Now that we’re slowly emerging from our house more often to see friends or attend the occasional bookstore event, it’s all the more important for me to have a few go-to outfits that make me feel put together and comfortable. (This feels so different from this time last year, when I lived in cutoffs and tshirts and the occasional zoom shirt.)
I’ve long adopted the idea of a daily uniform. For many years now, I’ve consciously repeated similar outfits day after day because it makes getting dressed easy—and when it comes to this part of my life, I value easy.
For this to work, I need dependable pieces that I love, that fit well, and that I actually want to wear every day. I also want these clothes to last, because I’ll be wearing them so often.
My specific favorites vary from year to year; these are the pieces I’ll have on repeat all summer long.
As always, I share what I love, and only what I love. We sometimes use affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission when you purchase through our links, but you never pay more for products when you do so. Thanks for supporting our site in this way—it helps us keep the good posts coming.
My 8 warm weather essentials:
1. Easy-wearing, good-looking tees.
My American Giant Premium Slub V-Neck Tees have been wardrobe workhorses since I first discovered them when the brand sponsored What Should I Read Next. (I often find great stuff that way, just like our listeners do!)
These tees function beautifully as a work-from-home staple, and transitioned perfectly to my warm weather wardrobe. The material is both substantial and soft—almost linen-like, I think—and not-at-all see through (hallelujah), and the cut is incredibly flattering.
They gave me a special discount to share with you today: take 15% off your first order with the code DARCY at checkout.
2. Statement necklace or accessory.
An eye-catching necklace is an easy way to fulfill the rule of three, which says that when you add a third piece to a top and bottom—like a scarf, cardigan, tote bag, or necklace—you’ve made an outfit. That third piece completes the look.
These days I reach for a handful of old pendants I’ve had for years now over and over (and can’t find currently for sale), but if I wanted to pick up one today I love the looks of these floral pendants and this locket pendant necklace.
If you don’t wear jewelry but want to accessorize with a pop of color, bandanas are a cute and versatile option for summer; I appreciate how this look reads as stylish but not overly trendy. The Bookshelf in Thomasville sells the prettiest “Jo March” bandanas, and I like the variety of pattern available here as well. Loosely tie around your neck or on the handle of your summer tote to effortlessly complete an outfit.
3. Brown sandals.
A brown or nude shoe goes with almost everything, and for many of us, we’re not sad that the right shade of shoe makes our legs look longer, too. My current favorite style is cool for hot days, but doesn’t look out of place indoors. They’re also comfortable enough I can walk for miles in them.
I’ve also found myself wearing my slate grey Tieks a ton so far this spring and summer, when I want something a touch dressier than a flat sandal.
4. White jeans.
On hot summer days these look and feel crisper than dark denim, and a favorite relaxed fit feels reasonably cool in my humid climate. To go the skinny (and also inexpensive) route, pair these popular white jeans with a simple tee and a necklace and you can head off to a meeting or a ballgame and be perfectly dressed either way.
5. Straw tote.
This crocheted straw tote is large enough to hold everything for a trip to the beach, but polished enough to carry to the office. (Bonus: it’s big enough to hold a few beach towels OR my laptop.) And this cheerful bag lends any outfit a fresh and summery vibe.
6. Linen or chambray shorts.
I’ll be living in these American Giant linen shorts all summer. They’re easy to wear and look good. I typically pair them with a trim tshirt or blouse, French-tucked, to balance the proportions. (Take 15% off of your purchase with the code DARCY at checkout.)
I also love 5″ slim shorts for easy summer style. This 5″ chambray pair is typical enough to feel classic, but unexpected enough to be interesting. These shorts are easy to wear, easy to wash, and look especially great with black, navy, or white. (Or stripes!)
7. Classic shades.
Sunglasses with a classic frame will never go out of style, and they look good with everything. You’ll find these everywhere—from gas station racks to designer boutiques. I love a good pair of cheap sunglasses that I won’t worry about destroying with sand and sunscreen (and if you read our Expanded Edition of the 2021 Summer Reading Guide, you know I’m not the only one in our family who feels this way!)
But a few years ago I finally invested in sunglasses that cost more than $12 and they are wonderful. Mine are from Warby Parker; they’re no longer available but are similar to this style.
We recently gifted my oldest some classic Ray Ban aviators for his birthday, by request. A quality pair of shades would make an excellent graduation gift, too!
We can’t talk about summer style without mentioning sunscreen. I have sensitive skin, which makes finding cosmetics a crapshoot, but now I have two favorites I can’t stop recommending to friends. I keep Elta MD’s UV Clear and Supergoop Unseen Suncreen on hand, and I keep them everywhere—in my purse, in the car, and of course right by the sink in my bathroom for easy access. I love how these feel when applied and how well they protect my skin.
9. Straw hat.
In addition to getting serious about sunscreen application, a few years ago I resolved to wear more hats. The point is to hide from the sun, but they look pretty good, too. This packable style from Madewell is similar to my go-to hat, and this hat is in my closet (in black).
10. Casual button-downs.
A recent Instagram post reminded me just how often I reach for cotton and chambray shirts in the summertime! I like having my shoulders covered for extra sun protection, but these materials still feel light and breezy.
What are YOUR go-to pieces in the summertime? We’d love to hear about your summer staples in the comments section!