The Few Things You Actually Do Need For the Summer

You don’t need a $400 Gucci beach towel for the summer.

You don’t need a $315 peace sign bikini ’cause all the goodwill in the world ain’t gonna pay for that thing.

And you definitely don’t need another pair of khaki short-shorts or that same cotton dress in one more color.

What you do need are a few summer wardrobe updates that you can buy and then wear while eating the food you’re still able to pay for. As always, the number of new things you buy doesn’t really matter. It’s more important to make sure that all the items work with each other and the things you own.

  1. Put down that boring sundress! It looks like everything you’ve got in your closet. Instead, go with something show-stopping in a print. Keep it on the short, flirty side, and you’ll be able to dress it up for dinner and down for day time. This flower print fits the bill and would be great with flip-flops or sky-high heels. [$24.80, Forever21]
  2. Speaking of sky-high heels, these are adorable. Choose red instead of pink or purple, and you’ll be able to wear them as easily with a printed sundress as a black pencil skirt. [$67.50, Promiscuous, Zappos.com]
  3. We love a big straw tote because it carries from the beach to a lunch date and to a party as long as it’s fairly casual. The white accent trim makes it dressier than your standard straw tote. Look for little touches. [$20, Spiegel]
  4. Your crazy printed dress doesn’t need much in the way of a necklace. Last summer’s tanks—you know, the ones that used to be white but are looking a little yellow—could use all the help they can get. Stretch the life of a tee or dress that you’re thoroughly sick of with a new, oh-so-summery necklace. ($42, Coming Dusk, Anthropologie)

Photos: Forever21, Zappos.com, Spiegel, Anthropologie

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