I’m a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

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Year after year, it surprises me how reluctant I am to jump into summer fashion, and after getting a quick pulse check from my Google of choice, TikTok, it’s clear that I’m not alone. Whether you don’t like showing too much skin or just can’t quite figure out how to make the perfect outfit without your trusty layers, let’s face it: Summer style is hard. 

As a personal stylist in New York City, I spend countless hours perusing sites and shops hoping to nail down the perfect piece for a client. After a while, you start to build up a sort of internal catalog—which brand has what, and which pieces I’m seeing repeated over and over. It becomes a lot easier to spot a trend when you become immersed in the market. While it can be especially easy to get carried away with summer trends, my advice is always to focus on the items that you can still see yourself wearing for at least another season or two. You’ll thank yourself next spring when you get ready to perform your seasonal closet swap, and are met with an intentionally curated selection, rather than a heavy, trend-forward medley.

When I’m working with clients (or even styling myself), I recommend that absolutely everyone owns these 10 summer wardrobe staples.

1. A Graphic Tank

An underrated one, if you ask me. At this point we’ve all seen the Loewe embroidered tank, and while I do agree that it’s a great summer staple, I can’t really bring myself to spend that kind of money on a cotton tank. So, last year, I made it my personal mission to find a similar option—and boy, did I outdo myself. I purchased the Reformation Erina Knit Tank and wore it with quite literally everything during the warm months. With tops being a particularly challenging category as of late, I was thrilled to find an affordable summer top option that is as statement-worthy as it is comfortable.

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Urban Outfitters Martini Embroidered Tank

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Marrimekko Ribbed Tank Top

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Reformation Knit Tank

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Lisa Says Gah Harley Tank

10 designs available

2. Bermuda Shorts

As controversial as this style has become, bermuda shorts aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Even better: I’m finding an increasing amount of bermuda short options as the temps continue to rise. I recently purchased the Mid-Length Denim Short from J.Crew, and I’ve been totally obsessed. And it’s safe to say that the girlies agree (no, seriously, I got stopped on the street multiple times this week to accept compliments). My favorite way to wear them? With a form-fitted top, knee-high boots, and a statement belt. You’re welcome.

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Anthropologie Pleated Trouser Shorts

3 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

J.Crew Mid-Length Denim Shorts

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Cos Knee-Length Shorts

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

KOTN Linen Shorts

3 colors available

3. A Colorful Crocheted Bag

We’ve already established that summer fashion can often feel less than exciting, but that’s where accessories come in. A crocheted bag for summer is nothing revolutionary, but what does peak my interest this season is the introduction of added elements like bold colors and beaded appliques. While I haven’t really been one to sport a woven bag in the past, this season’s assortment feels fresh and exciting. In fact, I have more than one option I’m considering purchasing this season. Namely, The Crocheted Shoulder Bag from Madewell. I can picture it now: The bag in red paired with a white cotton maxi dress and a shell pendant necklace. What could possibly scream ‘summer’ more?

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Madewell Crocheted Shoulder Bag

3 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

J.Crew Knotted Rope Tote

4 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Anthropologie Crochet Box Bag

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Clare V. L’Été Tote

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Source: Aïda Badji

4. Easy Maxi Dress

Over the years, I’ve picked up a few staple dresses that I consistently reach for in the warmer months. A dress is an easy, one-and-done outfit that does most of the styling work for you–all that’s left is the accessories. At this point, I’ve worn the Leopard Printed Chiffon Maxi Dress from Ganni so many times that even my doorman is asking questions. I can’t help it though; some days, I’d so much rather throw on a dress in these sweltering temps than fool with trying to perfect layers and separates.

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I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

J.Crew Shift Dress

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Dissh Linen Maxi Dress

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Reformation Linen Dress

7 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Banana Republic Satin Maxi Dress

5. Wrap Sandals

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Haven’t we done this before? (Cue nightmare-worthy flashbacks of me wearing knee-high, lace-up, gladiator sandals in my early twenties.) But in reality, designers have reimagined the wrap sandal in desirably modern shapes for the summer. There are a lot of bold clothing concepts trending this season, which is why we’re seeing more minimalistic ’90s-inspired shoe designs, like the wrap sandal, take center stage.

I’m loving the simplicity of the understated footbed, recentering our attention on other design elements like the leather-wrapped ankle. In seasons past, we would have sported the leather strap further up the leg, but what sets this sandal apart for the season is creating a strong focal point around the ankle.

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

A.Emery Lace-Up Leather Sandals

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

TKEES Lace-Up Sandals

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Madewell Lace-Up Sandals

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Reformation Lace-Up Flat Sandals

3 colors available

6. Statement Shells

What the sunny season lacks in attire, it more than makes up for in accessories. We may not be able to wear a lot of layers when it comes to clothing, but layering jewelry feels like a given in this game of Monopoly we call summer fashion. It seems that all of my preferred jewelry brands have taken to a nautical theme, as you’d be stumped not to find a beachy shell or two at your favorite retailer. Take advantage of seasonal accessories and layer on some statement-making shells.

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Jenny Bird Petra Earrings

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Anthropologie Swirled Shell Pendant Rope Necklace

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

J.Crew Metallic Shell Earrings

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Brinker + Eliza Montauk Necklace

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Source: @menzabolamba

7. Drawstring Linen Pants

You can’t spell summer without linen. A relaxed linen pant is a must when it comes to warmer weather. I prefer a drawstring style as it reads a bit more casual and effortless, but still garners the ability to look more polished when you want it to. When it comes to traveling, they’re the first to go in my suitcase. This breezy style can be outfitted for any occasion: a day on the beach, dinner with friends, or bopping about town.

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Anthropologie Striped Drawstring Pants

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Reformation Micah Pants

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Buck Mason Wid-Leg Pants

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Dissh Striped Pants

2 colors available

8. An A-Line Skirt

I’m sure you’ve seen the bubble skirt in droves on your For You Page lately, and while I do love the trend, it’s exactly that: a trend. Yes, I pride myself on knowing the latest trends and well, being trendy (there’s a difference!), but I’m cautiously advising you to do what feels right. If you genuinely love the bubble skirt, and think you’ll love it for longer than a season, then go for it. If you’re looking for more of a timeless addition, try a traditional a-line option like the Delphine Nap Skirt from Hill House. I bought a beige, elastic-waist, A-line skirt at a designer liquidation sale years ago, and it’s the skirt that I keep coming back to season after season. Add a simple tank and a lace-up sandal, and you’ve unlocked the ultimate cool-girl style.

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Dissh Midi Skirt

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Source Unknown Puffball Skirt

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Hill House Nap Skirt

6 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Anthropologie Wrap Midi Skirt

9. A Striped Top

Another ode to the nautical theme: stripes. A stripe may feel a bit overdone, but I promise you, designers are still keeping this categorically summer print anew. What I love most about a stripe is its ability to take simple fabrications up a notch. Even if you’re sporting a classic silhouette, a stripe just feels next level.

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Alex Mill Striped Vest

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Madewell Button-Front Shirt

2 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

J.Crew Boatneck T-Shirt

3 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Anthropologie | Scotch & Soda Striped Tee

10. Pleated Denim Shorts

A less popular trend, but one that we’ll see more of in the coming weeks, is a pleated pair of denim shorts. In a climate where denim cut-offs are consistently debated, these feel like a great alternative. They read more style-forward, especially when worn with ballet flats and loads of statement jewelry. Invest in a pair of pleated denim shorts, and you’ll be reaching for them for years to come.

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Agolde Pleated Denim Shorts

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Anthropologie | Mable Pintuck Denim Shorts

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Levi’s Featherweight Shorts

3 colors available

I'm a Stylist: These Are the 10 Summer Pieces Everyone Should Own

Free People Danni Shorts

7 colors available

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