It feels like for months and months, we’ve been talking about a future fantasy filled with warm weather, vaccinated events, and the possibilities of everything that would come with a summer that’s as back to normal as it could possibly be. But after maybe or almost preceding our plans, it’s officially time to strike a black line through them and get it through our heads that that time is officially, finally, miraculously here.
The entering of summer after a long, hard winter is always one of the most glorious times of the year, but this year, it feels like it’s been amplified by a margin of 10. We’re waking up to days where we can leave the house to do something besides grocery shopping, and that calls for the outfits we put on hold for the past 18 months—and maybe a few that are even better.
Looking for inspiration for your “welcome back to the world” summer? We’ve got you covered with these nine versatile summer outfits that are ready for anything the season might bring you. Trust us: if you don’t feel quite ready for socializing again, these outfits will change your mind.
1. A matching set + box bag + heeled slides
One of the best investments you can make in your wardrobe is through a matching set that you can get use of when you separate them too. This gingham set is a guaranteed look every time you pull it out of your closet, but the top and pants could also be paired with your go-to basics on days you aren’t in the mood to be quite so coordinated.
Matchy-matchy isn’t always best, but here, it just might be. Heeled slide sandals in a similar hue to the matching set give it a monochrome appearance in the best possible way, and with a top-handle, picnic-esque bag, it’s like a walking slice of summer. (It’s also safe to say this a preview of our Fourth of July looks this year).
2. An eyelet lace top + denim shorts + colorful sandals
One of the best parts about summer dressing is the dreamy, beautiful fabrics that come with it that just don’t happen any other season. At the top of that list? Eyelet lace—and summer 2021 is bringing it in spades.
This uber-versatile top can be paired with anything to work all summer long. Styled with denim shorts and strappy sandals, it can work for both day and night with zero swaps.
3. A one-piece bathing suit + denim shorts + a white button-up
On a summer Saturday, there’s absolutely nothing better than throwing on a bathing suit, a pair of shorts, and heading out for a day full of lake or poolside activities.
Turn it into a premeditated look by adding a short-sleeve, white button-up, a pair of sandals, your favorite denim shorts, and a woven beach bag. Make your bathing suit the focal point of the look by choosing one in a loud pattern or color, like this statement-making leopard one. The result? A summer dream come true.
4. A crochet tank + denim shorts + a statement bag
If you feel an aversion to the words “bermuda shorts” due to middle school trauma, consider this your argument to give them another chance. Gone are the days of the bottom of your booty being visible from your short-shorts—now, longer denim short lengths are here to stay.
One of summer 2021’s top trends is knitted everything, but we’re partial to it in tank form. On scorching hot days, there’s nothing better than having an arsenal of tanks to throw on, and this one is just about as chic as they come.
You may have noticed light purple popping up everywhere this summer, and there’s no better way to embrace it than in a little bag you can pair with anything you already own. It’s the weekend look we were fantasizing about all quarantine long.
5. A linen jacket + woven sandals + a rattan bag
Summer days aren’t always 80 degrees and sunny, so having a lightweight, go-to layering piece is essential. Enter: this statement-making linen blazer.
Paired with summer accessories, it’s kept seasonally appropriate and might actually make us wish for chilly days (or office days where the AC is cranking). Topped off with this year’s hottest footwear trend, braided sandals, it’s begging to be taken from the office to after-work happy hour.
6. Knit dress + raffia bag + heeled thong sandals
This summer’s polo trend is just as easily translated into a dress, and what’s better than a summer dress? (The short answer: nothing).
There’s just something about earthy tones in the summer that feels extra effortless, and this olive dress and wicker bag combo is just as comfortable as it is chic. Dress it up with a pair of heeled thong sandals or make it more casual with your favorite pair of sneakers or slide sandals. Either way, this is a dress you’ll thank yourself for owning every time you reach for it.
7. White tee + mid-length shorts + platform sandals
Summer is synonymous with easy, breezy outfits, and nothing emulates that better than a white tee. Amp it up with this season’s longer take on denim shorts, a textured bag, and platform sandals.
Trust us: this one is summer-uniform worthy, and you’ll find yourself reaching for it just about every time you leave the house.
8. A matching set + sneakers + a belt bag
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: when in doubt, turn to athleisure. There’s nothing easier than throwing on a matching set, and to make it summer-appropriate, a bike-shorts-and-cropped-tank combo is the way to go. Wear yours in a bright, seasonal color, and it can take you anywhere from your errands to your actual workout.
9. A shirt dress + heeled sandals + a raffia bag
It seems that the fashion powers that be took our quarantine into account and gave us some comfortable, easy trendy options for this year, and shirt dresses are perhaps #1. But don’t be fooled: a shirt dress doesn’t need to be baggy and shapeless. Enter: exhibit A.
With a built-in, waist-cinching belt, this shirt dress is just about as versatile a piece as you could find for the warmer months. It would be just as glorious with a pair of sneakers, but with a pair of heeled sandals, it’s an event-ready look that doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard.