The Complete Capsule: 11 Summer Essentials to Carry You Through Till Fall

·4 min read

The weather in this country might be as confusing as the politics this week, but we're happily distracting ourselves by contemplating the mechanics of our summer wardrobes. We don't need to list off the items that belong in a seasonal capsule. In every beach-bound suitcase, you'll find dresses, sandals, and swimsuits. However, there are certain versions that will prove the most versatile and really see you through the next six weeks—and perhaps even six years.

The ideal 2021 summer capsule wardrobe includes classics we revisit every year, including tan leather sandals, white dresses, basket bags, and simple swimwear. There are some new additions to the list this year, however, including fun hair accessories, strappy sandals, and vest tops. Keep scrolling to shop 11 editor-approved essentials that will see you through this summer, the sudden heat wave, and beyond.

1. White Dress

No summer wardrobe is complete without a breezy and effortless white dress. Whether you go for a relaxed linen dress or voluminous cotton frock, it will be your go-to versatile piece you lean on time and again.

H&M Poplin Beach Dress ($35)

LoveShackFancy Edie Dress ($325)

Mango Embroidered Cotton Dress ($120)

2. Milkmaid Tops

Milkmaid tops are the perfect items for weekends in the park. Thankfully, Topshop, ASOS, H&M, and more have all created pretty prairie-style tops with lace-up detailing, shirred bodices, square necklines, and bows.

Staud Faye Smocked Crop Top ($235)

Reformation Oakleigh Top ($128)

WAYF Smocked Waist Cap Sleeve Top ($69)

3. Tan Sandals

Tan leather slides have long been associated with luxury thanks to Hermès's iconic Oran sandals and Saint Laurent's Nu Pieds. High-street versions can look just as elegant.

Mango Leather Straps Sandals ($80)

ATP Atelier Cut-Out Leather Sandals ($213)

Sam Edelman Bay Cutout Slide Sandals ($100)

4. Featherlight Skirt

When it's just too hot to wear white jeans and unthinkable to even consider anything as complicated as a jumpsuit, a slip skirt will continue to be your best pal well into the warmer months. Pair it with a nostalgic tee and sandals, and opt for a bucket hat if you'd like to shade your visage in style.

H&M Slip-Style Skirt ($30)

Eloquii Satin Midi Skirt ($70)

Bardot Satin Slip Skirt ($79)

5. Go-With-Anything Sunglasses

Sunglasses are often a key part of any summer wardrobe, and below are three pairs that will go with any outfit.

Flatlist Eazy Rectangle Sunglasses ($285)

& Other Stories Rectangular Frame Sunglasses ($39)

Le Specs Bandwagon 51mm Polarized Sunglasses ($65)

6. Tank Top

When it comes to T-shirts, the tank top is quickly regaining popularity. If you want to expose maximum shoulder, opt for a racer-style or strappy, buckled tank. Ribbed tanks with wider straps feel like a smarter option you can wear in casual professional settings, too.

H&M Ribbed Tank Top ($19)

Rolla's Miller Baby Rib Tank ($49)

The Drop Valerie Cutaway Neck Racerback Rib Knit Tank Top ($20)

7. Floral Dress

In summer, you just can't go wrong with a throw-it-on floral dress. Brands know that, so you won't have to look for long to find a dress that will work as a morning pick-me-up this summer.

Mango Floral Print Dress ($50)

Reformation Sunstone Dress ($278)

Faithfull the Brand Flora Midi Dress ($219)

8. Strappy Sandals

The most widespread trend so far from the summer collections is strappy sandals (also known as "naked" or "floss" heels). The straps are tiny and contort across the foot in all kinds of crisscrossing patterns. However, in the heat, you're going to want something that reflects this trend but doesn't kill your feet. Cue strappy, sporty sandals such as Tevas.

Teva Original Universal Maressa ($55)

Gia x Pernille Teisbaek Platform Sandals ($445)

Who What Wear Ashley Slingback Sandals ($99)

9. Basket Bag

The basket bag has been a summer staple for several years now and is an enduring fashion import from French style icons.

Loewe Small Raffia Basket Bag ($450)

Frame Straw Tote ($348)

Mango Twisted Straps Basket Bag ($130)

10. Hair Accessories

A hair tie is one of those things you permanently need on your wrist in summer, but this year, prepare to upgrade your ponytails with colorful scrunchies, hair scarves, clips, and headbands. Pulling your hair off your face has never looked so chic or felt so liberating.

Madewell Silk Bandana ($13)

Urban Outfitters Flower Claw Clip ($10)

Free People Acrylic Slide Set ($12)

11. Simple Swimwear

There are so many exciting swimwear trends around this year, but in a capsule summer wardrobe, it pays to have a simple bikini or one-piece that goes with everything.

Madewell Abbey Structured One Piece ($70)

Mikoh Geneva Bikini Top ($118)

Mikoh Cruz Bay Full Coverage Bikini Bottoms ($98)

Hunza G Seersucker Swimsuit ($158)

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

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