Instagram Trends: The Dress of Summer 2020

Jul 21, 2020

If summer of 2019 could be defined by a singular article of clothing in the UK, it would be the one known ubiquitously as: “The Dress.” Zara’s now-iconic polka-dot frock seemed to be everywhere, from the parks to the high streets to our social feeds, and fans couldn’t get enough. One year later and we’re ready to see what dress trends will dominate summer 2020. Here’s what you need to know:

  • How Zara went viral last summer with a dress that took Instagram by storm
  • The data behind the Instagram trends, including puffy sleeves, jewel necklines, and mini dresses
  • How Dash Hudson’s Visual Trends tool uncovers the content fashion fans care about most

Stealing the Show

Before we dive in, let’s rewind to the summer of 2019. Dubbed “The Dress that Stole the Summer,” this robe went viral in the UK and proved that the most sought-after pieces can be both simple and affordable. The dress even had its own Instagram account, which garnered over 2,000 followers, and allowed fans to submit photos of it spotted out in public. Zara responded by putting out a range of colours in the dress and creating an autumnal version for fall, in an attempt to maintain the buzz.




What does summer 2020 have in store for the world of fashion? Let’s take a look.

A Glimpse Into The Future

Dash Hudson’s Visual Trends tool uses AI technology to analyze every aspect of an image and identify the visual content resonating with audiences. We pulled in 10 top high street brands to gather the Instagram trends, then segmented the content with our Boards tool to further crunch the numbers. This gives us a total picture of which dress styles are popular by how each trend is performing—the higher the number, the better the result. Here’s what we found:

  • Puffy sleeves are a clear trend for summer 2020
  • The jewel neckline is making a comeback, with an increase in engagement over the square neckline
  • The mini dress is resonating more with consumers on Instagram than a midi dress

The square neckline has been an emerging trend in the past few years but really seems to be taking off this summer. Paired with puffy sleeves, this style creates an effortless “cool-girl” look and saw a 0.66% engagement rate on Instagram. Take a scroll through the ASOS IG feed if you want bold necklines, summer colours, and a serious online shopping habit.





The jewel neckline has always been timeless. With puffy sleeves and soft draping, this style saw a +48% increase in engagement over the square neckline, proving this Instagram trend is here to stay. In the Style knows this versatile look inside out, dressing it up with everything from summer sandals to combat boots.



Everyone knows the best way to keep cool on a hot summer day is a mini dress and this summer is no exception. The easy-breezy look, paired with pastel hue of your choice has taken interest with consumers and saw a +19% increase in engagement over a midi length. If you’re looking for summer inspo, & Other Stories has no shortage of whimsical mini dresses on their feed, making you wish summer lasted longer than three months.




If you’re in search of a versatile piece for both hot summer days and romantic dinners at night, look no further. The midi dress, with a puffy sleeve and summery print is making a statement on Instagram and reaching more consumers than any other puffy sleeve dress, reaching over 12.3 million consumers. New Look has nailed this combination, with its strong silhouettes, bold prints and a mirror selfie to finish off the look.




And the Winner Is...
So how does one decide with so many choices? At Dash Hudson, we love digging deeper into the numbers. We compared mini and midi style dresses with each neckline style to find out just what combo is winning with Instagram’s toughest critics.

The results are in and the midi dress paired with a jewel neckline saw an average engagement rate of 0.78%. It had a higher engagement rate than any other look demonstrating that consumers are gravitating towards this flowy, classic dress style with the higher neckline for 2020.

Midi dress with a jewel neckline trend Instagram

So, now you’ve got the inside scoop. If you want to be ahead of the Instagram trends for summer 2020, we suggest finding yourself a flowy midi dress with a sweet jewel neckline. Puffy sleeves are a must and prints are always a good idea. And when you’re out enjoying the sunshine and someone stops to compliment your dress…well, you can thank us later 😉


Header image: @newlook


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Olivia Fitzpatrick

UK Brand Strategist