You Only Need 6 Pieces to Survive a Summer of Scorching Hot Days

Picture this: It’s the middle of a heat wave and you’re getting ready to commute to the office on a likely sweaty subway. Your outfit needs to be comfortable enough to beat the heat while still being office-appropriate and put together. In these moments, when we’re sweating before even leaving the house, our summer wardrobe heroes come in clutch. Easygoing linen staples, breathable cotton tops, and chic sundresses will have you feeling like you just touched down for Euro Summer while being lightweight and easy to wear all day. Regardless of your destination, whether it be work, a lunch date, or a day of errands, having a rotation of tried-and-true warm-weather staples makes getting dressed when it’s really hot a breeze. 

All you need are six items: an airy dress, comfortable shorts, a breezy midi skirt, a lightweight white blouse, breathable linen pants, and a basic tank top. These six pieces can be worn interchangeably throughout the summer, and their lightweight fabrication such as linen and cotton is a surefire way to keep cool. Linen pants will never go out of style, and neither will a sundress or a go-to pair of denim shorts, so if you’re debating on splurging for a pricier style, splurge away. You’ll want to rely on these silhouettes for summers to come.

1. An airy dress

Your summer wardrobe isn’t complete without a sundress. It’s the one-and-done piece that’s the easiest to style when you’re running late but still need to look put together. Best of all, a dress is breezy, lightweight, and won’t cling to your skin. A gingham dress embodies summer’s carefree energy, and you can’t go wrong with neutral tones in timeless silhouettes with materials like linen and poplin. Style it with sandals, flats, or sneakers (depending on the occasion) and your favorite gold jewelry.

2. Comfortable Shorts

The key to surviving summer’s heat is having two or three pairs of reliable shorts. Forget what you know about summer’s past tiny denim shorts that feel restricting—this year, it’s all about long, tailored styles that feel mature. Agolde’s Parker style and Abercrombie’s High-Loose denim come in a myriad of hues and rest just above the knee cap. Boxer and linen shorts are also another comfortable option when working from home, and can be dressed up with a blazer for the office.

3. A breezy midi skirt

Midi skirts are an easy way to add shape or texture to an outfit, especially when it’s too hot to put much thought into curating a look. The white midi skirt (you know the one) has dominated this summer’s street style and is easy to pair with a black tank top and sandals. Bubble hemmed skirts can be an anchoring statement piece to style with basics, and a silk skirt is a reliable wardrobe must-have.

4. A lightweight white blouse

Embody Scandinavian style this summer with a breezy white blouse. Pretty eyelet or broderie anglaise detailing adds some breathability along with its dainty charm. You can throw it on with linen pants, shorts, or a midi skirt, hence the easygoing nature of the top. Ganni’s bow-adorned top went viral earlier this year, and Doên and Reformation have a bevy of options to shop from. Free People’s Costa Eyelet top is also a great budget option that looks expensive.

5. Breathable linen pants

For those who have to go into an office, meet your best styling friend this summer: linen pants. Linen trousers, specifically, have all the breathability of a casual day on the coast but keep the sophistication of the boardroom. Abercrombie makes a $100 pair, and Everlane has a handful of neutral shades to choose from. Linen pants make wearing pants in the summer possible—wear them with a tank top, blouse, or throw it over your bathing suit during a heat wave.

6. A basic tank top

When you need an outfit in sweltering conditions, a tank top and shorts is a no-fail casual formula. You can dress the formula up with a belt and flats, or keep it laidback with sneakers and a baseball cap. Of course, you can style a tank top with almost every other bottom included in this list. All you need to do is find your favorite cut—the TankAir style went viral for being extremely flattering and beloved by Bella Hadid.

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