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  • Annelise Richards

20 Summer Staples of Fashion

Summer is hot. In Nashville, summer is offensively hot. Between the humidity, getting sunburned, and then getting your thighs stuck to plastic chairs; you’re probably glued to the A/C eating a constant stream of popsicles or crushed ice. Fortunately, Summer is also the best time of year for fashion; when you can embody your aesthetic to the fullest and you can take risks you don’t normally take. While taking risks is important, you also need to keep in mind the 20 summer staples that are necessary to keeping cool and looking stylish! All items shown on this list are available via or can be handmade.

1. A Colorful Bikini- It’s best to get a solid color bikini first so you can mix and match, but a cute suit with a trendy pattern is the way to go to put all eyes on you at the beach. This one is reversible, which means even more patterns and matches are available.

2. Vertical Stripes- Forget the rules of fashion faux-pas, and take a look! Vertical stripes are a gift to the petite and the curvy because they will make you look taller without the constraint and heat that skinny jeans give. Pair with a sleeveless tee and be the essence of modern chic!

3. White Blouse- Who goes into the summer without a cute white top? Be careful of watermelon juice though! This fashion staple is as crucial to the summer vibe as it is easy to stain. This top features flirty lace details that are sure to keep your look interesting.

4. Breezy Kimono- The best way to spice up a plain tank top and shorts is a colorful kimono to shield your back from the sun and still keep yourself cool and stylish. Throw it on in a heartbeat to make your outfit that much more formal and fun. Fruity patterns are best so you can embrace everyone's favorite food group as publicly as you like.

5. Crop-Top- 2018 is the year of the crop top! Whether it be the barest hint of stomach or full-on bralette, these mini-shirts aren’t going out of style anytime soon! Perfect for almost any occasion, they pair well with shorts, pants, high-waisted skirts, and more.

6. Striped Leggings- The most underrated days of the summer are those days when the heat finally breaks and rain starts to pour down in your state’s very own version of the Amazon Rainforest. These days tend to catch people off guard because they’re so used to wearing shorts and tank tops they’re unprepared for the sudden colder weather. We have you covered though with these stylish striped leggings that keep your knees just warm enough to not freeze!

7. Cold-Shoulder Top- The best way to make a boring T-shirt a little more breezy and fun is the cold-shoulder top! You can get one online or even make one yourself out of an old hand-me-down. This one has that fruity pattern we love so much, and it has that flowy space to keep cool too!

8. Fit and Flare Dress- A fun, flowy alternative to a T-shirt and shorts! Fit and flare is flattering on any body type and is fit for any occasion! From those firefly-lit June weddings to a rustic photoshoot, it's appropriate no matter what. I know what you're thinking about a black dress, but pair this one with a chunky pink necklace and you're sure to have that beachy vibe.

9. Maxi-Dress- Staying on par with the dresses is the mother of all, the maxi-dress. Like vertical stripes, it has a knack for making the wearer look tall and sleek while still being flowy and cheerful for that summer heat. This one teases you with a sexy slit for a beach day or date night.

10. Patterned One-Piece- Just a bit of life advice from one girl to another; never, ever, ever, EVER! Wear a two-piece to a waterpark. It will end badly, trust me. However, if you’re worried about finding a one-piece that isn’t the gross one from swim team in 8th grade, never fear! This one is boho chic with a vintage feel that says timeless instead of "time's up!"

11. Trendy Sandals- Summer wouldn’t be complete without some funky footwear! Instead of opting for the usual chacos and birkenstocks, switch it up a little by getting some strappy sandals or some wedges! These silver ones are as simple as they are sweet.

12. Romper- The best way to change up an outfit is by wearing a cute romper! Fun and easy to wear, rompers are perfect for a boho beach feel or bringing a modern twist to the 60‘s colorblock aesthetic! Pair with those silver sandals or a cute choker for a sweet summer look.

13. Jean Shorts- Nothing is more American than a good-old pair of jorts to wear with a fun tee! You can go from a classic dark wash all the way to stylized patches and acid washed denim! Either way, you’re sure to look stunning. I like to tuck in a graphic tee and wear some old sneakers to give that lived-in casual outfit.

14. Patterned Tights- If you’re more of a Winter person like me, and Summer isn’t your time to shine, patterned tights are always a fun way to wear something on your legs and still stay cool in that hundred-degree sun! Just be careful to not get them snagged on a bench. I like to pair mine with some strappy heels or a pair of tennis shoes for that 90's grunge aesthetic.

15. Big Sunglasses- The best way to protect your eyes from that bright sun and look cute at the same time is a unique set of sunglasses! They can range anywhere from barely tinted to opaque black, and you’ll still slay the look! Look online to find your face shape and the shape of sunglasses that best fit you.

16. Sneakers - If you want to wear a basic style that will never die but you want to mix it up a bit, wear some white sneakers with a pop of color! Don’t get stuck with just your chucks this year and mix it up to make yourself stand out! I like floral patterns because there's not a single person that these don't look fantastic on.

17. Friendship Bracelets- Hello, Nostalgia, my name is 2018! From campfires at summer camp to date night at the drive-in, making friendship bracelets is one of the best and least-expensive ways to let someone know how much they mean to you! It's the thought that counts.

18. Graphic Tee- Everyone needs to define their aesthetic with a graphic T-shirt. Whether it’s vintage cityscapes to modern art pop, a graphic tee is one of the best ways to determine what type of person someone is and where their interests lie.

19. Tie Dye- Tie dye is perhaps the greatest summer activity of all time besides swimming and fireworks. Ask anyone and they could probably tell you the last time they tie-dyed a shirt. It’s such a summer staple that its been continuously in fashion from the 1960’s until today! You can buy a pre-made tie-dye 'fit like this minidress, or you can go to Hobby Lobby to get supplies and create your own masterpiece! Be careful though, it can stain your fingers!

20. Sunscreen- Last, and most importantly, wear a liberal amount of sunscreen on your face and ears. Your makeup may contain some, but wearing actual sunscreen is the number one way to defend yourself from UV rays and premature aging! Keep your skin soft and healthy with a non-irritating sunscreen designed for your face!

Summer 2018 is already gonna be a scorcher; so instead of wearing your pajamas and sitting in front of the fan religiously, go out and have fun in the sun in one of these 20 summer staples! Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and be carefree, and be your best self before school starts in 2 months!

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