The Who What Wear Summer Guide Is Here—Every "Cool Girl" Thing to Know

Summer is just about here, and this editor couldn't be more ready. With cities reopening and travel restrictions lifting, there is optimism in the air and you can really feel the excitement for what lies ahead. As we head into the summer season, there is perhaps no better time for this sense of joy. It's my personal favorite time of the year when wardrobes revolve around warm-weather fashion and suitcases to fill for long weekend escapes.

If you've been contemplating what to add to your shopping cart, you're in luck because our summer fashion guide has arrived. Here, I'm highlighting all of the "cool girl" things to know—aka the key buys of the season that hit on all of our favorite trends. The summer guide zeroes in on the most important buys in every category—from swimwear to shoes to jewelry, and everything in between. You can rest assured that you're adding every essential piece to your closet for a very stylish summer ahead.

The Print: Retro
Summer fashion guide: retro prints

Photo:

@bettinalooney@doina

Yep, here's more evidence that the fashion world is looking to the past. Colorful, retro prints are back in circulation and I personally can't get enough of the cheerful pieces.

The Sandals: Raised Flatforms
Summer fashion guide: sandals

Photo:

@rosiehw@fakerstrom

It wouldn't be summer without sandals and this time around, raised flatforms are already winning out. In my opinion, they add an elevated, directional element to any look you wear them with.

The Swimwear: Matching Sets
Summer fashion guide: swimwear

Photo:

@palomija@samimiro

We got a glimpse of the three-piece swimwear trend on TikTok earlier this spring and it has really taken over ever since. Simply pair a bikini with a matching skirt, shirt, or hat to fully embrace the trend.

The Top: Oversize Button-Downs
Summer fashion guide: tops

Photo:

@emilisindlev@jordanrisa

After Valentino debuted its iconic hot-pink button-down on its S/S 21 runway, oversize collared shirts seemed to become a huge trend overnight. Consider this one of the easiest runway-inspired pieces to wear in real life.

The Jewelry: Playful Pieces
Summer fashion guide: jewelry

Photo:

@iancharms@bellahadid

Fun fashion is on the rise and that couldn't be more clear than what's happening in the jewelry world. Light-hearted, candy-colored pieces are the thing to own.

The Sunglasses: Sculptural Shades
Summer fashion guide: sunglasses

Photo:

@cultgaia@annarvitiello

Sunglasses are a key accessory for summer and there so many cool styles to choose from this season. I'm personally gravitating to the sculptural shades that feel like small works of art.

The Color: High-Impact Shades
Summer fashion guide: color

Photo:

@aminamuaddi@slipintostyle

That's right—funner, optimistic pieces are headed your way. While there are lots of specific colors I could call out, I think it's worth noting that high-impact shades are truly the dominant color trend of the season.

The Silhouette: Micro Hemlines
Summer fashion guide: micro hemlines

Photo:

@giuliatordini@discodaydream

"Bare all" is the unofficial motto of summer and that means micro hemlines are in full focus. Whether you're opting for a skirt, dress, or hot pants, a super-short is the common thread.

The Loungewear: Shorts Sets
Summer fashion guide: loungewear

Photo:

@amaka.hamelijnck@yoyokulala

If you're still into loungewear like I am, you'll want to scoop up a matching shorts set. This is the perfect thing to slip into for a casual weekend look or layer over your swimsuit at the beach.

The Hat: Baseball Cap
Summer fashion guide: hats

Photo:

@erinoffduty@deborabrosa

Sporty pieces have really taken over among the fashion set. One of the standout items? A baseball cap to pair with everything from swimsuits to shorts sets.

The Detail: Cutouts
Summer fashion guide: cutouts

Photo:

@ali_tate_cutler@thevisuelofgrace

Cutouts are the detail fashion people are really, really embracing this summer. From tops with peekaboo holes to hip-baring pants, there are so many cool ways to tap into the trend.

The Sneakers: Retro-Inspired
Summer fashion guide: sneakers

Photo:

@deborabrosa@emilyoberg

Chunky, futuristic sneakers may have dominated in past seasons but right now the key item to own is a pair of throwback shoes that look like they were plucked from the '80s.

The Bag: Classic Shapes
Summer fashion guide: bags

Photo:

@camillecharriere@tylynnnguyen

There are plenty of new bag trends happening right now, but it's impossible to ignore the classic shapes that are being scooped up by everyone right now. If you're looking for a sound investment item, this is definitely it.

The Skirt: Maxi
Summer fashion guide: skirts

Photo:

@ali_tate_cutler@handinfire

Micro hemlines are huge, but the same can be said for maxi lengths—especially when it comes to skirts. To pull this off, follow the lead of fashion people and wear one with a crop top.

The Heels: Sharp Pointy Toes
Summer fashion guide: heels

Photo:

@jen_wonders@aminamuaddiofficial

The pointy-heel trend is the cool shoe shape to know about and they're selling out everywhere. If you want to find a pair in your size, I'd recommend adding them to your cart right away.

The Uniform: Slouchy Tailoring
Summer fashion guide: uniform

Photo:

@aimeesong@symphonyofsilk

Relaxed, tailored outfits have emerged as the key fashion insider uniform this season. To follow the formula to replicate the look, pair a white tee, oversize button-down, slouchy trousers, and strappy heels.

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