13 "Boring" Staples Fashion People Will Wear This Summer

The colours! The prints! The fabrics! Summer is undoubtedly the most joyful time of year as far as our wardrobes are concerned. New-in sections feature bursts of bright hues, peppered with tropical motifs, which come together to make a very jubilant display indeed. Now, if you’re like me and prefer to take in the bolder side of summer fashion from afar, you’ll be pleased to hear that, on the other side of the sartorial coin, that summer 2022 is going to spark a renewed appreciation for wardrobe basics.

Sure, they might not command the same attention as a billowing maxi dress in the hottest of hot pinks, but these "boring” pieces look chic and minimal when worn alone, together in sleek outfits, or to allow statement pieces to truly shine. I do not claim that these basics are new (in fact, you can count on the same staples to reappear each and every summer), but that’s the beauty of them: they already boast a proven track record of timelessness. And that makes them wise investments indeed. 

From white tank tops to denim shorts and strappy sandals to wear-anywhere dresses, scroll below to see the 13 summer wardrobe essentials to stock up on this season.

1. White Vest Top

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(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: This year, there’s a huge focus on jersey basics—specifically the racer vest top. Whether layered under shirting or worn on its own, a crisp white style will prove incredibly versatile. 

Shop the staple:

2. One-Piece Swimsuit

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(Image credit: @theindiaedit)

Style Notes: Not only are one-pieces extremely versatile, but you can also wear yours as a top with wide-leg trousers. It could be said that they’re the most comfortable swimwear option for the summer.

Shop the staple:

3. Strappy Sandals

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: Be they heeled or flat, minimalist strappy sandals will become your go-to shoes over the next few months. I pack both for holidays and find they’re the only shoes I need. 

Shop the staple:

4. Wide-Leg Trousers

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(Image credit: @francescasaffari)

Style Notes: Wide-leg trousers have never been more on-trend than they are this year, and, in lightweight fabrications, they’re perfect for the summer months. Yes, they’re breezy enough for even the highest of temperatures. 

Shop the staple:

5. Distressed Denim Shorts

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(Image credit: @raeannlangas)

Style Notes: I think we can all agree that denim cutoffs are the most timeless short option you can buy. Slip yours on over your swimsuit or wear them with a silk shirt to instantly elevate. 

Shop the staple:

6. White Shirt

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(Image credit: @allisonho)

Style Notes: Where you're using your white shirt for weekend brunching, after dark cocktails, or a poolside cover-up, there are plenty of ways to wear this ultimate versatile piece. Bored of your jeans? Your white shirt will break you out of that rut. 

Shop the staple:

7. Denim Jacket

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(Image credit: @javiera)

Style Notes: A jacket for the cool evenings is a must, particularly if you’re staycationing. The problem is deciphering which is the most versatile. My vote, however, goes to the staple denim jacket. 

Shop the staple:

8. Slip Skirt

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(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: The slip skirt might have started out life as a trend, but over the past few seasons it has evolved to become a timeless staple in the wardrobes of those in the know. Plus, they come in very handy in the summer months—just add one of the above top suggestions and you’re sorted. 

Shop the staple:

9. Basket Bag

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(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Style Notes: I could talk all day about the significance of basket bags in our summer wardrobe, but I’ll leave it to Jessica Sky to demonstrate just how chic they make everything you wear look. 

Shop the staple:

10. Something Linen

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(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

Style Notes: Linen is to summer what wool is to winter: absolutely essential. Whether you choose shirts, dresses or trousers, when temperatures peak, you’ll be glad to have a linen staple to hand. 

Shop the staple:

11. Slip Dress

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(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

Style Notes: The appeal of slip dresses is evident from the get-go. Understated but still sexy, they make for the ideal summer date-night outfit option. That said, if you want to get even more wear put of yours, try styling them with flat sandals and an oversize shirt on top.

Shop the staple:

12. Little White Dress

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(Image credit: @styleidealist)

Style Notes: Mini, midi, or maxi—whatever your dress preference may be, a white dress is the ultimate summer outfit saver, no matter what the occasion (save, perhaps, for a turn as a wedding guest). 

Shop the staple:

13. Striped Tee

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(Image credit: @bubblyaquarius)

Style Notes: Classic, timeless and chic—Breton stripes get a summer overhaul in the form of short-sleeve tees.

Shop the staple:

Next up, the biggest summer 2022 fashion trends to know. 

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.