Delight in the Ease of Summer Uniform Dressing
The seasonal staples our staffers revert back to time and time again.
A word that often comes to mind when thinking about summer style is easy. When it's 95 degrees outside and happy hour is singing your name, the last thing you want to do is fall victim to overcomplicated outfit choices. Whether we intend to or not, many of us cultivate a sort of uniform throughout the summer season—a tried-and-true ensemble we return to over and over again. Maybe that's a matching set, a shirt-and-short combo, or even a rotation of easy shirt dresses. There is no specific formula for a summer uniform as long as it follows the wearer's own personal style.
We found that our staffers had each bought into this idea, relying on fail-safe outfit formulas they return to again and again over the course of the season. Though there was a less strict adherence to these ensembles than those famous for their uniforms—Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Emmanuelle Alt—the resounding notion is comfort, in terms of both the physical and style-related sense of the word.
Jessica Teves, Head of Content
'Less is more' is my motto for summer style. And while I really love a bold print, I rely on mostly solid wear-again-and-again basics and eye-popping accessories to carry me through the warmer months—it's been my routine since college, so I guess there's no turning back now."
Cue me searching for "going-out tops" online and finding this classic off-white knit wrap top that feels infinitely wearable, but also very summer '21. I'll be wearing this on repeat as long as the weather permits.
Simply the most perfect high-rise white jeans I've found—pair 'em with boots or sandals for an everyday look that can be dressed up or down. Trust me when I say you won't regret this purchase.
I rarely leave home without a hat in the summer (also, remember your SPF, people!), and I'm loving how the vibrant pop of color on this baseball cap feels punchy, fresh, and wearable for any occasion.
Emily Greene, Marketing Manager
I'm considering myself a "yes person" this summer—nothing's off the table. The jury's still out on whether it's just pent-up energy from quarantine, or the typical burst of excitement that comes with the onset of Gemini season and warmer temps in NYC, but this mindset has me more inspired for summer dressing than ever before. Let's be real, though—once the humidity hits more than 80 percent, there's little more I'd like to be wearing than next to nothing, so I'll be living in a few go-to staples that are easy and breezy, but still make me feel like my best self and work for any occasion."
If you run into me on the street between April and October, there's a 99 percent chance that I'll be wearing a linen shirt dress. While I typically opt for a classic cream or light blue, the vibrant orange and cutout style of this Staud dress has been calling my name—I mean, how many dresses are simultaneously perfect for looking fab while running errands and hosting a rooftop dinner party?
No exaggeration, Intentionally Blank makes the most comfortable sandals. I bought my first pair from Need Supply (RIP) a few years back and have literally worn them into the ground. I vow to buy a new pair every year because they're just that good, and I've currently got my eyes on this dreamy toffee pair in particular.
I'm really vibing with the oversize, colorful, '70s-inspired look that's happening with eyewear right now, and this pair from Elisa Johnson is exactly the type of energy I'm trying to channel this summer. Sometimes all you need is a good pair of sunnies to pull it all together, you know?
Halle Lagatta, Creative Producer
Summers in NYC are hot, humid, sweaty, and dare I say, smelly? Having spent my entire life in this glamorous city, my summer uniform has evolved into one that is efficient and best equipped to survive the heat—let's call it the Darwinian summer uniform."
On hot summer days that start early and end late, throwing on this dress gives me back power. No, I will not be seen with sweat stains, and yes, I will be both comfortable and chic at the same damn time. Take that, 98 degree weather with 80 percent humidity!
Circling back to the "Darwinian" theme here, these shoes give me the height I so desperately seek (nature vs. nurture didn't really come through for me here). Oh, and I cannot stress how comfortable these wedges are. I've biked and walked miles in these shoes without any pain or blisters in sight. If I could wear them year-round, I would.
After binge-watching Netflix's new miniseries Halston, I fell madly in love with Elsa Peretti's portrayal by the formidable Rebecca Dayan. Peretti's Bean debuted in 1974 and represents "the origin of all things"—ugh, so deep and mysterious! Once this necklace goes on, it will not be coming off the entire summer. It's the perfect, no-thought-needed accessory that will surely lead to inquiries about the bean…to which I'll reply, "Well, it's the origin of all things, duh."
Rachel Pickus, Associate Creative Producer
I definitely take a more utilitarian approach to how I dress in the summer. I want an outfit that will carry me from day to night and comply with my insistence on walking (or biking) everywhere. Comfy shoes and no-fuss basics are a given. Pile on a heavy amount of gold jewelry, and we're good to go!"
Men's undershirts are certainly not a new revelation, but I have to give them a shoutout for being my summer staple. I absolutely love a solid white tank, but if you're feeling crafty, they make a great tie-dye canvas as well.
If I'm not in a sundress, you'll likely find me in my favorite pair of tailored shorts. I love a flattering high-waist silhouette, plus their minimalist aesthetic allows for endless possibilities.
I'm definitely team comfort when it comes to summer footwear. As previously mentioned, walking is my preferred mode of transportation, so I need a pair of shoes that are up for the job. My latest obsession are these platform slides that look equally comfortable as they do chic.
Caroline Dunn, Affiliate Coordinator
Accumulating pieces of varying shades of whites, creams, and ivories for a head-to-toe monochromatic look has been my style hack for the past few summers. It's basically a never-fail trick to always looking at least somewhat put together, no matter how salty your hair is. I feel very lucky to spend most of the summer season by the beach, and that lifestyle heavily impacts my choice of daytime summer uniform, which always ends up being a combination of a sleek tank, wide-leg linen pant, and elevated slide."
This top is potentially one of my favorite Zara purchases of all time and an instant summer uniform contender. The creamy ivory shade is exactly as it appears on the site (which we all know doesn't always happen) and checks every box of the chic-yet-easy checklist that makes any garment a dream summer piece.
Trust me on this one: These Old Navy linen pants are a summer staple. Perfect to pair with a tank for running errands or a bikini for the beach, these are your quintessential easy, throw-on pants that you'll soon find yourself wearing on repeat. I bought these in the white and feather colors last summer, and they truly match everything.
An Old Navy pant with a Chloé shoe? It's called range. I've already waxed poetic about these sandals, but I would be remiss not to include them as the true summer uniform piece that they have been for me. With the variety of new colorways introduced this summer, Chloé is giving the people what we want and allowing me to continue to live my all-ivories-and-creams summer palette dream with this pair.
Nia Porter, Social Media Manager
This past year has taken a toll on my personal style and my desire to actually shop. To ease myself back into getting dressed, I'm leaning on chic two-piece sets this summer, outfits that require little to no thought but still look put-together enough to seem like I'm 'trying.'"
This top by Calle Del Mar is the perfect shade of melon green and makes me feel stylish and cool with very little effort. I'm really digging this one-shoulder silhouette as well.
Nothing screams summer to me like a pair of breezy, loose shorts. I'm in love with Calle Del Mar's slinky fabrics, which are inspired by vintage athletic wear. Major '70s California vibes for sure.
Like most people, I haven't worn anything other than flats for over a year now, and I don't have any intention of adding heels into my footwear rotation anytime soon. These barely-there sandals from Tkees come in a variety of nude shades and go with practically any summer outfit you can think of.
Camille Freestone, Associate Style Editor
Though I try on new trends for size each summer, there is one look that tends to resurface year after year: an oversize menswear-inspired button-down and a pair of shorts. The styling may shift (French tuck vs. one shirttail out vs. barely buttoned and hanging loose) as do the materials (really into pink hues this summer), but the fundamentals remain the same. As I am obviously a fan of menswear and oversize silhouettes, I like to show some leg and rotate in feminine accessories in the form of layered jewelry and feminine footwear to keep it fun. Case in point, this combination always appeals to me regardless of the state of trends, and I like how it looks on my body—what more could you want?"
As NYC summers are H-O-T hot, I want this baby not to touch me at all. That often means shopping in the men's department or opting for "boyfriend" styles.
Another timeless staple of my wardrobe, my leather shorts evolve as I do. Seriously though, I've been buying versions of these since I was in high school—currently on my third pair. Basically a disguised sweat short, they look great with a blue or white shirt, but this summer I'm experimenting with a pink shirt pairing à la this Valentino look, which, might I add, is a rather colorful departure from my navy, black, and white rotation.
I am a firm believer that everyone should have a classic striped shirt in their wardrobe, oversize, of course. The blue and white looks as good with denim as it does with leather. I wear it open over tanks and t-shirts or buttoned midway with some fabulous jewelry.
Ama Kwarteng, Beauty Editor
I don't want to have to think too much when I'm throwing on clothes, so for me, summer is all about ease. Wardrobe-wise, that definition translates to light-as-air fabrics and brazen flashes of skin: think linen crop tops, loose silk slip dresses, and colorful miniskirts. I'll likely be rotating through those three pieces all season long."
This top is definitely bound to be a staple in my closet this summer. Not only does the top pair well with almost everything—from denim shorts to midi skirts—but the loose yet structured silhouette contributes to the featherlight feel of the top, giving you a reprieve from the sticky and humid air.
This lightweight silk slip dress packs a punch, thanks to the attention-grabbing animal print and the mood-boosting pops of color. I can already see myself wearing this dress on a rooftop as the sun descends to the west, with a Jacquemus mini bag in one hand and a spicy cucumber margarita in the other.
With multi-colored tiers of rose print that give the illusion of texture, this skirt is everything a miniskirt should be: playful and fun. Plus, the linen material that makes up the skirt and its high-waist placement all but guarantees that it won't ride up or stick to your legs.
Nick Papa, Brand Partnerships & Sales Manager
There is no better season to lean heavily into uniform dressing than summer. As temperatures rise, my patience for assembling a look grows less and less, so being able to have a variation of a "uniform" is ideal. My summer uniform is about simplicity and versatility—lightweight and breezy fabrics with a slightly oversize cut. Oh, and it's usually monochromatic."
I am almost always wearing something made of linen every day in the summer. This is my staple button-down that can be worn with virtually anything. I size up in these regular-fit shirts for a more oversize feel.
Again, always in some sort of linen. These are the perfect lightweight trousers in a deep navy that looks chic mixed with black (because you know we love mixing black and navy now). And every garment Alex Mill makes is just the perfect, modern fit.
These are my go-to loafers for any occasion. The collapsible heel truly makes them versatile and makes it feel as though you have two pairs of shoes in one.
Top photo: Getty
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