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Summer Outfit Inspiration: Styling Neutrals for Summer

August 3, 2020

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend and managed to get a little fun in, too. We really have to dig deep to plan fun things these days, don’t we? But it’s worth it, sweet gal. So I encourage you…and me…to get creative and plan some fun ways to relax a little and enjoy our somewhat unusual summer days.

But first, let’s check out some simple summer outfit inspiration. I’m just gathering up all my summer outfits that feature neutrals. It’s at this time in a season that I start looking for fresh ways to style my favorites. So I hope you can find a little inspiration from this set of looks.

Summer Outfit Inspiration Neutrals

As much as a little color can lift my spirits and make all things cheerful, I still love my neutrals. And while I think certain colors can make each of us glow with health, I still believe that sometimes too much color can take center stage and leave us in the wings. You should be the focal point of your outfit, not the other way around. That’s why I love dressing in neutrals. They provide a subtle background and cast the attention on your face.

Let’s check out some of the neutrals outfits I’ve shared this spring and summer. Maybe seeing these again…or for the first time, will inspire you to put some things in your closet together in a new way.

Wearing Black in the Summer

For this first set of looks, I’ll feature black. I love wearing black in the summer…always have. I think the key to wearing black is to choose lightweight fabrics, interesting textures and maybe some interesting accessories.

Black & White

You can’t get any more basic than the outfit below. It’s just a black tee and white chinos. But the interesting accessories give this neutrals look some punch. See the full post for all the styling details and to shop the look.

Black & white Summer Outfit
See the full post for all the styling details and to shop the look.

The next look is from a How I Really Dressed for My Day post. Again, this is a very simple black and white look. But a little black and gold jewelry and sharp white sneakers pull it together. See the full post for styling tips and to shop the look.

black pants
See the full post for styling tips and to shop the look.

This next look is from the same How I Really Dressed for My Day post, and it turns out that was in May. So I guess I technically wore this in the spring. But I know many of my readers live in places where they wear long sleeve cotton sweaters all summer, especially in the cool mornings or evenings. And I absolutely love a long sleeve black sweater with white pants, whether they’re chinos or jeans.

how I really dressed for my day
See the full post for styling tips and to shop the look.

Finally, here’s the look in reverse with black chinos and a white popover. This is a great work look for summer. See the full post for styling tips and to shop the look.

Classic Black Chinos for Spring (3)
See the full post for styling tips and to shop the look.

Black & Grey

Now let’s make a subtle pivot into black and grey. Actually, this first look is sort of a trio of black, white and grey.

Brooklyn Wide Leg Crop Pant // viper skin mock neck golf polo // Sperry Adriatic Flip Flops in black

The above look features the Brooklyn Wide Leg Crop Pant. I absolutely love these easy-to-wear pants. They were part of my What to Wear While You Get There video. See the full post for styling tips and to shop the look.

The next look is ultra basic with black chinos and an easy grey crewneck tee, but I think it’s so sharp. This crewneck tee is ultra soft and has a beautiful drape.

Simple Black & Grey Summer Outfit
Marcy crewneck solid tee // black relaxed fit chinos (50% OFF TODAY) // Madewell Sidewalk Sneakers // no-show socks // McGraw Leather Hobo (beautiful more economical option) // Parker Link Collar Necklace // Compass Coin Pendant Necklace // French Wire Twirl Earrings

Here’s another easy grey and black look. This time I’m wearing my railroad stripe shorts. They’re no longer available in the length I’m wearing, but they’re still fully stocked and marked down in the Bermuda length.

Really Dressed 8
railroad strip shorts only in Bermuda length // silky cotton lantern sleeve top (now 31% off) // flip flops // multi strand necklace // face mask

And while my particular grey graphic tee is no longer available, I think this outfit is worth showing just to remind us how great this combo can look. I LOVE a grey graphic tee with black pants. AND these Chelsea wide leg pants are now marked down 30%.
Chelsea Utility Wide Leg Pants // graphic tee no longer available – similar option // flip flops // coin necklace // French wire twirl earrings

Black & Camel

Let’s consider one more combination with black…camel or caramel or butterscotch…whatever you want to call this rich, toasty brown.

7″ Chino Shorts in Cafe // v-neck Supima cotton t-shirt in black // similar leopard print belt // Kendra Scott Elisa Necklace (customized) // Kendra Scott Veronica hoop earrings in gold // bracelet no longer available // Tory Burch sunglasses (more economical alternative) // sneakers in white and navy (more economical option) // Bombas Cushioned no-show socks // comparable tote

Also keep in mind that this color combination is a great pairing when you’re trying to take your summer wardrobe into fall months. I wear this a lot in September. And yes, animal print is definitely a neutral. That’s the beauty of styling it really.

My animal print tee below is from last summer, but you’ll find two great options from the same brand here. And they’re great prices, last I checked.

Really Dressed Outfit 1
similar animal print t-shirt from same brand // Brooklyn Wide Leg Crop Pants // substitute earrings // black flip flops

I’ve really enjoyed my silky cotton lantern sleeve top from Everlane this summer. So I recently purchased another one in white. They’re marked down 31% and selling fast. You won’t believe how silky soft this shirt is.

Lantern Sleeve Cotton top with shorts
7″ chino shorts in cafe (wearing an 8, TTS) // Silky Cotton Lantern Top in black (wearing an 8, TTS) reduced 30% // Gala two-strap genuine calf hair slide sandals // reversible belt (wearing medium) // similar reversible faux leather tote bag // earrings // customized Elisa multi-strand necklace // sunglasses // similar bracelet

While I wouldn’t wear the black cardigan below most summer days, I absolutely would add it if I were wearing this next outfit to church since the air conditioning can be very cold.

Chic Spring Outfit Topped 2 Ways
Leopard Print V-Neck Blouse (now in NSale) // Patch Pocket Crop Chinos // similar cardigan // Studded Gladiator Slide Sandal (flat option) // black leather hobo bag // Elisa Multi Strand Necklace // Earrings // black reversible belt (up to 50% off)

Or you could add a denim jacket to ward off the air conditioning.

Chic Spring Outfit Topped 2 Ways
Leopard Print V-Neck Blouse (now in NSale) // Patch Pocket Crop Chinos // denim jacket // Studded Gladiator Slide Sandal (flat option) // black leather hobo bag // Elisa Multi Strand Necklace // Earrings // black reversible belt (up to 50% off)

By the way, if you’re looking for a denim jacket for the fall (and every gal needs one!), you might want to check out my Levi’s Original Trucker denim jacket at Kohl’s. Mine is in sweet Jane and I’ve had it for over 25 years. Love, love, LOVE.

Other Neutral Combos

My final category of neutrals is simply other. Ha! I’m including flax or beige, olive green and various combinations with white. You’ll see a lot of my natural colored linen pants because they’ve become a seasonal favorite for sure.

natural colored linen pants // tee no longer available // sandals (60% off again!!!)

I almost didn’t show the above outfit because the tee is no longer available. But the sandals – clear summer favorites that I wear sooo often – are marked down 60% again. Anyhow, since the idea of this post is pure summer outfit inspiration, you could certainly duplicate the above look with another t-shirt in neutrals.

I’m throwing the next outfit into this category because, while it looks colorful with the addition of the print scarf, it’s really just a great combination of neutrals elevated with the right accessories.

Chic Summer Date Night Look
See the original post for the details.

And here are a few more with those great utility pants. Did you know that they never even carried those utility pants in the stores this spring and summer? I’m pretty sure I’ve sold every pair they’ve sold right here at Dressed for My Day. Raise your hand if you have a pair and love them! I’m pretty sure that’s about 60 of you. No joke.

Sage Green Slim Utility Pants 4 Ways
See the original post for details.
Another Reason You Need a Chambray Shirt
See the original post for details.

Okay, let’s get back to those natural colored linen pants. The look below is definitely one of my favorite of the summer. In fact, this is probably the outfit I’ve worn most frequently of all of them, too. Yes, this is summer 2020…

Elegant & Effortless Summer Neutrals
See the original post for details. white embroidered gauze blouse (also in navy and still in stock and marked down!)

I’m surprised to discover that the white embroidered gauze blouse above as well as its navy counterpart is still in stock and marked down. This has been one of my summer favorites for sure.

You can find more great ways to wear those natural colored linen pants in this video, 7 Ways to Style Linen Pants. Truthfully, I probably wear them with this simple cotton blend tank in white or black top more than anything.

Shorts from J.Jill
See the original post for details.

And my final look is this easy breezy shorts outfit from J.Jill. While the cotton-stretch shorts are just about sold out, the white linen easy shirt is still fully stocked. And really that shirt is what makes this outfit look oh so chic.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down “neutral lane.” Ha! I think I’m going to change out of my colorful Sunday dress (this one from last year) and put on those linen pants now.

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Summer Outfit Inspiration Neutrals

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Blessed for My Day

Let’s talk this week about how we can become more like Christ. When we choose to follow Him and to accept His gift of salvation, we also commit to becoming more like Him. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives and begins the work of transforming us. So we don’t have to “clean up our act” on our own. He directs and enables this process.

But we do need to cooperate. And the level to which we cooperate and avail ourselves to God’s transforming power in our lives, we will be useful vessels in God’s kingdom. Ultimately, there is nothing more transforming than simple obedience. And yet, there’s absolutely nothing simple about obedience! Today may we be women who are aware of the precepts of God’s Word and who choose to obey them diligently.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. ~ James 1:22

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xoxo, Kay
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6 thoughts on “Summer Outfit Inspiration: Styling Neutrals for Summer

  1. I am one of your readers who purchased all three colors of the utility pants ??‍♀️. This post is so me. I wear neutrals, which for me include navy and white, all the time.

  2. I enjoyed your article and the pics, but I am just the opposite. I always wear a neutral on the bottom but love brighter colors on top. It isn’t about the outfit, it just makes me happy inside, especially during the Michigan winters. But your neutrals give me ideas of how to put my outfits together. Thanks

  3. It depends on my mood. I love all these looks and they reflect my taste the best but sometimes I feel like a fun color or bold print. Graphic tees are there too. I consider sage green a neutral in my wardrobe. It looks great with my pinks.

  4. Guilty as charged! I have the pants from Chico’s in the sage green and camel, so this post gave me several great ideas on how to style them. Because of this post, I now what I am wearing next week for Larry’s monthly checkup at the cancer center, so THANK YOU! I saved a couple of your looks to Pinterest for future reference. I hope that you had a nice Monday.