The weather in this country might be as confusing as the politics this week, but this is actually the best time to start assembling your summer wardrobe. We don’t need to list off the items that belong in a summer capsule wardrobe (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 months—and perhaps even six years.
The ideal 2019 summer capsule wardrobe includes classics we revisit every year, including tan leather sandals, white linen 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.
Whether you’re going somewhere tropical or staying put in an air-con–free Britain, nothing feels quite as breezy as a white linen dress. And it’s best to just embrace the creases; it only adds to the charm of this relaxed fabric.
Milkmaid tops are the perfect items for weekends in the park, and thankfully, Topshop, ASOS, Miss Selfridge and more have all created pretty prairie-style tops with lace-up detailing, shirred bodices, square necklines and bows.
Tan leather sliders 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. Dune’s Loupes are a Who What Wear favourite.
When it’s just too hot to wear white jeans and unthinkable to even consider anything as complicated as a jumpsuit, then a slip skirt will continue to be your best pal well into the warmer months. Pair with a nostalgic tee and sandals, and opt for a bucket hat if you’d like to shade your visage in style.
Sunglasses are often a key part of any summer wardrobe, and below are three pairs that will go with any outfit.
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 (like Lizzy’s Arket top) above feel like a smarter option you can wear in the office too.
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.
The most wide-spread 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 flat sporty sandals, such as Tevas.
The basket bag has been a summer staple for several years now and is an enduring fashion import from French style icons.
A hair bobble is one of those things you permanently need on your wrist in summer, but this year, prepare to upgrade your ponytails with colourful scrunchies, hair scarves, clips and headbands. Pulling your hair off your face has never looked so chic, or felt so liberating.
There are so many exciting swimwear trends around this year, however, when talking about a capsule summer wardrobe, it pays to have a simple bikini or one-piece that goes with everything.
Next up, see our guide to more of the key trends for spring/summer 2019.