Summer Fashion Essentials

Remember the days when you got an allowance and your parents warned you not to spend it all in one place? Back then, we ignored their advice and proceeded to squander the entirety of our earnings on that one CD everyone at school had on repeat. But today, dear readers, we're a bit older and wiser and know how to make smarter decisions with our money, especially when it comes to fashion! So what does that mean for summer wardrobe budgets? We suggest stocking up on a few essentials to get you through this sunny season instead of spending all of your money on just one item! To help you make these savvy purchases, we've compiled a comprehensive list of must-haves, including a chic denim beach tote, a woven hat, and a vibrant bikini. Be sure to check out what other warm-weather products topped our list and don't hesitate to let us know which of our picks were your favourite!

Chic Beach Tote/ Lands' End Canvas 1963 Denim Tote ($59.50) in Dark Denim
Much like wearing stiletto heels to a kid's birthday party, bringing an expensive handbag to the beach is simply not practical for the occasion! If you're ocean-bound this summer, opt for a tote in a casual, durable fabric and make sure it's big enough to hold your towels, sunscreen, and other necessities. We especially love this denim version by Lands' End, which tops our list for numerous reasons: it's spacious, reasonably priced, and sturdy enough to last for many years to come--plus it's still totally stylish! Simply put on your swimsuit and white shorts and stash the rest in this bag for a fuss-free, sun-filled day!

Bold Turquoise Necklace/ Kenneth Jay Lane 22-Karat Gold-Plated Sodalite Necklace ($80, 877.953.5264)
When the weather gets hot, we tend to steer clear of fussy ensembles in favour of easy-to-assemble outfits. That said, one of our favourite styling tricks is adding one bold accent to a minimalist look to take it from boring to stellar in no time! A turquoise necklace is an excellent choice in this case, and we're particularly fond of this Southwestern-meets-tribal-inspired version by Kenneth Jay Lane. Pair this standout bauble with a LWD for a go-anywhere look perfect for a BBQ or any summer fete!

Baja Outerwear/ Ecote Nomad Stripe Hoodie ($49) in Neutral Multi
While we typically reserve hoodies for lazy days at home, we actually think a chic pullover can be a great beach cover-up. Case in point: this striped version by Ecote! With its bold striped print, boxy silhouette, and cool surfer vibe, this outerwear option is a real winner in our books. The perfect complement to tousled, just-got-out-of-the-ocean hair and an itty-bitty bikini, this pullover should definitely be included in your beach bag essentials!

Perfect Hat/ Patricia Underwood Tibbett Hat ($395, 310.860.0123) in Wheat
Basking in the summer sun may be the ultimate luxury, but it definitely comes with a price: sunburns! You'll need something to shield your face from the sun's harsh rays, and a stylish straw hat fits the bill perfectly. We think this one by Patricia Underwood is a particularly versatile option, thanks to its classic shape and simplistic design. You can wear this chic topper with literally anything, from floral dresses to denim cutoffs, for the perfect warm-weather look. We're so crazy about this hat, we think that it will be hard to take off--even when the sun goes down! If you're in the market for a less expensive option, we've got you covered there too. We suggest snagging either ASOS' Seeberger Straw Belted Trilby ($34) or Delia's Fedora Hat ($20) before the season's over!

Flat Leather Sandals/ Pour La Victoire Macbeth Flat Sandals ($194) in Black
One thing that's definitely synonymous with summer style is a pair of flat sandals--and for good reason! They're comfortable, easy to wear, and are appropriate for the beach or the boardwalk. However, that doesn't mean you should resort to your old rubber flip-flops; we suggest reaching for more sophisticated leather sandals like the Macbeth Flat Sandals by Pour La Victoire. We're smitten with the thick, criss-cross ankle straps, which would ground a floaty sundress and make for one stylish and foolproof ensemble! As much as we love this pair, we also think Ecote's Toehold Simple Gladiator Sandal ($34) and Topshop's Fabio White Buckle Cuff Sandals ($85) are spot-on alternatives.

Bright Swimwear/ Eres Mouna Top ($125, 561.655.1660) and Obscur Bottom ($150, 561.655.1660) in Pomme
It's no secret that this season is all about bold colour, so why not translate this trend via your swimwear? If you're still searching for a fantastic bright suit, you simply can't go wrong with an Eres version. Famed for its superior quality and timeless designs, the iconic Parisian brand is an investment that you won't regret! We're highlighting this particular option because of its look-at-me Kelly green colour and classic shape, which makes for one undeniably fashionable suit. But if this splurge isn't in your budget, no need to fret because we think Victoria's Secret's Abbie Sliding Triangle Top ($18) and Matching Bottoms ($16) in Bright Green as well as American Apparel's Nylon Tricot Triangle Bikini Top ($25) and Flat Low-Waist Bikini Bottom ($25) in Serpent are also worthy options!

Khaki Sunglasses/ Pixie Market Cat-Eye Sunglasses ($18) in Caramel
We love experimenting with sunglasses in different colours and shapes, so we've definitely been on the lookout for a fresh new pair to add to our collections this season. We didn't have to look very long, however, thanks to these shades by Pixie Market! The tan frames are a very welcome change from our beloved tortoise shell and black sunnies. In addition, the cat-eye shape gives it a cool retro vibe that will instantly enliven any outfit! We'd also like to point out the wallet-friendly price, which makes us want to grab a pair pronto (not that we actually needed another reason!)--Erin Fitzpatrick