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Foolproof Summer Outfit Ideas

These 5 outfit ideas can be easily replicated with simple pieces from your closet!

Credit: Shutterstock/Nok Lek Travel Lifestyle

With summer well on its way in the Northern Hemisphere, I found myself diving into my closet to accomplish a yearly spring task: figuring out what to wear this summer. The transition to a new season can be a complicated time for fashion lovers, so I’ve compiled 5 easy and affordable summer outfit ideas for the new season.

While it might feel like a monstrous task to pick out something you feel comfortable in during the first few days of summer, there are a few easy guidelines to remember. Keep reading for my number one tip to create good outfits and some easy examples.

The sandwich method

One of the most useful techniques that will always produce a put-together look is the sandwich method.

This method is utilized by wearing two pieces in the same color separated by an article of clothing in a different color. For example, you could match the color of shoes and a shirt, or socks and a purse, and wear pants in a different color. Creating a visual line of color through the body produces a seamless look.

A model wearing breezy, white linen pants that are perfect for any summer outfit.
Credit: Old Navy

As an example, I love pairing these white linen pants with colored shoes and a matching top. My go-to sneakers are the New Balance 550 in White/Green, and they match perfectly with this Hollister Baby Tee in Green.

Bonus points for adding sunglasses and a bag that matches!

Chunky green and white new balance sneaker.
Credit: GOAT

Nearly every summer outfit seen later in this article will utilize the sandwich method. It is an easy-to-use method that always creates a put-together outfit.

Most looks can be recreated with pieces you already own — no need to make new purchases.

White pants

White linen pants are one of my favorite pieces for that awkward seasonal transition between spring and summer, where it’s too hot for jeans but not warm enough for shorts. I also like them as a piece that is a bit dressier than shorts but is still comfortable.

Creator @carmenhaideee styled her white pants with a pastel yellow tank. The pairing creates an almost monochromatic look without too much white. This summer outfit is also a great example of the sandwich method — she pairs a black bag and sunglasses on the top half with black shoes on the bottom half. The contrast between the light outfit and dark accessories also adds great depth to the outfit.

This look can be easily recreated with any pastel-colored top. White goes with everything! Plus, it doesn’t have to be a tank top; find what silhouettes work with your body type.

Any type of summery shoe will work with pants like these. For individuals who want to appear taller, pairing a white shoe with white pants creates a lengthening effect since there is no visual break in the bottom half of the body.

This creator uses the sandwich method with by matching the colors of 3 different pieces in this look. However, you can get a similar effect by coordinating 2 pieces. Sunglasses and a bag are the easiest accessories to match. Plus, it can be any type of bag — canvas tote, shoulder bag, or purse. If you go neutral in color with the top and shoes, use colorful accessories. A brown top with a pink bag and sunglasses would be a perfect neutral base with a shock of color.

A casual day-to-day fit

Creator @isabell_denton takes you through the process of styling a summer outfit around longer denim shorts and explains her choices very well. The trend of long denim shorts does not resonate with everyone, but this outfit would be just as cute with shorter ones.

I love the wide, higher neckline on the tank top that she chose for her outfit. This type of top is also much easier to find than you might assume. Most tank tops with a plain back can be worn backwards to accomplish the same effect. This tank top from Garage is a great example — the back looks normal, but when flipped around, it has that elongated neckline. Check out your closet to see what you already have, and you might be surprised to find that you have a top that works for this look!

Some people tend to shy away from belts, but I think they add uniformity to an outfit. This outfit would look great with a metal belt for a unique touch.

Of course, we see the sandwich method at work here with the coordinating top, shoes, and bag. If loafers aren’t your thing, try some black sneakers like Converse or Adidas Sambas. While this creator uses more dainty jewelry, some chunky rings or layered necklaces would add an even more fun look to her outfit.

Beach day

If you’re lucky enough to live by a lake or ocean, beach days are a must during the warmer months. Sometimes, it can be tough to figure out what to wear over a swimsuit on the way to the beach, especially when dinner plans might develop afterwards.

@abbcat_

saturday ootd!! 🤎🤎🤎 #beachdayootd #ootd #beachouttfits @Monday Swimwear @Triangl @SUNNYLiFE~Summer Essentials @Cocoa Collective Jewelry @jamesmichelle

♬ original sound – abby catlin

Bright knit shorts are a major emerging trend this summer. It’s a perfect summer project opportunity for people who knit or crochet! If those aren’t your style, try a bright pair of sweat-shorts or boxer shorts; any brightly colored shorts are a classic part of a summer outfit.

Shoes aren’t shown in this video, but any pair of sandals that match the top would work. I usually gravitate towards Birkenstock sandals, as well as the Boston Clogs, which have seen a significant increase in wear over the last few summers.

Birkenstock sandals are quite pricey, but several brands produce similar shoes. One of my favorite brands that dupe Birkenstocks is Cushionaire. Their Lane Cork Footbed Sandal is a nearly identical replacement for the classic Birkenstock Arizona Sandal. While Birkenstock’s production style warrants such a high price tag, alternatives are a great option for those who are looking for a cheaper style.

The beach is a great opportunity for many fun accessories, as seen with this creator, who plays around with a hat, tote bag, and lots of fun jewelry.

Summer adventures

Maxi skirts have become increasingly popular over the last few years. A classic white maxi skirt leads the bunch, as it is a staple piece for any summer outfit. These skirts are just as versatile as the white pants from earlier but with a dressier twist.

These skirts can be found very easily at a thrift store. There’s no need to spend $50+ on such a widely manufactured piece. I found mine at a consignment store, but I have seen some at stores such as Salvation Army. Online thrift stores like Depop and Poshmark are also great places to look.

@labelswithlattes 1 white maxi skirt, 5 outfits 🤍 #whitemaxiskirt #midiskirtoutfits #midiskirt #maxiskirt #howtostyle #howtowear #stylinginspo #springfashion #springfashion2024 #springoutfits #springstyle #springoutfitideas #curvystyle #curvyoutfits #curvyfashion How to style a white midi skirt for spring #trendingfashion #pinterestfashion #pinterestoutfit ♬ Back on 74 – Stan 🙂
The 5 outfits in this video show the range a white maxi skirt holds. The pieces paired with the skirt allow it to be worn for almost any occasion. I love the baby tee and Adidas Sambas seen in the last outfit—they are a great way to spice up a more casual outfit.

The sandwich method is used extensively throughout this video. My favorite use is the third outfit: an all-white ensemble with a wide brown belt and matching shoes. Monochromatic outfits are easy, though they can sometimes look flat. The added dark belt does a great job of breaking up the outfit.

This creator uses mesh ballet flats for a few of her outfits. For people who feel those are a bit too old for their style, a pair of pointy-toe kitten heels would be a great dressy alternative.

A comfy relaxation fit

My absolute favorite trend that has emerged this spring and summer is the boxer shorts. Boxer shorts are a great alternative to sweat-shorts, as they add more dimension and pattern to an outfit. They also tend to be more colorful than the typical gray or black sweat-shorts.

One of the best things about this trend is that you can purchase men’s boxers instead of expensive boxer-style shorts. Men’s boxers are significantly cheaper than the latter and do the trick just fine. However, boxer-style shorts are cut a bit smaller. If you don’t like the fit of boxers, buying the more expensive shorts might be for you. It’s all about personal preference!

These shorts are typically worn casually, as seen in this TikTok. The makeup, slicked-back bun, and chunky earrings the creator added elevate the outfit just a bit, making it more presentable but keeping the comfortable nature of the outfit.

Your turn to create a summer outfit!

Hopefully, you’ve gleaned some helpful information about dressing this summer. Take some time to figure out what styles and trends work best for you. Everyone is constantly evolving — why not allow your style to do the same?

Written By

I am rising Junior in college studying Fashion Merchandising and Creative Writing. I spend my free time reading, going to the beach, and working my retail job!

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. MAUREEN M Mccaslin

    June 9, 2024 at 6:43 pm

    Nice job, Rachael!

  2. Dcn. Jerry Peterson

    June 14, 2024 at 12:43 am

    Great job Rachel!

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