The 16 Key Pieces You Need for Building the Perfect Warm Weather Wardrobe

When it comes to building the perfect spring / summer wardrobe many women are admittedly stumped. How do you balance the relaxed, spontaneous appeal of the seasons with the everyday demands of life? Well for starters, you've got to have the right basics. To make things a little easier we've compiled a list of the 16 must have pieces that you should build your warm weather wardrobe around. From T-shirts, to Trench coats - These pieces will keep you feeling comfortable, and looking stylish throughout the season.

White T-Shirt

1. White T-Shirt

The classic White T-shirt is an absolute must for your Spring Summer wardrobe. We love it because it can go with everything from your favorite designer jeans, to your cotton skirts. It's a great layering piece, usually inexpensive, machine washable, and comes in a variety of styles so it is sure to flatter every figure. Choose high quality pima cottons or blended materials that have some stretch to them. Jerseys made out of modal, or rayon can also prove an excellent alternative to pure cotton because they tend to stay softer throughout multiple washes and hold their shape better over time. Also consider shrinkage when making your selections - you don't want your t-shirts to be too short. If you plan to layer, have a long torso, or know that the top is going to shrink look for longer length tees that hit just below the hip.

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2. Camisole

You can probably never have too many camisoles, and for the warm weather seasons they are a welcomed alternative to the classic t-shirt. We love them because they allow us to show off our sun kissed shoulders, and keep us cool and comfortable even on the hottest of days. Cami's work great worn alone, but also come in handy for layering under other pieces such as sheer t-shirts, blouses, sundresses, or even blazers. Buy them in every color, and style that you can find - but make sure you have the right bra to go along with them. Bra-Straps are not sexy. If strapless bras don't work for you look for cami's that have built in support.

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Collared Shirt

3. Collared Shirt

Ahhhh! The sweet smell of starched cotton! That's right, we're talking about the classic collared shirt, and if we had to choose we'd pick a white one. The style is so crisp, clean, and versatile - a girl should never be without one. Wear it to work, for an evening out, or even to the beach. Try it tied, unbuttoned, with the sleeves rolled up, tucked in, or with the collar popped whichever you prefer. Make sure you choose a comfortable fit, and consider that some materials will breathe better than others. For spring, and summer you will probably want to stay away from stretch blends that tend to wear too close to the body.

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Cotton Shorts

4. Cotton Shorts

Shorts were made for summer! Not only do they give you a great excuse to show off your legs, but they are also incredibly comfortable to wear in the hot weather. There are a lot of options when it comes to wearing shorts; you can go tailored, cuffed, pleated, walking, bermuda, low-slung, cargo, or cut-off - just make sure they fit you correctly. Nothing is less flattering than shorts that 'crawl-up'. If you tend to have this problem, look for shorts with a longer inseam. Dress up your look by pairing your shorts with a fitted blazer, and some sexy heals.

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Khaki Pants

5. Khaki Pants

Every girl should have a great pair of Khaki pants in her wardrobe. Not only do they wear beautifully on casual weekends, but with a good professional press they can also carry you through the 9-5 as well. We love khakis because they are versatile, comfortable, and classic. They pair well with everything from a denim jacket, to a silk camisole, to your classic T's. Wide leg cuts are most flattering, and styles with a wide waistband can do wonders for your tummy area. Steer clear of high waisted, and pleated khakis - the look is outdated, and most people have a hard time pulling it off.

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Cotton Skirt

6. Cotton Skirt

If you want to get in touch with your feminine side there is probably no better way to do so than by pulling on a pretty cotton skirt. They come in a variety of styles, everything from A-line, pleated, Cargo, Tiered, Straight, Pencil, and Mini - so you're sure to find one that fits your style. Try a breezy prairie skirt for weekend travel, or a tailored pencil skirt for the office. Top your skirts off with a blazer, denim jacket, light-weight cardigan, or tank top depending on your mood and the occasion.

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7. Sundress

Sundresses are probably one of the best things about summer. Wear them well with silhouettes that flatter your figure, and strappy sandals. Transition your day dresses into evening wear by adding a fitted cardigan or jacket, a few accessories, and a stylish clutch.

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Cotton Cardigan

8. Cotton Cardigan

While you'll probably want to pack away your cashmere for the season, don't give up on sweaters completely! A cotton cardigan can serve as a light weight jacket, beach cover up, or layering piece even in the hottest of months. If you're pairing it over a dress or skirt look for cardigans that have some extra feminine details such as scalloped edges, crocheted trim, or a belted waist.

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Light Weight Jacket

9. Light Weight Jacket

Dressing for the weather is tricky when you're constantly shifting between air conditioned interiors and the blazing heat outside, so make sure you have a lightweight jacket by your side. For the office consider a cotton blazer with cropped sleeves, or a tailored denim in a dark wash. Save your lighter wash jean jackets for the weekend as they tend to look more casual.

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Trench Coat

10. Trench Coat

The iconic Trench Coat. Truly this one needs no explanation. A fabulous trench coat is vital to a well rounded spring / summer wardrobe. Invest in a waterproof, wrinkle resistant fabric. Opt for classic styles that belt at the waist, and make sure that the sleeves cover all the way past your wrist bones; and if you really want to make a statement go for a color like Red, Green, Blue, or Pink.

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Straw Bag

11. Straw Bag

Whether in a classic basket or tote straw just feels right for summer. Stock up on styles that have closed top or interior zipped pockets for security. If you're considering a straw bag for work look for a structured style with leather trim that has a more tailored appeal.

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Canvas Tote

12. Canvas Tote

Park your leather satchels for the season, and lighten up your workload by trying out a cute canvas alternative. Canvas handbags are not only lighter weight than leather, but they also have a more casual vibe that is perfect for season. We recommend styles with a sleek design, leather trim, and polished hardware for a look that's sharp and professional!

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Thong Sandals

13. Thong Sandals

Better known as "flip-flop for grown-ups"; thong sandals are a must have for warm weather. They come in every style imaginable, can be comfortable for walking, and pack well for travel. Finding the perfect balance between comfort and style is key; look for a pair that has some arch support on the bottom, and doesn't rub between your toes.

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Open Toed Shoes

14. Open Toed Shoes

Perfect for the office or a night out on the town, an opened toe shoe still has that free spirited appeal of summer, but will keep you looking professional as well. Try a peeped toe sling-back, or slide for the office, and a wedged espadrille or flat for the weekend.

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15. Swimsuit

If Summer had a uniform it would be the swimsuit. Because swimsuits tend to wear out with use it is recommended that you purchase a new one each year. With all the shapes, colors, and styles to choose from your sure to find one that compliments your figure. And of course, if you're still shy about strutting your stuff there's always the.....


16. Beach Cover Up

The beach cover up is considered by many to be a lifesaver! From sarongs, tunics, wrap pants, and skirts the beach cover up not only helps you disguise your flaws, but it can also provide much needed protection from the sun. For travel, we recommend a sarong or button down tunic. Both can be worn in a variety of ways, on and off the beach, providing the most bang for your buck!

Take stock of your closet and make sure that these 16 basic pieces are present. If you have something that looks tired, doesn't fit, or is just out of style throw it out and go find yourself a new one! Think quality not quantity; Pay attention to the items fit, construction, and versatility when making your selections and your sure to find go-to pieces that will work for you throughout the seasons.