I Have Classic Style—11 Anti-Trend Pieces I Come Back to Every Single Summer


(Image credit: @michellelin.lin)

Traditionally, the role of a fashion editor is all about reporting on newness and what you should be wearing in six months' time. However, in 2024, this way of talking about clothes is dated and simply unpractical for the way we live and are all trying to consume in a more mindful fashion. Now I write about classic items much more than I report on buzzy microtrends. As many of us are switching our wardrobes over to our summer capsules, below I've listed 11 items to help you fill in any gaps that always make getting dressed easier in warmer months.

These are simple pieces that will form a useful foundation, and then you can layer brighter, more statement separates on top. First, you'll need sensible summer accessories, such as basket bags and leather sandals, as well as throw-on summer dresses, breezy button-down shirts and tank tops. Whatever your style, I'm confident that the 11 classics below will find a happy home in anyone's wardrobe this summer.

1. Classic Basket Bag


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: Celine and Loewe basket bags have been popular each year, but Jacquemus is another strong contender. They're perfect swaps for leather bags when the weather gets warmer.

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2. Simple Dress


(Image credit: @thandimaq)

Style Notes: Clean, classic and one to throw-on anytime during warm-weather days. Go for neutral shades to ensure your dress really works hard for you.

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3. Leather Sandals


(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Style Notes: Invest in great quality footwear and it'll last you past the year you buy it in. Quality over quantity is key with summer sandals.

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4. Button-Down Shirt


(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Worn with a midi skirt like Monikh, white jeans or shorts, the classic shirt is a staple that'll never fail.

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5. Black Swimsuit


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

Style Notes: If it isn't broke, why fix it? I truly believe a black swimsuit should be in every summer capsule.

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6. Blazer


(Image credit: @lizzyhadfield)

Style Notes: The common theme among summer blazer wearers is the fit, and it can't be too snug. No matter the colour, detail or material, just make sure it looks slightly looser than it should.

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7. Vest Top


(Image credit: @basicstouch)

Style Notes: Simple, yet so effective. You'll layer a vest top under every shirt, blazer or bomber this season. Or wear on its own just like you would a classic tee.

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8. Light Jeans


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Style Notes: Because indigo blue can be stashed away until autumn. Instead, let white and ecru to have their time to shine.

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9. Floral Midi Dress


(Image credit: @abimarvel)

Style Notes: A staple throughout summer, this beauty will never let you down for any occasion—whether you're strolling through the park or in need of a wedding guest dress.

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10. Shorts


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

Style Notes: When the temperatures rise, shorts are my go-to. The way to wear them this year is with a matching top and minimal accessories.

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11. Short-Sleeve Shirt


(Image credit: @bellathomas)

Style Notes: Throw a short-sleeved shirt on over a bikini, with a slip dress or with shorts. The options are endless!

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This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.