Ignore Everything Else—These 16 Cult Buys Are the Most Important This Summer

These days some of the most unexpected pieces can become online sensations. Who'd have thought we'd be all-out mad for Tevas right now or that pink boilersuits would become such staples? We live in strange fashion times, and the only way to stay on top of what's what is to (obviously) come directly to Who What Wear UK.

We've got our eyes on the prize, our noses to the ground and our fingers on the pulse, all in order to bring you the trending items that genuinely matter. Not just the ones that have thousands of pounds of marketing budget behind them and make their way onto the Instagram accounts with the largest followings, but also the items our fashion friends, colleagues and industry contacts are queuing up to buy/talk about nonstop if they haven't purchased them already.

So below you'll find a real mix of ultra-luxe (Chanel mules for £800) and slightly more affordable (niche indie brands supplying perfect party and holiday dresses for £130) pieces. You'll find some that are truly practical (velcro sandals) as well as ones that are utterly frivolous (I mean, who doesn't need a pair of heeled flip flops?). But what all of these key items have in common is that they come up time and again on our feeds and in conversations. And that means they're going to hit the big time if they haven't already.

So keep scrolling to see (and shop) the cult items of summer 2019.

BY FAR'S LIBRA MULES

Photo:

@oumaymaboumeshouli

Oumayma always has the best minimalistic accessories to pair with her outré looks, and she's one of many cool girls we follow who have invested By Far's ultra-simple strappy mules. They go with everything. Fact.

ORSEUND IRIS'S WHITE TOPS

Photo:

@jennabey

NYC-based brand Orseund Iris first had success with this ruched white crop top last summer. It's back on the website now, but there are also many different versions being stocked at Net-a-Porter (well, before they sell out again). Internet outfits show just how versatile these little pieces can be—we've seen it worn a lot with high-waisted jeans, but I like Jenna's idea of wearing it with looser pants or a skirt for a sunny day trip.

DÔEN'S PRAIRIE DRESSES

Photo:

@emmarosestyle

When indie brand Dôen landed on Net-a-Porter earlier this month, the fashion set took a collective gasp and then made sure they got online ASAP. This black floral shirred-waist style has been particularly popular with our Insta community. Both Emma Thatcher and Monikh already have it.

BOTTEGA VENETA'S POUCH

Photo:

@tamumcpherson

Tamu is one of the many stylish women we've noticed with a new clutch bag in tow—this slouchy leather number comes from the first collection by Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta. It has influencer and celebrity fans alike, including Rosie Huntington-Whitely, who carries hers almost every day. It's sold out almost everywhere. Add yourself to a restock alert, fast. Matchesfashion.com has the blue version arriving soon.

MUSIER PARIS'S PINK SLIP SKIRT AND DRESS

Photo:

@slipintostyle

Only recently did I ask Musier Paris founder, Anne-Laure Mais, about what was selling well for her brand this spring/summer. She told me it was her pink slip skirt, and now, I keep spotting both the skirt and the dress version everywhere. It's the most adorable colour and easy to throw on. Fellow Parisian Ellie of Slip Into Style has it all prepped for the hot weather.

CHLOÉ'S C BAG

Photo:

@monikh

Okay, it's not as underground as the other items here, but the Chloé C bag is still just as coveted as anything. It now comes in so many shapes, sizes, colourways and finishes so you can pick an It bag that still feels unique.

TOTÊME'S FLIP-FLOP HEELS

Photo:

@by_krog

It might seem like a trend you'll never get on board with, but trust me when I say thong heels are happening, and the trend originates with Elin Kling's brand, Totême. These kitten-heeled flip flops come in black, tan and dark grey—all of which are making their way onto the feet of influencers (like Cecilie Krog) worldwide. Watch this space.

PROENZA SHOULER'S TIE-DYE TOPS

Photo:

@katrinarazon

Proenza Schouler's tie-dye tops have been a staple part of the collection for some time now, but thanks to this print becoming a popular trend for S/S 19 retailers have seen a surge in sales, and there are more iterations to fulfil the demand. Fashion search engine Lyst notes the turtleneck versions as the 9th most searched-for product of Q1.

JACQUEMUS LE CHIQUITA BAG

Photo:

@adenorah

According to Lyst's Q1 data, the teeny tiny Chiquita bag from Jaquemus has been leaving a big search footprint online. According to its research, it was the third most searched-for item, and we've certainly seen that interest echoed on Instagram. Goodness knows what you can actually fit in there, but as far as quality posts go, it's very "liked." As such, it is sold out at many retailers in both the micro and slightly larger sizes.

TIMELESS PEARLY JEWELLERY

Photo:

@ruerodier

When it comes to a particular jewellery brand taking up realty on selfies right now, it's Timeless Pearly. We predicted that the French brand (which is all about mix 'n' match, vintage-looking pieces) was going to take off in 2019, and we have plenty of proof, including this very pretty shot of our columnist Marissa Cox of Rue Rodier.

SUICOKE: VELCRO SANDALS

Photo:

@brittanybathgate

Okay, so you have a decision to make. Will you buy Teva sandals that cost around the £50 mark (and basically are the prototype for the hiking sandal phenomenon going on at the moment), or will you splash out on something altogether more upmarket and opt for Suicoke? It's the new Japanese shoe label minimalists and comfy-shoe girls like Brittany Bathgate are favouring for their "nerdy" sandals. Well, at least they're about £400 less than the Prada version

RIXO'S TULIP DRESS

Photo:

@pennygoldstone

Another summer, another fab and instantly recognisable dress from Rixo. Two Who What Wear editors have this, and we've spotted it starting to make itself known on social media now that wedding season is coming. It's just so damn photogenic.

LOEWE: RAFFIA BAG

Photo:

@handinfire

Last year, Loewe's luxe basket bags took over every chic holiday destination known to fashionkind. This year, it looks like the trend is set to continue—only with a few new additions to the summer-bag fam. Now there are softer, more malleable options rendered in raffia, like Tiffany's here.

SOLID & STRIPED'S TATI BIKINI

Photo:

@palomija

Ever since we saw Paloma Elsesser in this sunshiney bikini from Solid & Striped, we knew the print would catch on. This pretty swimwear print has been packed in many a high profile suitcase, and 2019's jet setting has barely begun. Last year's belted swimsuit is still going very strong, but this kitsch daisy-print range will certainly take up some feed space going forward.

CHANEL MULES

Photo:

@bettinalooney

These colourful logo-clad PVC-and-leather mules have really spread like wildfire across Instagram in the past month—despite their £800 price tag. They come in various shades of blue and green as well as red and black. You'll also find this style in non-PVC versions including monochromatic fabrics and leathers, should you fancy bumping up the collection with a few extra pairs. Expect to see your Insta feed spamming up with these beauties throughout the holiday period.

ELLEME'S RAFFIA BAGS

Photo:

@bubblyaquarius

Another raffia bag, but with a very different vibe from the kind you'd use on vacation. Elleme's raffia Baozi and Raisin handbags have been notching up more influencer credits than many other startup accessories brands. They're contemporary and sophisticated for a decent price. You can buy them via the website, but we're keeping all fingers and toes crossed for a UK stockist…