The peak of summer (as in, right now) may lack the runway action of Fashion Week or the many red-carpet opportunities of award shows. But what we do have is Leo season, a time of celebration for anyone whose birthday falls between July 23 and August 22. And the Leo outfits—even the ones captured in an impeccably lit selfie on Instagram—don’t disappoint.
“Leos are known for their creativity, and their personal style is simply another way through which they can express themselves,” says astrologer Alice Bell, who mentions the star sign’s penchant for bright colors, prints, and embellishments, as well as the chic efficiency of a matching set. “Leos are very aware of how other people see them, so they never want to look sloppy or underdressed.”
There’s no stronger proof of this than the 12 Leos below. While their closets may all look vastly different, what these fire signs share is a discerning eye and a commitment to personal style that honors their truest, most confident selves—be it in cowboy boots, metallic bike shorts, or a crisp, neutral palette. Some are feeling extra bold this summer too, which may not be coincidental.
“There is a lot of astrological activity going on during this Leo season,” Bell says. She explains that two full moons in Aquarius mean it “may be more likely that you’re taking style risks or not wanting to follow current trends.” Meanwhile, with Jupiter moving into Aquarius, “there may be this very optimistic or over-the-top energy that has you wanting to go big or go home when you’re accessorizing a look or getting dressed up for a night out.”
However, even if you don’t subscribe to astrology’s teachings, you may still find Leo energy quite contagious. Other star signs might find themselves influenced by these Leo outfits as well. Who could resist smiling at a friend wearing tie-dye or a whimsical mermaid print? Who wouldn’t want to share a dance floor with someone dressed brighter than the disco ball? On the cusp of entering a new birth year, the Leos ahead offer their own interpretations of one of the most vibrant signs in the zodiac and share the inspired ways they dress to embody their inner lion.
Jackie Aina, content creator and creator of Forvr Mood
“Leos wear whatever the hell they want, when we want, whether other people like it or not. It’s one of my favorite things about our star sign. There have been so many instances where somebody online would tell me that they don’t like my outfit or someone in person would say, ‘I wouldn’t wear that,’ and I’d be like, ‘That’s great. Good for you, but what does that have to do with me?’” My astrological sun sign is number one when it comes to my personal style because it dictates what I’m proud and comfortable to wear without always needing outside acceptance or validation—which is nice every so often, but if I want to wear something, I’m just going to wear it. Period.
“This Leo season, I’ll wear less clothes because it’s hot, because it’s summer. It’s in the middle of August, and I live in California. It’s bikini season, so we’re going straight for the bikinis. Purrrr. Since outside is open again, we’re going to see more skin. We’re going to see more people pushing boundaries and pushing the limits of what’s cool and what’s not. I also think we’re going to see a lot of color because we’ve been confined to our homes for so long. I’m excited. People are definitely going to be bringing it—me included. I need to start thinking of my birthday outfit. It will probably be diamond-encrusted, lots of bling, and lots of Swarovski.”
Nell Diamond, founder and CEO of Hill House Home
“I feel like Leos don’t believe in dress codes. They just wear what feels right to them! I’m a Leo, and both my dad and my husband are Leos too. It manifests differently in all of us, but what is consistent is that we dress for ourselves. My dad is extremely formal. It’ll be 6 a.m. and he’s in a starched shirt and khakis. My husband will basically wear sweatpants or shorts anywhere. And I am always the most overdressed, overaccessorized person at any given event.
“I’ve always loved a birthday outfit. I plan mine in advance. Like, sometimes January advance. There are times when I see a dress or a shoe and say, ‘Oooh, perfect birthday look,’ and my friends reply, ‘Nell, your birthday is in eight months, babe.’
“During the daytime on my birthday, I’ll be in my Hill House Home Roxie Nap Dress in Mermaid terry, with a giant bow in my hair and my favorite jeweled sunglasses. Why mermaids? Mermaids as a cultural icon represent the inherent beauty-danger paradox of femininity and have appeared in art, literature, and folklore throughout history. We are fascinated by mermaids at Hill House and created the Mermaid print with artist Leïla Dubus as an homage to all the beautiful and powerful women in our own lives. Mermaids, shells, cherries, and tiny watermelon seeds make this a perfect summer dress.”
Kimberly Drew, curator and author
“I think aligning with or refusing your sign’s calling happens across the zodiac. This said, I love to see other Leos who lean into our opulence. I usually credit my Leo sun for my love of tie-dye, clashing patterns, and elaborate hairstyles. One of my favorite Leo style icons is the opulent Tamu McPherson!
“I dress up almost every single day of the year—aggressively so. Why wait for Halloween when you can be a new character any day of the week? For my 29th birthday, I wore an outfit that was all about loving the planet. I wore Collina Strada (an eco-conscious brand, designed by two Leos), Bioglitter (an environmentally conscious glitter brand), and my favorite eco-friendly Patine Paris earrings. My truest self, and I think the truest thing about Leos, is that we are lovers and very passionate people. So I tend to dress for any occasion with love as my primary intention.”
Tyler McCall, editor in chief of Fashionista
“Leos are known for wanting to stand out, and I…definitely aim for that in my personal wardrobe! Anything ruffled, sequined, glittered, embellished, brightly patterned—I want it and I’ll layer it all together at once. It’s not that I think about being a Leo when buying clothes or getting dressed so much as it just comes out through my personal style.
“If anything, I just allow myself to be more so during Leo season. What are birthdays for if not an excuse to dress up and be the center of attention? But I have to say, I don’t think it’s very different than I dress any other time of the year. I don’t find I need a reason to wear the most outrageous things I own!
“This year I finally took the plunge on getting the famous Selkie puff dress in a pretty floral and toile pattern, and I’m excited to finally fulfill my dream of dressing like I’m an extra in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. I’m thinking about pairing it with an over-the-top bow headband from Jennifer Behr and some comfortable Loeffler Randall heels.”
Sophia Li, journalist and filmmaker
“Leo style is as individualistic as the Leo, but there’s one thing that tends to stay consistent: Leos are always well-dressed. I’m not just being biased or egotistical; Leos are style icons that extend to every category. Barack Obama: best-dressed president. Meghan Markle: best-dressed royal. Madonna, Mick Jagger…need I say more?
“I express Leo style by not being shy in my outfits. If there’s a theme, there’s no holding back. That also goes the same if I want to be comfortable. I’ll go all out in sweats I’ve had since high school. Because Leos have such personalities, there’s no way our sun sign doesn’t impact our style. We tend to be very expressive in emotions, and that bleeds into what we wear too.
“In August 2021, a.k.a. Leo season, I’m going to three weddings that are all themed in some capacity. I’ve created opportunities during the past 15 months to dress up, but a themed outfit is something I’ve been craving: It’s like a creative hunt. One theme is Wild, Wild West for a wedding in Santa Fe. I’ve already ordered cowboy boots from Ranch Road Boots; they’re boots that are handmade by artisans in Spain that last a lifetime. I’ll pair them with everything from a dress to a swimsuit to a Canadian tuxedo for the weekend.”
Nicole Eshaghpour, senior market editor at Who What Wear
“I would say that Leo style commands attention, but that could be in a range of ways. It’s not necessarily wearing the most out-there thing but can also include always showing up in a strong outfit no matter where you’re going. Even if it’s simple but cool. I would say I try to fall on the latter end of that!
“Since my birthday is in summer and I now live in NYC where you really do change your wardrobe seasonally, I find myself dressing differently around that time of year. I find that clothes for that time period are naturally a little more fun and playful, as well as literally lighter. I’m definitely down to lean into it further when it’s time to celebrate my birthday.
“I’m really into matching sets right now; while I will probably opt for a neutral look as my base— think a white linen shirt-and-shorts set—I’d love to add a pop via an eye-catching bra top or bikini top depending on where I’m headed.”
Natalie Drue Hage, influencer
“To me, Leo style absolutely starts within. It’s an essence of undeniable confidence that seems to enter the room before you do. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing all black or any color under the sun, I feel like my Leo-ness comes through with how I walk, how I carry myself, and my presence. Oh, and my hair. My hair has her own vibe for sure.
“Since I’m a summer-loving babe, it seems like my favoring of summer clothes fits in perfectly around my birthday. I love slip dresses, minidresses, crop tops, sheer clothing, and bikinis. I absolutely feel myself more so during Leo season, so the gold jewelry, lioness hair, and rad outfits abound.
“I’m most excited to wear interesting colorways and patterns, bare some skin, and accentuate it all with high-end designer accessories. I’m currently on the hunt for my birthday dress and am hoping for something form-skimming with some bare shoulders and legs, possibly in a flowing material, in a show-stopping color.”
Danielle Combs, senior creative editor at Hypebae
“If we’ve learned anything from Madonna and J.Lo (who are arguably the most iconic Leos to exist), it’s that we possess an uncanny ability for making grand, dramatic, and over-the-top statements with our brazen fashion choices and risk-taking sense of style. Now, it doesn’t mean you have to be a Leo in order to be stylish. But unlike other astrological signs, Leos never shy away from being the most daring or extravagantly dressed, and the same rings true for my own sense of style.
“For me, my favorite time of the year is Leo season, and understandably so. The act of getting dressed is an artistic expression I demonstrate year-round, but when Leo season arrives along with my birthday, I use it as an opportunity to truly experiment with my style and try out unconventional or eclectic outfits that celebrate and express my identity in true Leo form.
“This Leo season, I’m looking forward to wearing these incredible bright pink pants from Phlemuns paired with a psychedelic top from Tyler McGillivary that’s corseted in the back. To accent the brightly tinged hues in a fun, playful manner, I’m eager to slip on these towering Marc Jacobs platforms (which I’ve only worn once out in public) that are bedecked in leopard and glitter, my stack of Beepy Bella jewelry, and a shimmering Paco Rabanne bag made out of pink paillettes. Another outfit I can’t wait to wear and document are these aqua metallic bike shorts from Anna Slevin that come complete with a coordinating asymmetrical tank in the same hue. I’m planning to layer this sheer leopard R13 top I have underneath the tank and accessorize with gold earrings and a chunky bracelet from Laura Lombardi, heaps of layered chain necklaces in mixed metals, and those metallic Marc Jacobs platforms to really accentuate and enhance this ‘disco dream girl’ look.”
Jaycina Almond, model and founder and executive director of Tender
“I feel like Leo style is a combination of being able to pull off the current trends and make it our own, plus just wearing whatever we want without looking like we’re trying too hard. It would make sense if our sun sign influences our personal style because that’s part of who we are, right? As a Leo, I’m a bit extra, a bit dramatic, and that spills over to my style. My style is extra, especially when you realize I’m chasing a four-year-old all day.
“I do start dressing and expressing myself differently around Leo season—because it’s summer! Summer is sexy so I feel a bit sexier around my birthday and that definitely shows. I really love an easy outfit: only a couple of pieces that work together. I usually wear the same jewelry with everything: my watch, a pair of gold chunky hoops, a diamond ring, and a gold nameplate ring. I like not having to think too much when I get dressed or stress over what I’m wearing.
“My favorite thing to throw on right now is this black silk bias-cut maxi dress I got from Realisation Par and a pair of Alexander McQueen studded cut-out booties. The booties add the little dose of drama needed, and you really can’t go wrong in all black.”
Vivian Li, neuroscience researcher
“I think there is a misconception that because Leos are loud and outgoing, our styles directly reflect that through bold prints or bright colors. For me, the lion represents bravery, which means trying out different personal styles without being restricted by the fear of standing out or straying out of your comfort zone. I am often morphing what I believe my personal style to be.
“As someone who loves fall fashion, being a summer baby is hard. I usually love playing with layers and silhouettes, which is impossible when July in New York City is typically hot and humid. However, this year, as I’m growing more comfortable in my body, I’m trying to be more risky and cheeky with my outfits. A teeny-tiny mini skirt or a backless top makes dressing up so much more freeing and fun.
“I have this ultra-cropped scoop-neck long-sleeve Gil Rodriguez top in tomato red that I’ve been trying to find the perfect black midi skirt for. I’m thinking of matching it with a pair of black shoes, maybe something like the Mansur Gavriel Glove Mary Janes. I’ve always been scared to wear red, so this is my version of being courageous.”
Jasmine Pierce, senior director at Becca and content creator
“Leos generally aren’t strangers to high drama, but there’s definitely a proclivity for comfort. Drama and leisure are the foundation of my personal style, which is a mix of luxe statement pieces and everyday comfort staples on heavy rotation. I’d say your sun sign influences your outward persona, which inadvertently comes through in how you express yourself through your wardrobe.
“Around my birthday (August 13) I find that I’m drawn more to bolder colors and prints that I normally don’t wear throughout the year. I’m more of a black, white, gray, earth-tones palette, but come August, I find myself going for more florals, yellows, and orange pieces.
“Right now I’m really into disco-inspired looks for nights out. Keeping with the theme of drama and comfort with a pop of color, I see this Dannijo slip dress in my future. It accurately expresses my truest self: fun and laidback with a touch of glam.”
Rachel Martino, fashion and beauty blogger
“Leos love bold, exuberant styles and aren’t afraid to take risks when it comes to personal style. While everyone is different, I think our star signs can often say a lot about personal style and align with how we choose to express ourselves through fashion and beauty.
“I live for Leo season. I’m definitely a summer girl, and Leo season is my favorite time to wear my favorite bold, sexy, and colorful looks. I need to figure out what I’m going to wear for my birthday (August 9). I am always obsessed with finding a gorgeous look for my birthday every year!”
Gina Marinelli is a writer and editor based in New York. You can follow her at @ginaalilbit.
Originally Appeared on Glamour