Let’s be honest. Times are tough, and most consumers aren’t shopping on a whim, especially when social-distancing measures are still in place. So it begs the question what is worth buying for the summer? While we’re here to inform you that some of last year’s trends will still be in style, for those of you who want a few pieces for your summer wardrobe, it’s going to be more important than ever to shop versatile summer staples and invest in pieces that you’ll wear forever. If you’re still unsure about what to buy, ahead, in search of an answer to what’s worth shopping for this summer, we spoke with 17 Who What Wear readers to share what they're actually buying (and why). Your updated summer shopping list lies ahead.
Who: Jeannine Roxas
What she’s shopping for summer: Low-heel sandals
Why: "Low-heel sandals are a summer shopping essential. They're perfect with every outfit, I basically need one in every color!"
Shop Roxas's summer essential:
In Roxas's own words, "Song of Style’s newest shoe collection is amazing. Perfect colors/prints for summer."
Who: Josie Francis
What she’s shopping for summer: Puff-sleeve tops
Why: "I am obsessed with puff sleeves and am just so thrilled they're making a comeback. Perfect for every occasion from a date night to a work meeting to a dinner party, puff sleeves are so flattering and the perfect way to effortlessly stand out. This style makes me feel so confident, so fun, and even a little flirty—my new favorite summer staple.”
Shop Francis's summer essential:
Want to feel a flirty this summer? Take Francis’s word, and add puff-sleeve tops to your summer shopping list.
Who: Marilyn NK
What she’s shopping for summer: Sneakers
Why: "I love a good pair of sneakers, and I'm always looking for them, as they go with anything you want to wear, from a suit to dress to joggers. They really complement your look.”
Shop Marilyn's summer essential:
Whether you opt for running shoes like Marilyn or another popular sneaker trend, you can’t go wrong with this purchase for the summer.
Who: Allison Romero
What she’s shopping for summer: Tennis skirts
Why: "I love incorporating unexpected styles into my wardrobe. I can't wait to style my tennis skirt in a way that's more fashion-focused versus athleisure—think paired with chunky sandals, a cropped sweater, and a chic gold chain.”
Shop Romero's summer essential:
"I'm obsessed with the tennis skirts by Nike,” Romero confessed. And frankly, we get it. Who wouldn’t want to shop this for the summer?
Who: Georgia India
What she’s shopping for summer: The perfect pair of denim shorts
Why: "I’m shopping for denim shorts for the summer because they are great for styling everyday outfits and so easy to throw on! They are great for creating effortless but stylish looks.”
Shop India's summer essential:
India swears by Agolde's shorts for the summer, but your shopping list can include whatever denim brand you swear by.
Who: Ambika Dhir
What she’s shopping for summer: The perfect prairie-inspired white dress
Why: "White dresses are a timeless summer staple, and this year I’m looking to update mine to either a floaty prairie-style dress, like the ones seen at Alexander McQueen’s S/S 20 show or a crisp ’90s linen dress like the ones seen at Jacquemus.”
Shop Dhir's summer essential:
Still not convinced white dresses are a must-have on your summer shopping list? Dhir says, "They’re perfect for days when you want to look put-together but are not sure what to wear, and are so easily switched up with a good chunky belt or a classic Jane Birkin–esque wicker basket!”
Who: Sarah Lou Falk
What she’s shopping for summer: Straw basket bags
Why: "Straw basket bags instantly give me vacation vibes, like I am walking on some beach in the south of France. I love to layer them with cute summer dresses or even with a simple white shirt and jeans.”
Shop Falk's summer essential:
Not only can you channel French vibes, but straw bags are perfect for your summer errands and can be paired with everything you already own.
Who: Div Ravindran
What she’s shopping for summer: High-waisted white trousers
Why: "I love adding updated versions of the classic white trouser to my existing collection, as I think various cuts and textures of it add something different to each outfit. I find that high-waisted white trousers are perfect for both day and night outfits and can pretty much be paired with anything.”
Shop Ravindran's summer essential:
Another great thing about adding high-waisted white trousers to your summer wardrobe? In Ravindran’s own words, "They can also be styled both in a feminine or more androgynous way, which is what I like, as I can then style it based on my mood!” Pants that can match your various moods? Sign us up.
Who: Samantha Silcott
What she’s shopping for summer: Matching sets
Why: "It's an easy way to repeat pieces from your closet in new ways. I love mixing pieces from co-ords because it makes getting dressed almost effortless while looking well put-together.”
Shop Silcott's Summer essential:
Who said two-pieces were limited to swimsuits?
Shop the matching Who What Wear Print Pleated Shorts ($28).
Who: Loïcka Grâce.
What she’s shopping for summer: Crop tops
Why: "For me, the crop top, it’s the must-have for the summer! It’s a piece to have in every girl’s wardrobe. Plus it’s sexy.”
Shop Grâce's summer essential:
Grâce suggests, when styling your crop top for the summer, "mix it with more sober pieces to bring a chicer side! I also use accessories to complete the look.”
Who: Narges Salimi
What: Bucket hats
Why: "I’m shopping for bucket hats for summer because they add so much edge to any summer look. I love how it can turn any simple and plain outfit (especially for when you're feeling lazy during those hot summer days) into a style statement. Also, you feel like such a fashion icon once you have it on, and they come in so many patterns, colors, and textures.”
Shop Salimi's Summer essential:
Whether you opt for a corduroy bucket hat like Salimi or a linen version, there are so many iterations of this hat that make it easy to adopt for the summer.
Who: Frida Becker
What she’s shopping for summer: Bikinis
Why: "As obvious as it sounds, I’m buying bikinis for summer, but I’m actually trying to find special ones that I can wear as a top or part of my day to day outfits. I love mixing bikinis with normal clothes.”
Shop Becker's summer essential:
Opting for a bikini top that can double as a bralette or vice versa is the easiest way to get the most bang for your buck this summer.
Who: Daleeda Soomar
What she’s shopping for summer: The shorts suit
Why: "I'm currently on the lookout for a classic shorts-suit ensemble. Take the look from a.m. to p.m. with a T-shirt and sneakers to a bralette and strappy sandals. No need to ditch it as the temperature drops. Throw on a pair of over-the-knee boots with some three-tier layering. The versatility of it makes it an absolute must-have that I'm now drooling over.”
Shop Soomar's summer essential:
Shop the matching Structured Linen Jacket ($90).
Who: Mercedes Malana
What she’s shopping for summer: A babydoll sundress
Why: "I’m dying to get my hands on one because it’s an effortless, comfortable piece that still makes you look and feel beautiful! I always find myself in a rush, so it's the perfect piece to quickly throw on no matter where I’m going. Grocery store, park, or the living room for date night, a babydoll dress will be my go-to!"
Who: Tiffany Wong
What she’s shopping for summer: Fun prints and bright colors
Why: "I love statement pieces! Whether it be a printed accessory, a bright colored top, or a unique silhouette, I can't get enough. It definitely makes getting dressed more fun!”
Shop Wong's summer essential:
Wong continued, "My go-to outfits tend to always have at least one statement piece surrounded by lots of neutrals." We couldn't think of a more statement-making piece than a colorful halter top.
Who: Kathryn Zahorak
What she’s shopping for summer: A romantic, vintage-inspired dress
Why: "Since my Italian vacation was put on hold, I notice my style takes notes from the faraway destinations I wish to be. Even though I can't be sipping an Aperol spritz in a Roman piazza or lounging on the pebbly Mediterranean, a feminine and easy sundress, in some ways, can be that summer escape. Also, who doesn't want to look like '90s Monica Bellucci?”
Shop Zahorak's summer essential:
Who: Sharon Cadillo
What she’s shopping for summer: Oversize gold chain necklace
Why: "I like key pieces, a statement gold necklace can easily define a killer look. The new oversize version of this summer has the subtle and flirty '80s influence that belongs to my style so definitely will be the must-have of my summer.”
Shop Cardillo's Summer essential…
The key to shopping this summer is buying pieces you’ll want to wear over and over again, and Cardillo's pick is just that.
Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.
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