Summer is upon us. For some, it is the loveliest time of the year, and the lightest time too (in terms of the layers of clothing required). A lot of clothes lying in your closet are not going to be touched for the next couple of months and are only occupying valuable space. Now is the time for a major reorganization of your wardrobe according to the 2014 summer trends. Here are some of the basic “must have’s” for your wardrobe this summer.
1. The T- Shirt Dress: Never mind those basic jersey dresses that are practically just sleep shirts you can wear out of the house. This season’s T-shirt dress features clever darting, draping, and design details that make it the comfiest thing that ever scored you compliments.
2. The Team Tee: Whether your sport of choice is baseball, basketball, or competitive eating, there’s a jersey-inspired top to fit your taste. We like them either simple and unadorned, or unabashedly fashion-forward. None of that in-between, “Rah-Rah-Go-Fake-Team!” stuff, please.
3. The Pleated Skirt: A good pleated skirt is always an essential, so if you don’t already have one of these at your disposal, now is the perfect time to pick one up. Avoid schoolgirl vibes by choosing a skirt with some length, and wear it with a full-coverage crop top, a flouncy cami, or a band tee.
4. The Maxi Dress: It’s no surprise this billowy beauty has become a much-loved summer staple – it’s extremely versatile, often pulling double duty as a beach side cover-up and dinner ensemble. This year, opt for a bright colored option and play up your add-ons (a wide-brimmed hat or denim vest) for an on-trend, boho look.
5. The Franken Shirt: The shirt mash-up is one of our favorite trends of the season, and it’s impossibly fun to play with. Featuring a jersey drape on one side and a silky floral on the other, or a stiff, cotton front with a gauzy, taffeta back, these shirts are a lot of look in one item, so go easy on the bottom. A simple jean or trouser will do just fine.
6. The Denim Vest: Cropped, shrunken vests don’t feel particularly fresh these days, so opt for a denim pick that’s on the boxy side. There are tons of lovely versions on the market, but go DIY on this one — lop off the sleeves of a thrift-store jacket, and wear with everything from pretty sundresses to leather joggers.
7. The Cami Sundress: It’s not really summer unless you have a new sundress in your closet, and this season’s version comes with thin straps, a roomy bodice, and a whisper-thin skirt. To give the look some definition, find a dress with a cinched or drawstring waist. (Or, just fake it with a thin belt.)
8. The Distressed White Jeans: Shredded, but not destroyed, the staple white jeans gets a little less East-Hampton-ish and a little more East Village-ish this summer. Skinny or slouchy versions both work. The key is to cuff or hem them, so they hit right above your ankles.
9. The Printed Shopper: A tomboyish pattern in a no-nonsense shape will help you schlep all your summer essentials around — like a laptop.
10. The Summer Knit: If everything goes according to plan, you won’t need a sweater at all. But, judging by how capricious Mother Nature has been so far this year, it’s probably wise to keep one of these in your arsenal. A summer knit features a looser weave, a thinner yarn, and a slouchier shape. Go for a marled or striped print, so that when you pull it out of your bag once the sun sets, the wrinkles won’t show as much.
11. The Milkmaid Blouse: This isn’t the peasant blouse you remember from the early 2000s. Featuring a higher neck, gauzier fabrics, and less-folksy ruffles, this summer top is more bobo than boho. Wear it with something sleek and stark, like trim, cigarette trousers or a pencil skirt.
12. The White Legged Trousers: Whether gaucho-length and cropped or to-the-floor and formal, the wide-legged trouser gets even wider this summer. To avoid JNCO comparisons (or, worse yet, that fold-over, loose-fit yoga situation from the early aughts), make sure yours come in a stiff, more sophisticated fabric.
13. The Pointed Toe Flat: These days the d’orsay shape is still going strong, and we love a pointed toe on a flat, ankle-strap shoe, too. To keep those summer vibes, opt for a shoe with sandal-like details, like leather slats or colorful prints.
14. The Summer Trench: Whether you’re getting your cool on with a sleeveless silhouette or a lightweight material, a super-lightweight jacket will look as good with a maxi-dress and heels as it does with jeans and a tee. Plus, it makes for the perfect summer-travel jacket.
15. The Sport Sandal: Love ’em or hate ’em, sport sandals are here to stay. The good news is that the originals — Tevas, Birkenstocks, etc. — won’t cost you a lot to get in on the trend. However, there’s no cap on how luxe these can get. With jewels, fringe, add-ons, and trimmings, the high-fashion versions can almost make these ugly shoes un-ugly.
16. The Apron Skirt: Slightly edgier than a typical pleated or wrap skirt, an apron skirt can be worn by itself or over another skirt, but we love how off (in a good way) the skirt looks with long pants. Wear it high and tight, or low-slung and open to show off its apron-ness.
17. The Fringed Bag: You may doubt that a bag can make you feel like twirling, but you’re going to have a hard time staying still when you’re carrying a suede sack with a seriously strong fringe. Vintage brown and black bags are lovely and classic, but I love this season’s new, candy-colored versions.
18. The Bucket Hat: It’s ba-ack! A trim, little bucket hat is a ’90s staple that’s slowly making a comeback. Avoid frayed khaki — let Fred Durst own that style — and opt for fun patterns and crisp neutrals.
19. The White Jumpsuit: Simple, sleek necklines make a jumpsuit look more modern. Avoid jewelry and frilly accessories, and instead focus on a statement shoe and bold make-up look.
20. The Statement Clutch: A large, stiff, rectangular clutch is basically a canvas. Use it as an opportunity to give your outfit a little more dimension. A graphic screen print in a primary color or a simple, textured, black-and-white squiggle can match with many other patterns and colorways. But, for the print-mixing averse, it can do wonders for dressing up a basic, neutral-hued outfit, as well.