Person on a beach clutching a summer essential handbag

What To Wear This Summer: 8 Essentials You Can’t Live Without

We all love summer. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and it’s the perfect chance to pick out some warm-weather outfits and show off your tan.

Whether you’re lazing in the park with friends, or spending balmy evenings in your garden sipping mojitos and dining al fresco, there’s an eye-catching outfit for every summer occasion.

But with summer fashion being as beautiful as it is, and our purses relatively limited (aside from those lucky few — we’re looking at you, #gifted influencers…), it can be hard to pick between pieces. 

That’s why we’ve come up with the ultimate list of eight essential items to add to your summer wardrobe. For top tips on what to wear tomorrow and beyond, to the park or for some much-needed pub garden bevs, read on. 

1. A pair of chic yet comfy slide sandals

Item one on the agenda: slide sandals. Taking over from the sporty-chic sandal of previous years, the chic and versatile slide sandal is everywhere this summer, and with good reason. 

Slip on a pair as you walk out of the house, and you’ll realise they go with pretty much any outfit you’ve ever put together, and they’re ridiculously comfortable to boot (pun intended). Whether you’re pairing them with a cute tea dress or jeans for the day, or heading out for dinner and drinks in a midi, slide sandals will work with 99% of your summer wardrobe with zero effort.  

Your only decision is which pair to go for — minimalist, black and chunky, or tan leather, boho style.

2. Leopard-print midi skirt

Image credit: Pinterest

God bless the midi skirt — accessible for all body types, versatile enough for a million and one different occasions, and a staple in every summer wardrobe.

Last year’s popular iteration of the timeless skirt is the animal-print midi, back with a vengeance this summer to achieve world domination. 

There’s no hiding it: the animal-print — specifically leopard-print — midi skirt is everywhere; in the office, on Insta influencers, at brunch… Some may say basic, but we say classic summer must-have. 

If you’re looking at your clothes and trying to decide what to wear tomorrow, then the flattering leopard-print midi skirt will come to your rescue every time. Pair it with a cotton tee and white sneakers for a relaxed day vibe, or dress it up with a silk blouse and heels for a date. It’s all the right levels of simple, edgy, and feminine — perfect for the summer. 

There are many different versions available depending on your tastes and budget, from original trendsetters Réalisation Par’s Naomi skirt (coming in at £180) to H&M’s £12.99 leopard-print offering. 

3. The perfect pair of sunnies

What sort of summer fashion essentials list would this be without the perfect pair of sunnies?

It may be a predictable choice, but there’s no better way to finish off your summer ensemble than with a great pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses truly have the magical power to make any wearer look about 10 times cooler instantly.

This year’s on-trend sunglasses split firmly into two main camps: retro cat-eye sunglasses (complete with white or red frames for that 50s pin-up look) or skinny square 90s sunnies (pick a colour-tinted lens for a true 90s throwback vibe). It’s safe to say that retro-inspired shades are definitely in.

Of course, if you don’t feel like either of these styles suit your face shape or your outfit, there are a million other styles to choose from. Simple and circular is always timeless, and aviator can give you a boho-chic vibe with minimal effort. 

4. The circle straw bag (yes, it’s still on-trend)

Image credit: Etsy

For everyone who invested in a circle straw bag last summer, you’ll be pleased to know they’re back — great news, as this is the quintessential summer accessory (not to mention, it’s very Instagrammable). 

Etsy is full of these gorgeous hand-woven bags, so whether you want a rounded shoulder bag for exploring cities or a larger tote for those sunny-day picnics, you can pick something cute that will work for you and compliment all your summer dresses. 

And because they’re made from straw, they’ll pair with most of your wardrobe, smart and casual, boho and edgy. 

5. Co-rds

A trend to die for. If you ever have any doubts about what to wear tomorrow — or any day ever — then you can always rely on trusty co-ords. 

For those not in the know (erm, where have you been for the last 12 months?!), co-ords is short for a coordinating two-piece set. 

It’s any ensemble that matches, whether it’s a cute gingham crop top and shorts combo, or a pastel power suit jacket and trouser combo. This trend was big last summer, and is definitely making a comeback.

The beauty of the co-ord is that it looks instantly cool, polished and pulled-together with very little effort. You can literally throw this on five minutes before you leave the house, and you will still get plenty of compliments on your outfit throughout the day. 

6. A puff-shouldered blouse

Minimalism is over, and nothing says that more than this summer’s current trend of puff shoulders (on both blouses and dresses). And if you can get it in this season’s key colour — lavender — then you get extra points. 

But why is this a summer staple, we hear you ask? Well, the versatility of this style is what we love: it’s simultaneously striking and fun, the oversized silhouette giving an updated 80s vibe to your outfit (which Stranger Things has proven is definitely still cool). 

If you want to make a statement, then puff shoulders are the way to do it. The only thing you need to decide is just how big and bold you want those puffs to be…

7. Anti-chafing shorts

The ultimate summer outfit accessory that you won’t even see…  Although this summer item will be invisible to everyone else but you, we’re ranking it highly when it comes to our summer essentials you can’t live without. 

Why? Well, if you’re asking why, you clearly haven’t tried wearing a pair yet. Anti-chafing shorts will basically save your thighs on hot summer days. Want to avoid uncomfortable chafing and sore thighs? Anti-chafing shorts are the answer. Don’t enjoy sticking to chairs when you’re wearing a short shirt or dress? Anti-chafing shorts are the answer. Sick of feeling sweaty in suits? You get the idea…

Whether you’re wearing dresses, skirts, and trousers, these bad boys will help you to stay prepped and pretty on those hot summer days. 

8. Red lipstick

Want to add a dash of colour to your look? Want to transition your outfit from day to night in one simple step? Then red lipstick is your answer.

This summer’s lipstick trends are all about the bright and bold. So if you were thinking about reaching for that dark plum, nudes, or pastel pink, think again. We’re talking brights pops of red that draws attention to your luscious lips and practically shouts summer from the rooftops. 

Check out these gorgeous lipsticks for some shades that are sultry and summery all at once.

If you’re wondering what to wear tomorrow, you can’t go wrong with the choices on this list; these eight items are must-haves for any summer  wardrobe. 

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