Whether you're headed to the beach or a (socially distanced!) barbecue, here are some ideas for what to wear.

By Julia Marzovilla
Jul 16, 2020 @ 3:15 pm
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Actress Annabelle Mandeng. Photo by Streetstyleograph/Getty Images.
| Credit: Actress Annabelle Mandeng. Photo by Streetstyleograph/Getty Images.

Ah, Labor Day. The unceremonious end of a few of our favorite things: warm weather, signing off work early on Fridays, and enjoying happy hours outdoors — even if just on our roofs. We might not have had all the opportunities to show off our summer outfits in person this year, but that didn't hold us back. We still experimented with trends like floppy hats and babydoll shoes, and we'll only continue once the weather cools down, putting together dreamy fall-ready looks.

The long weekend is the perfect opportunity to pull out pieces that have been tucked away in your closet all season long, while incorporating stuff that'll take you through the next few months. Whether you’re celebrating at a (socially distanced) backyard barbecue or in the comfort of your own home, here are a few outfit ideas to get you through your end-of-summer blues. 

All White

Wearing white after Labor Day is not only acceptable, it's encouraged, and the color scheme is great choice for the holiday, too. Go ahead, take a risk, and wear a full white look without worrying about spilling on yourself  — although, you have been forewarned. Keep your outfit sleek by sticking with white accessories, or add flair with a bright pair of heels or shimmery earrings.

Shop Similar: H&M Embroidered Dress ($50; hm.com)

A Scarf-Style Top and Jeans

This ‘90s shirt trend is back in a major way thanks to a few TikTok teens, and it's a fun one to try for summer's last hurrah. Wrapping an extra-large scarf around your body (or faking it by tucking it into a bandeau) will be a welcome update to the array of basic tees and tanks sitting in your room right now. A bandana print will help you achieve a classic all-American look, or you can go all out with wild floral patterns and colors. If you're looking to achieve full Gen-Z status, pair your tiny top with wide-leg jeans and a clean pair of sneakers.

Shop Similar: Danielle Bernstein Solid Handkerchief Top, Created for Macy's ($49; macys.com)

A Printed Set

If you're still getting used to actually planning out a look before you wear it, consider a coordinated two-piece set (also pictured on actress Annabelle Mandeng, above). It will seem like you put in a ton of effort without having to do anything at all. Pull out your wedges from the back of your closet and you’ll be back to your old ways in no time.

En Creme Tie Front Top Summer Stripe Two-Piece ($40; asos.com); En Creme Relaxed Shorts in Summer Stripe Two-Piece ($40; asos.com)

A Minimal Bikini Under an Oversized Button-Down

If you’re heading to the beach for a socially distanced day in the sun, try wearing a lightweight button-down over an otherwise simple bathing suit. Think of this cover-up as an upgraded version of the loose, oversized look you’ve been wearing around your house for the last few months. The good news is, it's just as comfy, too.

Shop Similar: Madewell Oversized Ex-Boyfriend Shirt in Mullins Stripe ($80; madewell.com)

A Mini Dress With Sneakers

This outfit is easy, playful, and requires just enough effort to get a thumbs up from older family members. A dress with a bright color or pattern will make your choice more festive, while white sneakers will give it a casual spin.

Shop Similar: Daily Paper Zebra Sharp Green Heri Dress ($105; dailypaperclothing.com)

A Pleated Skirt

Pleated skirts might bring back memories of your high school uniform days, but don’t let that scare you away from trying them right now. Choosing a pale color like white or beige will help you channel the tennis pro you’ve always wanted to be, and just remember: even Princess Diana was a big fan of this look.

Shop Similar: Tory Burch Tech Twill Geo-T Pleated Skirt ($138; toryburch.com)

All One Color

Think of this monochromatic look as the summer version of your usual all-black work getup. However, instead of going dark, opt for a vibrant, seasonal shade, such as red or orange, and have fun with it. The fabrics don’t have to match perfectly, so it’s the easiest way to experiment with color without having to buy anything new. 

Shop Similar: 

Mango Relaxed Fit Cropped Trousers ($60; shop.mango.com); Mango Oversize Flowy Shirt ($60; shop.mango.com)

A Sweater Vest and Jeans

Sweater vests are about to be one of fall’s biggest trends and for good reason. Not only are they great for layering in the cool, end-of-summer air, they're an eye-catching, less bundled-up alternative to your favorite sweatshirt. A slightly oversized option is great for a more relaxed look, while something cropped will amp up tailored pieces.

Shop Similar: Ganni Crystal Button Sleeveless Cashmere Cardigan ($345; matchesfashion.com)