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!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com