As we come up on July 4th, we’re really leaning into our summer wardrobe. While we’ve already picked up a few pieces to jumpstart the season, there are still plenty more items on our list that we can’t wait to shop for. And, for a few months that serve up little more than idyllic warm weather, our calendars are chock full not only of summertime parties, but also outside brunches, Sunday beer garden dates and tons and tons of park strolls. When you have a social schedule that’s jam-packed…well, you’re gonna need different looks. This season, we’re shopping for all the biggest trends—from pastel blazers and sundresses to metallic statement pieces and pool-ready slide sandals. We’re also looking to update our classics—bright white tees, lightweight jackets and tons of denim. The only question is: Which trends are worth the splurge and which ones are you better off saving your pennies on? We’re here to help. Not only are we offering up the best summer shopping list for the next few months, but also keeping it real on where you should be spending that hard-earned cash, what’s worth saving up for, and what chic items you can totally go the affordable route on. Check out our summer splurge and save guide, right here.
Splurge vs. Save
Even during the hottest months of the year, it’s still great to have a go-anywhere jacket on hand. Leather will take you through all 12 months of the year and is an effortlessly chic pairing to everything you already own. Throw it on over your favorite pair of vintage denim or elegantly drape it over your shoulders for that evening cocktail event.
Leather Biker Jacket
Ganni Lloyd Suede-Paneled Textured-Leather Biker Jacket
Bowie Leather Jacket
Sure, you can find the most gorgeous statement earrings at a high price—and they’ll look well worth it. But you can also stock up on gorgeous pairs with a lower price tag from some of our favorite affordable fashion brands like Zara and J.Crew.
Pack of Flower and Hoop Earrings
Liberty U-Tube Earrings
Everything from your jean shorts to silk midi skirts will be made better with a great statement top. It will instantly up the ante on every look, so it’s worth investing a few more dollars on these pieces. To preserve longevity and ensure you don’t get instantly bored of your new purchase, seek an out-of-this-world sculptural silhouette with either a solid tone, classic striped or gingham pattern.
Rosie Assoulin The Pfff Pleated Cropped Checked Cotton-Blend Wrap Top
Johanna Oritz The Art Of Dancing Cotton Poplin Top
Monse Asymmetric Gingham Cotton-Poplin Shirt
The denim skirts of yesteryear are back and better than ever. Featuring flattering high-waist silhouettes, cutoff hems and colored hues, the options are literally endless this season. And since so many affordable brands are jumping on board with their chic designs, no need to dole out the big bucks on this staple.
Raw Hem Denim Skirt
And Other Stories
Yes, flat mules are still around and we still love them. And, while showing off your heels might be perfect for summer, they’ll actually last you through all 12 months of the year without issue. What’s more, a loafer style is more classic than most, so it’s a sure bet you’ll still want to pull out those backless flats years from now. For all those reasons and more, this footwear trend is definitely worth the splurge.
Princetown Leather Slipper
Le Monde Beryl Venetian Backless Velvet Slipper Shoes
Tabitha Simmons Kittie Crystal-Embellished Suede Slippers
Buy a hundred. Seriously. By the end of the summer, there’s a good chance your once-bright-white arsenal of tops will have dwindled in size, stretched out and turned more of a gray or yellow tone, so this is certainly not where to spend all your hard-earned cash. Seek styles that are well tailored and super soft, but that you don’t have to break the bank in purchasing.
Mercantile Broken-In T-Shirt
The Cotton Box-Cut Tee
Hanes x Karla
Over the past few seasons, gingham has cropped up not only in its native season of summer, but also during the colder months of winter and fall. It’s stood the true test of time, spanning vintage and modern decades and adapted itself for all generations of stylish women. Though you can certainly find pieces at all price points made of the elegant, yet whimsical geometric print, it’s a safe investment when you find that piece you really just want to splurge on.
Nº21 Gingham Flat Slide Bow Mule
HVN Morgan Gingham Silk Crepe De Chine Midi Dress
Ruffled Gingham Track Jacket
3.1 Phillip Lim
We’re definitely guilty of splurging on this wardrobe essential from time to time, but it’s definitely not necessary. Once summer hits and we find ourselves wearing little else besides our mighty band of silk camisoles—whether with jean shorts or cocktail skirts—we don’t want to blow our whole fashion budget on them. Whether a print, color or even not-so-basic black, silk camisoles are just as good when you save a few pennies than when you throw them all at the cause.
If there’s one look we’re obsessed with every summer, it’s the white lace dress. It might be made of a thin and delicate sheer, or a heavier eyelet fabric, but one thing’s for sure: It’s the LBD of the season. Hey, we even continue wearing our warm-weather staple, come brisk fall weather, with the addition of black tights and chunky heel ankle booties. Much like gingham, you can certainly make this trend work for less, but that splurge-worthy item you’ve been eyeing is definitely worth the investment when you find it.
Cotton-Blend Lace Dress
Zimmermann Kali Embroidered Cotton Dress
Self Portrait Floral-Lace Bandeau Mini Dress
Lavender seems to be the color of the season—from jackets to skirts; dresses and accessories alike. That said, while we’re in love with this straight-from-the-runway hue, we’re not sure how we’ll feel once we’ve surely OD’ed on it a few months from now. For that reason, find something a little more affordable when reaching for this pale shade of purple.
PushButton Mid-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans
Puffed Sleeves Ribbed Jumper
Cotu Classic Sneaker