When the sun comes out and the temperature starts to heat up, you know that summer is just around the corner.
Nothing helps you get into the mood for the warmer weather quite so well as putting away the coats, jumpers and boots and pulling out your summer wardrobe staples.
We also can’t resist adding a few new summer wardrobe essentials to the rotation each year.
Summer clothes are just plain fun: bright colours, cool prints and breathable, lightweight fabrics. Not to mention plenty of opportunity to show off legs, shoulders and arms.
In fact, nothing updates your wardrobe quite so easily as a sleeveless top, which takes you from work to weekend without leaving you feeling the heat. This season, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to sleeveless options, whether you’re after a more tailored sleeveless jacket or a slinky, silky cami top for your next night out.
Here are five summer wardrobe essentials – which reflect some of the season’s top catwalk trends – that we’re seriously lusting after…bring on summer.
1. Something Gingham
Summer clothes are all about the prints: florals, stripes, tribal, Hawaiian… This season, gingham played a starring role on catwalks like Marc Jacobs and Victoria Beckham, and considering how wearable and easy to style it is, we’re not surprised.
Dispel all notions of looking like you’re wearing a picnic blanket – the classic summer pattern has grown up. Think sleeveless tops decorated with broderie anglaise and florals, tailored trousers and figure-hugging dresses.
Sea crochet-paneled stretch-cotton gauze top, £275, Net a Porter
2. The Slinky Slip Dress
The whole underwear-as-outerwear thing isn’t going away anytime soon, and for summer, bra-tops, camis and corsets reign supreme. Now, unless you’re 15 or have catwalk model-esque proportions, swapping your go-with-everything vest top for a bralette isn’t going to sound too appealing, right?
However, rocking a 90s-inspired grunge slip dress is an entirely different story. Choose from lacy trims, lots of straps and satiny finishes or go full-length for wedding season. Choose an orange version to nail summer’s hottest hue.
Cross strap slip dress, £29, Topshop
3. A Ruffled Top, Dress Or Skirt
Add a touch of romance to your summer wardrobe with something ruffled or frilled.
A ruffled blouse adds a feminine touch to everyday workwear – and is a great twist on the basic white button down – while a ruffle detail on a dress can make your look more playful or dramatic, depending on the occasion.
Elias ruffle-front top, £125, Reiss
4. The Cold-Shoulder Top
If there’s one silhouette that defines spring-summer 2016, it’s the cold shoulder. Off-the-shoulder tops have been popular for decades, beloved by style icons like Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, and this season, there’s a way to wear the style for any occasion.
Choose a gypsy peasant top for festival chic, update the everyday T-shirt with a peekaboo shoulder version in a bright summery shade or pick up a body (another versatile must-have for the season) in basic black to pair with everything from denim hot pants to party-ready, shimmering, pleated midi skirts.
Black cold shoulder body top, £12, Dorothy Perkins
5. Flat Mules
Sometimes the fashion world surprises us with exactly what we wanted, when we wanted. Behold this season’s shoe silhouette: the flat mule.
Mules tip-toed onto catwalks from Gucci to Balenciaga, with a style to suit every personality and occasion: tasseled loafers, embroidered slippers, open-toed suede and leather sandals and babouches. Easy to wear, easy to pair and comfortable. We’re sold.
Becksondergaard Zaaida brown mules, £75, The Dressing Room