earrings and a headband can finish off the look, but don't be surprised if she tries to add on a bracelet or two! Girls as young as age three and as old as the pre-teen years (and beyond) can enjoy this style.

tee, capris, and heels

Simple Summer Heels and Capris

If your little girl is interested in fashion, there's a good chance she's already begging for a pair of heels to call her own. You may not want to let her wear them every day or for hours at a time, but if you feel like humoring her request by the time she's around six to eight years old, a pair of sandals with low heels do pair nicely with a simple pair of capris and a floral tank or t-shirt. She'll feel all grown up.

If you're not ready for her to grow up quite yet, pairing the heels with an outfit like this one instead of a dress may take the sting out; she'll still look a little bit like she's just raided your shoe collection to play dress-up.

red pants and top on toddler

Matching Sets

Though little girls of almost any age can find matching top and bottom sets, these types of outfits are prevalent among the toddler and preschool ages. They're adorable and look extra sweet next to rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, and wispy baby hair. They make excellent options in family photos, but they're also perfect for outdoor playtime and exploration.

They're cool, comfortable, allow for easy movement, and offer at least some amount of protection from the sun. You can usually find plenty of these types of outfits to choose from in specialty children's boutiques.

gingham dress and sunhat

Gingham Style

A long gingham dress and colorful sun hat bring old-fashioned girls' summer fashion into the modern world. This pair is perfect for going on picnics, fishing, a short and scenic hike, or just errands. It'll keep her cool and absolutely adorable even on the hottest days of the year.

If you opt for a black and white dress, the accessorizing possibilities will be almost endless. Get these into her wardrobe as early as possible; by the time she hits the pre-teen years, she might not feel like this is the best option.

purple tank and turquoise shorts

Colorblocking with Casuals

Be sure to pick up a mix of colorful tanks and shorts. They're generally inexpensive anywhere you go, and it's easy to pair colors together that you normally wouldn't when you're working with casual summertime items like these. Just be sure to buy most of them in either cool or warm shades so they're as interchangeable as possible.

Blues, purples, teals, blacks, whites, pinks, blue-toned reds, and blue-toned greens (cool tones) look great when worn together in the popular colorblocking style. Alternatively, yellows, oranges, browns, yellow-based greens and reds, and beiges (warm tones) look best paired together.

baby girl wearing all denim

Denim on Denim

Though denim can be worn during any part of the year, there's something about denim on denim that screams summer, as shown on this baby girl with her denim jumpsuit and faded button-up denim shirt on top. Even the wraparound headband matches and mixes things up with thin stripes.

For best results, combine different washes for visual interest and to avoid looking too matchy-matchy. If patterns are involved, feel free to match a large one (like the hearts on the jumpsuit) with a more understated one in a smaller accessory (like the stripes on the headband).

group of girls in princess dresses

Pastel Princess Dresses

Outdoor (or indoor!) formal events call for beautiful pastel princess dresses with a combination of fluffy skirts, lace, beads, and bows. Chances are, she'll want to wear it everywhere. These dresses will photograph beautifully against the green grass and brilliant blue sky of summer.

A lot of summer clothing for girls is either crisp white, bold, or bright, but the delicate pastels are perfect for the season and feel dressier overall. They can be paired with tights or worn with bare legs. Flats or tiny heels (if she's old enough and begging for them) are the perfect addition.

blue and white dress in a poppy field

Red, White, and Blue

For a step between play clothes and formal, there are brightly colored dresses that are easy to care for. Red, white, and blue in a classic style and a traditional polka dot pattern all combine to make a perfect option for late spring and summer.

The shades reflect the vibrant colors of summer and if the girl lives in the United States, she'll have a couple of holidays (and several days in-between!) this type of dress will be perfect for. It's not an overtly patriotic style, so it will work anywhere and at any time during the warm months, though.

fleece jacket

Light Summer Jackets

Not all summer days and nights are so hot she'll want to be in shorts and a tank or a dress. Summer nights on the beach or camping, as well as rainy summer days, may call for a light jacket. In that case, a thin fleece jacket in a bright, happy pattern is perfect.

It's easy to toss in a backpack when it's not needed and offers warmth without being too thick and heavy. Pair it up with a bucket hat like this one for all those summertime adventures for sun protection and a little warmth.

denim jacket and pink tutu

Rugged Jackets and Pink Tutus

A cute denim jacket is another option for keeping warm in the summer when it's cool out. Pair it up with a pink tutu and flats for that trendy balance of frills and ruggedness. The denim jacket works during any season, so if you purchase a size that's a little big, she can wear it for months. The tutu works year-round, too. Just switch the flats out for socks and boots when it's cold.

red and white dress

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

This summer outfit is made up of sugar and spice and everything nice about little girls' clothing. It's fluffy, frilly, floral, and even involves bows and a little lace trim on the socks. Bright red sandals finish off the look for a nice pop of color, and the whole look is perfect for girls around age five and under. Sundresses like this, slightly adjusted for age (less fluff and lace-free socks when she's older), will work for a girl of any age.

When you're adding clothing to a summer wardrobe, think color and wearability during play time. Determine how difficult it will be to remove grass stains and the inevitable dirt after a long day of outdoor play. Look for mix-and-match pieces and things she may be able to wear into the school year, too. Versatility and wearability are key in summer fashions. However, part of the joy of having girls is the ability to enjoy lace, bows, flowers, and more, so go for those as much as you see fit!

Crystal Schwanke
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Girls' Summer Fashion Photos