54 Summer Vacation-Worthy Items I'll Happily Wear at Home

Natalie Cantell

Well, I don’t know about you, but my summer plans sure have taken a turn. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, my four-year anniversary with my boyfriend, Summer Fridays… all are looking like they’re going to be very low-key and local affairs this year. But you know what they say: Dress for the vacation you want, not the lack of a vacation you have. (Or something?)

While this may be a summer without a destination wedding or even a weekend away, I’m determined that it won’t be one without a summer wardrobe. The honest truth is that I’ve worn leggings and sweatshirts every single day of this lockdown so far, but now that it’s finally warming up in NY, I’m happily transitioning away from athleisure and into easy, breezy (and just as comfortable) summer outfits designed to lift my mood. From the dress I already bought to wear to a September wedding in France to the swimwear I sometimes secretly like to wear under my clothes instead of undies (for that "I'm on vacation" vibe—you know what I mean), here’s a little happy motivation to get actually dressed this season.

Astr the Label Aria Bodysuit ($68)

Love a cut-out. 

Free People End of the Island Godet Skirt ($50)

The only decision to make with this easy-to-wear skirt is which of the prints is cuter…

Roxanne Assoulin Summer Necklace ($120)

Honestly, if we're not all wearing Roxanne Assoulin necklaces, is it even summer?

Reformation Carrie Top ($38)

I'll just be over here, pretending I'm sweltering in Paris.

Endless Summer Let's Be Friends Midi Dress ($128)

One day, we'll have events with nonspecific dress codes again, and I promise this will be your go-to dress.

Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle Slide Sandal ($150)

I've never owned a pair of Birkenstocks, but I've come close to buying a pair of Arizona's about 20 times. (Mostly because my friend Lucy has worn hers religiously for about 15 years—proof here, here, and here). As someone who strictly invests in gold hardware, I'm extremely glad I held out for this luxe-looking Big Buckle style.

Madewell Tie-Front Paperbag Midi Skirt ($75)

I may not be going to Italy this summer, but try explaining that to a matching set in the most perfect muted gingham.

Madewell Ruffle Button-Front Tank ($50)

The top is destined to be paired with all your denim (and is available in sizes 00 to 16).

H&M Wide-Cut Pants ($18)

The cut and details of these ultra-comfy pants make them look elevated, but I promise you, these are pajamas in a chic disguise. (The wide waistband is all elastic at the back.)

Matteau Tiered Paisley-Print Cotton Maxi Dress ($540)

Yes, I've shared this Matteau dress with you before. (It was once destined to be worn to a wedding in France this summer… sigh.) But this roomy, low-backed number in the perfect print deserves another mention now that Farfetch is having a sale. Trust me: It'll keep.

Matteau The Square Knit Scoop-Back Maxi Dress ($450)

Speaking of Matteau, this is the ultimate wear-on-repeat black lightweight-knit dress. It will eventually be a great day-to-nighter. (You know—when that means something other than just wearing your PJs all day.)

Free People Violet Mini Dress ($108)

This textured puff-sleeve dress (in my current favorite color) is a top-rated style on Free People.

Missoma Lucy Williams Gold Rope Anklet ($64)

It's summer: Layer your anklets accordingly. Exhibit A…

Roxanne Assoulin Daisy Beaded Anklet ($45)

Exhibit B.

Topshop Ivory Knitted Bralet ($30)

It's the matching-knit-bralette-cardigan-combo trend, only sans cardigan.

Mango Linen 100% Shirt ($42)

This linen shirt is the answer to, "What do I wear over a knit bralette, anyway?"

Gucci Rubber GG Slide Sandal ($290)

FYI, pool slides do not require a pool.

Ganni Printed Cotton Poplin Shorts ($155)

Very chill.

Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50 Sunscreen ($38)

The Supergoop! oil with SPF protects while giving me that vacation-skin glow (and the scent immediately takes me back to carefree days at the beach).

Topshop Ruffle Wrap Dress ($38)

Vintage-inspired wrap dresses + white sneakers. Can't go wrong.

Citizens of Humanity Rosa Culotte Shorts ($178)

Just the denim shorts I've been waiting for.

Free People Lily of the Valley Blouse ($88)

Oh look, it's me, casually wandering the villages of Sardinia to buy fresh tomatoes on the vine… Or, more realistically, drinking Cannonau on my couch while watching The Spy Who Loved Me.

Free People Cynthia Crochet Top ($128)

Okay, yes, I'm on a bit of a Free People spree here, but tell me this top isn't about to become the breeziest piece in your wardrobe?

Alighieri Il Leone 24kt Gold-Plated Necklace ($229)

I wear this Alighieri gold medallion necklace every single day of summer.

BP. Easy Tank Minidress ($20)

I accidentally discovered this sweet little sundress when I was browsing Nordstrom and can happily report that it's now 60% off. The alternative prints will cater to all your style personalities: ivory with a tiny floral detail, leopard print, plus a particularly good black and white gingham.

JW Pei Gabbi Bag ($79)

This trending bag style by editor-favorite JW Pei comes in so many happy hues (and summer-ready neutrals, for the less adventurous amongst us). It may only be going for a spin around the block for now, but you can feel extra good about this purchase knowing JW Pei is donating 20% of proceeds from their S/S 20 collection to The Mask Fund in support of COVID-19 healthcare workers.

& Other Stories Bias Cut Satin Midi Skirt ($89)

Complete this outfit with a negroni.

Marni Jute-Sole Canvas Slingback Sandals ($650)

Something particularly good is going on with Marni's sandals this season…

Marni Fussbett Leather Sandals ($690)

… Seriously.

Marni Ankle-Strap Leather Sandals ($690)


Innika Choo Cleo Scalloped-Hem Striped Cotton Shorts ($130)

A level up from wearing denim cutoffs, but just as versatile.

H&M Knit Tank Top ($13)

This soft, light-weight knit looks way more expensive than it is.

Topshop Asymmetric Chipping Earrings ($28)

Only wear accessories that put you in vacation mode.

Zimmermann Super Eight Belted Leaf-Print Linen Shorts ($495)

I am here for shorts that come with matching belts.

Havaianas Slim Flip Flop Sandal ($17)

Realistically, these are what I'm wearing 99% of the time.

Mara Hoffman Meli Square Neck Bikini Top ($99)

This Mara Hoffman bikini top is your opportunity to be Carrie in the Hamptons at Samantha's ex-assistant's hoedown party––only without the part when she vomits after seeing Big with Natasha (and, more importantly, without the pink cowboy hat).

H&M Patterned Dress ($20)

As if this dress isn't good enough already, you can also buy it as separates…

H&M Drawstring Blouse ($18)

Shop the top (with an extra-good drawstring detail)…

H&M Circle Skirt ($25)

And mix and match the skirt, which is also particularly good with a knotted, relaxed-fit graphic tee.

Gucci Oversize T-Shirt With MDCCXXXIV Print ($490)

Like this one!

Victoria Victoria Beckham I Heart Weekends T-Shirt ($150)

Or this one.

Topshop Red Ring Cut Out Bikini Crop Top ($35)

If you're feeling a little bit Baywatch.

Cala De La Cruz Erin Striped Linen Shirt ($204)

Not to hurry you along, but the matching pants have already sold out.

Free People Temptation Rectangle Sunglasses ($20)

These frames look good on everyone.

Shashi Ornella Earrings ($58)

These little treasures are handmade in New York with Swarvoski pearl drops.

Bottega Veneta Asymmetric High-Rise Crinkled Bikini ($440)

I just think everyone should know about this Bottega bikini.

Mar Y Sol Polanca Tote ($88)

It'll hold groceries for now, but I'm aiming to carry towels and sunscreen in this shopper eventually.

Madewell Ocean Sunset Graphic Oversized Tee ($40)

Don't sleep on this relaxed-fit tee in the perfect vintage tones.

Max Mara Beachwear Cappa Dress ($350)

I. Am. Here. For. Dresses. With. Pockets.

FP Collection Luna Mini Block Sandals ($98)

These sandals also come in black, but I vote for the soft minty green. (And feel free to consider this whole tucked-pant styling trend optional… I know I am.)

Gucci Cotton Tank Top With Gucci Orgasmique ($390)

Just a ridiculously good tank, if you're in the mood to invest.

Reformation Cuba Top ($128)

Why do I have such a thing for shirts like this?

Mango Organza Bucket Hat ($21)

Ever so slightly more see-through than your usual bucket hat and infinitely chicer.

Clinique Happy Perfume Rollerball ($21)

My sister wore Clinique Happy in high school, and I thought it was so cool. This classic scent just smells like summer (and has since 1997). I'll be wearing it around the house for an instant mood shift, just letting it take me back to those more carefree times.

Next up: Five Who What Wear editors style some extremely cute and affordable fashion.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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