(The Shopping List)

The Summer Essentials Taylor Tomasi Hill Is Stockpiling This Season

There’s no such thing as too many.

By Taylor Tomasi Hill

My career in fashion has taken a lot of twists and turns: I got my start in NYC, working in magazines (W, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire), rode the very first wave of Instagram street style, and hit my professional stride as the Creative Director of luxury e-tailer Moda Operandi. Fast forward a few years and I’m in my dream role as Creative and Fashion Director of THE YES — a personalized shopping app — and living back in my hometown of Texas. Another big pivot? Reworking my wardrobe with enough summer essentials to withstand the state’s incessant heat.

I was looking forward to lots of things when I moved back home: Tex Mex and margaritas, road trips, lots of outdoor space to garden… What I hadn’t anticipated (or at least had conveniently forgotten about during my time away) was the high temperatures. Summers in Texas are no joke! From basically April to September, you want to keep your clothes light, breezy, and most importantly fun. Because if anything is going to cheer you up in triple-digit weather, it's a colorful bucket bag or a bunny-print shirt or a crochet mini. (That or an ice pop.)

Year round, my style leans toward the eccentric, but that holds especially true in the summertime when everything feels looser and more playful. School's out, vacation's on, and we're all ready to shed our layers and have a backyard party. When it's time to dress up for summer occasions, I've been reaching for dresses that surprise everyone who knows me — including myself. I'm not a super ruffles-and-frills girl, but floaty summer dresses with all the trimmings have just felt right lately. They're the fashion equivalent of champagne: light, effervescent, and irresistible. Now, am I going to pair them with a Balenciaga Croc? You know it.

Ahead, shop some more of the wardrobe staples I’m stocking up on for the season ahead.

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Keeping It Casual

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For days when it’s too hot to think and you don’t want to bother, breezy summer dresses are my go-to. Tent, shirt, slip, mini…whatever kind of dress it is, keep it light and loose and you’re golden with the one-and-done approach. One of the dresses that people went absolutely crazy for when I posted on my Insta (like, it sold out immediately) is back in stock. Frilly, chic, made for barefoot events — is Ulla Johnson’s Aurore Dress the dress of the summer? I dare predict yes.

Short And Not Too Sweet

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Minis were all over the runways, but lots of people have asked me if they’re practical. “Like, minis? Should we?” They’re surprisingly versatile — and a definite yes from me. I like to style them more sporty than sexy. Ball cap, sweatshirt, swimwear ... it all just feels cooler and a little more modern to me that way. After all, it’s 2000s-inspired, but not a copy and paste comeback!

Bounce That

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Raffia, linen, madras, chambray … the traditional fabrics and materials of summer look cooler when you add a little rubber. Yep: practically indestructible, super colorful, playfully perfect rubber. Beach bags, swim slides, heels: They are all better in rubber. After all, it’s the only thing that I’ve discovered that can withstand a day at the beach, road trips, dripping popsicles, and sticky kiddos’ fingers and looks just as fresh as when it started.

The New Evening Standard

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Summer weddings, cocktail parties, and art galas always pose a question: How to dress up for the occasion and look fantastic without feeling like you’ve weighed yourself down with overly formal choices? I like to go for brilliant color, sweeping hemlines, and absolutely feathers when necessary. (And maybe it’s always necessary?)

Made For The Waves

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I knew an editor who swore by all-black swimwear. It was all she’d wear. I like this rule, but only theoretically. A vision of looking like you’re part of a Slim Aarons portrait is nice, but the prints and colors designers have been creating are just too much to resist. It’s like op art for the beach or poolside. Bonus: All Cover swimwear comes with UPF 50+ sun protection.

On A Whim(sy)

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As I mentioned earlier, summer feels so free and happy, even if you’re melting in the heat. For weekend BBQs, vacations, and outings to the park I like to play to the mood with pieces that match the vibe, whether it’s a psychedelic bunnies top or a candy-colored skirt.

Woven Together

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You can’t really sport raffia or macramé during the winter, so summer is open season. I like how designers have taken a really elevated approach, balancing the hand-crafted quality of woven materials with clean silhouettes.

Barrel Jumping

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I’ve been loving more relaxed denim. Right now, beachy, wide-leg cuts reign supreme. And the most relaxed of all is a cropped barrel-cut that looks perfectly worn in. When it comes to styling, go for a more cropped, fitted tee or cardigan. At the end of the day, a white tank and a smile is all you need with vintage denim.

She’s Got Layers

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We’re not layering much during the summer (well, aside from the KULE cardis I keep with me at all times because of aggressive A/C). So stacking your jewelry is a good, summer proof-alternative. I love mixing textures — precious stones, pearls, and gold — with fun acrylic beads and bits. This special bracelet from Roxanne Assoulin is a limited edition with 100% of proceeds going to support UNHCR, a UN Refugee Agency giving live-saving aid and emergency shelter in Ukraine.