Summer Essentials for your Daily Uniform
When something is perfect to us, we tend to wear, eat, or do it repeatedly. This applies to getting dressed. Part of being a self recognized person is having a “uniform”—a sort of template that one wears every day, and elevates with various beloved accessories and clothing items.
The key to this mode of dressing? Having a closet full of perfect pieces that can be collaged together to create amazing outfits, day in and day out. Outfits that are stylish, comfortable, and most importantly, YOU. One’s uniform will change slightly depending on the season, but will remain, in a word, very them.
Here, a list of essential items for composing perfect summer outfits:
The White T
This one is totally necessary. Find the perfect shirt—be it boxy, oversized, or tight—in a crisp white. When you find the shirt for you, buy it in a few different color tones. This will be your go-to shirt for everything from working at home to visiting the Farmer’s Market. It’s a summer time must. AG Denim does beautifully with basics like the plain white t-shirt, and we also love pieces by Cecile Ltd, which come with charming prints. You can also never go wrong with a classic brand like A.L.C or La Causa.
The Striped Shirt
A nod to both a nautical summer vacation, casual Parisian elegance, and seaside leisure, the striped shirt—the classic Breton—is a must. Pair it with jeans or a skirt and wear it everywhere that you go. Go for the best—we love pieces by The Breton Shirt Company, which is based in the UK. You’ll wear this day after day, every season.
We’re biased, but an amazing pair of sunglasses may be the most essential of all summer essentials. Elevate your look and protect your eyes with the perfect shades. We’ll go so far as to say that no summertime look is complete without a perfect pair of sunglasses. Browse our collections here—we have the perfect pair for everyone. You may need two pairs—a go-to pair for day time activities like sipping on an iced matcha latte as you stroll around the farmers market, and a pair for wearing to more dressy events—think pre-dinner martinis on a beautiful patio. Sunglasses will keep you looking and feeling protected—think of them as a form of chic, elegant safety from the outside world.
The Summer Day Bag
You’ll need a vessel for all of your summer day essentials, from your sunglasses to clean snacks to your favorite fragrance and lip balm (we’ve compiled a list of everything that you should be carrying with you—read it here). Find something that suits you—be it a classic canvas tote, a woven straw bag, or a luxurious leather tote—and carry it with you as you adventure through your summer. We recommend also investing in a few great leather or canvas pouches to keep inside the bag, so that you can remain organized. Paravel and Mark & Graham both make great options, which you can have customized with your initials, and we also love a straw bag made by local artisans.
The Summer Evening Bag
Leave your tote at home—or at the hotel—for evening, and carry just the essentials (lip balm, credit card, phone, fragrance, sunglasses) with you when you head out for happy hour, dinner, movies, etc. For summer, look for something in a jewel tone—think fuschia, clementine, or emerald. We also love the look of a white evening bag for summer. This will make all of your evening looks more dressy and stunning, with minimal effort. Polene Paris makes elegant, understated bags that will take your look from day to night. The best place to find a perfect evening bag? ThredUp—an online consignment store where you can find everything from Fendi Baguettes to silk Gucci clutches, at a fraction of the price.
The Floral Dress
A quintessential summer piece—the flirty, floral dress. Pair it with a denim jacket and sandals for day, and slip into a pair of metallic heels for evening. This will keep you cool and will take you from the farmers market to happy hour at an amazing local hotel, one bloom at a time. The floral dress is also a great travel piece as you can easily keep a few rolled into your suitcase. We’re fans of the dresses by Stine Goya, Tiare Hawaii, A.L.C, Solid and Striped, and Show me Your Mumu.
The Linen Look
Think breezy, cool linen. Select a color—white, ash, black, or a bright tone—and go for a monochromatic look. We love the look of all white linen for summer. You’ll feel and look, in a word, cool. Bed Threads, based in Australia, makes great, breezy linen pieces.
The Loose Jeans
Denim can be a bit of a hassle, so for summer look for a pair of loose jeans. Pair them with a white t-shirt and an amazing pair of heels and you’ll look at once casual and put together. A bright lip takes this look to the next level.
The Elevated Shorts
Structured shorts, when done correctly, are ideal for summer. Wear a great pair—think short trousers—with a striped shirt or a silk blouse and heels or sandals in a jewel tone for an easy to slip into, breezy summer outfit that’s proper enough for lunch al fresco with the in laws and comfortable enough for working from your favorite salad restaurant on hot days.
Another absolute must. Find a great skirt that you can dress up or down. Pair it with a silk camisole, heels, and a clutch for evening and with a t-shirt and sandals for day. You’ll end up wearing it again and again, as you’ll always feel and look put together with minimal effort. Natalie Rolt is an amazing skirt designer—the pieces are comfortable and alluring.
The Light Jacket
Because it finally cools down in the evening, be sure to have a great jacket—we’re always fans of a great, classic denim jacket—with you, in your tote, at all times. Tie a printed silk scarf around your neck and get into your jacket and your go-to daytime look is suddenly an evening BBQ or happy hour outfit.
Find a comfortable, gorgeous pair of sandals that you can stroll in easily, and you’ll end up wearing these almost every day. They’ll keep you looking and feeling cool, stylish, and ready for whatever may come your way. We advise a pair of leather sandals with minimal straps so that you can wear them anywhere, any time, without having to overthink things. Look for an amazing pair by a brand like Robert Clergie or Castaner. We also like Ancient Greek Sandals.
For days when you have a bit more walking planned—think going on a day trip or shopping in town—a pair of canvas sneakers is a must. They’re great with trousers, shorts, or a dress. They’re classic Americana and they’re comfortable. We needn’t sell you on a pair of adorable canvas sneakers.
Summer clothing is, by nature, casual. And we love this. But we’re all for looking amazing, even when you’re alone at home. Find a few pieces of gold jewelry that speak to you—a magical bangle, a gorgeous necklace, a pair of hoop earrings, a charm bracelet, a lariat—and wear them every day. Your breezy summer outfit choices just became elevated, timeless, and sophisticated.
What are you wearing this summer, and to where? Tag us on Instagram—we love seeing you all dressed up, or down, carrying about your summer businesses.
Written by: Alexandra Malmed