This week, Melody asks if I plan to do a warm weather version of my Fall/Winter Wardrobe Must Haves episode. Since no one was getting properly dressed this Spring, I skipped it, but here are my top 10 wardrobe must haves for summer. I hope you enjoy this auditory peek into my wardrobe!
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Read the full episode transcript below! – Ep 56 Office Hours My Summer Wardrobe Essentials
Today’s episode of Office Hours is sponsored by the All-Access Membership. The Everyday Style, Capsule Guides are an amazing tool to help you achieve effortless style, but The All-Access membership is the whole toolbox. I get questions all the time from women who love the Capsule Guides but struggle a little to make it work for their body, or coloring, or Signature Style. Capsule Guides are designed with everyone in mind. There will be styles in there that are great for you, and styles that aren’t. There will be seasons you love the colors, and seasons you don’t. If you know HOW to find the right styles or colors, it’s easy to make those changes, but if you don’t, you’re still going to struggle. The All Access Membership gives you everything you need to know to dress well, whether you’re following a wardrobe blueprint or not. The resources you get with your membership teach you how to find your best colors, clean out your closet, find your style, and more. This is the best way to learn the skills you need to love the way you look and make style absolutely effortless now and for years to come.
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Welcome back to Office Hours–the weekly show of the Everyday Style School podcast, where we answer one question, submitted by you, you gorgeous listeners to help make style easier, and getting dressed more fun.
Today’s question comes from Melody who wrote
I loved your episode on your Fall & Winter Wardrobe Must Haves. It was fun to hear what you love to wear and why, and helped me think about things I should consider adding to my closet. Would you consider doing one for Spring & Summer? Thanks!
Funny you should mention that Melody–I actually had an episode on my Spring & Summer must haves planned, but it was one of my Coronavirus Casualty episodes, because it seemed strange to be talking about fancy shoes and statement pants when really what I was wearing was tees, yoga pants and slippers.
Granted, they were cute tees, yoga pants and slippers, but I think we can all agree that we won’t look back on Spring 2020 as the most fashionable of seasons–am I right?
And it’s funny, while life isn’t totally back to normal, and I’m still not going out as much as I used to, I find myself wanting to get properly dressed a little more.
Since I’m wearing real clothes again, I’ll share my summer essentials. I’m going to post my favorites, if they’re available, in the show notes, above and if they’re not, I’ll share alternatives.
One thing you’ll find missing from this list is dresses. While I love the look of summer dresses, I like the way dresses look on me better with a little shapewear. In the winter, I love my shaping tights, or lightweight shaping pieces, but in the summer I just cant.
So, unless I’m wearing it as a beach cover up, or for a special occasion, I tend not to be a warm weather dress girl. Nothing wrong with them, I’m just not a huge fan.
Also, this is my everyday wardrobe. I don’t find I dress up a ton in the summer in the best of times, and certainly not now. But, I can put myself together if I need to!
So, in no particular order, here are 10 things I can’t live without in summer.
Wide leg linen Pants- Linen pants are my secret weapon to looking put together when its hot out. I love that I can pair them with a simple tank for running errands, or a dressier top when I need to put myself together.
My love affair with linen pants started the year my husband and I were building a house, and we were displaced for what was supposed to be 2 weeks, and ended up being closer to two months.
All of my stuff was in storage, and I had brought very little with me to my sisters house, including two pairs of Old Navy wide leg linen pants. One white, one tan.
I wore them constantly, and everywhere I went, I heard, “you’re always so dressed up”. “You’re always so put together”. They’re just so easy, and summery.
Second Chambray Anything- IF you’re a Capsule Subscriber, or in All Access, you know I love me some chambray. I love it because it makes wearing statement pieces really easy.
While I do have a pair of chambray pants, I love a good Chambray top for summer. They go with any color or pattern bottoms, and they’re a little more exciting and refined than a plain white tee. I also like Chambray tops because they’re a great backdrop for fun jewelry.
My next essential is Statement Bottoms- These will always be a staple in my closet because 1) they work well for my body type and 2) to me interest on the bottom is a nice departure from pattern on the top, solid on the bottom.
It’s just more unexpected, and this outfit formula is something I shared in last week’s episode on looking good when it’s hot. This season, I find myself reaching more for my patterned and bright shorts than I am my fun pants, just because the pants are a little dressier, and again, still not going anywhere.
However, I did pick up a pair of floral crop cargos from loft a few weeks ago that I’m loving, and the snakeskin pants I bought for five dollars on clearance at H&M are still a favorite too.
Number 4 is Jean Shorts, and I feel like this is a cop out, because who doesn’t live in jean shorts in the summer? But, we’re talking about my essentials here, and these are it.
One thing I want to share is that, as someone who is bigger on top than on bottom, shorts can be a tricky fit. The clown leg situation is real, friends, and my Appley, ovaly, inverted triangly sisters know what I’m talking about.
I’ve found that the best way to get jean shorts that aren’t huge in the leg, is to go with skinny bermudas, and then cut them, and roll them up to make them shorter.
You can also do this with skinny jeans. Just a note, and this is personal, but I hate dark jean shorts. I only wear medium or light washes. I don’t know why.
Maybe its because when my older daughter was 4, I put a pair of darker wash shorts on and she said, that looks country…and now I can’t unsee it! I see them on others and think they look fine, on me, I feel frumpy immediately, and that’s a feeling you should pay attention to.
Next up is Graphic Tees- To me, graphic tees are a way to have a little fun with my wardrobe, and put a little personality in there. My favorites are the Boden Robyn fit, and the J Crew factory Collector tees.
I can pair them with my linen pants, my statement bottoms, my jean shorts, and I’ve got an outfit that’s better than basic. I’ve actually thought about doing a line of Graphic tees, and it’s on my list of fun projects–if I ever get time to do a fun project!
My favorite thing to pair with my graphic tees, though, and what I probably wear most in the summer are Athleisure skorts. What I’m talking about is skirts with the attached shorts underneath, made from a techy, quick dry fabric.
Here’s why I love them. They’re comfortable, and I can wear them working from home, running errands, or even hiking. I wear them to amusement parks with my kids, and if I get wet, no big deal.
But they’re skirts, so they look a little nicer than wearing athletic gear. My favorites are from Athleta, and Carrie Underwood’s line, but I bought one last year at Target that has become a go-to as well. Fun fact, the oldest thing I have in my wardrobe that I still wear is an athleisure skort I bought in 2007.
Its tan, and I found it on clearance for $10 at New York and Company of all places. I can’t even imagine what the cost per wear of this thing is at this point–fractions of pennies.
This goes with me on every summer trip, it’s seen me through body changes, babies, it’s amazing. I think this is a good reminder that value has nothing to do with price. Value is personal and has to do with what an item is worth to you.
This skirt is so valuable to me, that knowing what I know now, I would have paid hundreds for it. The good news is, if it ever wears out, or gets ruined, I won’t hesitate to replace it, no matter what the cost.
This is also a piece that’s been in the capsules the last couple of summers, and it’s the piece I hear most that our ladies love.
Number 8 is Espadrilles-sandals are great, but there’s just something I love about espadrilles slip ons or loafers They look really refined and cool, and are a nice, unexpected change from sandals.
And yes, you can have espadrille sandals–anything with a rope bottom has become acceptable as an espadrille, but I love a good cap toe espadrille slip on. The only thing I would say is that they can become shabby looking faster than some other shoes.
I often give the rope soles a little haircut with my fabric shaver, and replace if the canvas uppers lose their shape and look sad and worn out.
Another pair of go to summer shoes for me are Neutral Wedge Sandals. Shoes that are close to your skin tone make your legs look longer when you’re wearing shorts or dresses because they don’t create a harsh stop to your leg line, and because they’re neutral, they can go with anything.
I always like to have a pair that can be dressed up or down for maximum versatility. I like wedges because they’re comfortable and walkable, but they give you a little extra height, and make your legs look longer.
My last summer essential is a good neutral handbag. This is another one I talked about in last weeks’s episode, but I see a lot of lovely, summery outfits get ruined by dark, oversized, slouchy bags.
I’m not someone who changes bags often. I usually have one everyday bag for the season, and then a clutch for going out, so for summer I look for something medium sized, and neutral.
I think straw bags, which are having a big moment this year, are the perfect summer handbags, but you could go with neutral leather or canvas–whatever fits your style and your lifestyle.
I also love lightcolored metallic bags for summer. The summer bag I’m carrying right now is a metallic straw bag, and was a splurge for myself that I picked up from the Real Real a few years ago.
I spent more on it than I’ve ever spent on a handbag, but when I’m sporting my $5 snakeskin pants, or $10, 13 year old skort, it all works out, right? This was a bag I knew I could keep for years to come, and I think it’s important to remember that while bargains are great, so is investing in items that will last a long time. It’s all about balance.
So there you have it, Melody–my summer essentials. I’m sorry we skipped spring, but hopefully Spring 2021 will be a little different. Thanks for asking the question, and allowing me to get at least part of the episode in
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That’s all for today–see you next week!