These are the key pieces you need in your wardrobe. 
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Plus Wardrobe Guide
Credit: shapely_chic_sheri/Instagram

If you’re plus-size and dread the summer months because you think it’ll be impossible to find clothing you love in your size, it might be time to reframe your mindset. Building the perfect plus-size summer outfits is as simple as knowing where to shop and what pieces to invest in. Well, that, and learning to ignore all the messaging that says plus-size women aren’t “supposed” to wear certain things in the hotter months. Everyone deserves to feel like they have a closet full of clothes that feel true to their personal style — and can actually keep them cool in the summer. If you stock up on a few basics (with a few trend pieces thrown in there, too), you’ll be good to go.

Even if you don’t have a huge vacation or a dozen trips to the beach planned for this summer, having a wardrobe that makes you feel like you do is almost just as good. Plus, it’s the summer, which means anything is possible, so you might as well have a closet full of clothes to be prepared for anything. Check out some ideas for building a top-notch plus-size wardrobe below.

A Bathing Suit You Love

When you’re plus-size, finding bathing suits that actually fit is tough. But as frustrating as it can be, knowing that you have a swimsuit in your closet that makes you feel confident is important. It means you’re more likely to go on that spontaneous trip or to stop avoiding pool parties because you have “nothing to wear.” So go ahead and order a few options that look cute and make a fun afternoon of trying them on. Odds are you’ll find at least one that makes you feel fabulous.

A Cute Pair of Shorts

Repeat after me: Shorts. Are. Your. Friend. I promise. Even if you’ve spent decades afraid of wearing shorts, the sooner that you accept that shorts are key, versatile part of every summer wardrobe, the happier you’ll be. The good news is that there are so many different ways to style shorts these days that you are bound to find an option that works specifically for you and your style. Even if you’re afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, it’s worth it to be able to find at least one or two pairs of shorts that you can pull out on extra hot days. And if you think that tight-fitting denim shorts are the only pair that exists, don’t worry — there are more silhouettes, styles, and sizes than ever.

The Perfect Summer Dresses

Shopping for summer dresses can be overwhelming. With literally thousands of options to choose from in all different styles, it can be hard to decide on your favorite options. It can be even harder to buy just a few key summer dresses instead of dozens that you’ll just end up throwing out once the season is over. If you’re looking to simplify things, try shopping for just three summer dresses this season: one maxi, one midi, and one mini. If you make sure at least two out of three are able to be dressed up or dressed down, you’ll have endless looks for a variety of events.

A Versatile Midi Skirt

Midi skirts are perfect for summer — but they’re also ideal for spring and fall. This means that buying a midi skirt is more like investing in a year-round wardrobe staple, rather than just a piece you’ll pull out for one season a year. And, hey, the more excuses to buy clothes, the better, right? For a trendier piece, opt for an animal print midi skirt. And if you’re looking for something that could be styled more formally, find a silk or satin skirt in your favorite color.

Breezy Blouses

An easy-to-forget part of the perfect summer wardrobe is blouses and tops. Fall and winter tops tend to be too heavy for summer wear, so buying at least a handful of shirts and blouses that are cool enough for the heat and can effortlessly be paired with skirts and shorts is important. Luckily, off-the-shoulder tops and billowy, breezy blouses are trending right now, making it easy to choose a few of your favorites to mix and match with other pieces.