Trust Me, These 7 Luxury Buys Are Destined to Elevate Summer Looks Year After Year

For us Brits, summertime can feel like a fleeting moment. A few weeks of sunshine are dispersed by grey clouds and soft showers, making any chance of embracing the sunshine even more special. So whether you're off on a weekend city break, exploring the wonders of the UK or jetting off on tropical adventures, when the sun arrives we want to make the most of it and ensure our wardrobes are fully primed to look the part.

Woman sitting on beach wears white bikini, straw hat and sunglasses

(Image credit: @spiritedpursuit)

In the spirit of building a forever wardrobe, I'm committed to each standout moment in our calendars, including holiday shopping, and curating an everlasting summer travel wardrobe has recently become my top priority. Of course, I'm a great fan of the high street, and there are some real gems to be found, but I can't deny the longevity of luxury items. From high-quality fabrications made to last to elegant designs that will go the distance, there are a few summer pieces that justify investment over their more affordable counterparts. As an expert in all things shopping, I've done the hard work by narrowing them down.

Woman on boat wearing white shirt and blue cap

(Image credit: @kimturkington)

Having dreamt about beachside days for months I've concluded that there are a few pieces we always come back to, and can do with a luxurious injection for style and longevity. Think of the perfect white summer dress, adding a fresh wave to your summer looks at home or abroad, or versatile linens that bring breathability and style together. I added a Loewe basket bag to my collection three years ago, and each summer since I've pulled it out as my seasonal companion. Not only is it seriously practical for plane and beachside essentials, but it adds an elevation to my high street summer ensembles.

Sandals are a key buy for the summer months and a truly classic pair will go the distance with you (even if that's just from your hotel room to the pool). Through the uncertainty, my most used summer items tend to be an umbrella and sunglasses, but only the latter really deserves celebrating with a luxurious edge. Forget a last-minute scramble for next-day delivery or a stressful dash through duty-free, these 8 items will form the backbone of your highly elevated holiday looks for years to come.

Keep scrolling to explore the 8 luxury holiday fashion items that are truly worth investing in.

1. BASKET BAG

Loewe bag on boat

(Image credit: @rachelingramrabin)

Style Notes: A basket bag is the ultimate symbol of summer's arrival, and each year you'll turn back to your luxury style. From classic raffia to sleek woven leathers, practicality and style comes together when adding a versatile basket to your arsenal.

Shop basket bags:

2. LINEN TROUSERS

Woman on boat wears striped swimsuit and white linen trousers

(Image credit: @styleidealist)

Style Notes: No matter the year, linen trousers are a key piece in my suitcase, making them deserving of a little investment for high-quality fabrics and design. From al fresco dinners to plane looks, a pair of light linen trousers is a considered way to embrace the heat.

Shop linen trousers:

3. WHITE SUMMER DRESS

Woman by Trevi fountain wears white dress

(Image credit: @kristincabat)

Style Notes: Of all the holiday pieces we rely on, the white summer dress might be the hardest working. From strolling through beachside towns to elegant dinners, this dress always looks the part.

Shop white summer dress:

4. SANDALS

Image of Hermes sandals

(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

Style Notes: Your loafers and ballet flats can take a break as the summer holidays call for sun-ready sandals. Forget cheap flip flops that break after a season, and look to a long-term wardrobe addition in the form of the sleek sandals below.

Shop sandals:

5. SWIMWEAR

Emma wears a brown bikini

(Image credit: @emswells)

Style Notes: Poolside or beachside, great swimwear is a packing must. To keep the eternal appeal, I'm looking to classic, understated styles that will bring a polished edge summer after summer.

Shop swimwear:

6. COVER-UP

Woman by sea wears brown bikini top and sarong

(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Style Notes: On a boat, poolside or on the beach, there's no denying that a chic cover-up is something we'll always reach for. There's plenty of variation on what this can be, from a classic linen shirt to a playful printed sarong, however you choose to cover-up make it just as elegant as the rest of your wardrobe.

Shop cover-ups:

7. SUNGLASSES

Table with wine glass, sunglasses, white bag

(Image credit: @coco_floflo)

Style Notes: Whilst sunglasses come into their own during the sunnier months, bright days come about all year round making these a worthwhile investment at any time.

Shop sunglasses:

Florrie Alexander
Acting Affiliates Editor

Florrie embarked on her fashion journey while studying French and History at university. Whilst studying in Aix-en-Provence, she began to write her dissertation on the history of fashion and the influence of Haute Couture, and landed her first role at Harper’s Bazaar. Following this, she interned for various publications including Elle, Grazia and Marie Claire before joining the fashion team at Conde Nast Traveller. There, she contributed to international photoshoots, styled pages and covers, and produced engaging digital content.

During a freelance period, Florrie honed her skills in editorial work in various digital and print publications including Vogue Italy and Departures magazine, as well as styling e-commerce photoshoots and personal shopping. Florrie actively pursues an in-depth understanding of fashion and jewellery, and after styling a jewellery cover shoot at Conde Nast Traveller chose to complete the De Beers Diamond Foundation course. Florrie first joined Who What Wear UK as a freelancer before becoming the Commerce Writer, blending both editorial and commercial content. Now, as the Acting Affiliates Editor, she monitors current trends, new-in styles, wardrobe heroes and how best to style them. In her downtime, Florrie can be found in her hometown of London, usually with a coffee in hand.