6 Elevated Staples That Will Make All Your Summer Outfits Look Polished

Looking polished is a goal for most of us, I would imagine, whatever your personal style. How realistic that may be with our busy family and day to day lives is another matter, but we can at least aim to look like we have it all together by wearing a chic outfit— right? Of course, it is possible to build a wardrobe of expensive-looking pieces on a budget (you only have to check out my weekly high street column to know that). But it’s also true that some wardrobe classics are absolutely worth investing in, especially to get better quality and more premium fabrics that will undoubtedly last a lot longer in your wardrobe. 

The key is, of course, identifying which items it’s actually worth spending a bit more on— you know, the ones that will then elevate the rest of your wardrobe and make all those high street basics look even better. After all, if you’re parting with your hard earned cash— you want to do it wisely and get it right. So, with summer well and truly on its way, I’ve put my decade of fashion industry experience to good use and thought long and hard about which warm-weather pieces I believe are truly the best ones to invest in for the months and years ahead. 

Investment Summer Trends

Photo:

@chrissyford

Chrissy wears a statement Zimmermann dress. 

The list below consists of classic anti-trend items you’ll no doubt get endless wear out of— especially since these are items that either make an instant outfit or go with everything else you own. Think classic white sundresses, handwoven bags and beautifully made leather sandals. And whether you spend the summer in the city or are planning on jetting to far-off climes— they’ll see you through heat waves and beach days alike. 

This edit of core staples is anything but boring, and basically forms a mini summer capsule. Add them all to your wardrobe and you’re set for looking impeccably polished all season, or you could add just one or two to your existing collection and they would have just as much worth. Yes, there are some designer purchases in there, but there are also some elevated options from your favourite, more affordable brands too. 

Keep scrolling, then, to see and shop the six summer fashion trends that are truly worth investing in. I have a feeling you’re going to love these pieces as much as I do… 

 

1. White Dresses 

Nothing beats the feeling of wearing a fresh white dress in summer, and because this wardrobe piece is so simple it benefits from elevated details that often come with investment styles— whether that's ruching, cut outs or lace, perhaps. A white dress is also a forever piece you'll come back to again and again, so plenty of wear is guaranteed. 

SHOP THE TREND:

I'm a little wary of cut outs but this sophisticated dress has won me over. 

Similar to Janelle's dress in the image above, this flippy mini dress would look effortless with simple leather sandals. 

2. Silk Shirts 

Beautiful silk shirts are one of those things that can't really be replicated on the high street. They may not be the first thing you think of for a summer capsule, but in my opinion they're the ultimate versatile piece. They'll keep you cool for the office or a day of sightseeing around Europe, but you can also throw them on unbuttoned over a bikini for a day to night beach piece that feels really special. 

SHOP THE TREND:

Last year's version of this sold out very quickly and I've regretted not buying it ever since. So this new one is top of my summer wish list. 

A lot of silk shirts also have co-ordinating pieces if you want to make the look feel even more polished. 

This stunning crinkled silk fabric would be so hard to replicate on the high street. 

3. Woven Bags

A basket bag is a basket bag, right? Well, you could argue that— and there's definitely something charming about picking up a simple, affordable one at an Ibizan market. But investing a bit more in a woven summer handbag not only ensures you get those luxury details that elevate your outfits, like logos or buttery leather handles, it also means you can choose an artisanal handwoven item that will last a lot longer than a plastic high street version. 

SHOP THE TREND:

Dragon Diffusion weave their leather beautiful bags with age-old techniques. They're a favourite amongst our editors

This is a sturdy bag that works just as well on the beach as it does for date nights in the UK. 

Prada's version is an influencer favourite. 

4. Leather Sandals

Investment Summer Trends

Photo:

@smythsisters

Invest in beautiful, classic leather sandals and you'll get so much more wear out of them, and even pull them out year after year. 

I can't get over how expensive these new-in minimalist sandals look. They're made with chrome-free tanning leather, as well.  

If you're looking for something timeless and understated that will last you forever, look to St. Agni's leather sandals. 

5. Printed Dresses

On the high street prints can often look quite generic and cheap, often not matching up on the seams (a key detail to look out for for an expensive-looking finish). The same prints can even pop up across different retailers, and then age quite quickly since they're so recognisable— taking away that special feeling that's key to enjoying your items for a long time. Opt instead for pieces from independent brands like Matteau or Rixo that often create their own prints— and you'll cherish them all the more. 

6. Relaxed Tailored Trousers

Trousers might seem like a summer no-go, but pick the right light, breathable material and they can be such an easy way to make your warm-weather outfits look chic. I personally plan on wearing them all summer with a simple ribbed vest tucked in. 

SHOP THE TREND:

Good quality linen always looks timeless and elevated. 

COS easily has the beast quality, most expensive-looking wide-leg trousers on the high street. 

I have a feeling these trousers will garner a cult following among the fashion crowd this summer. 

Related Stories