A Perfect Summer Capsule Wardrobe Requires These 7 Essentials

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(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Crack open the Pimms, dig out that picnic blanket and get yourself outdoors because summer is finally here. Dressing for hot weather can be a little difficult at times, which is why we like to rely on a summer capsule wardrobe of dependable basics. We're all about outfits that have an ease to them so we can get ready (and get outdoors) as quickly as possible. Forget complicated styling—we want separates that are interchangeable and have plenty of throw-on appeal. Enter French Connection's new summer collection.

If you want outfits you can throw together in minutes to meet friends at the pub or the park but still want to look incredibly stylish, you'll want to browse through this new-in section. We've put together a capsule wardrobe of seven summer essentials from the brand's new drop, which includes beautiful sundresses, the perfect pair of shorts and more.

It's always helpful to see how you can actually style items together, and thankfully, influencers Liv Blankson and Francesca Saffari spent the afternoon taking these pieces for a spin in the London sun. They have hand-picked some amazing pieces, including a cute gingham matching set and a beautiful, white, broderie anglaise sundress. Below, Liv wears French Connection's denim boyfriend shorts with a tank top, gold jewellery and a jumper thrown over her shoulders, and it's the perfect outfit for a lazy Sunday afternoon.


(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Keep scrolling to see and shop the seven essentials we love for summer.

1. Printed Tops and Shorts


(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Liv wears the gingham top and shorts set

Style Notes: We just know this gingham co-ord is going to be a runaway success this summer. The frilly shoulders and buttons down the front are cute added design details. French Connection has so many other pretty printed tops this year and is really leaning into crochet and smocked panelling this year, and we're all here for it.

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2. Throw-On Sundress


(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Francesca wears the Abana Biton Organic Broiderie Dress (£150).

Style Notes: We couldn't write a list of summer essentials without including a throw-on sundress. This white, cotton midi dress is an absolute beauty, but we also have a real soft spot for the sugary-pink mini with puff sleeves below. The best thing about a summer dress is that it requires little to no effort to style. Simply add sunglasses and sandals, and you're ready to head outdoors. In summer, we're all about outfits that take two minutes to style.

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3. Colourful Jumpers


(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Liv wears the Lilly Mozart Jumper (£59).

Style Notes: While we wish we could wear shorts and a T-shirt from now until September, this is London, and so a jumper remains a practical essential. French Connection has a wonderful selection of ribbed crew-necks in every colour, making them the perfect summer layering pieces. This peach colour looks amazing with a simple white tank top. 

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4. Pretty Summer Tops


(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Style Notes: White lace and broderie anglaise will look fabulous if you're venturing to Greece or Spain, but it also looks just as stylish in London when mixed with denim or wide-leg trousers. We love the real attention to detail, including the delicate buttons and billowing sleeves.

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5. Cropped Jeans


(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Francesca wears the Comfort Recycled Culottes (£80).

Style Notes: Jeans will always be a wardrobe essential whether it's July or January. For warmer months, we love cuts that hit just above the ankle so you can show off your sandals or espadrilles. If you really want that summer feeling, opt for the white culottes with a white breezy blouse, as seen above.

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6. Boyfriend Shorts


(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Liv wears the Piper Recycled Denim Boyfriend Shorts (£60).

Style Notes: Denim shorts are one of the hardest things to shop for (along with swimwear and jeans). They're either too short or too baggy at the waist, so finding "the one" can be quite the hunt. These boyfriend shorts are ideal for a summer in the city. They hit mid-thigh and have a high waistband, which gives them a lovely shape. Pair them with a tank top and black sandals, and you have an easy weekend outfit that will see you through the summer months.

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7. Sunglasses


(Image credit: Michaela Efford)

Style Notes: You didn't think we could talk about summer essentials without mentioning sunglasses, did you? French Connection has so many of the classic shapes covered, from tortoiseshell cat-eye frames to round, rimless styles, and they're all under £100.

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Emma Spedding