Written by: Jemima Glentworth
No woman’s summer wardrobe is complete without the essentials. The hero items that can be mixed and matched to create endless outfit combinations. From classic white T-shirts to chic shirt dresses and signature denim jeans, here are the must-have wardrobe essentials for many stylish summers to come.
After a year of unpredictability, working from home, and cancelled events, it may be tricky to work out what you should be wearing this summer. After months of having nowhere to go but the sofa, it is no surprise that we all turned to loungewear, dressing gowns and the occasional “nice top” for important zoom meetings.
However, now that our social lives are slowly returning, it is time to rediscover our wardrobes and invest in the key statement pieces that never fall out of favour and will become a favourite for many summers to come.
It is no wonder the classic white t-shirt is the go-to garment to depict
effortless style. Equivalent to a blank canvas, a white t-shirt can be styled
in so many ways, allowing you to get creative and team it with pretty much any print, colour, or fabric combination. A classic white T-shirt can take you from off-duty weekends to days in the office or alfresco drinks depending on how you style it.
Levi’s has an iconic collection of logo t-shirts, perfect for teaming with your favourite jeans, skirts or shorts for a laidback and relaxed summer look. A classic plain white t-shirt, such as the Colourful Standard Classic Organic T-Shirt can be styled in an endless amount of ways and constantly reinvented each season with minimal effort.
An icon of French style, a striped Breton top should be in the wardrobe of anyone who adores elegant and sophisticated fashion. Beginning its life
on the backs of French Navy Seamen, the striped Breton top was adopted
by Coco Chanel after a trip to the French Riviera and used in her 1917
nautical collection. Since then, the striped Breton top has inspired many fashion designers because of its versatile nature and is sure to add a touch of effortless French style to any casual summer outfit.
The denim jacket was once a status symbol of rebellion and ruggedness. Having been reworked and adopted by many subcultures over the decades, it has never fallen out of style. A classic denim jacket is easy to wear during the summer months and now comes in various cuts and washes to suit all fashion tastes.
The versatility of the denim jacket allows for countless stylish summer looks. Throw the Levi’s Ex-Boyfriend Jacket over a floral summer dress for a toughened-up look, or team the Levi’s Loose Sleeve Trucker Jacket with tailored trousers and a crisp white shirt for a refined yet casual summer office outfit.
For decades, jeans have been a wardrobe must-have. First gaining popularity in the early 1950s, denim jeans have evolved many times across the years, often reflecting what was happening in the world at the time.
Straight leg jeans have always remained enduringly popular and a firm favourite of fashionistas, as they are easy to wear, universally flattering, and versatile enough to style with anything else in your summer wardrobe. The BOSS Straight Crop 1.3 Jeans are perfect for dressing up or down, looking just as good whether you choose a picnic in the park or a rooftop terrace for your alfresco summer dining.
You cannot think of summer without thinking of shorts, and high waisted shorts offer a flattering, practical and fashionable warm-weather alternative. Styles such as Levi’s 501 Mid-Thigh Shorts or the Whistles Authentic High Waist Denim Shorts offer that little extra length in the leg, making them perfect for active summer days. High waisted shorts are not just for the daytime, a pair such as the BOSS Wide Leg Perforated Faux Leather Shorts offer an edge to your evening look when teamed with a chic, lightweight blouse and pair of heels.
Whether worn as a smart summer alternative or thrown over your favourite dress for a lightweight substitute for a jacket, a classic tailored shirt is a must-have for any woman’s wardrobe. An effortless classic piece and a constant feature in the high fashion world, a well-cut tailored shirt offers endless inspiration on how to style it.
If you are drawn to vibrancy and colour, the Paul Smith Gili Shirt boasts an eye-catching yet fun design, guaranteed to turn heads at your next after-work social event. If you prefer a more minimalistic aesthetic, the relaxed fit of the Lauren Ralph Lauren Logo Cotton Broadcloth Shirt is perfect for the summer months, offering various styling options such as layering over a vest or swimsuit for a sleek and sophisticated cover-up.
Long gone are the days of the white trainer only being suitable for casual Fridays and tennis players. The classic white trainer has seen a resurgence in popularity amongst women in recent years, making them the go-to in casual footwear. The beauty of a white trainer is its’ unmatched versatility, as it is easily styled and can be worn with almost anything in your existing wardrobe.
The Ted Baker Keilie Trainers are perfect for a woman who loves a refined, feminine touch and will look fantastic paired with a floral summer dress for your next garden party. If you want to experiment with the chunky trainer trend, team the ASH Addict Trainers with a relaxed shirt, jeans, and a pair of chic sunglasses for an ultra-stylish, summer in the city look.
A recurring sight of the summer is the midi dress. A floaty and feminine printed midi dress is one of the easiest summer garments to transition from day to night, allowing you to stay cool and stylish throughout the warmer months.
An undeniable embodiment of all things summer is the charming Really Wild Tiered Dress, cut from Liberty silk crepe de chine adorned with a delicate cherry blossom pattern, providing you with a simple yet effective outfit suitable for all occasions. An investment piece such as the Lauren Ralph Lauren Floral Satin Dress will take you from office wear to an evening of dancing with the simple addition of jewellery and the right pair of shoes, whilst the Whistles Maila Electric Floral Dress is deliciously romantic and would look the part under a denim jacket with a pair of strappy sandals.
Lightweight and loose-fitting, the shirt dress is ideal for a woman who
wants to stay fashionable yet cool when the temperature is at its highest. The ultimate garment to transition from day to night, The Le Mont St
Michel Rififi Striped Shirt Dress offers a distinguished and elegant style that could be worn with sandals for daytime city exploring or a low heel for a midday brunch date. If frills are not your thing, the Levi’s Ainsley Utility Denim Dress offers an edgy alternative, which when paired with a bold lip and a pair of chunky sandals, will provide you with an effortless but ever-so stylish outfit that is sure to turn heads.
Hot days sometimes require easy fashion choices, and nothing is easier to
throw on and go than a trusty t-shirt dress. Acting as a base layer for
any casual summer outfit, the t-shirt dress can be reworked again and again, providing you with an array of stylish options with minimal time and effort.
The epitome of modern minimalism, the Calvin Klein Logo Dress is the perfect wardrobe essential, the classic colour combination offers endless styling options, whether used as a backdrop for your boldest statement jewellery or worn with your favourite trainers and denim jacket for the morning coffee run.
Espadrille sandals are as stereotypically summer as strawberries, cream and a glass of Pimm’s. From the feet of 13th-century peasants to catwalks around the world, the humble espadrille has been a permanent fixture of the summer wardrobe for hundreds of years.
Castañer is the unmistakable master of the espadrille, first creating the signature heeled espadrille at the request of fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent. Lightweight and comfortable, the traditional canvas and jute construction screams exotic getaways and idyllic evening meals by the coast. TOMS has also been a firm favourite when choosing a daytime espadrille, thanks to the vast number of colours and styles on offer. For the evening, Penelope Chilvers espadrilles are the perfect combination of glamour and traditional Spanish craftsmanship, sure to elevate any summer outfit with a touch of the Mediterranean sunshine.
You know summer has started when you cast away the lace-up shoes and
reach for your favourite pair of sliders. No longer just for practicality around the pool, sliders are the open-toed hero of your summer footwear collection.
Subtle, supportive, and sleek, the easy to wear BOSS Bay Sliders are stylish, comfortable and sure to satisfy your thirst for statement branded footwear. For a dignified and elegant twist on the slider sandal, the Penelope Chilvers Twist Toile Sliders feature an 18th century inspired print and espadrille base that inspires starry-eyed thoughts of the French Riviera.
It is a well-known fact that no woman’s outfit is complete without a
signature handbag. More than just a convenient holder for all your
essentials, a handbag is a form of self-expression and often the cherry on
top of a sensational summer outfit.
Perfect for lunches, brunches and beyond, the seventies-inspired Coach Tabby Shoulder 26 Handbag oozes chicness and style, and the impeccable materials used in Coach handbags ensures the sublime quality you can rely on year after year. For beach days and picnics, the Ted Baker Dellcon Handbag and Kate Spade Spade Flower Raffia Tote Handbag offer an explosion of vibrancy and colour, most fitting for the euphoric colour palette of the summer season.
This summer may be lacking in exotic excursions, festivals, and lazy days by the pool, but it will be filled with joyous celebrations, reunions, and small gatherings with beloved friends and family. For some, the year has been a chance for self-discovery, reflection, and the realisation of how important our social circles are. Although, the passport is more than likely to stay in the drawer, with all the events you can attend, consider your summer wardrobe essentials, a timeless capsule of reliable clothing that
never goes out of style.