Summer is arguably the best season to experiment with different looks and color palettes. It’s the time where wearing loud, vibrant prints is valid — encouraged and expected even — with casual, laidback outfits just as acceptable. But even though the season calls for creativity, you also should be wary about the type of pieces you’ll be sporting. The increasing temperatures mean you have to pick items that will not cause you to perspire more than you should, all while ensuring that you still evoke the fun and relaxed vibe of the season. When it comes to your summer wardrobe, it has to be trendy, functional, and cool (in the literal sense).

To help you build a capsule wardrobe that will ensure you conquer the summer in style, here are some pieces you should consider:

  1. Sunglasses with UV Protection
    Sunglasses are a must-have to protect your eyes from the intense glare of the sun, but you have to make sure that the pair you wear has UV protection. You can always indulge in cheap pairs that complement your outfit, but if you’re going to be driving or spending time outside for an extended period, you should look into UV lenses to block most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Life As Mama also notes that the pair you choose should work best with your face shape, so do try a few on to find the perfect glasses for you.
  2. A Bathing Suit If you have plans on visiting the beach or dipping in the pool, you’ll need a well-fitting bathing suit. Real Simple suggests that a one or two-piece in a neutral color like black, white, or navy is ideal considering these hues never go out of style. Then again, by all means, you can pick up bathing suits with fun prints, especially for occasions like going on a road trip with friends or hosting a party.
  3. A Casual Shirt Dress A nice, casual dress is one of the most important pieces of your summer wardrobe essentials. As previously mentioned, summer is all about being laid-back and casual, and you’ll need a dress that looks effortlessly good. In their guide to the best dress types for petites, Pretty Me emphasizes how shirt dresses are a great choice, since they can be easily paired with sneakers or a pair of sandals for a casual vibe. However, make sure you find a shirt dress that isn’t too baggy, and that you get one that falls above the knee so it doesn’t overpower your frame.
  4. A Fancy Hat Regardless of the design, hats are a must. But since you’re investing in one anyway, might as well go fancy, right? You can always opt for the classic fedora or a simple straw hat that can bode well with your summer dresses and daisy dukes. For errand days or bad hair days, a good ‘ol baseball cap is your best friend.

Dressing up for the summer can be a pain, but as long as you have these pieces in your closet, your June-through-August dressing experience should go without a hitch. For more fashion tips, explore our Weekend Wardrobe article.