Look your best all summer in classic outfits and accessories. Although some of these tips involve on-trend summer dresses, tops, and other apparel pieces, they’re all enduringly stylish so you can wear them for many seasons to come. Here are seven summer fashion tips that stand the test of time.
Our first tip is as much about comfort as it is fashion. Breathable fabrics are a must for summer; luckily, there are multiple options from which to choose. Linen is a natural fiber that’s prized for everything from dresses and pants to bed sheets and duvet covers. It has temperature-regulating properties and it’s moisture-wicking to help you stay cool and dry. Plus, it’s lightweight and plenty of air is able to flow through the fabric. Linen shirts, shorts, pants, and dresses are perfect for the hottest days of summer, and they can be dressed up for a business-casual, office-ready look.
Supima cotton is another breathable fabric for summer. It has a sturdy long-staple fiber for excellent color retention and durability, and it’s grown in the USA. Cotton clothing and home goods come in different knits; for example, percale is popular for sheets because of its sturdiness. Cotton jersey is super-smooth and easy to layer, which makes it a good fabric for tunic tops, midi skirts, and other summer apparel pieces. Cotton poplin is another summer favorite. Although this lightweight cotton weave is a total fashion classic, it’s also up-to-the-moment thanks to the cottagecore and farmcore aesthetic trends.
Another light and breathable fabric is rayon. It’s made from sustainably sourced cellulose fibers, so it’s an eco-friendly option. The texture is soft and silky, and you can launder it in your home washing machine. You’ll find rayon T-shirts, blouses, and dresses for summer—some of which are enhanced with a small amount of spandex for an almost imperceptible stretch that keeps you comfortable all day and allows for freedom of movement.
Roomy, relaxed-fit clothing is always stylish for summer. Although boho dresses are a current trend, they’re also a classic that you can adapt to your wardrobe when trends change. Tiered maxi dresses are one style that fits this trend, or you can opt for a comfy shift dress. Shirt dresses in a button-front style are another relaxed-fit option for summer. When it comes to tops and bottoms, tunics fit the bill. You can wear them with fitted shorts or a skirt for a balanced look.
Elastic-waist linen or cotton pants with a sleeveless tunic is one outfit idea that’s elegant and comfortable. Wide-leg pants in a light, silky fabric are another summer staple that you can wear with everything from tank tops and T-shirts to dressy blouses.
When shopping for classic summer clothing that’s always stylish, it helps to have a color palette in mind. If you don’t already have a summer capsule wardrobe, it’s never too late to start one. Start with summer tops, bottoms, and dresses in neutral tones. White, black, tan, gray, and navy are classic neutrals that you can mix and match. Add a few pieces in summery pastels like blush pink and sky blue, along with tropical colors such as orange, yellow, fuchsia, and turquoise.
Retro-inspired summer outfits are trendy yet always stylish. Capri pants and high-rise jeans are two examples of summer bottoms with a retro look that works year after year. Both these bottom styles can be worn with a sleeveless mock-neck top or preppy polo for a classic look that works for almost any casual summer occasion. Tiered maxi dresses for women have a vintage-inspired style that’s always fashionable, or you can opt for a sleek sheath dress and heels for a dressy date-night outfit with a slight ’80s vibe. Athletic shorts with graphic T-shirts is another throwback summer apparel pairing that’s comfortable, cool, and classic enough to outlast the trends.
When it comes to summer shoes that never go out of fashion, sandals lead the pack. Plus, there’s a sandal style for every casual summer occasion. For a sightseeing tour, choose walking sandals. These flat shoes have an open design for ample airflow, and they’re enhanced with a supportive cushioned footbed and slip-resistant outsole.
Wedge sandals are another versatile style that you can wear for lunch at a beachfront café or for date night. They complement capris, dresses, and women’s shorts of all kinds. There are sandals with different heel heights, so you can opt for a platform style or a shorter heel, depending on your preference.
Sun protection swimwear and clothing is another summer staple that never goes out of style. For a universally stylish look, choose a swimsuit and cover-up in the same color. Or pair a solid bathing suit with a patterned cover-up or vice versa. Tankini tops and bottoms come in solids and prints that you can mix for a wide range of fashion options. For example, you could wear a polka-dot tankini top with high-waist swim shorts and a cover-up dress for a modest, classic swimwear outfit. Or go casual with a Tugless Tank one-piece, rash guard T-shirt, and swim shorts with flip-flops or water shoes.
Summer accessories—such as women’s handbags and jewelry—can add classic sophistication to any outfit. Wicker and other natural fibers are a breezy choice when it comes to purses and totes, while lightweight beaded necklaces and bracelets can be layered to impart a boho-inspired touch to casual and dressy summer outfits. Sunglasses are a must—go for an oversized pair with full UV protection to safeguard your eyes and add a movie-star vibe to any outfit.
Play around with summer outfits to find the classic looks you love most. The best outfits are the ones in which you feel effortlessly stylish and comfortable.