Top 10 Essentials for Your Summer Wardrobe

With exposed midriffs and high-waisted shorts hitting the mainstream, our fashion experts have designed our Summer 2014 trend report, naming the top ten wardrobe staples (with each piece under $50!) for every occasion — jamming out at FPSF, relaxing in Galveston, or getting ready for your first job interview.

HM Peplum Top $24.50.

HM Peplum Top $24.50.

1. Pumped Up in Peplum

Designers are taking a more elegant and tamed approach to the fashion phenomenon and comeback from the 80s. Advantageous with its waist-slimming and curve-accentuating features, the feminine peplum enhances the hourglass shape, and the all-white color trend is a timeless staple of the season. Pair with a black blazer and a patterned, floral pencil skirt or a pair of beige slim-fitted jeans.

 

 

2. All in One

Victoria's Secret Sleeveless Romper $39.99.

Victoria’s Secret Sleeveless Romper $39.99.

What’s cuter than a playful, butterfly-capped romper without the commitment to a mini-dress? The versatile, spunky garment is loose-fitting and shirred, balancing comfort and charm. The piece is added with buttons and drawstring to for a sweet touch, and an assortment of bright colors are typically available in stores. This one-stop, breezy look is effortless on a weekend brunch or cover-up to the beach. Pair with gladiator sandals and chic shades to finish the look.

 

 

 

ALDO Navy Seidenbecker tote $40.

ALDO Navy Seidenbecker tote $40.

3. Totes Striped 

Toss out the neutrals this summer, but keep their style. This classic navy-white striped wide canvas tote adds a clean, fresh texture and a nautical charm. Making easy transport, it’s perfect for a trip to the beach or a quick commute. Pick up this carry-on for stashing your Vogue issues and a few valuables. Tie on a graphic scarf from the closet to add a sunshine-worthy radiance. It’s an off-duty go-to.

 

4. Hi-Rise Guilty Pleasure

Hollister High Rise Short-Shorts $21

Hollister High Rise Short-Shorts $21

Yes, we are exposing some leg here, and high-waisted shorts are our guilty pleasure this season. The cheeky (and sometimes sassy) fit brings back the hipster look with unique denim processing. Complement the faded hue with bright colors — opt for a sporty vibe and match with a perforated top and a pair of Keds or pair it with a crop top, and you’re ready to go to FPSF.

 

 

 

HM Platform Sandals $17.45.

HM Platform Sandals $17.45.

5. Sandal…ettes

Seen throughout New York Fashion Week, these 4 1/4 inch wedges are the ultimate bona-fide statement piece to any outfit. Lavished with flowery tulle roses and enfolded in cotton twill and a braided wedge heel, they carry a harmonious comfort and sex appeal that will knock out stilettos for this one. Complement with a coral or juicy sangria nail polish for a rich treat to the feet.

 

 

Forever 21 Free Spirit Floral Kimono $30.

Forever 21 Free Spirit Floral Kimono $30.

6. Bohemian Living

Capturing the essence of free-spirited vibe and effortless look, the kimono jacket has always been a favorite choice in the bohemian set of warm weather. Replacing blazers and chunky sweaters, the kimono can be a dramatic swimwear cover-up, adorned with its swingy layers and tassels. From outdoors to the A/C, slip it over a cropped top and shorts for a more modest cover.

 

 

 

 

Victoria's Secret Pleated Maxi Skirt $19.99.

Victoria’s Secret Pleated Maxi Skirt $19.99.

7. Maxi Maxi

The maxi skirt (or dress, whichever you prefer) is where daytime chic meets nighttime elegance. The flowy, easy-to-wear fabric plays up long legs with its knife pleats and a sexy high slit. It’s semi-sheer, with the skirt best added to a jersey tank top and a pair of neutral sandals.

 

 

 

8. Game Day

Nike Pro Core Compression Pants $42.

Nike Pro Core Compression Pants $42.

No surprise, we picked from the best. In case you forgot your gym routine or need some motivation to beat the Houston heat, we have the solution. These neon-bright compression pants are designed with sweat-wicking stretch fabric and ergonomic seams to give you the highest quality performance and range of motion. Wear them for any exercise — barre, yoga, or Pilates. (And don’t forget your water bottle.)

 

 

 

J. Crew Textured Summer Straw Hat $34.50.

J. Crew Textured Summer Straw Hat $34.50.

9. Get a Little Shade

Not a fan of getting sunburned the moment you step out in the heat? Or are you just looking for an excuse to be Audrey Hepburn for one day? We get it. Pick up a textured straw hat featuring an extra-wide brim to keep you protected and cool in the sun. Easily packed in your beach tote, pair it with studs or dangling bronze earrings for a glistening look.

 

10. Cold Shoulder

Urban Outfitters Ecote Mila Cold Shoulder Top $49

Urban Outfitters Ecote Mila Cold Shoulder Top $49

If you feel like showing off a little skin other than your midriff, settle for a peek-a-boo of your shoulders. Drapey dolman sleeves cut-out on the arms are a playful, yet more proper approach to achieving a high sartorial note. Highlight designs such as Ecote or Aztec patterns or embellished fringes. Pair with high-waisted shorts and bangles.

 


Tell us your top summer essentials or go-to designers and stores for the warm weather in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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