Ignore Everything Else—These 16 Cult Buys Are the Most Important This Summer

These days some of the most unexpected pieces can become online sensations. Who'd have thought we'd be all-out mad for Tevas right now or that pink boilersuits would become such staples? We live in strange fashion times, and the only way to stay on top of what's what is to (obviously) come directly to Who What Wear UK.

We've got our eyes on the prize, our noses to the ground and our fingers on the pulse, all in order to bring you the trending items that genuinely matter. Not just the ones that have thousands of pounds of marketing budget behind them and make their way onto the Instagram accounts with the largest followings, but also the items our fashion friends, colleagues and industry contacts are queuing up to buy/talk about nonstop if they haven't purchased them already.

So below you'll find a real mix of ultra-luxe (Chanel mules for £800) and slightly more affordable (niche indie brands supplying perfect party and holiday dresses for £130) pieces. You'll find some that are truly practical (velcro sandals) as well as ones that are utterly frivolous (I mean, who doesn't need a pair of heeled flip flops?). But what all of these key items have in common is that they come up time and again on our feeds and in conversations. And that means they're going to hit the big time if they haven't already.

So keep scrolling to see (and shop) the cult items of summer 2019.


(Image credit: @oumaymaboumeshouli)

Oumayma always has the best minimalistic accessories to pair with her outré looks, and she's one of many cool girls we follow who have invested By Far's ultra-simple strappy mules. They go with everything. Fact.


(Image credit: @lefevrediary)

NYC-based brand Orseund Iris first had success with this ruched white crop top last summer. It's back on the website now, but there are also many different versions being stocked at Net-a-Porter (well, before they sell out again). Internet outfits show just how versatile these little pieces can be—we've seen it worn a lot with high-waisted jeans, but I like Amy's idea of wearing it with loose-fit jeans during the day. 


(Image credit: @emmarosestyle)

When indie brand Dôen landed on Net-a-Porter earlier this month, the fashion set took a collective gasp and then made sure they got online ASAP. This black floral shirred-waist style has been particularly popular with our Insta community. Both Emma Thatcher and Monikh already have it.


(Image credit: @tamumcpherson)

Tamu is one of the many stylish women we've noticed with a new clutch bag in tow—this slouchy leather number comes from the first collection by Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta. It has influencer and celebrity fans alike, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who carries hers almost every day. It's sold out almost everywhere. Add yourself to a restock alert, fast. MatchesFashion.com has the blue version arriving soon.


(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

Only recently did I ask Musier Paris founder Anne-Laure Mais about what was selling well for her brand this spring/summer. She told me it was her pink slip skirt, and I keep spotting both the skirt and the dress version everywhere. It's the most adorable colour and easy to throw on. Fellow Parisian Ellie of Slip Into Style has it all prepped for the hot weather.


(Image credit: @monikh)

Okay, it's not as underground as the other items here, but the Chloé C bag is still just as coveted as anything. It now comes in so many shapes, sizes, colourways and finishes so you can pick an It bag that still feels unique.


(Image credit: @by_krog)

It might seem like a trend you'll never get on board with, but trust me when I say thong heels are happening, and the trend originates with Elin Kling's brand, Totême. These kitten-heeled flip-flops come in black, tan and dark grey—all of which are making their way onto the feet of influencers (like Cecilie Krog) worldwide. Watch this space.


(Image credit: @katrinarazon)

Proenza Schouler's tie-dye tops have been a staple part of the collection for some time now, but thanks to this print becoming a popular trend for S/S 19, retailers have seen a surge in sales, and there are more iterations to fulfil the demand. Fashion search engine Lyst notes the turtleneck versions as the ninth-most-searched-for product of Q1.

Related: The £45 Sandals That Are as Comfortable as They Are Cool


(Image credit: @adenorah)

According to Lyst's Q1 data, the teeny-tiny Chiquita bag from Jaquemus has been leaving a big search footprint online. According to its research, it was the third-most-searched-for item, and we've certainly seen that interest echoed on Instagram. Goodness knows what you can actually fit in there, but as far as quality posts go, it's very "liked." As such, it is sold out at many retailers in both the micro and slightly larger sizes.


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

When it comes to a particular jewellery brand taking up realty on selfies right now, it's Timeless Pearly. We predicted that the French brand (which is all about mix 'n' match, vintage-looking pieces) was going to take off in 2019, and we have plenty of proof, including this very pretty shot of our columnist Marissa Cox of Rue Rodier.


(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

Okay, so you have a decision to make. Will you buy Teva sandals that cost around the £50 mark (and basically are the prototype for the hiking sandal phenomenon going on at the moment), or will you splash out on something altogether more upmarket and opt for Suicoke? It's the new Japanese shoe label minimalists and comfy-shoe girls like Brittany Bathgate are favouring for their "nerdy" sandals. Well, at least they're about £400 less than the Prada version


(Image credit: @pennygoldstone)

Another summer, another fab and instantly recognisable dress from Rixo. Two Who What Wear editors have this, and we've spotted it starting to make itself known on social media now that wedding season is coming. It's just so damn photogenic.


(Image credit: @handinfire)

Last year, Loewe's luxe basket bags took over every chic holiday destination known to fashionkind. This year, it looks like the trend is set to continue—only with a few new additions to the summer-bag fam. Now there are softer, more malleable options rendered in raffia, like Tiffany's here.


(Image credit: @palomija)

Ever since we saw Paloma Elsesser in this sunshiney bikini from Solid & Striped, we knew the print would catch on. This pretty swimwear print has been packed in many a high profile suitcase, and 2019's jet setting has barely begun. Last year's belted swimsuit is still going very strong, but this kitsch daisy-print range will certainly take up some feed space going forward.


(Image credit: @bettinalooney)

These colourful logo-clad PVC-and-leather mules have really spread like wildfire across Instagram in the past month—despite their £800 price tag. They come in various shades of blue and green as well as red and black. You'll also find this style in non-PVC versions including monochromatic fabrics and leathers, should you fancy bumping up the collection with a few extra pairs. Expect to see your Insta feed spamming up with these beauties throughout the holiday period.


(Image credit: @bubblyaquarius)

Another raffia bag, but with a very different vibe from the kind you'd use on vacation. Elleme's raffia Baozi and Raisin handbags have been notching up more influencer credits than many other startup accessories brands. They're contemporary and sophisticated for a decent price. You can buy them via the website, but we're keeping all fingers and toes crossed for a UK stockist…

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and MatchesFashion.com, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits. Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.