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A Young Woman’s Guide to Classy and Carefree Summer Fashion

Woman browsing different styles in a clothing store.
Dressing for warm weather occasions can be tricky if you want to maximize your options without showing too much skin. Here’s a trend-savvy summer style guide to get you started.

Ever since I was a young girl, my mom instilled in me a love for fashion. Following her chic and elegant example, I cultivated a great interest in all things clothing and a deep appreciation for beauty. Over the years, my appreciation for and knowledge of style eventually drew me to the fashion retail industry where I worked everywhere from a privately-owned, European-inspired boutique to Anthropologie.

With summer in full swing, it can be difficult to find wardrobe pieces that are comfortable, cool and on trend while also classy and appropriate; even those of us who know stores and styling can get frustrated. To take some of the “guessing out of dressing” for our female readers, here are some of my top picks for all things summer style, categorized for convenience.

Work Style

  • Linen: When the air is heavy and the sun beats down, nothing is more comfortable and freeing than linen. Whether it’s pants, a shirt, or matching set, linen will keep you cool and classy at work. Worried about wrinkles appearing throughout the day? Throw a mini Downy Wrinkle Release Spray in your purse and you’ll be good to go.
  • Oversized button-down: These shirts never go out of style; for decades they have stayed trendy, tried and true, and allow you to look put together in the workplace. Plus, they can be easily paired with slacks, jeans, skirts and even dresses, and are usually cooler the looser they fit.
  • Mary Janes: Mary Janes are all the rage. This style of shoe is classic, comfortable, and can be dressed up or down, perfect for transitioning from the office to after-work escapades. This versatile style can be found in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a more heeled look to a ballet flat.
  • Mesh flats: For those especially hot and humid days when you’d rather wear flip flops, these flats are the closest you can get. Simple but elegantly designed, they make for a comfortable option for any working woman looking to stay dressed up while on her feet all day.
image of work styles

Concert Style

  • Denim: For summer concerts, denim-inspired looks are a versatile option for almost any genre of music — not just country. Denim jeans are clearly a classic, but dresses, skirts and denim matching sets can give a fun flair to your look.
  • Rompers: Perfect for the outdoor concert scene, a romper will keep you cool as you move. All one piece, they also stay put, which is helpful when you find yourself in a mosh pit of people.
  • Boots: Foldover! Leather! Suede! Cowgirl-style! So many options. Boots will instantly elevate any look and make concert style fun and trendy.
  • Maxi dresses & sundresses: For a fancier concert such as the orchestra or for an outdoor concert, a maxi dress or sundress is the perfect outfit option. Long and flowy, maxis are effortlessly feminine and provide the perfect amount of coverage from the sun. And sundresses, while a little more casual, are perfect for lawn seats at a concert under the stars.
images of concert style

“Soirée” Style

  • White dress: This is a summer must-have and a piece that will serve you well — a classy and timeless option for any fancy summer event, and the perfect excuse to wear white before the Labor Day deadline. While we can’t all be guests alongside Serena Van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf at a party in the Hamptons, a white dress moment may make us feel as close as we can get.
  • Platform sandals: For a more semi-formal event, platform sandals can do the trick. Incredibly versatile, there’s a platform for everyone, and they are easy to find due to their steady popularity. For a wide variety of this style, Steve Madden has all the options!
  • Patterns and styles: In the summer, style variety in patterns and fabrics is abundant. Mix up your options with fun colors and prints. You can’t go wrong with satin, flowers, ruffles, pleats, vibrant solids or gingham prints.
  • Slingback heels: These heels are daintier than most, perfect for the summertime. A lower heel makes them easier than most other heels to walk in, and they can be a focal point of any fancy outfit with their uniquely strappy design.
images of Soiree style

Athleisure Style

  • Tennis skirts, athletic dresses and onesies: For a light game of pickleball, an afternoon walk, or a casual hike, these are your go-to pieces. Comfortable, cool and colorful, they’re the perfect mix between feminine and sporty.
  • Monochromatic sets: Matching sets have become increasingly popular, and for good reason. A short-sleeved shirt and shorts for during the day when it’s hot, and a long-sleeved shirt and sweatpants for the cool of the evening make these the perfect summertime pairings.
  • Tailored joggers: For the working girl who wants to always be comfy, these pants are for you. Mimicking the professional look of trousers and slacks with the comfort of athletic pants, you’ll be on you’re A-game with these.
  • Sneakers: When it comes to the perfect athleisure outfit, chic sneakers are a must. Right now, there are a variety of brands trending. While some are especially pricey, you can always find a dupe of your favorite pair on Amazon.

Although this list has been categorized into certain styles for specific events and settings, all are applicable to other categories as well. For instance, sneakers are very versatile and can also be worn in the workplace or at a concert. Knowing your setting and the logistics of an event will also help you choose the right outfit.

Finally, fashion is fun, but it’s no substitute for godly character and kindness. 1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds us,

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

Love God and others while expressing your own sense of style; it’s the formula for looking and feeling great!

Copyright 2024 Quinn Delamater. All rights reserved. 

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About the Author

Quinn Delamater
Quinn Delamater

Quinn Delamater is the 2024 Boundless intern. A Midwest girl through and through, Quinn is from the town of Hudson, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), and attends Hillsdale College in southern Michigan. At Hillsdale, Quinn is a rising junior majoring in Rhetoric & Media with a minor in Journalism. In college, Quinn is also involved in her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, where she serves as the Events Director, as well as a writer for the school newspaper and the marketing department. Quinn enjoys being on the go and is passionate about traveling, worship music, finding good coffee shops, and skiing.

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