You might think that, after being a stylist for almost a decade, I’d have a wardrobe full of winning outfits by now. And yes, to some extent, I have built up a number of classic formulas over my time in the industry—a blazer and straight-leg jeans, for example, or a midi dress and heels. It really helps to have these formulas on busy mornings to avoid those “I have nothing to wear” moments that can so easily push your whole day out of sync. But it’s also easy (and normal) to get a little tired of wearing the same combinations over and over again. Fashion is about having fun with your outfits, after all. And so each season, when I’m in need of some inspiration to get a little more inventive, I open Instagram and scroll to see what some of the most stylish women I know are wearing right now.
Not only does this help me focus on which pieces I’d love to invest in for the new season, but it really helps me think of new ways to style pieces I already own. I have classic taste that errs on the side of minimalistic, so often, all I have to do is think of new combinations to freshen up my wardrobe staples. Of course, I’m always drawn to effortless, expensive-looking outfits first— you know, outfits built from affordable pieces that make you look polished and, well, rich. So I thought I’d share some of the best affordable summer outfits I’ve seen recently to give you an idea of what I’m copying this season. Feel free to use this as a resource to come back to throughout the season when you’re in need of inspiration and tips and tricks for making elevated outfits on a budget.
Keep scrolling to see the seven best outfits I’ve found recently. I’ve also added shopping links in case you want to buy any of these pieces to build out your summer wardrobe.