Summer is always a time I relish. Not because the kids are off school, but because it’s easier to get dressed chic, casual and on the cheap. I have a standard wardrobe I built off of for summertime, and it’s easy to start with 7 basics and add trends and fun every summer.
Now is a great time to shop for summer clothes since stores are already making room for back to school items (I know!). Look for killer deals in August when clearing racks means 70-90% savings.
Below are my favorite 7 essentials that I build on when I’m adding to (or replacing pieces) in my wardrobe. As always everything is under $50 so you could easily score a basic summer wardrobe for well under $300.
7 Chic (and cheap) Essential Summer Wardrobe Pieces
1. Shorts or Cropped Pants
For most of us it’s a thrill to finally shed pants and wear something more lightweight. It helps if you have toned (and tan) legs, but don’t be shy about shorts-they come in all sizes and fits. Personally I prefer a longer inseam since I’m an active mom, but you may prefer a bit shorter.
I know not everyone loves shorts, so I also chose some casual chic capris, but be very careful. If you’re on the short side capris can visually make you look even smaller. Consider a wider leg capri, make sure to choose the right top, and consider wearing wedges.
Tanks are a great way to stay cool, and they’ve come such a long way. From my favorite tank (J. Crew-on sale you can find them for $6-8) to sequined or embellished tanks you can find something you’ll love.
I know not everyone loves dresses, but I swear by them! They are perfect for hiding the parts you don’t love, and playing up the parts you do. For instance if you have killer legs, but a tummy a dress that’s just above knee-length will show off your gams while distracting from your middle.
I picked a variety of dresses here for a variety of body types, and as always they are priced right.
Skirts are another easy summer staple. Look for skirts that hit at the right spot for you. I prefer a knee-length or maxi length skirt. It’s just easier to play/run around in.
5. Flip Flops
Another must-have for summer is a great pair of flip-flops (or several). I pick up flip-flops on the cheap at the end of season and use them often. I always carry a pair with me when I’m attending conferences or going from a work event to momming.
Whether you’re a swimmer or not having a swimsuit that makes you feel confident and comfortable is a must. I prefer a little extra coverage personally, but I know plenty of moms who wear bikinis and still manage to run around the beach or pool with their kids. The key (as always) is fit and your own comfort level.
While the pieces I picked are not under $50, I tend to invest more in swimwear since it is very… exposing. I also recommend end of season sales to score great deals.
7. Cover-up and Sunglasses
Cover-ups are something I eschewed prior to last summer, but I love that they, well cover up your suit so you can run an errand or hit the grocery store post pool or beach time.
Sunglasses are another must have. Both for making any look chic, and protecting your eyeballs from the sun. 😉
What’s on your summer essentials list?