13 Summer Style Essentials for Every Budget
We might be big fans of cashmere sweaters and perfectly pulled-together winter layers, but we can’t help but love the laid-back, carefree feel of summer style. Whether you’re hitting up a barbecue or chillin’ on the beach, it doesn’t take much to throw together a warm-weather look that’s totally on point. To give your much-loved warm-weather wardrobe a taste of 2015, we’re sharing some of our favorite must-haves for the season.
1. Throwback Swimsuit: Palm prints and high-waisted silhouettes are it for 2015, so go for a suit that combines the best of both worlds. Classic green palm leaves on this Gabi Fresh Paradise Found two-piece ($98) feel fresh and oh-so-appropriate for summer, while this We Are Handsome number ($318) boasts a timeless, but no less eye-catching aesthetic.
2. Button-Front Skirt: Can we talk about all the re-wear potential of these skirts? Come fall, just match up this baby with a pair of tights, rad ankle boots and your favorite knit, and you’re good to go. Get your denim fix with a casually cool Denim Button-Front Skirt ($59) — a grown-up twist on your denim mini from days of old — or up your game with a stunning Suede Button-Front Skirt ($140).
3. Espadrilles: Super comfortable and stylish to boot, the espadrille has been more or less been dubbed this summer’s standout shoe. We promise, once you get your feet in these rope-bottomed steppers, you’re not going to want to take them off. We’re partial to the classic canvas variety decked out with a funky print, like these Lime and Coconut Smoking Slippers ($65), for all our off-duty outings. To really turn some heads, a pair of shimmery Flirting Espadrilles ($288) are where it’s at.
4. Off-the-Shoulder Dress: Flirty, feminine and fuss-free, off-the-shoulder dresses are the perfect warm-weather frock. A boho interpretation ($62) of the fabulous piece is a must for everything from picnics in the park to festivals, while a romantic midi style ($158) should make it into your date-night repertoire.
5. Flatforms: One of our favorite fashion blasts from the past has to be the flatform. The cooler counterpart to the wedge is the ultimate stepper for girls with fashion-forward, contemporary style. Our favorite way to wear them? Pair a bright crisscross set ($50) with culottes and an oversized mesh top for a sports-luxe vibe, or throw on a pencil skirt, short-sleeve button-down and a sleeveless blazer with golden loafer-inspired flatforms ($238) for a chic getup with modern edge.
6. Striped Maxi Dress: A maxi dress is like a white tee or a pair of jeans — you just gotta have one. Stripes are one of those prints that never go out of style, and long vertical lines are universally flattering. If you’re looking to fill in a few gaps in the dress category of your closet, a Striped Tasseled Halter Dress ($95) isn’t a bad bet. Of course, if upgrading your essentials is on your to-do list, then this Avina Silk Jumper ($279) — part maxi, part romper — is the piece you need.
7. Straw Tote Bag: Trade out your go-to carry-all this season for a straw bag that multitasks like a boss. Look to structured totes with graphic patterns ($50) or brightly colored sacs ($138) with intriguing add-ons to take you from the beach to the boardroom in style.
8. Printed Romper: For the those days when you’re short on time or you just can’t even, a romper is your best friend. A playsuit ($82) with a plunging neckline is the ideal no-fuss outfit for a night out, while a playful georgette romper ($198) is just begging to be taken to the beach.
9. Fabulous Floppy Hat: Channel your inner diva with an oversized floppy hat that just screams glam. The bigger the brim, the greater your poolside swagger. This Dramatic Floppy Sunhat ($49) knocks it out of the park, while this sassy Do Not Disturb ($435) topper will make sure that beachside nap goes uninterrupted.
10. High-Waisted Shorts: From swimsuits to shorts, high-waisted pieces have been gaining some major sartorial ground lately. If your stock of leg-baring bottoms is in need of a pick-me-up, a pretty floral-printed pair ($60) or a bold carnival-inspired set ($281) are just what the stylist ordered.
11. Metal Bar Shades: Protecting those peepers should be one of your #1 priorities this summer. If you’re the type who constantly loses her shades, stick with an affordable set that packs a major punch, like these Rounded Sunglasses With a Metal High Bar ($22). Or if you’re looking to invest in a pair that just get better with time, these Dior Mirrored Two-Tone Aviator Sunglasses ($435) are dreamy.
12. Gladiator Sandals: The age-old gladiator style has major staying power and pairs perfectly with everything from a simple tank and shorts to flirty, feminine dresses. An understated lace-up pair ($68) will allow you a bit of flexibility with your look, while a set of structured wedge sandals ($430) are fabulous enough to make even those of the ancient fashion set totally jeals.
13. Sleek Cuff: Take a tip from the runway this summer by completing your lightweight getups with sleek, modern cuffs that add a subtle, tough-girl edge. Opt for styles with one-of-a-kind qualities, like cutouts and negative space ($7) or chain accents ($315) that will introduce dramatic appeal to any outfit.
What pieces are on your summer must-have list? Tell us in the comments!
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
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