My Wardrobe Essentials for Summer 2018
Summer is very reluctantly starting in the cities I’ve been in the past few weeks (New York and Berlin). Nevertheless, or maybe because of this delay, I am spending a bit of time looking at my summer wardrobe and reveling at the thought of actually wearing it. In the past I never consciously picked an “essential wardrobe” for a season, it just organically happened that I kept putting on the same clothes over and over. I guess not this time. So here are the pieces that I believe will be my go-to’s and why.
First: Whatever helps us look great in the morning without reinventing the wheel is helpful, and so I focused a bit on having those pieces work together as much as possible, so I can easily mix and match.
I’m a dress person, always have been. Even as a child. That’s why three dresses are in this selection. Besides my totally irrational inclination towards this piece of clothing, they are incredibly easy because you don’t have to think about coordinating. One thing and you’re all set in regards to outfit questions.
a) The shirt dress
This one I added recently to my wardrobe, I’ve looked for the right one for quite a while. Too casual for evening, but for daytime it nails the balance of comfortable and classic.
b) The slip dress
That’s all I wore last summer, literally. You can dress them up or down, with a tee, with a blazer, jacket, anything. They always look perfect. They come in a variety of lengths and styles – if you buy only one I think a very basic in a neutral color (probably black, those are also not see-through) makes most sense. They are also usually made out of very soft material, so they are a pleasure to wear.
c) The maxi dress
Maxi dresses add a bit of drama to your wardrobe, without drawing too much attention to it. It’s good to have a fluid shape here, so you feel comfortable walking around in the heat.
2. The Skirt
I do not wear a ton of skirts to be honest, because if I don’t wear pants, I usually wear a dress. But I do think it’s good to have one on the list, because of the added versatility. What makes a great skirt? For me: knee length (I love midi, but you need to wear heels and that’s not for everyone). Slight a-line – it’s universally flattering. Pencils are great, but a bit too formal for me, and the tightness can be uncomfortable in the summer heat. A pattern or more extravagant color – it’s summer after all. My wardrobe consists mostly of neutrals (that is changing though!!!), but if I wear a neutral tee on top it can easily look a bit boring if the bottom is classic as well. A little sexy detail – what I love about this particular skirt is the slit – it’s a wrap skirt, so the fabric usually does only part when I make certain movements, which is exactly the dose of an extra-little-something that I like. It just makes wearing it a bit more fun.
3. The Tee
I’ve always been a fan of the slouchy tee, usually v-neck. However, lately I’ve discovered the tighter, crew-neck variety. The reason for that is actually aforementioned skirt – that one just doesn’t work with slouchy ones. You can’t tuck them in (too much fabric, looks bulky), and letting them hang out is obviously out of the question. But even for jeans a slightly more narrow fit gives an interesting silhouette, a bit more vintage I think.
4. The Tank
My pick for this year is also new style territory for me – retro white cotton with ruffle detail. Moving away from the ribbed tank option that has been my go-to here. I’m having fun with the more feminine take, and this piece is still such a classic that it works with denim (or almost any pant – wide leg, khaki, I just don’t see a boyfriend style working with this), as well as any skirt.
5. The Pant
Denim. For evenings mostly. I rarely wear denim in the summer, it’s just too hot. But if pants, it’s jeans. This cropped variety is a little more airy, and I’m a fan of flared, it just works great for my body type. Obviously it also shows off your shoes ;).
6. The Jacket
I always have one with me for the subway (the airconditioning is set on refrigerator mode), and I’m also cold all the time. For me most important features are soft, comfortable, not bulky (so I can easily carry it around), and versatile in a way that it easily adapts to the tone I’m setting with the rest of my outfit. A blazer works for many, but I am not so much a blazer person. Or a denim jacket is a great choice, but head to toe denim is not for everyone. A cardigan is usually what I grab, but this jacket has a bit more substance and I like the rustic worker feel. It also balances the more playful, feminine pieces of this capsule summer wardrobe.
7. The Shoes
As far as shoes goes, because I live in a city where I walk a lot (New York), I don’t wear a lot of heels, and basically never stilettos, even though I think they are amazing. I used to only wear Toms, but have expanded my vocabulary somewhat over the last couple of years.
a) The Sandal
As a basic, the simpler the better. This is a 20 year old Jil Sander version, which to me is perfect. I can wear it day and evening, and it’s super comfortable.
b) The Sneaker
I have converse as well, but slightly prefer the vintage vibe of the Adidas Gazelle in blue. Works with everything.
c) The Heel
If a heel (and for the midi pieces in my opinion a must), then a block heel. 2.5-2.7 inches are the height I am comfortable with, so I can still walk for extended periods of time.
Have you picked your summer essentials? How are you approaching this? Let me know in the comments!
Some brands that I love:
Raquel Allegra – nails the Cali style. Great tie-dye, shredded tees, relaxed blazers.
Xirena – perfect shirts
Rouje – vintage feminine
Girlfriend Collective – soft, slouchy tees
The RealReal – any luxury brands I buy I buy here. Wait for the sales!