The summer season is in full swing, and that has me thinking about what I am wearing that is both comfortable and cool as well as chic and stylish to suit my tastes. While I will not be able to afford resort collection items as shown above from a handful of recent designers from their 2021 recent reveals, there certainly are ideas and inspiration to draw from such talented designers.
While my attention, and perhaps yours as well, has been on other events and priorities, looking well makes a tremendous difference as we go about our lives.
I have picked up a couple of items to add to my summer wardrobe the past couple of months with all of the sales that have been going on (for example, a Ralph Lauren striped short-sleeve linen dress and layering slub tees from Rag & Bone), and now I am carefully perusing to see what I need and what would work well in my wardrobe for years to come. Rarely will such sales across the board on current collections be so easy to find and available in the sizes we want, so it doesn’t hurt to take a look.
Today I would like to share with you ten essentials and outfit ideas to curate summer outfits that are both comfortable as well as effortlessly chic. I cannot help but imagine myself wearing any one of these outfits or items in coming summers spent in France, and why not? If we buy well, buy quality, we certainly can wear the items we welcome into our closet for many summers to come.
Most of the items I have included in today’s post are shoppable, so simply click on the link or the image to be redirected to the online shop.
1.A shirtdress with contrasting belt
Regardless of the season, I love a shirt dress, but especially in summer, as it is easy to put on, and with a simple cinch of a belt that accentuates the waist, the outfit is complete. (yes, do not forget the accessories and shoes, but with regards to the clothing items, you are set!)
While many shirt dresses will come with a matching belt, and they are perfectly fine to use (I tend to use them in rotation depending upon my mood), having a back-up idea with a contrasting belt is a great way to create an entirely new outfit.
Altuzarra Spring 2020, Claudia Dress (60% off)
2. Stylish & Comfort Footwear – Les Tropeziennes
In 2018 I was introduced to Les Tropeziennes sandal, and I have been wearing them every summer ever since. They are leather sandals made to fit your foot from Rondini, and are worth the wait. With each wearing of the sandal, they begin to mold to your foot. Quickly they begin to fit you like a glove, and provide the comfort and breathability your feet seek in the summer heat. There are many different colors of leather and styles, so be sure to peruse them all. I have selected three below.
I have also included my post from 2018 in which I shared the shoes I purchased and wore during my month-long visit to France (Provence, Normandy and the Loire Valley)
3. A Dress that can take the heat
Having spent a summer in Provence, the dress was my go-to item. It was cool, it was simple and if I needed to, I could layer it with a simple jacket in the early morning or late evening. Having sleeveless is my preference as it is quite hot in July in Provence, and such a choice prevents the majority of sweat stains. Below you will find three dresses from Reformation – the Jaden, the Nikita and the Ares dress – scroll through, and below those, King & Tuckfield’s Indigo Belted Denim Wrap Dress.
4. Layer T-shirts and blazers
I am scooping up my favorite tees from Rag & Bone at the moment as they are reduced significantly. With the quality product and material, but wanting to pay full price, I am tending to my gaps in my capsule wardrobe with their sale, and layering tees are one. Available in crew and vee neckline styles, choosing a style and fabric that lays well, it not too bulky but is neither too skin-hugging as well is a good item to have at-the-ready.
Worn under a blazer during the summer (linen or cotton) and during the shoulder seasons – heavier fabrics such as wool – this is a chic look that is easy to pull together. Wear with jeans or pants, simple jewelry, your favorite handbag and you are set.
Stretch the neutral palette and welcome in blushes with grey or olive with black
5. A Linen Dress
Linen is summer. From tops to shorts, and especially to dresses. What I appreciate about linen besides the breathability is that wrinkles are expected, and I don’t feel pressure to keep it wrinkle-free. Look for a style and length that fits you well, and be willing to invest. This will be a dress you will wear and enjoy and feel confident in for years to come.
Maxi Dress Linen Kaftan (more colors)
Luxe Provence Anais Linen Provence Dress (more colors)
Garmentory Lauren Linen Rebecca Dress (more colors, stripes too)
6. A short-waisted denim or simple jacket for evening or mornings
I have had the short denim jacket I wear every summer for maybe 10 years now, and I plan on wearing it for many years to come. Over sleeveless, over short-sleeve or strapless, such a jacket works with oodles of fabrics and colors, and offers style along with a touch of warmth. Equally, if you are not a fan of denim or would like other options, try to have one light-weight neutral jacket – perhaps khaki – that can be worn when the temperatures drop just a bit too much for your summer attire.
I have shopped a handful of denim jackets below as well as a simple khaki jacket that is available on steep reduction. Overall, for denim, Zappos offers a wonderful selection in a broad range of sizes, colors and styles.
Denim enables versatility with multiple outfits and colors (image credit)
7. One Signature Maxi dress
Comfortable, perfect for lounging or when you just don’t want to “fit” into something or even layering over your swimwear, a maxi is a must-have in the summer capsule wardrobe. With a ranges of sleeve options, choose a color and a print that you love, and keep it on hand year after year to provide chic style and absolute comfort.
8. Stripes, always Stripes
Stripes will, as we all know, never go out of style. The key is to find a color, width of stripe and style of the clothing item that works well for you. Try to choose stripes when it comes to dresses and pants moving vertically to elongate your frame, but when it comes to the classic boat-neck top, horizontal is a classic choice.
9. Linen Wide-Leg Pant
Last month I passed a woman on my walk downtown along the river that looked positively radiant and exuded sartorially quintessential summer. She wore wide-leg trousers, open-toed sandals, a fitted (but not too snug) short-sleeve blouse tucked into her trousers and a lovely wide-brimmed straw hat that looked to be an Annabelle style Eugenia Kim design with the wide ribbon wrapped around the crown. Needless to say, I took note as the ensemble was trés chic but effortlessly so.
10. Ankle-skimming denim jeans
Whether you prefer skinny or straight, high, medium or low waisted, dark, light, medium or white, having a pair of denim jeans that hit just above your ankle allowing your sandals or summer footwear to be seen but still elongating your silhouette is a must-have piece to keep for your spring and summer wardrobe. BUT, do not gravitate toward the cropped jean that hits at your calf – no, no, no, no, no. The goal is to lengthen your body, so bring the hem down to just above your ankle, and you will be set.
- Madewell’s Slim Demi-Boot Jeans in Sundale wash
- Madewell’s highest-rise mom jean in glance wash
- Madewell’s The Perfect Vintage Jean in Cormie wash
- Madewell’s Tall Curvy Demi-Boot jean in Larkspur wash
Keeping your eyes open for items that will pair well with these essentials will add that signature touch. Sales are certainly aplenty right now if you know what you need and would love to wear. Wishing you a beautiful, stylish and lovely summer season.
Images: top image scroll: Milan 2020 Spring collections: Elie Saab, Bruncello Cucinelli, and Luisa Beccaria, Alberta Ferretti