11 Summer Staples Every Woman Needs in Her Wardrobe

With summer officially here, it’s time swap out your favorite pastels in favor of something more suitable for the season. Although this may sound like a lot of work, your summer wardrobe really only requires a handful of staple pieces to be complete. Don’t worry about stocking up on endless pairs of shorts and bright T-shirts, either. With just a few items in the right material, color, and weight, you can be sure your collection can be rotated all season.

Sound appealing? We thought so. Read on to discover which timeless pieces are all you’ll need from every June to August.

1. Striped shirt

Elegant fashion woman

Stripes just scream summer. | iStock.com/RossHelen

Stripes are to summer what florals are to spring. They’re iconic, timeless, and therefore, totally necessary. This summer, make sure you have a go-to striped shirt hanging in your closet. Whether you prefer a sleeveless tee or a three-quarter sleeved blouse, the many striped styles available at this time of year will leave you spoiled for choice. Once you’ve found the one that suits your taste, we know you’ll be reaching for your favorite striped top again and again.

2. Linen button-up

Smiling young woman in white shirt

Linen has the most delightful cooling effect. | iStock.com/SanneBerg

One of the greatest struggles of dressing well during summer is finding cute styles that are also made with the right materials. Let’s face it, in the heart of summer, your body is going to respond to the scorching heat with a little sweat. As such, it’s essential you invest in a linen button-up. Linen is lightweight enough to prevent sweat stains, but still thick enough that it doesn’t appear sheer. Linen strikes the perfect balance of looking put-together but still relaxed, so you can easily transition the pieces from the workweek to the weekend. 

3. High-waist shorts

young woman posing outdoor in summer

The days of low-rise bottoms are long gone. | iStock.com/visoook

It’s safe to say low-ride shorts and jeans have been permanently left in the ’90s. Today, fashionistas know it’s all about high-waist bottoms. During summer, high-waist shorts provide the added benefits of enhancing your waistline and elongating your legs. With their extra long material, these shorts also create the illusion of modesty, even if they’re cut pretty short. Just pair them with your favorite breezy blouse and be sure to tuck it into your belt line.

4. Fit-and-flare dress

young woman in pink mini dress and high heels

This might be the perfect style of dress. | iStock.com/loco75

Dressing semi-formally for work, date nights, or annual events is a serious struggle. After all, it’s tough to look ladylike when you’re overheated and dripping in sweat. Fortunately, fit-and-flare dresses provide the perfect alternative to typical pantsuits and pencil skirts. Unlike your usual work outfits, fit-and-flare dresses provide a fun pop of color and enough room to keep you cool throughout the day.

5. Strappy sandals

woman legs in summer flat slippers

Once your nails are painted and ready, it’s time for strappy sandals. | iStock.com/cokacoka

After being bundled up in thick wool socks and snow boots, make sure your feet are ready to be on full display throughout the summer. Get a pedicure first, then prepare to rock your favorite strappy sandals. Whether you’re a stiletto girl, a wedge fan, or most comfortable in a pair of stylish flats, there’s no way you can survive summer without strappy sandals.

6. Colorful handbag

girl in a fashionable white dress

Choose something that pops against your outfit. | iStock.com/alexalenin

During winter, there’s a high chance that your handbag choices had to be more practical than fashionable. In snowy conditions, you may have had to swap your Saffiano leather for waterproof polyester. We can forgive this reasonable (yet tragic) decision so long as you step up your purse game during the summer. Pack away your winter backpack and instead opt for a colorful, oversized tote. It will carry everything you need for a day of running errands or a weekend picnic.

7. Shift dress

young woman in colorful mini dress

A shift looks effortlessly chic. | iStock.com/Aleksander Kaczmarek

Summer has a long list of amazing benefits, from continuous tanning weather to ice cream to beach vacations. There is, however, one major downside to summer heat, and that is the fact your clothes will constantly be sticking to your body. To avoid this unflattering fate, be sure to shop around for a sporty shift dress. This straight up and down shape is surprisingly feminine, and the slightly looser silhouette works wonders in terms of keeping you cool.  

8. Cat-eye sunglasses

stylish young woman

Every woman needs a great pair of shades. | iStock.com/jacoblund

Of all the summer accessories you might need, none are more important than the ever-sassy cat-eye sunglasses. Their elongated, upturned shape will do a great job of slimming your face and making it look more angular. This sunglass shape truly works on everyone and complements any summer outfit. The bold boost of confidence that comes with wearing them is just the cherry on top.

9. Off-the-shoulder top

Fashion Woman in the City Street

These tops show just enough skin. | iStock.com/brickrena

Tube tops may be long outdated, but off-the-shoulder blouses are more popular than ever. They do such a fantastic job of highlighting your collarbone, neckline, and tanned shoulders. We recommend having at least one solid color option and one fun, printed version. Just remember to wear sunscreen on this delicate area!

10. Espadrilles

Pair of espadrilles

Say hello to your new favorite pair of shoes. | iStock.com/alfernec

No shoes will make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation quite like a pair of espadrilles. These Spanish slip-ons are the closest you can get to walking around barefoot. If you find them too plain, fear not! The popular brand Soludos makes tons of cute, extra stylish options. You can even find them in wedge versions, various patterns, and with ankle ties.

11. White trousers

happy woman with shopping bags

Give your jeans a rest. | iStock.com/yuriyzhuravov

During the summer months, we love to upgrade our everyday looks by swapping blue jeans for white trousers. Find a pair that suits your figure, whether they be ankle-length toothpick pants, wide-leg trousers, high-waist pants, etc. You can wear these staple bottoms with absolutely any top, and your tan will be immediately enhanced.