Balmy temps, lazy beach days and lots of sunshine aren’t the only things summer has going for it. While pulling together a perfectly put-together fall or winter #OOTD takes some skill (because layers), summertime makes dressing a total cinch. You really can’t go wrong with a capsule wardrobe jam-packed with throw-on-and-go shirt dresses, effortless tees and chic everyday basics that can be styled a million ways with little to no effort. Once all your bases are covered, it’s time to focus in on the details. And we’re not talking fussy add-ons. Instead of piling on the extras, look to this season’s most sought-after necklines to give your summer style an instant upgrade. Yup — it’s really that simple. We’ve curated a list of the five must-have styles, plus examples of each to add to your wardrobe now.
1. Zara Printed Top ($50): Enter the floral top that’s about to flip your warm weather wardrobe on its head. Weekend adventures will get so much chicer when you team the ruffled silhouette and bright blooms with white button-front skirts and espadrille edges, or cutoff denim and a stylin’ backpack.
2. ASOS Ruffle Off the Shoulder in Rainbow Stripe ($49): Send the sartorial blahs packin’ with a rainbow stripe top that’s all about those good vibes. Keep the good times rolling with prism shades, a quirky crossbody bag (pineapples, please) and a fresh mani.
3. H&M Off-the-Shoulder Blouse ($18): You won’t be ruffling any feathers when you hit up a grad party or dinner with the ‘rents in this vibrant coral top. Pair the shoulder-baring style with dramatic drop earrings that draw the eye upward and jacquard trousers for a polished, anytime-appropriate ensemble.
4. MLM Label New York Top ($143): A flirty off-the-shoulder top is exactly what the
doctor stylist ordered for al fresco dinner dates and afternoons spent strolling along the boardwalk. Everything from the over-the-top bows and clean lines has us swooning hard. The only thing missing is a pretty pink lip and dainty gold necklace.
5. Madewell Balcony Off-the-Shoulder Top ($85): This hero piece in disguise is the foundation for every modern boho look — so be prepared to whip it out on the regular. Just add some strappy free-wheelin’ clogs and suede shorts, then watch as the compliments start rolling in.
6. Lucca Couture In the Stripes Tie-Front Top ($59): We can’t decide what we love more: the golden stripes, fluttery sleeves or dramatic tie-front. Whether you’re headed to Tuscany or a backyard bash, you’ll straight-up stun if you style this dramatic number alongside flowy skirts or structured culottes.
7. Free People Wrap Bodysuit ($68): From AM to PM, this flowery plunge bodysuit is what your carefully curated closet has been missing. Add it to the list of pieces you simply can’t live without, because it won’t be long before you’re rockin’ it with high-waisted denim, wide-leg trousers and twirl-worthy skirts for everything from happy hour to impromptu dance parties under the stars.
8. Reformation Mylo Top ($128): See ya later basic tees — we need a fuss-free topper with a little more flair. Channel your inner fashion darling with this sleeveless silk top that will take you from boardroom meetings to a leisurely weekend in the Hamptons just like that. Oversized sunnies, cropped flares and statement platforms are obligatory.
9. Cooperative Benny Double-V Cropped Top ($34): Preppy sailor stripes? Puh-lease. Give basic Breton stripes a 21st-century makeover this season with a midriff-baring silhouette and dramatic plunge neckline. Class it up with belted high-waisted trousers and a statement necklace for an edgy-yet-sophisticated look that can be styled on the fly.
10. Free People Fulton Tie-Front Top ($78): When all else fails, you can always count on a white tank to do your style right. Case in point: This DDG tie-front top that’s ready to take on lazy afternoons spent by the pool, cocktail hour on the veranda and anything else you can throw its way.
11. Ace & Jig Frances Top ($245): The easiest way to solve that what-to-wear question? This flouncy gingham blouse. Practically made for picnics and country fairs, its laid-back charm will have you hooked from your very first wear. Throw this crowd pleaser on along with a structured straw bag and half topknot, and get ready to seize the day.
12. Express Suede Tie-Back Halter Cami ($40): Rest assured, you need not subscribe to a bohemian or prim-and-proper aesthetic to pull off an apron neckline. Glamping, festivals, brunch with your besties — you name it — this luxe suede number has you covered no matter what the occasion.
13. H&M Crocheted Tank Top ($18): Festival season isn’t anywhere near over yet, so don’t even think about putting away those main stage staples just yet. This colorful crochet tank top is right in line with your bohemian sensibilities and affinity (bordering on obsession) for vibrant hues. Translation: Run, don’t walk, to add it to your festival wardrobe stat. DO pair it with an elevated fanny pack and no-fuss slides to groove to the beat in style.
14. Zara Denim Top With Cords ($36): Don’t let go of that double denim dream just yet. This lace-up tank is EVERYTHING when it comes to off-the-clock dressing, especially when pared with cropped chambray wide legs and sporty slides.
15. Reformation Trixie Two Piece ($198): Oh, this old thing? It’s just the prize winning pairing that will earn you best dressed status every single time, whether you pair it with embroidered or strappy sandals that slay.
16. Kimchi Blue Fawn Apron Cami ($44): Introducing the prettiest LWT (little white tank) on the block. We dare you to try and name one reason why you don’t need the dainty eyelet lace detailing and scene-stealing back in your life. For endless beach babe vibes, go au natural on the makeup front and give tresses a tousle and spritz with salt spray.
17. HD in Paris Laurel Tank ($78): No-frills kind of gals that want to stand out — this one’s for you. This understated style has been spotted on It-girls everywhere, so you know it must be good. When date night rolls around, tuck it into a tiered eyelet skirt and proceed to style with bright ankle-strap block heels and look-at-me metallic drops FTW.
18. Madewell Striped Lace-Up Top ($55): Life’s too short to stick to a nine-to-five routine of button-downs and bland blouses. With its throwback appeal and graphic stripes, this anything-but-average tee is the ultimate remedy for work wardrobe woes. Toss it on with a suede midi skirt and peep-toe booties for an on-the-clock ensemble that isn’t messing around.
19. Tryb Flora & Fauna Blouse ($198): To say we’re into the ultra chill vibes this botanical top is giving off would be an understatement. Cue the umbrella drinks and wide-brim sun hats — this boxy blouse was made for a stint in paradise.
20. Express Mixed Fabric Lace-Up Tank ($40): That bare-it-all bodysuit you’ve been rockin’ all vacay long isn’t going to cut it once Monday rolls around, but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch the lace-up look altogether. This sunny yellow tank is all business with an HR-approved neckline and subtle crisscrossed lace detailing. Pair it with tailored trousers and patterned pumps for a look that transitions from office to evening like whoa.
21. Free People Mai Tai Top ($98): Get ready to take it there with a dramatic lace-up bodysuit that any festival goddess would fall for. Everything from the trippy print to the OMG-worthy plunge neckline reads queen of the dance floor with a bohemian twist. For a gig at your favorite local bar or a waterfront fiesta, just add a button-front skirt, a choker necklace and platform slingbacks.
22. Lulu’s By My Oceanside Coral Lace-Up Top ($35): When you’re not wearing this cute coral top with that brand new one-piece suit for an afternoon with your toes in the sand, team it with metallic trousers and block heels for an after-hours outfit that strikes just the right balance of modern muse and beach bum.
23. Zara Off-the-Shoulder Top ($30): Off-the-shoulder silhouettes won’t win you any bonus points with the sartorial authorities, but this trend-right top let’s you have your cake and eat it too — as in, it has MAJOR wear-anywhere appeal. It takes on the Saturday morning farmers’ market in style with high-waisted shorts and metallic Birkenstocks (of course), and wows even the most discerning office big wigs when you show up Monday morning rockin’ it with printed ankle trousers, mismatched drop earrings and a go-get-’em attitude.
24. Mango Tropical Print Top ($46): What’s a summer wardrobe without at least one palm print? Even if you don’t have any impending adventures on the agenda, this exotic top is like a tropical vacation in itself. Elevate your errand-running uniform into Insta-worthy territory by tossing it over boyfriend jeans and gladiator sandals. And yeah — go for the messy topknot.
25. Topshop Stripe Cold Shoulder T-shirt ($40): Even the most tried-and-true tee-and-jeans routine needs a little updating every once and a while, and that’s where this striped shirt comes in. Be it at a baseball game or a lazy Sunday Funday at your fave local spot, this easy-breezy style is a sure thing for all your off-duty activities.
26. Re:named Crinkle Curve Top ($63): Prepare to swoon hard for this pretty pastel top that has date night written all over it. The romantic cold-shoulder silhouette is perfect for flaunting sun-kissed shoulders and balancing streamlined bottoms, like high-waisted skinny jeans, for a flirty, feminine feel. Round out the look with voluminous locks and a statement cuff for a sophisticated finish.
27. Forever21 Contemporary Ribbon Accent Top ($20): Don’t mind us — we’ll just be over here obsessing over this bowtastic top. Daytime casual is about to get a whole lot more interesting when you pop this eye-catching number on top of everyday basics.
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