12 Memorial Day Outfit Ideas to Wear All Weekend (and Summer) Long
Stylists and fashion pros weigh in with ideas for how to kick off the season in style.
Contrary to what any calendar says, everyone knows summer unofficially kicks off Memorial Day Weekend. This year, we're more than ready to celebrate the start of the season — not to mention dress for the occasion. Say goodbye to your sweats and loungewear; it's officially time to trade them in for swimwear, sundresses, and crop tops.
If you're unsure what to wear to commemorate the beginning of #shotgirlsummer, you're certainly not alone; it's hard to give up oversized T-shirts and comfy pants when that's practically all you've lived in for months. But don't sweat it (you'll be doing enough of that this summer): We reached out to stylists for their best Memorial Day outfit ideas so you can put together a look for virtually any and every kind of celebration you might be planning. So if you're comfortable and able to safely observe the holiday while following the various social distancing guidelines that may still be in effect in your area, read on for some serious inspiration.
If you're partying poolside, Tobi head stylist Joanna Angeles recommends pairing swimwear with simple silhouettes with lively accessories, like a patterned bucket hat, cover up, and chunky 'dad' style sandals. This way, you're prepared to take a dip or participate in water activities as you see fit, and accessorize to elevate your look once you've dried off.
Trendy Knit Halters
Another go-to look Angeles suggests is a halter top paired with straight leg jeans and platform sandals.
"[It's] a light and airy outfit to keep you cool and comfortable," she tells InStyle. Plus, knitwear is particularly (and not uncomfortably) hot for summer 2021, so consider this an invitation to hop on the trend.
Co-Ords to Mix and Match
Matching sets were your best friend in quarantine, and they'll still be your BFF for #shotgirlsummer for a host of reasons. But the big draw is that the outfit is already planned for you. All the look requires is accessorizing, so "top off the set with a large sun hat and complete the look with strappy, lace up sandals and a mini shoulder bag," says Angeles.
Crisp Button Downs and Comfy Trousers
LA-based stylist, Lindsey Dupuis Bledsoe looks to style icons like Jackie O and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy for MDW outfit inspiration.
"The way they wore a classic white button down and trousers was so effortless and elegant, reminding us that less is more," she says. The classic style can still be achieved today, and according to Bledsoe, all you need is a simple top, casual trousers (even white denim), a leather sandal, scarf, and oversized sunglasses. "I would update the look by adding a Janessa Leone hat — my go-to summer staple."
Play With Pops of Color
Colors that spark joy, such as lime green, bubblegum pink, and yellow, are popping up everywhere, but if these eye-catching hues are a little too much for your personal style or way outside your comfort zone, Bledsoe recommends incorporating them into your accessories.
"If the bright lights scare you," Bledsoe says, "go for a matching metallic or basket weave purse and shoe combination. Keeping your accessories uniform amps up a basic look."
Go All-In On Accessories
Fashion stylist Mickey Freeman predicts we'll see an emphasis on texture in terms of accessories Memorial Day Weekend 2021. Pieces like wicker handbags, crocheted knit clutches, and oversized sunglasses in metallic finishes and jewel-tone color ways will "breathe life into the many flesh tone pieces we are seeing in abundance this season," says Freeman.
As for jewelry, "attention-grabbing cabochon rings and necklaces can and will be a great finishing point" for your look.
Conservative Bottoms and Bikini Tops
It's all about balance, right? Freeman tells InStyle that conservative pieces like wide-legged linen culottes and long, boldly printed skirts paired with a bikini top and sky-high cork wedges will be "all the rave" this MDW. Prints will also be dominating the holiday's hottest street styles, so don't hesitate to play with patterns, florals, and even exotic animal prints.
Nashville-based fashion stylist Krista Roser would like to inform you that swimwear isn't just for water activities.
"The new trend of the three-piece swimsuit is perfect for the upcoming MDW events," she reveals. "You can pair a mini skirt or cutoff shorts with the pieces to complete the look and to be able to wear inside and outside. Then, throw on your favorite easy slip-on sandals."
All Kinds of Crop Types
Cropped tops are always huge for spring and summer, but this season, style expert Lilliana Vazquez says cropped sweater vests as tops and crop tops with bold stripe patterns are especially popular. For a classic Memorial Day Weekend outfit, Vazquez suggests pairing the top with white, high-waisted jeans and styling "with edgy, black accessories that are more '90s inspired, like chunky sunglasses and heeled sandals."
Dia & Co stylist, Christine Yarde tells InStyle that while white denim works all year round, "there is something about white shorts that just says 'summer,'" and she's more than ready to see these pieces come out to play. For a stretch fabric that's breathable, Yarde says to look for cotton-blends to help you stay cool for your back-to-back BBQs this weekend.
"Pair them with a playful top and minimal hoop earrings, and put the finishing touches on your look with squared toe mules in a pop color."
One of, if not the, easiest outfits to throw together is a slip dress. The one-and-done garment is classic, effortless, and versatile, as it can easily be dressed up or down, says Express stylist Maddi C. To create a look that really stands out, choose a dress that comes in a vibrant color, like lime green that can serve as a statement, then "finish off with simple layered chains and hoops," Maddi suggests.
Red, White, and Blue
Lastly, a classic red, white, and blue look for Memorial Day Weekend gatherings may not be groundbreaking, but it's always appropriate.
"You can't go wrong with a denim jacket with embroidered stars paired with classic white jeans and converse," wardrobe stylist, Kim Perrett tells us. "Add a red bandana for a pop of color to complete the look."