8 Classic Outfits That Give "Summer Without Trying Too Hard"

There's something so satisfying about assembling an outfit and knowing from the moment you complete the dressing process that it just works. Of course, this doesn't happen every time you throw a look together, but you can significantly up the chances of good outfit synergy when you focus on classic pieces.

Classic summer outfits are reigning supreme right now, and I have a theory as to why. As a slew of lockdowns put a pause on the trend cycle, a renewed appreciation for wardrobe basics—finds that never feel too "of the moment"—ensued. It made many of us (myself included) realise that a well-rounded edit of staples is a sure-fire way of looking stylish and put together. That's not to say there's no place for trends—a strong wardrobe will always have a marriage of both—but never before have classic pieces been so prevalent. And it shows.

As warm-weather season kicks off, I'm seeing more and more influencers leaning heavily on classic summer outfits centred on staples—things like linen shirting, relaxed tailoring, white dresses, simple slider sandals and basket bags. So if you're in the market for easy outfit solutions, you've come to the right place, for I've listed eight of my favourite summer outfit ideas that make full use of the aforementioned basics. Okay, so there are a couple of pieces you might not yet have in your closet—a crochet top being one—but I genuinely believe that these are the sort of classic summer outfits you can rely on, year after year, whatever the trends might be. Scroll on to see them.

1. Bright Shirt + City Shorts + Slider Sandals

Style Notes: Shorts are an integral part of summer styling and look their chicest worn with a linen shirt. 

The wide legs on these shorts ensure they still feel breezy and lightweight. 

2. White Dress + Basket Bag + Wrap-Around Sandals

Classic Summer Outfits: @y.a.t.r.i

Photo:

@y.a.t.r.i

Style Notes: White dresses and basket bags are my favourite summer pairing, hands down, and work for a multitude of occasions. 

Shop the Look

I have a thing for white dresses, and this Dôen number is high up on my wish list. 

Also on my wish list? A Muuñ basket. 

3. Gold Jewellery + Strap Top + Jeans

Style Notes: The jeans-and-a-nice-top pairing isn’t one you need to retire when summer rolls around—just make sure that nice top is sleeveless. 

Shop the Look

The belt of silk and cotton will feel gorgeous on the skin. 

I wear gold jewellery to elevate all of my classic summer outfits. 

These come in so many colours and treatments. Faded rips, anyone? 

4. Patterned Shirt + White Jeans + Headscarf 

Classic Summer Outfits: @frannfyne

Photo:

@frannfyne

Style Notes: Another summer jeans look that stands the test of time—white denim and a printed, short-sleeve shirt. I also love the addition of a headscarf. 

Shop the Look

This will help protect your hair from the sun’s harsh rays. 

Look for wide-leg white jeans in lieu of skinnies, as they look more modern. 

5. Bandeau Top + Maxi Skirt

Classic Summer Outfits: @leatngu

Photo:

@leatngu

Style Notes: This bandeau-top-and-maxi-skirt outfit taps into the Y2K trend that’s so prevalent right now, but the muted colour palette ensures it feels classic and chic. 

Shop the Look

There’s nothing dated about this take on the tube top. 

A fun addition to any handbag collection. 

6. Oversized Shirt + Wide-Leg Trousers + Sunglasses

Style Notes: Layering different shades of the same colour will help create an expensive-looking, tonal ensemble, as Lorna has mastered here with her beige shirt-and-trouser look. 

Shop the Look

Rectangular sunglasses are everywhere this season. 

These will pair just as nicely with a white vest top and heels. 

7. Short-Sleeve Knit + Denim Skirt + Fabric Bag

Classic Summer Outfits: @vikilefevre

Photo:

@vikilefevre

Style Notes: Classic summer outfits rely heavily on denim in all its forms, including the midi skirt. Although this will work with just about any top option in your wardrobe, I particularly like how Anne has paired hers with a short-sleeve cardigan. 

Shop the Look

Anne’s exact cardigan comes from cool French brand Rouje. 

This will look great with a white broderie blouse. 

8. Crochet Top + Palazzo Trousers + Chunky Sandals

Style Notes: Crochet might feel on-trend for 2022, but rest assured it’s a look that comes back each and every summer. Worn with palazzo trousers and chunky sandals, this is an outfit you’ll want to live in when temperatures soar. 

Shop the Look

Gimaguas has some of the best crochet options out there. 

You could opt for white linen trousers, but these silky palazzos present a glamorous alternative. 

The designer sandals every editors wants (if they don’t already own them). 

Related Stories