Girlboss gladiators, swingy off-the-shoulder dresses and colorful crossbody bags that would make any It-girl swoon — there’s no shortage of sweet new threads popping up left and right this season, making a trip to your favorite stores a serious exercise in self restraint. But with a limited budget, deciding which pieces should make the cut is tough (we want it all!). We took to Insta to help you prioritize those sizzling summer purchases, scoping out the pieces that fashion darlings have (unofficially) deemed the must-have duds for summer 2016. One-piece swimsuits, dainty baubles and even a pair of metallic trousers — trust us when we say that your summer style essentials are shaping up to be on point.
ICYMI: Off-the-shoulder tops have been deemed the be-all-end-all of warm-weather dressing. If you haven’t added one of these shoulder-baring stunners to your wardrobe yet, get on it, girl!
1. SOONSU Flower Off-Shoulder Top ($289): Enter the flirtatious topper you won’t want to take off. Be it date night or the Saturday morning farmers’ market, this floral number will always do you right. Make the blooms pop with turquoise tassel earrings and a bold red lip.
Colorful Leather Jackets
What could be better than a classic? How about one that’s been given a winning fashion-forward upgrade. Do like Nicolette Mason and ditch your classic black biker jacket for an ultra bright hue that screams summertime chic.
2. Zara Faux Leather Jacket ($70): Add an instant rocker edge to swingy sundresses and retro high-waist shorts the second you slip this pretty pink number on. Striking the perfect balance of sweet and sassy, it’s a straight-up vestiary win no matter how you wear it.
Sayonara, stilettos — according to the stylin’ ladies of Insta, you’ll be taking a backseat to flirty flatforms this summer — and we are so on board. A boost without the blisters? Sign us up!
3. Free People Heights Platform ($160): Inject a note of Studio 54 chic into even the most basic t-shirt and jeans combo this summer by throwing these suede steppers into the mix. The comfy cork wedge won’t just give you a lift — it’ll elevate your style cred too. For a casual-cool look fit for thrift shopping and leisurely lunches on the veranda, team ‘em with cropped denim, a crochet top and straw basket a la Jane Birkin.
You’re a bonafide lazy girl, so effortless statement accessories that can turn up the heat on your one-and-done duds cannot be passed up. Your latest piece de resistance? Tassel-tastic earrings. A simple rule of thumb for pulling them off? The brighter, the better.
4. Madewell Nightway Tassel Earrings ($26): These are not your average hoops. Their boho-meets-downtown-cool design gives them a one-up on the rest of your jewelry box, boasting wear-anywhere appeal that will take you from the boardroom to the main stage like that.
Ruffles have come a long way since your frilly Easter dress from way back when — and it’s a good thing. Done right, the frilly embellishment brings a dramatic, architectural edge to everything from simple sheath dresses to off-the-shoulder tops. Embrace it.
5. Mango Ruffled Sleeve Blouse ($50): Bad days just aren’t possible when you have this sunny yellow stunner on standby. Friday through Sunday, pair it with shortalls and lace-up sandals for an unexpected twist on your tank-and-cutoffs routine, then give it the corporate treatment once Monday rolls around with belted trousers and minimalist mules.
Not-Your-Average Denim Skirt
You’ve been doing the denim skirt thing for years, but it’s time to bust out of your comfort zone. For summer 2016, up the ante with unexpected silhouettes, embellishments or embroidery that will solidify your status as a sartorial trailblazer.
6. Free People Jupe Double the Fun Skirt ($168): So much YAS. Between the daring slit, tie-front detailing and color-block effect, this layered midi skirt can do no wrong. Team it with a basic white tee and espadrilles or a mock neck top and strappy heels.
Place silky square scarves right up there with tailored blouses and black pumps on your list of closet essentials — they’re that good. Their power to class up any outfit in a snap is second to none, and they can be worn any which way, racking up bonus points in the versatility department. Forever piece? We say yes.
7. Urban Outfitters Cotton Patterned Square Neck Scarf ($12): Channel your inner Parisian for brunch with the girls by tying this pink paisley number around the neck choker style and pairing it with a basic tee, pleated skirt and metallic ankle-strap sandals. And don’t even dream of leaving the house without a tube of your signature red lipstick.
Bodysuits, t-shirts and effortless shift dresses — lace-up details are popping up everywhere this season, and trust us when we say that this is one trend you’ll want to get tied up in. A little throwback and a whole lot RN, it’ll give your enviable wardrobe that bit of extra something you’ve been after.
8. Madewell Harbor Lace-Up Shift Dress ($110): We’re calling it right now — this easy-breezy shift dress is about to become your closet MVP, far surpassing your favorite sundress or lazy-girl-approved onesie. For the ultimate beach bummin’ getup, toss it on over a bright two piece, then proceed to style with an embroidered floppy hat, sleek slides and oversized sunnies.
Wide-Brim Straw Hats
Oversized sunglasses are an essential component to your mystique, but there’s another accessory you won’t want to overlook — a wide-brimmed hat. The added sun protection is a bonus, but we’re seriously diggin’ those glam-girl-on-holiday vibes.
9. Sole Society Wide Brim Straw Boater Hat ($30): Put that straw fedora to rest — at least for now — and go full steam ahead into summer with this straw boater that exudes summertime charm, especially when paired with shoulder-baring dresses and twirl-worthy A-line skirts.
No summer wardrobe is complete without a standout beach coverup that lives up to your haute standards. You’ll be living in this number all season long, so take a style cue from Maja Wyh and go all out.
10. Free People Dream Time Kaftan Robe ($128): Calling all beach goddesses! This lace-up kaftan is what summer dreams are made of. Turn the sand into your own personal runway by styling it alongside windswept waves, pom-pom-studded sandals and a sunkissed glow.
Vibrant Maxi Dress
With a schedule jam-packed with graduation parties, summer weddings and weekend getaways, you need a getup that can handle a bit of double duty for every event on your iCal this season. The solution: a printed maxi dress. Pro Tip: Opt for relaxed silhouettes that can easily be dressed up or down with a simple accessories swap.
11. ASOS Pleated Color Block Maxi Dress ($68): Too much color? No such thing. Knock ‘em dead at a seaside wedding or big-time gala by strutting your stuff in this bright color-block number. Let the show-stopping style take center stage by opting for sleek locks and mismatched drop earrings.
Nothing says summer quite like a pair of rope-bottomed steppers, which is why you’ll always see Julie Sariñana rockin’ a pair on her sunny seaside escapes (can you say FOMO?). While cashing in on a ticket to paradise might not be in the cards this summer, you can amp up your beach bum look with a pair of these Insta-worthy steppers.
12. Soludos Smoking Slipper ($75): Partnered with a graphic romper and a bright camera bag, these snap-happy espadrilles will become your go-to for endless off-duty #OOTDs. No stepper in your closet can do effortless like this canvas pair, making them a shoo-in for chillin’ in the hammock and chill sessions in the park.
While off-the-shoulder everything has practically eclipsed every other topper on the fashion scene, crochet tops have proven across the board that it’s a must-buy item for boho babes and minimalists alike.
13. ASOS Premium Crochet Top ($65): Introducing your new best fashion friend — the crochet top. While there’s no shortage of color and styles stocking shelves and your favorite stores, this understated floral tank takes the cake. The neutral hue and anytime-appropriate cut will do you right, whether you pair it with suede shorts and a flower crown for that much-anticipated festival, or wear it with high-waisted trousers and slip-on loafers for casual Friday at the office.
Doing corporate right doesn’t have to mean sticking to shades of black, khaki and gray. You do you, girl, by working in look-at-me separates that flip the script on the traditional power suit. Life’s too short, right?
14. Zara Printed Straight-Cut Trousers ($70): Big presentation coming up? Skip the power suit and embrace botanical trousers for a major confidence boost. Whether you style them with a sleeveless blazer or an architectural top, you’ll own the room with your charisma and killer style.
Because duh. Can it even be considered summer if there isn’t a tried-and-true denim jacket in your rotation? The short answer: no.
15. One With the Flowers Embroidered Denim Jacket ($88): If you’ve been rockin’ the same beat-up denim jacket since your pre-college days, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. Channel your inner It-girl with styles that show off cheeky patches or flowery embroidery, or jazz up a no-frills number with a handful of vibrant pins.
It’s all in the #details. Dainty stacking rings are blowing up Insta like whoa, coming in a close second to chokers as the must-have bauble of the season. Pile on simple, streamlined styles for a modern minimalist aesthetic, or get in touch with your inner glamazon by mixing and matching glitzy rings.
16. BaubleBar Periscope Ring Duo ($28): Leave home without a bit of bling? You wouldn’t dare! Understated enough to take along to the beach, but striking enough to wear with that OMG-worthy jumpsuit on GNO, this gilded set will inspire you to stack ’em up on the regular.
Carefree Boho Dress
We’re pretty sure a boho dress is mandatory after Memorial Day, and Mary Seng seems to agree. If you’ve been wondering what to wear to an engagement party or outdoor concert, this is definitely it.
17. Free People Louise Border Print Midi Dress ($128): Found it. Prepare to add this antiqued floral dress to the top of your must-pack list for every getaway on your warm-weather agenda. The off-the-shoulder neckline was made for showing off sexy sunkissed shoulders while sipping rosé under the stars. Toss on a metallic belt and ankle strap sandals for extra polish, or style it with Birkenstocks and a messy braid for a more chill vibe.
Sunscreen: check. Sick new one-piece swimsuit: double check. The only thing missing from your sizzlin’ summer wardrobe? A scene-stealing pair of statement sunglasses. Even if you’re sporting your most blasé basics, you’ll look like a front-row frequenter the second you slip on a pair of Anna Wintour-approved shades.
18. Linda Farrow x Markus Lupfer Starsquare Cat-Eye Shades ($315): UV rays ain’t got nothing on star-crossed sunnies. They definitely won’t fly under the radar, but we’re willing to bet you’ll find any excuse to bust ‘em out, because, well, just look at them.
The #OOTD factor of a one-piece swimsuit cannot be denied, so if you’ve been holding out on giving the timeless style a try, now is definitely the time. When you’re not struttin’ your stuff in the sand, get a bit of extra mileage out of it by pairing it with everyday pieces, like structured culottes or a button-front skirt.
19. Onia Kelly One-Piece ($195): Whether you’re hangin’ by the pool or are headed to the lake for a weekend of fun-in-the-sun shenanigans, this is the one-piece you need to take along on all your summer adventures. Style it with a vibrant sarong, statement shades and a dramatic floppy hat, then proceed to soak up the good vibes with a can’t-put-it-down summer read.
Camera Crossbody Bag
When you’re not busy getting your girl boss on, you don’t need a larger-than-life bag to take along from point A to point B. Carry just the essentials in an easy-to-tote crossbody camera bag with endless RN appeal.
20. J.Crew Marlo Crossbody Bag ($98): When the mercury rises, paring down is essential to keep your cool. This structured bag is roomy enough for your everyday essentials (think: lipstick, phone, wallet and keys), but won’t drag you down as you run around town.
The slip-on trend has taken a drastically sophisticated turn, with the rad-and-refined loafers getting in on the backless action. Who says you can’t teach a tried-and-true stepper a few new tricks? Do like Camille and break ’em out when the weekend rolls around, jazzing up jeans and a vintage tee with a metallic menswear flats and a clubhouse-ready blazer.
21. Dune London Gee Silver Backless Flat Loafer ($109): We guarantee you’ll be trading out pumps at every opportunity once you add these quicksilver flats to your capsule wardrobe. Make the Monday morning shuffle that much easier by teaming them with A-line dresses or tailored jumpsuits. Consider it your new signature move for the mornings when you hit snooze one too many times.
Why limit yourself to snoozy denim jackets when summer 2016 is practically a gold mine in terms of outerwear options? If Insta is any indication, then it won’t be long before you’re swooning hard for a badass bomber jacket. From desk to drinks to festival season, they work for whenever, wherever, and are nothing short on attitude.
22. AllSaints Anya Bomber Jacket ($360): If this embroidered bomber doesn’t scream goals, we don’t know what will. The clean lines are all attitude, while folksy oversized florals lend a subtle luxe feel that would straight-up slay on an upcoming GNO with a slinky slip dress and embellished slides.
Lazy girls, listen up! Forget about shorts and billowy maxi dresses — an on-point romper (or five) is all you need to get through the summer in style. Fake it ’til you make it in a flirty floral style that will make dressing for every bachelorette, dinner party or al fresco fiesta feel like an effortless exercise.
23. Reformation Holly Jumpsuit ($178): Closet crises don’t exist when you have a ditsy floral romper this DDG in your arsenal. It has all your weekend and after-hours adventures covered with its flirty silhouette and wear-anywhere allure. Dress it up for drinks and a gig with block heels and layering necklaces, or play it cool with slide-on sneakers and a sleek ponytail for a food truck festival in the park.
If you’re the type that sees laces, straps and fussy embellishments as a barrier to beach time and seizing every precious summer moment (#gelatogoals), then we’ve found the shoe for you: slides. Slip ‘em on and you’re ready to head out the door in two seconds flat.
24. Ancient Greek Sandals Taygete Slides ($185): Birks might be off the table for the office or swankier affairs, but these equally-as-comfortable kicks do it all. Between the minimalist styling and swanky gold leather, they’re guaranteed to send those double taps through the roof. They’ll fast become an integral part of your desk-to-drinks routine after you see them work their magic with a silk blouse, culottes and a tie-front gilet.
You didn’t think we’d forget about the choker, did you? The ‘90s style staple has made an appearance on every It-girl’s Insta feed, with the latest interpretation of the trend taking a prairie-chic turn. The ideal companion to floral dresses and plain white tees alike, a leather wrap necklace needs to make its way into your #OOTD stat.
25. Natalie B Jewelry Roadie Wrap Necklace ($40): Do festival fashion on your terms this season by ditching the fringe and flower crowns in favor of a leather wrap necklace that jibes with your minimalist sensibilities. Make it pop with a plunging bodysuit, cropped denim and a perfectly undone topknot.
Apron Neckline Tops
Apron necklines were popping up EVERYWHERE during fashion week, and now they’ve managed to trickle their way down to the streets. Spotted on Pernille Teisbaek and her crew, it’s about to become your go-to top when that off-the-shoulder stunner is in the wash.
26. Mango Decorative Trim Top ($46): You’re a no-frills kind of girl, and that’s totally cool. This layered lace-trimmed top just gets you. Country fairs, rooftop soirees, boardwalk strolls — you name it, this crowd-pleaser will do you right. Do the monochromatic thing to take your look to the next level by tucking it into a white midi skirt and styling alongside a stack of elegant gold bangles.
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