Rejoice! The long awaited countdown to Memorial Day weekend, abbreviated Fridays and rosé sipping season is finally headed toward the home stretch. The prelude to summer is also the opportune time to stock up on your sunny weather wardrobe essentials. But this season, why not shake those time honored staples up a bit? After all, you already have that perfectly worn-in denim jacket and white lace dress that will continue to work for years to come.
So consider playing with the unexpected this summer with a little help from InStyle and The Limited. And don’t worry, we’re not talking about too-complicated or so-trendy-they’ve-already-gone-out-of-style type of sartorial experimentation. After all, The Limited has always been the shopping destination for classic wardrobe essentials with modernly chic elements that scream for compliments — whether you’re at the office (HR won’t mind) or happy hour later. So before the much anticipated heat wave finally hits (and indoor aircon starts blasting), prepare to redefine your summer wardrobe staples in these five easy-chic ways.
A SWINGY PRINTED DRESS
A mod shift? Done that. A minimalist A-line frock? Have a bunch. So revisit the early aughts with a graphic print trapeze dress to be effortlessly dressed up with heels or down with flat sandals. Plus, the unfussy handkerchief hem, vibrant color play and innovative abstract patterns will make you stand out in a sea of floral midi-dresses at all the weddings and outdoor cocktails that you have on your packed summer itinerary.
A WHITE HOT BLAZER
Wean yourself from that security blanket of a jean jacket and elevate your summer layering game with a white blazer. Because it’s just as versatile as your beloved denim and even chicer than a black tuxedo jacket. Pair the topper with matching white pants to channel that iconic Bianca Jagger trousersuit look or wear it over a printed summer dress to add sophisticated structure. (Just maybe forgo your pink stain threatening rosé for a less risky Sauvignon Blanc when you’re wearing it.)
A LONGLINE VEST
Another way to creatively layer in the summer, but not overheat: a long vest (or sleeveless trench, semantics). The streamlined staple pairs just as well with a maxi-dress for the office as it does a tank and shorts combo for a relaxed, but polished off-duty look. You’ll find yourself wearing the piece more than once a week and making it look fresh and inspired each time. Lucky the layer goes by multiple names, right? (“No, this is my sleeveless coat. I wore the longline vest yesterday.”)
THE STRIPED SHORT
We called it: Stripes are the new denim. So leave your beat up cut-offs in storage and up your shorts game with a fresh set of stripes on a tailored silhouette. The linear graphic makes your vintage concert t-shirts that much more interesting and yes, you can mix striping with other prints: florals, polka dots, gingham, you name it. Just coordinate your color palette and you’re good to go. Dear jorts: Sorry, but we’ve just moved on.
THE HOTTEST SUNNY DAY HUES
Flip the traditional summer color palette on its head with unexpectedly dark, rich and ‘70s-reminiscent shades, like opulent marigolds, lush forest greens and delicious wines. So instead of a country club pastel on your light summer knit, try a smooth Cabernet and — surprise! — the deep color actually pairs beautifully with all those soft pinks and blues you already have in your closet. Bonus: The linen jacket will seamlessly transition into September. Although, cotton candy pink was really big on the fall runway, just saying.