Must-Have Summer Wardrobe Essentials

Regarding fashion trends, some come and go – but some classic staples stay forever. Add a few of these must-have summer wardrobe essentials to your closet, and you’ll be ready for anything this season throws at you.

From beach vacations to chic dinner dates, these versatile pieces will keep you cool and looking stylish all summer long.

White tee

A white tee is a summer wardrobe staple for any woman’s closet. Not only does it look stylish, but also it helps to enhance a sun-kissed glow. A classic cotton shirt or a flowy linen option is perfect for warm weather and looks great with jeans, skirts, or dresses.

Pair it with a blazer and high-waist jeans for a casual dinner date, or wear it with strappy sandals on a hot summer day at the beach. You can knot it at the waist with some breathable high-waist linen pants or French tuck it into your favorite pair of flowy denim shorts.

Try a silk blouse from Walmart or a breathable silk slip dress if you want a more versatile option. Both styles can easily be dressed up for a night out on the town with glam jewelry and some barely-there heels or flats.


A classic denim jacket is a must for your summer wardrobe. Whether French-tucked into a pair of shorts or wearing it loose over a swimsuit as a cover-up, this versatile piece will become your go-to in a hotter climate.

Denim is a durable cotton or cotton-blend twill textile, often in blue color, with various finishes, including stonewashed, faded, napped, and striped. It is named after the city of Nimes in France, where it was first developed to replicate a type of cotton corduroy imported from Genoa, Italy.

Choose light-wash straight jeans for a casual style. This style suits all body shapes and pairs easily with trainers during the day and heels for the evening. A light, summery linen midi skirt is another excellent addition to your closet. It looks terrific with white shirts, complements casual attire, and highlights your gorgeous sun tan. A pair of comfortable flat sandals is also a must for summer. These are usually made from natural materials and promote airflow to keep your feet cool.


A summer wardrobe staple that you can use all season long, sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and elevating your look. The best pair will depend on your style and face shape, but many options exist, such as aviator frames, cat-eye, or oversized glasses.

During summer, lightweight scarves can be styled as neck scarves, head wraps, or even sarongs at the beach. They are a versatile addition to any outfit and can keep you cool when the evening chill sets in or protect you from the sun’s harsh rays when you’re exploring the outdoors.

It’s no wonder many of our favorite A-listers can’t get enough of a good pair of sunglasses, including Bella Hadid with her skinny frames and J.Lo with her oversized aviators. For a casual yet chic look, a pair of palm print sunglasses from La DoubleJ will give your outfit a laidback bohemian vibe, or if you’re looking for something a little sportier, a pair of striped swim shorts in broderie anglaise or fringing can create a vacation-ready feel (exclusive to NET-A-PORTER). Just remember to pack sunscreen and a hat, too!

Beach cover-ups

Whether you prefer to keep it simple or add some style with intricate patterns and fabrics, you can’t go wrong with a chic beach cover-up. Think of it as a second outfit that will take you back from the beach to the bar.

Consider this long crochet dress from Simkhai, which elevates your beach look with a plunging neckline, adjustable self-ties, and a front keyhole cutout. The versatile style works with any swimsuit color or print, plus the eye-catching fabric will impress anyone who sees you strolling down the sand.

You could also wear a breezy chiffon wrap skirt or float along the water’s edge in a midi-length ruched chiffon top. Alternatively, try this pair of drawstring cover-up pants—think of jeans as lounge pants. Made of gauze-like cotton mesh, they’re as comfortable as your favorite sweatpants and take up less space in your luggage. Wear them with a bikini or one-piece and flip-flops for beachside lunches and afternoon shopping excursions. Or, drape them over your shoulders and belt them for relaxed dinner-time vibes.

Raffia bag

Whether you’re shopping for new beachy-chic pieces or want to add a unique twist to your summer wardrobe, there’s no better accessory than a raffia bag. These bags, which come in various shapes and styles, work perfectly for casual days out (think strolling the mall or running errands) and can also bring a fresh, trendy look to more formal office outfits.

Sling yours over a flowing maxi dress and a floppy sun hat for the ultimate vacation-inspired look, or pair a minimalist style with a sleek pair of tailored trousers and a crisp white cotton set to elevate a classic workwear ensemble.

If you want to add some fun to your evening attire, try a whimsical raffia clutch. This woven hobo style is just the thing to carry along on a date night or to elevate a floral slip dress for an after-hours cocktail party.

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