I love buying timeless summer outfit pieces that work year after year for all-things-summer. I may be more boho-chic than preppy for the most part, but for all the red, white, and blue summer holidays, along with summer vacations that include fun boat trips and clam bakes, I veer towards classic pieces that are preppier and trendless. Having a few staple pieces you can incorporate into your summer wardrobe is the key. I’m sharing a few pieces that you can keep around for years.
Summer Outfit Staples
Top on my list for timeless summer outfit pieces are lightweight button-downs, white jeans, jean shorts or white shorts, and white dresses with accessories to dress them up or down.
Great go-tos are a navy gingham button-down, white linen button-down, light blue linen button, chambray, or navy. Those colors and gingham prints are timeless and always flattering.
For more casual holiday gatherings and vacation days, wear these pieces with blue denim jean shorts or white jeans shorts. Perfect to wear over a bathing suit as a mock cover-up when you are running from the beach or pool to cocktails to celebrate and will work for a beach dinner and casual backyard cookout.
Flattering White Jeans
If you do not own a great pair of white jeans, you should. I know they can be tough. White jeans are typically not flattering, you have to worry about the underwear line showing. Things can appear bigger than they actually are and they can be a little body image slap in the face, but white jeans will never go out of style and the right pair can actually do wonders. And bonus, they will always look great with navy and red and work for any summer holiday.
I have three brands, and specific styles that I swear by for white jeans. First are the Polo Ralph Lauren Tompkins skinny jeans. I could go on and on about these, but what you need to know is that they have a great amount of stretch. The material is not stiff so there is enough give, and they do not accentuate areas on your thighs you want to keep hidden. These fit TTS. This particular style comes in a ton of colors because they fit so well. I had not bought a pair of Polo jeans in 25 years because the material used to be less flattering, but I wish I had done it sooner.
White flare jeans are super chic and they elongate legs giving them a leaner appearance. Wear them with a linen button-down in white or blue, a navy camisole top, and add red and white a scarf used as a belt for an accent.
For white flare jeans, J. Brand gets the gold. In general, all of their flare jeans have an incredible fit. They make your waist and legs look slimmer.
I also love Paige jeans. They somehow actually seem to thin things out, which is never something I thought I would say about white jeans. They also have stretch in them. If you are in-between sizes, size down because they tend to stretch out after a few washes.
Living in the Midwest, I almost always forget about dresses until July, but when I lived in the South I lived in dresses because it was so “blessed” hot. White dresses are the Little Black Dress of summer. Crisp white dresses that are simple, like a tank dress, a shift dress, a classic shirtdress, or a midi spaghetti strap dress, appear at retail every single year. They are easy to dress up or down. As much as I love ruffled dresses because they make a big statement, they are so girly and fun, if I am planning to it more than once with the same people, a more classic silhouette, or a dress without a lot of fuss will always trump ruffles. Here are a few that you can keep around for years.
For the shift dresses, dress them up with any of these statement earrings, a cool necklace, fun red or blue strappy sandals, and a cute bag. Or, dress it down with easy slip-on sandals and a to a casual straw bag and hat.
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