I will be completely honest: chic summer outfits are not my forte. I’ve wanted to elevate my summer wardrobe game for a long time now but living 80% of my life in frigid tundra-like conditions makes it difficult. There is so little time to practice! But I’m happy to say that over the years, I’ve recently started to develop some fail-proof styling tips that have changed my summer wardrobe choices for the better, and none of them involve a complete wardrobe overhaul.
In case you’re tired of feeling disheveled by lunchtime on a balmy Tuesday, here are some styling tips that you can hopefully incorporate without having to shop.
Best Fabrics For a Summer Wardrobe
Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older, but comfort is starting to rank higher on my list of wardrobe priorities these days. One of the easiest ways to stay cool and chic in the summer heat is by choosing fabrics that let your skin breathe. Natural fabrics like linen (one of my faves – I’ve learned to embrace wrinkles, it’s the only way, as far as I’m concerned), cotton, modal and Tencel, or anything eyelet or mesh are great choices, and chances are we all have at least one cotton tee or sundress already hanging in our closet. My long-time favourite linen and cotton shirts are from Power of My People, a small, family-owned Canadian company who use high quality fabrics and ethical manufacturing practices.
Best Undergarments for a Summer Wardrobe
Even though they’re the first item I have to put on every day, I never paid much attention to proper undergarments UNTIL NOW. After so many times of having to pass on wearing my beautiful white linen pants or cream silk skirt because I didn’t have the right undergarments for my killer summer outfit, I have finally realized the virtue of having enough nude bras and underwear to handle a summer season – stock up on enough nude and seamless undergarments so you never have to do laundry at midnight again (totally guilty!). My absolute favourites are from Organic Basics. This triangle bra is SO comfortable, breathable, and for someone who loves underwires, it provides the right amount of support. Check out my favourite Organic Basics pieces here, along with my favourite seamless nude underwear from them.
Mixing Prints For a Chic Summer Outfit
More than any other season, the “I have nothing to wear!” phrase would rear its ugly head and mixing and matching your printed separates is a great way to beat wardrobe boredom in the summer. Since the season itself is more relaxed, it’s a great time to play and experiment. Mix stripes with florals? Polka dots with batik? Why not?
Flowy Silhouettes WIN.
It wasn’t until I had to walk up what felt like an endless flight of stairs on Symi Island and reached the top totally drenched in sweat that I realized the absolute necessity of a flowy, off-the-skin silhouette. I never wore super tight clothing to begin with, but now, if I know I’m facing a particularly hot day, I’ll look for dresses that I’m comfortable wearing without the cinching magic of a belt or tie. Oftentimes, in order to not look like a complete oompa loompa, I’ll try to pair an un-cinched dress with a high heel and big earrings to amp it up.
Add a Hat
Maybe it’s because I slack off EXTRA HARD on my hair routine in the summer, but adding a hat to pull together a chic summer outfit has never been more appealing. Not only does it camouflage salty locks but it also protects my face, and adds some major attitude to any look. I alternate between a crocheted ball cap (airflow!) and a straw fedora for a more elevated summer look.
A Little Bit Extra
Another style tip that I apply during every season to help inject some good old fashioned mojo into my closet, is to use Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration, not envy. If you need help with this, I have an entire playlist FULL of examples here. 😉 Put your Instagram and Pinterest scrolls to good use and save images that you like keeping in mind what you have in your closet that can make them work. I love using these platforms as springboards to shop my closet – no credit card or shoppers remorse in sight.
I’ve also got a fool-proof formula for putting a summer outfit together along with all the little styling tricks I go through to get the most out of my summer wardrobe – you can watch it here!
Hope you are staying cool and safe wherever you are!
As always thanks for reading,