With the start of summer officially just two weeks away, I wanted to share some tips on building a summer wardrobe. There are definitely areas of my wardrobe that I invest in for summer, but I always balance out my closet with more affordable pieces too. Summer is all about effortless style to me – easy dresses, basics and timeless pieces to really anchor your wardrobe. Summer is probably the season where I invest in my wardrobe the least. My style is much more casual and laid-back. I don’t always carry a designer bag or wear designer heels since I’m usually on the go more and I don’t want to ruin my best pieces – depending on the occasion of course. Summer really only lasts a few months here vs. fall and winter making up well over half of the year so it just doesn’t make sense to go overboard in buying warm-weather pieces. That said, I do still invest in shoes and bags and more timeless basics – like a white button-down because I know I’ll get more use out of those pieces throughout the year. Keep scrolling for the pieces I splurge vs. save on.
Where I Splurge…
The only shoes I have splurged on in the summer are espadrilles, stilettos, the occasional pump (nude or white) and I’m still coveting those Chloe studded booties. Espadrilles are the it summer shoe – I wear mine with everything! This past spring I put myself on a waitlist for these Chanel espadrilles. I was in a Nordstrom store and browsing the Chanel shoe section with no intention to buy, but then I started talking to a salesguy and he said they were going to get a few of the espadrilles in so he took my name down. I almost never get a call back when I put myself on waitlists so I honestly didn’t expect to get a call from him a couple of months later. When he called about them being in I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to splurge on them, but he said they only got a couple of pairs in my size and still a long waitlist so I decided to order them anyway. Worst case I could return them, right? Who really returns anything Chanel though? Once I received that coveted black box, I knew there was no way I was returning them. I’ve only worn them a handful of times so far, but I absolutely love them! I was afraid they’d get super dirty being a light color, but they just wipe clean. I love how easily they dress up a basic outfit. They’re my best designer purchase for summer so far.
Last summer I bought these Chloe espadrilles (see how I wore them here).I loved the scalloped detail and as much as those Marc Fisher wedges look similar, they just aren’t the same (I own those too – see how I wore them here). I bought the Chloe espadrille wedges just before I went to Napa for BottleRock (outdoor music festival). I wore them to the festival – which is mostly covered with turf grass. I had no issues until the last night when I stepped in a mud hole. Phil bathed my shoes in the bathtub when we got back to the hotel because they were absolutely covered. I didn’t expect to recover them, but they surprisingly dried clean. The nude suede came back to life with just soap and water! I’m not sure how that’s even possible, but they must have an amazing protectant on them. They have held up so well and I definitely plan on bringing them back out this summer. I love a great wedge for dressing up basics and pairing with summer dresses.
My Splurge Shoes
I definitely don’t splurge on clothing as much as I do on accessories and footwear because I’m not going to lie, I tend to get sick of most of my clothing after just one season – not that I get rid of every piece though. So when it comes to investing in clothing unless I’m sure that I’ll be able to wear it for seasons to come, I won’t splurge. In the summer, I tend to wear either really basic tops or statement tops – not much in between. As far as statement tops, I usually only wear them for the season so I don’t like to spend more than $100 on them. For basics, I’ll usually wear tees under $50, but I will invest in blouses like button-downs. I just bought this sleeveless button-down and the long sleeve version too. They are over $100 so I consider them a bit of an investment, but I know I’ll wear them for seasons to come and I could literally wear them every day – they’re so easy to mix and match.
My Splurge Tops
I usually purchase at least one higher-priced statement dress for summer to wear to an event (wedding, shower, etc). I’m usually pretty picky about which dresses to invest in and I almost always stick with brands that you just can’t replicate like Self-Portrait (I got this one for summer – see how I wore it here) and a Zimmermann dress is still on my wish list this year. I also love this Ronny Kobo dress that I wore in Orlando (see how I wore it here). With the exception of those brands, most of my summer dresses are $150 or less.
My Splurge Dresses
Classic Designer Bags
I’m shocked to say this, but I actually don’t have any designer bags on my wishlist currently. I feel like I’ve already invested in the classic colors, styles and brands that I wanted so I’m not sure what my next purchase will be. I guess Phil can feel happy about that! When I do invest in designer bags I’m super picky (as you should be). I want bags that are actually an investment (aka have a resale value) just in case I change my mind and don’t use the bag as much as I expected. The cult classics like Chanel, Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton are always safe bets. A lot of you ask where I buy my preowned designer bags and I’ve bought them from Hara & Co. and LXR & Co., but if I’d buy one today, I’d buy it from TheRealReal – they have such a well-priced assortment especially of Chanel.
My Splurge Bags
Where I Save…
My everyday summer outfit usually includes a great pair of denim shorts. I do have some over $100, but there are so many great pairs under $100 that you really don’t need to spend up. Some of my loved pairs already this season are under $50! I will say it’s harder to get those perfectly distressed pairs under $100 – usually those details are done by hand so inherently they will cost more. If you want a cleaned-up version though or just slightly distressed pair, you can easily score great ones for under $100. I’ve been wearing this Levi’s pair nonstop lately.
My Save Denim Shorts
As I mentioned before, I tend to get sick of statement tops after one season. Last summer I bought quite a few and by the end of summer I felt like I’d worn them so much and seen them all over Instagram that I was just tired of looking at them. I did keep a few around that I’ll bring back out this summer, but I also learned not to overdo it with statement tops that are so memorable you can really only wear them once. I try to envision more than one way to wear a statement top before I buy it now.
My Save Statement Tops
Everyday Casual Shoes
In the summer, I reach for sneakers, espadrilles or block heels more than anything else. I’m much more about comfort in the warmer months when I’m outside more. If you read my Disney World post this week (find that here), you may have seen that I wore Converse during most of our trip. I love how timeless Converse Chuck Taylors are. I also love Soludos espadrilles – which look great with shorts or dresses and Madewell’s lace-up sandals – I own them in nude and black.
My Save Shoes
One thing I love about summer handbags is that the trendiest styles are usually not made by only one brand (except that classic Cult Gaia bag!). You can find a straw bag anywhere though and there are so many beautiful shapes and sizes at all price points. I bought this straw tote last summer and got so much wear out of it – it’s perfect for the beach or during the day. I recently found this affordable one at Urban recently too.
My Save Summer Bags
Equipment Sleeveless Blouse (also here via Amazon, budget version here – under $15!)
Anine Bing Lace Bra
Frame Black Denim Shorts (runs TTS, budget version here)
Chanel Espadrilles (similar here and here)
Chanel Double Flap Bag
Similar Gold Watch
Gorjana Crescent Pendant Necklace