One of the things we love about summer is how much simpler it is to decide what to wear. If you’re too busy to spend time choosing your clothes, you can just sling on one or two pieces, add a dab of concealer and a slick of lipstick, and get on with your day. But warmer weather can also be challenging. There’s the issue of overheating, the fact that we may not feel confident in skimpy or too-short clothes, the problem of looking polished yet not feeling stuffy, and finding things that we can wear on vacation but that also work back home. Here’s our list of essential things to look for when choosing your summer wardrobe:
- fabrics that will keep you cool and comfortable
- tops that will let your skin breathe but give you coverage where you want it
- dresses that can take you from work to the park, or from city streets to poolside
- shoes that are easy to walk in but also let air circulate round your feet
- trousers that are loose and flowy, without swamping or appearing shapeless
With these principles in mind – beauty, simplicity and practicality – we’ve hunted down some of the best holiday wardrobe essentials, so you don’t have to.
The essential linen tunic
A linen tunic is brilliant for summer as you can wear it on its own or layer with leggings and a cardi if the weather turns cool. Dress it up with a delicate necklace and heels for an evening date, or wear with sneakers and scarf. Choose a feminine yet unfussy cut for effortlessly easy style.
Linen is a great fabric for summer as it wicks away moisture from your body and will help regulate your temperature, keeping you cool and comfortable all day long. It is also useful if you are travelling as it’s lightweight and the charming natural creases mean you don’t need to worry about ironing.
Sandals for happy feet
Find the right pair of sandals and they will keep your feet comfortable and looking good for many summers to come. The ever-popular Saltwater sandals come in a huge range of colours and will last for years. But if you’re after something a bit different these Oak and Hyde sandals combine the looks of a traditional sandal with a cushioned sole, to put extra spring in your step.
A sweater for evenings
Even summer days can turn cool, and whether you’re on vacation or staying at home you’ll want to make the best of long evenings sitting outdoors over cocktails, or hanging out around a campfire. A decent, top quality, lightweight yet cosy sweater is your friend here. Try something like this cute cashmere blend sweater, or this elegant merino cardigan to throw on as the sun goes down.
A wear-everyday dress
The perfect everyday summer dress needs to take you from work to play in one easy stride. Think classic, clean lines for a soft silhouette, and something that can be dressed up or down according to the mood. Pockets are also essential, in our view. Keep the hem line long for a flattering look that’s classy, easy to wear and eye-catching.
Shirts for work and beyond
Whilst silk shirts look and feel amazing, they aren’t always a practical choice for summer. Perspiration tends to show up easily on silky fabrics, and they need careful washing. Better to choose a button-up in either organic cotton or linen. Tuck the front into a pair of jeans for a lovely off-duty look (think of Tan from Queer Eye’s French tuck!), or wear with more formal trousers for the office.
Shorts and trousers to stay cool
Shorts needn’t feel exposing or difficult to wear. Opt for longer-length classic bermuda shorts if you don’t want to expose too much leg, or dare to bare in informal high-rise denim. Pair with your shirt and sandals and you’re good to go.
What are your essential summer clothes? Have we missed anything?