The Ultimate Guide to Budget-Friendly and Trendy Summer Outfit Picks
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The heat is on, and with it comes a unique set of challenges. As the temperatures rise, the hunt is on to find outfits that represent your style, all while staying cool and looking cool! According to insiders, the trends of the season mix florals, modern pieces, and flowy numbers, giving you ample opportunity to upgrade your wardrobe.
Thanks to our sleuthing skills, we’ve found outfits that won’t make your wallet wish for winter. Considering that last year was a real scorcher and this year is predicted to be a toasty one, be prepared — because nothing ruins the fun more than feeling uncomfortable! Poolside, on the rooftop, barbecuing outdoors, and even dancing the night away at weddings will be even more enjoyable thanks to these fashionable threads.
1. Floral Crop Top & Ruffled Miniskirt Set
Price: $16 at SHEIN
Florals for summer? Spring may have passed, but florals are still groundbreaking this season! Fun, firty, colorful, and repping the wraparound tie trend, this dynamic duo lets you bare some skin. Short butterfly sleeves, shirred detailing, and a surplice neckline complete the upper half, while the matching miniskirt boasts a flattering high-rise waist with an asymmetrical tulip hem and ruffled trim. Dress it up with strappy sandals or go casual with white sneakers — throw over a denim jacket when the sun sets, and you’re good to go!
2. High-Waisted Cutoff Jean Shorts
Price: $39.99 $22 at Old Navy
We love that the mom jean is back, and these shorts are extra high-waisted — which is ideal for crop tops and post-beach days to throw on over your bikini bottoms. And the pockets! So many pockets, especially the “Clever Secret-Slim" front pockets that hold you in for a slimming effect. Lightweight, comfy, and stretchy, the fit balances out with the distressed, lived-in look that are majorly laid-back, but versatile enough to go from day to night.
3. One-Shoulder Tank Top
Price: $34.50 at Macy’s
Oh so chic, this fitted one-shoulder tank top offers a sultry silhouette, acting as the perfect topper to skirts and high-waisted denim shorts. You get the contemporary, neutral tone that goes with just about anything, and the added spandex in the blend hugs the body perfectly. Add some layered necklaces or dramatic earrings and your ensemble just went from simple to stunning!
4. Smocked Waist Midi Skirt
Price: $25 at Target
Talk about comfortable and fashionable! Predominantly made from linen, the heat is no match for this number. We especially love the fully elastic waistband, smocked for a clean detail and secure fit, especially after overindulging at a barbecue. Did we mention the pockets? Functional and full of flair, it elevates a simple white tee; add on some espadrilles and a woven purse, and you’ll have a relaxed style worthy of a thousand compliments.
5. Yellow Long Sleeve Ruffle Hem Dress
Price: $27.99 at Target
Rooftop soireés are the ideal locale to flaunt this frock. In a soft, pale yellow hue, you can find comfort and class while flaunting the puff sleeve trend that’s hitting the scene by storm. The romanticism gives it a delicate feel, while the fashion-forward silhouette makes you the hippest cat in the crowd. The dress itself is made from 100% cotton for maximum breathability so you can stay “chill" all day long.
6. Vegan Leather Crossbody Handbag
Price: $24.99 at Walmart
This is the most fabulous finish to any ensemble. The vegan leather is as soft as the real thing, giving a pop of color that will turn heads with envy, and a size that is big enough to fit your summer essentials to freshen up. The crossbody strap also adds to the convenience of this piece, while a matching chain detail gives it an edgy feel.
7. Side Slit Palazzo Pant
Price: $29.99 $15 at Charlotte Russe
Pants aren’t always the most heat-friendly option during the summer months, but when you add some wide-leg action, a sassy side slit, and a high, smocked waist, you get a breezy style that complements dressier blouses or even statement tank tops with sexy cutouts. The rayon fabric is ultra thin, allowing for breathability more so than other fabrics.
8. Double Flounce Tank
Price: $44 $13.09 at Kohl’s
Bold in every way! Block colors and stripes merge to create an adorable topper to outfits worthy of the ensuing compliments. The summer-friendly rayon fabric has a cooling effect due to its inherent lightness, and the tie shoulders allow for a better fit, adjustable in their design. Each strip has its own unique pattern, so your outfit will also be an intriguing conversation piece.
9. Boho High Waist Split Midi Skirt
Price: $17.99-$23.99 at Amazon
In more than 30 colors, patterns, and designs, this snazzy skirt shows a bit of leg while staying classy thanks to a slim silhouette and button details. Its softness is craveable, but beware, the “stretch" factor isn’t the best. Nonetheless, it comes in a range of sizes so you can wear it to a rooftop aerie on a balmy night, or toss it over your bathing suit as a makeshift sarong.
10. Crochet Floppy Hat
Price: $38 11.30 at Kohl’s
With any summer outfit comes the opportunity to accessorize, and a hat is the ultimate crown atop a seasonally-influenced getup! When the sunshine is particularly beating down from above, get coverage with this bohemian-inspired, wide-brimmed topper designed by Lauren Conrad. It has a 3.75-inch floppy brim, a hidden elastic band for a cozy fit to withstand breezes, and a gorgeous crochet detail that offers style and substance.
11. Cropped Short Sleeve Tie-Front Flutter Top
Price: $20 at Target
Metallics that can be worn anytime are having a moment right now, so take advantage without going full disco ball. This top is made using at least 20% recycled polyester that’s made by turning old plastic into new polyester fibers. The front tie lets you customize the fit, enhancing a flirty silhouette that shows off your figure via a peplum cut and a fluttery finish.
12. High-Rise Paperbag Shorts
Price: $25 at Target
Most likely a retort to the body-con biker short, this roomier style is becoming a summer wardrobe staple that blends comfort and polish — no easy feat! Made of linen and rayon, every fiber lets your legs breathe, so boiling days and humid nights should cause you no concern. The elastic waist is supported by a self-tie belt and a hidden hook and bar closure, and, of course, pockets! Everything's better with pockets.