Six Summer Style Must-Haves

Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. That’s the advice my grandmother used to give me when I would start on my summer wish list for warmer weather, longer days, a new party dress or my first pair of real heels.

I have been whining about the cold and dreary weather for weeks now, bemoaning the fact that my sundresses and sandals have been hidden away in the closet while my cashmere has been sadly overworked.

Well, just this week the temps jumped from 60-100 degrees in two days while I was in San Francisco. Needless to say, I was thrilled the first day; the balmy weather was in the high 70s, perfect for an afternoon bistro lunch in a sassy sundress and chic sandals. But, by the next day I was absolutely melting.

Take it from me ladies, pit-stains do not become the stylish girl. I was caught off guard when the temps skyrocketed into the triple digits. I slathered my winter-weary skin with rich body butter in the hopes of staving off the crocodile scales on my legs, but as the mercury climbed, the body butter melted into rivulets that ran down my bare legs and into my Jimmy Choo’s.

My sleek coiffure ended up in a ponytail, and my once-chic blouse wound up wilted on a hanger, awaiting resurrection by the dry cleaner.

To escape the heat, I holed up in my nicely air conditioned condo with a stack of glossy mags and a very, very tall iced beverage. Suitably refreshed, I embarked on a glorious quest for the perfect summer style essentials. I narrowed my picks down to six basic categories:

  1. Stylish sundress. So many dresses, so little time! I love the thought of attending summer soirées in this season’s stylish halter dresses and sleeveless confections. The styles run the gamut from girly girl to fabulously flirty, from sleek and chic to drop dead gorgeous. And what’s more, the little white dress is fast replacing the little black dress as the go-to gown for evening.
  2. Strappy sandals. Sandals are perfect with any sundress or skirt. If you are wearing them to the office, make sure that they are in keeping with proper business attire and not too sexy. Sandals with substantial heels and wide straps make a sleek platform. For weekend wear, try a pair of sexy T-straps or some sassy little espadrilles. When it’s party time, skyscraper heels are the way to go.
  3. Sassy, sexy flirty tops. If you have great shoulders, step out in a modified halter top or racerback-style blouse. Sexy, sleeveless tops and loose tanks look fabulous, too, especially if you’ve been doing your bicep curls and tricep dips. Also very hot this summer are shears—feather light fabrics that appear to float, just skimming your shape.
  4. Essential crops. Incorporate a few sleek crops into your wardrobe. Go with a pair of pinstriped gabardines for work (they’re perfect for casual Friday) or a dressier pair for an evening out. Relaxed, rolled-at-the-cuff crops are great for the beach, especially when slipped over bikini bottoms. But my all time fave for summer is a pair of crisp, white denims.
  5. Go anywhere handbag. Select a handbag that is roomy enough for all of your girly essentials, but not so big as to be mistaken for an airline carry-on. Whether it’s an unstructured artisan tote for casual excursions or a chic patent leather bag for when you want to pump up the volume, don’t leave home without one.
  6. Flirty Flats. Let’s face it girls, as much as we adore a great pair of heels, there are times when we feel like a fabulous pair of flats is the way to go. A pair of girly sneakers with capris or cropped jeans is always fun. An adorable pair of T-straps looks fabo with a flirty cotton skirt. This summer, why not try a pair of gladiators with shorts and a tee.

Happy shopping!

About the Author

Carla Laney is the executive editor and co-founder of, the popular online fashion e-zine.


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