Summer is the season of basics. Those old faithful items that we all have as our wardrobe staples: our favorite comfy cotton t-shirts, denim or khaki shorts, maxi dresses, and cool but cozy loungewear. When the sun is blistering hot during the dog days of summer, it can be tempting to just throw on some of your old basics and focus on staying cool. And while, of course, you should stay as cool and comfy as possible this summer, we've compiled this guide to help you elevate your breezy basics so that you can wear your coolest and most comfortable clothing while also looking ultramodern and polished.
Layering in the summer may seem counterintuitive, but when done thoughtfully and correctly, summer layers can transform boring basics into a chic summer style. When layering in the warmest months of the year, less is more. Consider using pieces and fabrics which are light in color and feeling.
Elevate your basic camisole tank by tucking it into your shorts or skirt and layering it under a breezy linen button-up. Wearing cute socks just above the ankle is a great way to add to your cozy layered look without piling on too much clothing. If you're headed out at night, throw on a denim jacket as well for an additional layering piece that won’t add too much warmth to your cool summer look.
Another way to elevate a summer look with layering is with a simple white t-shirt. Layering a loose-fitting white cotton t-shirt under your strappy maxi dress is a sweet and understated but sophisticated way to pull your summer basics together.
The quickest and easiest way to elevate any outfit is with a few key accessories. For example, a simple and basic shift dress is instantly elevated to modish and chic with the addition of a colorful fashion scarf, a pair of big and bold sunglasses, and a pair of sassy ankle boots.
When dressing with simple summer basics, don’t be afraid to go big and bold with accessories. Pairing a simple plain white tee with your favorite tailored high-waisted shorts can seem like a very basic summer look, but adding a statement piece such as a chunky and colorful necklace or large hoop earrings and a large straw tote bag instantly elevates your summer look.
A large statement tote bag is a great summer accessory to elevate your summer look. A fun, large bag or purse is not only a fantastic statement piece, it's also highly practical. Use it to carry extra water and snacks, make-up, and any additional accessories and statement pieces you might want to change into later in the day, such as your fashion scarf and a foldable wide-brim hat.
A good pair of classy and strappy high heels will instantly elevate any outfit they're worn with. For those busy mornings on the go this summer, throw on a cool but stylish sleeveless linen blouse tucked into your wide-legged cropped pants. Pair this practical but stylish and smart outfit with a pair of fashionable street sneakers for your morning errands, and then change into your high heels for your lunch date for a completely new and high-fashion look.
Unless you're at the beach, ditch your flip-flops this summer and opt for a strappy sandal or platform heel. These shoes will help pull your summer basics together in an elegant and summer-stylish way that your old flip-flops could never.
Your comfy cotton dress can be instantly elevated from loungewear to date night-wear with the right pair of heels and a belt around the waist. A maxi dress can go from casual daywear to summer wedding attire with the addition of some strappy heels and a pair of drop earrings.
Speaking of heading to the beach, we encourage you to see your summer swimwear in a new light this year. Choose a swimsuit that you can incorporate into outfits for both on and off the beach. Pair your one-piece swimsuit with a pair of high-waisted shorts and an oversized Oxford button-down for a fun and flirty retro look.
The tankini is the perfect piece for adapting your outfit into one that can easily transition you seamlessly from swimming and sunbathing to heading out for a post-beach meal or for walking around and exploring your beach town of choice.
If you're heading to any outdoor festivals this summer, ditch the cotton t-shirt, which will just absorb sweat and cling to you uncomfortably, and opt for your favorite bikini top paired with a breezy midi skirt or short shorts. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Remember, your summer basics aren’t boring: they just need to be elevated with some fun and simple styling. Have fun experimenting with elevating your summer wardrobe.