10 Simple, Elegant and Anti-Trend Outfits Fashion People Will Wear All Summer Long

I'm going to make a bold claim: Never before has fashion looked as elegant as it has in 2024, and if the last few months are anything to go by, I can say with absolute certainty that this summer will be very sophisticated-looking indeed. Since the warmer weather kicked in, I've already started seeing some of my favourite social media dressers wearing classic summer outfits, both on home soil and away. That doesn't negate the importance or purpose of bolder, more personality-honing trends, but we can all agree that it's always a great idea to have an array of timeless looks you can rely on for both holidays and day-to-day wear.

So, what classic summer outfits are we starting to see come through? There's a definitive focus on tailoring, be it by way of a waistcoat worn with matching trousers or some denim shorts smartened up with a blazer. Dresses are simple yet chic, with white puff sleeves and black strappy sundresses each proving to be a failsafe option.

On the hunt for chic summer looks I can sport for my upcoming holiday, I've been saving an array of anti-trend outfits for weeks. Below are my 10 favourites, each of which present a way to dress elegantly this season. Scroll on to see them and to shop any pieces you might need to re-create them, though, fortunately, I suspect many items will already live in your wardrobe.

10 Classic Summer Outfits You'll Wear Year After Year

1. White Minidress + Claw Clip + Shoulder Bag

Classic Summer Outfits: @deborabrosa wears a white puff sleeve minidress

(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

Style Notes: One of my favourite things to wear in the summer months is a pretty white dress. Keep your accessories minimal to further its classic appeal.

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2. Silky Shirt + Long Shorts + Mules

Classic Summer Outfits: @sylviemus_ wears a black silk shirt with long white city shorts

(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: Long shorts are a key buy for 2024. Pair with a silken shirt for a chic fabric pairing that looks expensive, whatever you spend.

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3. Vest Top + Sarong Skirt

Classic Summer Outfits: @coco_floflo wears a brown vest top with a cream sarong skirt

(Image credit: @coco_floflo)

Style Notes: Sarong-style wrap skirts always make a comeback in the summer months. Enhance the detail at their waist by styling with a simple fitted vest top.

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4. Crop Knit + Cotton Trousers + Trainers

Classic Summer Outfits: @mobinapeiman wears blue stripe cotton trousers with a crop grey cardigan

(Image credit: @mobinapeiman)

Style Notes: Blue, cotton stripe trousers—yes, the ones that look like pyjama trousers—are an excellent trouser option for the summer months for days indoors, in the shade or on chilly long-haul flights. Thanks to their breathable fabric and roomy fit they're cool but have good coverage. With a drawstring or gathered waist, pair with a cropped top. Tucking something in runs the risk of looking a little messy.

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5. Black Sundress + Striped Jumper

Classic Summer Outfits: @kingharriett52 wears a black sundress with a striped knit

(Image credit: @kingharriett52)

Style Notes: Years on and Normal People's Marianne wearing her simple black sundress in Italy still lives rent-free in my mind. Style yours with a jumper slung loosely around your shoulders, just like Harriett King.

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6. Blazer + Shirt + Denim Shorts

Classic Summer Outfits: @kelseymerritt wears a blak blazer, striped shirt and denim shorts

(Image credit: @kelseymerritt)

Style Notes: A blazer is a year-round essential but, in the summer months, I think they look their coolest styled with a pair of simple denim shorts. The addition of a collared shirt and ballet flats only adds to the classic feel.

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7. Striped Shirt + Linen Skirt + Basket Bag

Classic Summer Outfits: @michellelin.lin wears a blue stripe shirt with a linen A-line skirt

(Image credit: @michellelin.lin)

Style Notes: While we're on the topic of shirts, one of the most classic iterations you can invest in is a blue striped Oxford shirt. Wear with a breezy linen skirt and a basket bag to give it a warm-weather overhaul.

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8. Waistcoat + Matching Trousers

Classic Summer Outfits: @monikh

(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Co-ords are a fast track to creating pulled-together, very chic outfits—especially when waistcoats and wide-leg trousers are involved. This is a look you can dress up for weddings or down for balmy summer evenings with the simple switch of a shoe or bag.

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9. Linen Co-ord + Sunhat

Classic Summer Outfits: @sasha.mei wears a white linen short and shirt set with a green Celine bucket hat

(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

Style Notes: Another classic co-ord option to consider? A linen shirt-and-short combination. White makes for a chic failsafe but there are plenty of colourful options on the market right now if you want yours to have more personality.

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10. T-Shirt + Loose-Fit Jeans

Classic Summer Outfits: @sarahlouiseblythe wears loose-fit jeans and a roomy grey t-shirt

(Image credit: @sarahlouiseblythe)

Style Notes: I don't know about you, but I still heavily rely on my jeans in the summer months. I tend to pivot to wider-leg styles which are cooler to wear on hot days—just add a tee (I like Sarah Louise Blythe's relaxed-fit option) and equally breathable mesh shoes.

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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.