Summer officially arrived last week! It’s my favorite season, and I’m anxious to take my summer fun clothes out for a spin. In addition to the colorful and flirty pieces that we all love about summer clothes, it’s helpful to have a foundation of summer basic essentials on which to build a summer closet. Here are summer essentials that support my summer wardrobe year after year.
A basic white t-shirt is a no-brainer summer wardrobe staple. There is nothing more versatile. Pair a white t-shirt with a pair of shorts, a skirt, summer jeans or other pants styles. The look is crisp and fresh. As I’ve gotten older, I prefer a t-shirt sleeve that’s a little longer than I used to wear. The elbow sleeve length is, as long as the sleeves are very close fitting, stylish and on trend and covers the parts of the arm that we may not be loving. The t-shirt pictured below is not an elbow sleeve, but it’s a little longer than the typical t-shirt sleeve and works well (it’s the Gap Modern Half Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt). I did an entire post about elbow sleeve t-shirts last month – check it out here for more longer sleeve t-shirt info. The first tee in the shopping widget below features this t-shirt.
A pair of white jeans is a staple of summer. There are plenty of days during which the temps allow for some leg coverage, and a pair of white jeans is fresh and cool and goes with just about everything. Pairing white jeans with a pastel colored top is a beautiful summer look. And the contrast of a dark top (black or navy are great topper colors) is really eye catching as well as summer appropriate.
Shorts in the summer is a given. Right? Well, it depends. I’d given up wearing shorts a few years ago. My body is changing as I get older (what did I expect?!), and I just wasn’t comfortable wearing shorts in public. And, if I’m being honest, I think I’ve spent way too much time worrying about what people will think. But after my recent trip to Hawaii, where it’s just hot all day and where people wear clothes that are appropriate for the heat, I’ve decided that I’m just going to do it. If you’re in the same boat, look for longer shorts – bermuda shorts – that hit just above the knee. I really like the ones pictured below by Tommy Bahama, the Boracay 10-Inch Bermuda Shorts. They also come in 5″, 7″ and 14″ lengths. To avoid the old lady look of bermuda shorts, make sure your shorts are fairly close fitting at the leg opening. I probably won’t wear them every day, but it’s nice to have a couple of pairs of shorts for those days when it just feels like a shorts day! Check out my post from a few weeks ago: Shorts for Women Over 50 – Yes You Can!
Fun Summer Dress
Summer and dresses go hand in hand. A summer dress is a seasonal given. This is where you can add some flair, maybe a little whimsy. Have fun with summer dresses – don’t play it safe! A summer dress is a perfect option when the temperature is soaring. Play with color, patterns, and shapes.
I’ve always been a fan of stripes (and don’t even get me started about polka dots!), and summer is the perfect time to wear the fresh look of stripes – especially blue and white. As you can see in the photos below, there are a variety of ways to incorporate stripes into a summer look and more than one way that stripe designs can be featured. I love the modern look of the wide chambray striping on the topper. This piece was actually sold as a beach cover-up (Tommy Bahama Rugby Beach Stripe Boyfriend Shirt – currently sold out but keep checking if you like it). I love pieces that are versatile and can be worn in multiple ways. The stripe t-shirt is Caslon from Nordstrom (the second t-shirt linked in the widget below – it’s pictured as white but comes in several colors, including this striped version).
Okay, I don’t have to tell you that a pair of sandals (or 3 or 10) is a summer essential. But what I do want to share is the two styles that are essential in my summer wardrobe: nude sandals and wedge sandals (pictured in several photos above).
Nude sandals are so versatile: they go with EVERYTHING and the nude color elongates the leg as it’s almost invisible since the nude shade is close to the leg shade (that means that you should find the nude shade that matches your skin tone). Notice how the sandals almost disappear giving a clean line to the outfit.
The other sandal essential, a pair of wedge sandals, can take you from day to night and works as a casual daytime look as well as a nighttime shoe option in the summer.
The second must-have footwear summer essential is a pair of sneakers. My sneaker style of choice is the slip-on style, but a lace-up pair is a popular style option too. White or light colors are most summer-friendly. Wear them with shorts, jeans, beach pants, skirts, dresses – they go with everything. The slip-on style, in my view, is a bit more versatile.
Pictured below are my favorite favorite Rothy’s slip-ons. (If you’ve been following Dez & Dot for a while, you’ve heard this before!) I love Rothy’s. They aren’t the most inexpensive* sneakers, but they last and are washable and are comfortable and are made from sustainable materials. Shop Rothy’s with my referral code: https://share.rothys.com/x/axiO40. You’ll get $20 off of your first pair of Rothy’s and I’ll get $20 to use on my next pair – then you’ll get your own referral code to share with friends. (Lots more styles too – check them out.)
Remember to use the cost per wear calculation when considering buying more expensive things. Use the cost per wear calculator to figure out how much each wearing will cost.
A summer hat is necessary to keep the hot sun off your face, shade your eyes, and protect your scalp – how boring is that? Let’s try that again: A summer hat is a fun fashion accessory, and the styles are endless. The best way to find the right style for you is to just try them. My favorite style is a Panama style hat. The one pictured above is a recent addition to my summer hat collection – I’m not sure what the style is called, but it has a Panama style crown shape with a wide, flat brim almost like a bolero. The great thing about summer hats is that you don’t have to spend a lot on them and they really add a stylish finish to any type of summer outfit, from a swimsuit poolside to a going-out-to-lunch look.
Storing them is challenging for me. If you have a great solution to hat storage, let me know.
I’ve curated some summer styles below for you to browse or shop.
(If you purchase through these links, I’ll earn a small commission on the sale – very small! It’s a way bloggers generate income. I appreciate always your shopping through my links if you decide to make a purchase. You pay exactly the same as if you go directly to a retail website.)