If you’re like most women, you probably find yourself reaching for the same summertime staples year after year. Denim cut-offs, that soft white t-shirt, and a favorite pair of shades are the bread and butter of summer wardrobes everywhere.
But should you find yourself standing in front of your closet feeling like you have nothing to wear more often than not or wearing what amounts to a summer uniform day in and day out, it’s time to brush up on the basics. From backyard barbecues to beach trips to cocktail hour, this short list of summer wardrobe must-haves will make you feel fabulous until fall:
#1: A Great White Tank
This simple shirt becomes something more when you go beyond stretch ribbing and look for details like tie straps or bustier stitching. It’s a subtle statement, but one that’s noticeable nonetheless! Pair with a colorful skirt, high-waisted jean shorts, or this year’s soft and super comfy printed shorts.
#2: Embellished Flat Sandals
Perfect for those beach walks or summer night dates, flats can be surprisingly dressy! Go quirky with a geometric pattern ankle wrap sandal or classic with bright strappy leather Salt Water sandals – both of which are easy to wear but will stand out when worn with a white sundress.
#3: A Do-it-All Bikini
Today’s two piece bathing suits are for more than just lounging by the pool. From structured tops with removable straps that are secure for swimming but saucy enough for beach bashes, to tankinis that can double as tops when you toss on a pair of shorts, there’s no shortage of bikinis for every activity.
#4: The New Classic Printed Shorts
There’s nothing novel about shorts for summer and that’s kind of the point. High-waisted, just-long-enough shorts flatter every kind of leg. And while cut-offs are cool, soft shorts with bold graphic prints are so comfortable you won’t want summertime to end.
#5: A Pair (or Two) of Aviators
Sunglasses are a summer must and not just for fashion’s sake.Eye protection prevents early photo-aging around the eyes and can even make summer activities like boating safer. Aviators have been cool since they were released in 1936, so you can feel good about investing in a really great pair.
#6: The Basic Striped Sailor Shirt
This is a classic capsule piece that literally never goes out of fashion. If you’re all about traditional chic, pair it with tailored white shorts. Or for a more modern look, choose thicker stripes and pair with a maxi skirt or cut-offs.
#7: A Sun Hat
Adorable? Check. Useful? Double check. Sensitive skin that doesn’t take well to sunscreen is still protected under a too cute straw hat. From boater hats to fedoras to floppy numbers that can be rolled up in your beach bag, there’s a perfect straw hat for every woman.
#8: Slim Raw-Edged Jeans
Flares are slowly making their way back up the fashion totem, but for summer it’s still all about a slimmer silhouette. Raw-hem denim is unfinished enough to feel super casual, but not so distressed that you can’t dress it up for an afternoon shopping session and a stop at the café.
#9: Pointed Toe flats
While espadrilles will always have a place in summer staple lists, if you’re looking for a shoe that will take you from summer seamlessly into fall, opt for pointed toe flats. They go from day to night without a hitch, can be dressed down with shorts and a tank for weekend wear, and dressed up with your favorite party dress.
#10: No-Effort Dresses
High-temps mean most of us are too exhausted to put tons of effort into daily dressing, making dresses the perfect go-to. Whether you’re talking printed sundresses, a mod denim dress, maxi dresses or a totally trendy slip dress, one dress and a pair of great shoes are all it takes to look perfectly put together.
What else should you have in your wardrobe rotation this summer? An eye-popping statement bag, a pair of bright white kicks and a bold choker necklace can take your everyday outfits to the next level. But do you really need a new outfit every day, all summer long? As if! This summer it’s all about how you take your staples and style them for maximum impact and minimum effort.