I'm Already Planning My Summer Outfits—3 Zero-Effort Formulas I'm Repeating

effortless summer outfit ideas



I'll admit it: My personal style can be a bit chaotic at times. I've always enjoyed testing out every trend under the sun, so my daily outfits tend to run the gamut. If I were to document each one, they'd be an amuse-bouche of trending aesthetics—minimalist tailoring one day and slinky cutouts the next. But no matter how many different styles I rotate through, summer is the time when I really pare things back. When it's hot out, the simpler the better. And with warmer weather on the horizon, I'm already planning out the fallback formulas I know I'll lean on throughout the season.

Ahead, I'm highlighting the three effortless summer outfit ideas I'm putting into rotation. They're each brainless and cool and require three or fewer items, but just in case you're a visual learner, I went ahead and sourced plenty of styling examples for each one to really prove how repeatable they are. I'll be taking notes from these fashion people on how to turn something as simple as a tank and trousers or a matching shorts set into a bona fide 'fit, and if you want to do the same, then I suggest you keep reading.

Formula One: Tank Top + Tailored Trousers



A simple tank and trousers are really what you make of them. Here, heeled sandals and an elevated shoulder bag ensure a polished finish.

For a more casual vibe, embrace the oversize look with slouchy-fit trousers. A leather belt and "dad" hat complete the low-key, cool aesthetic.



The classics, like flat slides and a straw bag, never fail with this combo.

A tank and trousers are the perfect base for funkier accessories.

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The soft fabric makes this sustainably made tank a true luxury investment.

For $10, this is worth stocking up on.

In case you wanted to re-create the first outfit in this gallery.

The epitome of an elevated basic.

Zara's best-selling trousers are now available in summer-ready ecru.

Formula Two: Breezy Shorts Set



Boxer-and-button-down sets were huge last summer, and much to my delight, they're coming back again this year.

Perfect for hot and humid days in the dead of summer.



For lounging, travel, or the beach, these easy sets are incredibly versatile.



Name a cooler swimwear cover-up. I'll wait.

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Insiders buy this crisp button-down en masse.

You can never have too many button-downs, and that's a fact.

Depending on which shoes you style these with, they can be surprisingly versatile.

This editor-favorite pick is on sale. You know what to do.

Formula Three: Fitted Top + Column Skirt



French girls are already fans of this simple combo for their vacations.



Maxi hemlines are trending hard right now, and this Elsa Hosk ensemble is immediately going on my mood board.



Amp up the '90s vibes with the addition of a bucket hat.

Heeled sandals and chunky jewelry immediately take this from day to night.

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I don't always describe basics as elegant, but it definitely applies here.