Summer Style Staples For Every Age

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While breezy dresses, flowing skirts and chic sandals are summer mainstays no matter your age, certain pieces that look great on 20-somethings are ready to be retired by your 40s (up-to-there short shorts, we’re looking at you). But the one thing we all crave in scorching temps is a carefree-cool ensemble, so we’ve mapped out the key wardrobe staples for every decade—from cutoffs to linen trousers and everything in between—to make sure you look amazing all season long.

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Summer Style At Every Age

In your 20s, cut-off shorts, a flouncy off-the-shoulder top and metallic sneakers are mainstays for the beach, brunch and beyond. For waterfront affairs, a bold bikini is confidently cool.

Cora Metallic Cutout Lace Up Sneakers

$207

Loeffler Randall

Celestine Top

$128

Rebecca Minkoff

Yaz Crochet-Trimmed Bikini Briefs

$130

Kiini

Yaz Crochet-Trimmed Triangle Bikini Top

$165

Kiini

High-Waist Denim Shorts

$36

Zara

In your 30s, a feminine dress, halter one-piece, punchy clutch and vibrant pair of heels are essentials—all versatile enough for drinks, dinner and afternoon fêtes.

Janis Suede Sandals

$739

Gianvito Rossi

Frangia Raffia Trimmed Straw Clutch

$158

Sanayi 313

Papaya Scallop Mott Halter Swimwuit

$400

Marysia Swim

Floral Maxi Dress

$90

Topshop

In your 40s, a lightweight shirtdress, wide-brimmed hat and pretty espadrilles are all-purpose pieces in balmy temps. For fun in the sun, a dark pair of sunnies ensure optimal UV protection.

Peach Pit Black Cat-Eye Sunglasses

$33

Le Specs

Carina Canvas Wedge Espadrilles

$125

Castañer

Poppy Delevigne Gingham Cotton And Linen-Blend Poplin Dress

$300

Solid & Striped

Amirah Faux Leather-Trimmed Straw Sunhat

$425

Eugenia Kim

In your 50s, linen separates in modern silhouettes will keep you cool. Comfortable slides and a printed scarf punctuate any look from backyard barbeques to poolside affairs.

Striped Cotton And Linen-Blend Blouse

$165

The Great

The Boardwalk Simple Slide Sandal

$60

Madewell

Floral-Print Silk-Twill Scarf

$185

Gucci

Linen Stripe Patch Pocket Crop Pant

$295

Theory

In your 60s, beat the heat in a flowing kaftan, contemporary carryall and flattering one-piece at the beach or poolside—for more elegant looks, a mid-heel sandal is impeccable.

Perforated Design Bag

$40

Mango

Leather Buckled Sandals

$140

Massimo Dutti

The Anne-Marie Swimsuit

$158

Solid & Striped

Embroidered Cotton Maxi Dress

$395

Sensi Studio