Your Guide to Summer 2021's Wardrobe Essentials

These are your better basics.

What to Wear This Summer

(Image credit: Diego Armando Mendora)

We’ve grown accustomed to the comforts of sweats (opens in new tab) and timeworn tees (opens in new tab), but this season we’re peeling off the layers. Liberating ourselves via clothes, author and lingerie expert Cora Harrington explains, is a convention steeped in history. Following the darkness of World War I, sultry skin-baring silhouettes demonstrated a lighthearted ethos. “The 1920s were an era when people were exploring themselves, exploring sensuality and kind of this new spirit of the world,” says Harrington. A century later, as we get ready to let loose once again, our wardrobes (opens in new tab) will follow suit. Ditch your sleepy hibernation clothes for a handful of free-spirited pieces: a slight standalone silk camisole that’s surprisingly easy to hand-wash, a roomy pair of khakis, and a radiant pendant necklace that will brighten the mood.


The Silk Cami

No need to be coy, a dainty silk camisole with an ultra luxe hand-feel shouldn't be hidden.

Shop more silk camis here (opens in new tab).


The Pendant Necklace

Whether you prefer structural pieces or daintier designs, a striking pendant necklace will add a bit of je ne sais quoi to any outfit.

Shop more pendant necklaces here (opens in new tab).


The Baggy Khaki

Thanks to their neutral hue, khakis pair perfectly with summertime prints and lighthearted accessories. The relaxed cut avoids any office drone implications.

Shop more khakis here (opens in new tab).


The Ballet Flat

The versatile ballet flat has become the city girl's go-to shoe. Opt for a pointed-toe version to refine any look.

Shop more ballet flats here (opens in new tab).


The Day Clutch

Who said clutches were just for the evening? Woven materials and bright colors mean these hand-helds are just right for sunshine-y days.

Shop more day clutches here (opens in new tab).

A version of this story appears in the Summer 2021 issue of Marie Claire.

Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.