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!