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My Summer Wardrobe Essentials

Building a Wardrobe
May 23, 2023

Spring has flown by and summer is almost here. It’s a time for one and two-piece outfits, easy-breezy and simple. We’ll undoubtedly be dressing lighter, but that actually just makes having the essentials all the more important. So today I’m sharing the summer wardrobe essentials you’ll want to have in your closet and drawers so you can create cool but classy outfits.

What is a Wardrobe Essential?

Wardrobe essentials are those clothing basics that you’ll need in your closet to create beautiful, interesting, functional outfits in a season. Generally, with a few exceptions, I like to spend more of my wardrobe budget on these pieces because I expect them to stand up to lots of wear.

Keep in mind that, depending on the climate where you live, the amount of traveling you do, your lifestyle and your personal style essence, your list of summer wardrobe essentials may vary from mine. But the key is to make sure you have plenty of staples – pants, dresses/skirts, tops and outer layers – in either one of your two neutrals or your signature colors so that you can mix and match your clothing. (By the way, you can learn more about selecting the colors of your wardrobe and what I mean by neutrals and signature colors in this post.)

Remember, this is my summer wardrobe essentials list that I’m sharing with you. As I write it I’m actually doing the work of assessing my wardrobe to see if I have the things I’ll need to create stylish, interesting and wearable outfits for my casual lifestyle this summer. I’ll need

  • very comfortable but slightly elevated outfits for working from home (I work smarter when I look smart!)
  • easy outfits for traveling
  • casual, pretty outfits for meeting friends for lunch
  • elevated casual outfits for dates and outings with James
  • and slightly dressy outfits for a couple of speaking engagements

Pro Tip: Make a similar list of the types of outfits you’ll wear where before you try to determine your wardrobe essentials. Start with the outfits and work backwards to the separate elements that make up those combinations.

I share this list as a starting place for your own personal summer wardrobe essentials list. But your summer wardrobe essentials list – depending on your lifestyle, location and preferences – may be different from mine. So take my list and use it simply as a starting place, a guide, but not necessarily the gold standard.

With that, let’s get started!

2 Pair Casual Shorts

In the past my list started with denim shorts. But in recent years I’ve decided that I still want a pair of denim shorts as the base of my shorts options, but I also want a pair of casual but slightly more “grown up” shorts for everyday wear. I think it’s important to have two pair of very versatile shorts that I can effortlessly pair with a t-shirt for everyday wear, but they don’t necessarily need to be denim.

Denim Shorts with a Simple Tee
similar denim shorts // see more of this post for details

I purchased the denim shorts above from Talbots, but these are similar (and selling out fast!).

The length of your shorts is totally up to you. Most women will look good in shorts with an inseam between 4″ and 7″. Longer shorts will look better on women with longer legs (I’m 5’8″). But if you’re not so tall and still desire to wear Bermuda length shorts, pair them with sandals or sneakers in a color close to the shade of your skin. That way your legs will look longer and the lengthier shorts will look more in proportion.

Clothed in Strength Tee
cotton twill shorts // See more of this post for details // t-shirt no longer available but find similar ones HERE and use code KAYHARMS for 10% off.

The shorts featured above are another great option for casual, versatile shorts. They fit true to size and come in several neutral shades. My casual shorts will see a lot of wear, therefore I do want casual shorts that feel comfortable and look good. So I’m willing to spend a little more on this summer wardrobe essential. However, I only wear them one season of the year here in Ohio, so I don’t want to blow a large portion of my clothing budget on them either. The bottom line is I invest in good quality casual shorts but I choose not to pay for premium denim.

Note: All of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you shop through them and buy something, I potentially earn a commission, but at no additional cost to you. Thank you for shopping my links and supporting my work. It’s a pleasure to serve you!

1 Pair Dressier Shorts

I do still occasionally choose to wear shorts out and about, too. I have a feeling the day will come when I’ll stop wearing shorts beyond my front door. I know many of my readers have already made that decision, and as I age I can understand why. But for now I still like to have at least one pair of dressier shorts on hand. Especially when we’re vacationing in warmer climates I like to have these to wear out to dinner or for an outing.

Linen Shirt and White Shorts
Shorts from several years ago – similar shorts – See the original post.

I frequently choose dressier white shorts, but you could also go with another neutral such as black, taupe or navy. And actually even a gingham plaid in a classic color like black or navy will work as a versatile closet staple in your summer wardrobe, too.

If you like to wear shorts to a casual outing, I simply suggest having some with a little more polish in a neutral color or gingham. Choose some you can easily dress up or down for versatility. That way you can include them in your summer vacation packing list and they’ll serve multiple purposes. Last year I purchased these flax colored linen shorts, and they proved to be very multifunctional.

Linen Shorts
linen shorts (in other colors, too) // See the previous post for details.

I personally love Ann Taylor for dressier shorts. That’s where I’ve gotten many of my favorites, including the gingham shorts above. But Chico’s is another great source, especially for longer Bermuda length shorts. And I got the linen shorts from Talbots. I’ve filled the shopping widget below with shorts that have a slightly elevated style.

By the way, I have a video from last summer full of tips for wearing shorts stylishly over 50.

2 – 3 Pair Casual Summer Weight Pants

Especially since I’ve gotten a little older and since I’m moved north, I find myself wearing casual summer weight pants more frequently during the warm months. These are things like chinos, cargo pants, joggers and linen pants. Most of the time I prefer a cropped or ankle length in these casual go-to pants.

LInen Pants and Espadrilles
linen blend pants (also in other neutrals) // See the original post for details.

A couple of years ago I fell in love with linen, so my favorite casual summer weight pants are in this distinctly summery natural fiber. But you can choose pants in cotton, Tencel or a cotton-linen blend, too.

Bristol White Pants & Polo
Bristol pants // polo shirt // similar sandals // tote // palm necklace // Megara necklace (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off) // bracelet // earrings

While I’ll undoubtedly have a few lightweight pants in prints or fun colors, too, the essentials are in my chosen neutrals. That way they’ll be more versatile. This year my neutrals are flax, white and black, but I also have ivory and khaki colored chinos in my closet from previous years.

Blue Kate Spade Shoulder Bag
similar ivory chinos // See the original post for details.

These summer weight casual pants can be in any silhouette that you enjoy and that works well with your body shape and proportions. They don’t have to be straight leg pants in order to be versatile. Choose from wide, flare, straight, balloon, relaxed, jogger or slim leg silhouettes.

3 Ways to Wear Linen Relaxed Crops
linen wide leg crop pants // see the original post for details.

And you can also choose from cropped, ankle or full length pants. You do you! It’s summer, and your fashion choices should be more fun than ever, even amongst your summer wardrobe essentials.

Comfortable Casual Spring Look for Touring the Town
relaxed chinos // See the original post for details.

Honestly, while I do need and wear shorts, I pretty much lived in lightweight pants last summer. If you, like me, find yourself wearing shorts less often these days, I suggest having at least three pair of versatile, lightweight summer pants in neutrals that you can easily mix and match all summer long.

What to wear to a College or High School Graduation this Spring
black Bristol pants // see the original post for details

Choose wisely and you can dress these versatile pants up or down.

1 – 2 Pair Dressier Summer Weight Pants

The next summer wardrobe essentials are dressier or work pants. In the past I’ve loved wearing white pants during the summer. However, a couple of summers ago I sold my dressier white pants (because I didn’t like the button detail at the bottom of them), so I wanted to invest in some new dressier summer slacks.

Textured Sweater Tank// Parke Linen Blazer // Kate Straight Leg Pants // Sandals (similar) // Earrings // Clutch

This year I’m enjoying the white Kate Straight Leg Linen Pants above as well as the Kate straight leg four season stretch pants in black below. The Kate linen pants run true to size and come in several nice neutrals and some striking colors.

Starting with Black and White
 black pants (available in other neutrals) // see the original post for details.

And the Kate four season stretch pants above also come in a wide range of neutrals. I got them in grey, too. Both of these pairs of pants are perfect for business as well as social occasions. And you can dress them up with a blazer or down with a jean jacket or other completer piece.

And I’m continuing to enjoy wearing my flax colored linen demi boots pants from Talbots (last year, no longer available), as seen below.

Mother's Day Outfit
linen demi boot pants from last year// See the original post for details.

The linen pants above are very similar to the Bristol linen pants below. I have them in white (and they’re nicely lined), but they also come in flax and navy, as well as a bold pink.

Kay in Linen Pants and a Fun Pullover
white Bristol linen pants // See the original post for details.

You can see my mom wearing the navy Bristol linen pants below.

Mom in Ankle Pants
navy Bristol linen pants // See the original post for details.

I find that two to three pairs of dressier pants is sufficient for my rather casual lifestyle, but if you still work outside the home you may need to have more like 3-5 pairs. I suggest having at least three of those in your chosen neutrals. And if you’re only going to have a few pair like I do, I suggest going with either white, soft camel or light grey or navy, which is another summer classic.

Your dressier summer slacks can be in any silhouette and length that suits you. I like ankle length in a trim but loose fit. You may prefer a full length in a variety of silhouettes. Just keep these dressier pants free of bells and whistles so that they will be more versatile.

1 Pair White or Other Summer Jeans

Next on our list of summer wardrobe essentials, jeans. I wear my white jeans so much more than I do regular blue denim in the spring and summer months. These jeans look fresh and seasonally appropriate, plus they help you create beautiful summery looks. They’re so versatile.

Clothed in Strength Tee
 wide leg button fly white jeans or here (similar jeans at lower price) // See the original post for details.

In fact, I like having several different silhouettes of white jeans in my closet for summer. But I suggest at least one.

Pink Shirt with White Jeans and Navy Blazer
white jeans // see the original post for details

Of course if you don’t enjoy white jeans, you can opt for other denim, too. I’ve got several great options in the shopping widget below.

Spring Fashions from Walmart
jeans // see the original post for details

In fact, the jeans above from Walmart come in several great washes for summer. They fit true to size.

2-4 White t-shirt + others

Of course, I think a white t-shirt is essential all year long, but especially in the summer months. It’s easy to pair with most any pair of shorts, jeans or pants, plus you can wear it with a denim or print skirt for a fresh, casual vibe.

Summer Linen Skirt
white v-neck tee // See the original post for details.

Last year I purchased three of the Goodlife tees (worn below in faded black) and I absolutely love them.

t-shirt // original post from last year

And I’m wearing the white Goodlife tee in the photo below. These tees are just a great weight, fit nicely and feel substantive without feeling heavy.

Linen Pants
white Goodlife tee // See the original post for details.

I suggest having one to two plain white tees with a classic neckline like a V or crew or boatneck. But I also suggest having a couple of solid tees with some interesting detailing. My thinking is that these more detailed tees can hold their own without adding a top layer. So they’re great for simply pairing with some shorts or those summer pants.

My V-neck tee available in multiple colors // Mom’s graphic tee // See the original video for more details.

White and/or Solid Color Tanks

I’ve discovered in recent years that I really enjoy being able to wear a simple tank under an open button up shirt for a more pulled together look. Layering a shirt over a solid color tank is also a great way to stay cool but keep your arms covered. And, interestingly, this style formula of pants + tank + open shirt or jacket is very on trend this year.

Linen Shirt Over a Column of White
similar ribbed tank

I definitely can suggest the reversible tank from J.Jill that I’m wearing below. I’ve actually worn this simple tank a lot under sweaters this spring. It comes in a variety of colors and, as the name implies, you can easily flip it so that you have a scoop neck or a v-neck.

Tank and Shirt

But Chico’s also has a nice variety of tanks. And Talbots carries solid tanks as well. I’ve filled the shopping widget below with those and other options.

1 Linen or Cotton Button Up Shirt

Speaking of layering tanks under shirts, I’ve added a linen or cotton button up shirt to my summer wardrobe essentials list in recent years, too. While you can go with a fitted shirt, I like having a blousy button up shirt for layering.

Linen Button Up Shirt
linen shirt // See the original post for more details.

I enjoyed the linen shirt above so much that I have purchased several more since then. This is a summer wardrobe essential that will be in my closet for years to come. And price per wear I’ve gotten a great deal!

Last year gauze shirts were really trending. So I purchased a couple of those, too, and they can be worn the same way. So you might consider adding a lightweight gauze shirt to your wardrobe if you’re not a huge fan of linen…or you just already have several linen options. I don’t think they’re as popular as last year – because linen is really hot, hot, hot this year – but I’m still seeing gauze shirts and I think they’re still very stylish.

Stovepipe Pants
Rails gauze shirt (more economical option// See the original post for outfit details.

The Rails gauze shirt above is a cult favorite, but I don’t know that they’re worth the spend. I love the looks of this similar gauze shirt from J.Crew Factory and it’s available at a much sweeter price in lots of pretty colors.

1-3 Casual Summer Dresses

While I definitely recommend having at least one nice summer dress to reach for when you attend a wedding or funeral or other nicer occasion, I also like having a couple of more casual selections. For my casual lifestyle, these will see more wear and prove more versatile.

Cotton slub shirtdress
shirt dress // See the original post for more details.

The pretty and comfortable shirt dress is the only casual summer dress I’ve purchased this year, but I have some photos of past purchases below. We’re talking casual and comfy.

Pink Dress
Dress no longer available // similar option

My dress above is quite casual, so I’ll probably mostly wear it around the house. But it would also make a great vacation dress. Below is a dress I enjoyed a lot for the last two summers and it’s available in new prints and colors this summer.

What I Wore Monday
my print no longer available, but this dress is available in other prints.

I also have the above dress in black, and I really enjoyed that last summer, too. It’s available in black again.

Black Dress
black summer knit dress from L.L.Bean

This summer knit dress is so comfortable and versatile. It feels cool and fits so easily, true to size. And I love a black summer dress under a denim jacket for a casual date night look.

Easy Breezy Spring and Summer Dresses
Dress no longer available // See more of this post.

I love wearing dresses in the summer, even around the house. But especially when I get out and about I love the feminine touch of a dress. Maxi dresses are trending this year, but choose the length of dress you enjoy and will wear the most.

1 Summer Blazer

I’ve become convinced that every gal needs a summer blazer. Now maybe you’d still prefer a cardigan, and that’s fine. But even the prettiest cardigan can’t elevate an outfit the way a blazer can. And you can now find such beautiful, lightweight blazers in all price points.

5 Ways to Wear Natural Colored Jeans
similar blue linen blazer

I definitely reach for my white linen blazer most frequently during the spring and summer. But you can find other versatile options, too.

white linen blazers // See the video for full details.

But for this wardrobe essentials list I am indeed referring to a blazer that would pair nicely with many things in your closet, not just one or two. So look for something in either one of your wardrobe neutrals or a signature color.

Styling at J.Crew
Parke linen stretch blazer // See the post for more details.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to beige or white. I’ve seen so many gorgeous lightweight blazers this spring, and I know we’ll continue to see them this summer. Here are some to choose from at various price points.

1 Pair Classic Fashion Sneakers

Again this year fashion sneakers – or what most of us would just consider sneaker sneakers! – are definitely having a moment. So let’s enjoy it. Plus these shoes have become so versatile. You can wear them with shorts, jeans, crops, dresses, skirts and jumpers. I love having a pair of white sneakers, but you can certainly select a different color or even a print, depending on your style aesthetic.

Updated Tory Burch Leather Howell Lace-Up Sneaker (Mine are several years old)

I’ve been wearing the Tory Burch Leather Howell Lace-Up Sneaker (in Titanium white and Tory navy) for a few years now. These sneakers are some of the sweetest I’ve ever worn. They’re a splurge, but so, so sweet!

Clothed in Strength Tee
Similar New Balance x J.Crew retro trainers // See the original post.

But for the past two years retro trainers have really been trending, too. I enjoy these New Balance x J.Crew retro trainers (similar) because they fit the bill of the trending shoes, but they are in a subdued tan color that actually elongates my lets a bit when I’m wearing shorts. I’ve filled the shopping widget below with a number of great options at all price points.

2 Pair Summer Sandals

Once the warm weather is here I’ll be wearing sandals more days than not. In fact, I’m already wearing them most days. Nothing looks as feminine as sandals! I like to have at least one pair of metallic sandals to elevate an outfit.

Keri Braid Sandals
Kerri Braid Metallic Sandals (gifted)

I also have the Talbots Cece braid metallic thongs and their Gia buckle metallic leather sandals from seasons past, and they’re still going strong in my wardrobe. And this year I added The Lorenza from M.Gemi to my summer wardrobe essentials.

Gold Sandals
The Lorenza

I also love having a pair of neutral sandals, something close to my skin tone. They elongate the legs no matter what you’re wearing. I puchased these Naturalizer slides in birchwood last year and I’m still wearing them. They are extremely comfortable and come in other colors, too. I also have the black ones.

Denim Shorts with a Summer Sweater
Naturalizer slides // See the original post for outfit details.

Of course you can enjoy wearing more colorful or ornamented sandals in the summer, too. But for me metallics and neutrals are the essentials.

Abby in her skirt
Vachetta Leather Sandals

Here’s a shopping widget with lots of sweet sandal options. Just keep in mind that for these Summer Wardrobe Essentials you’re looking for sandals that you can wear with a variety of things from shorts to pants to skirts and dresses.

Tory Burch Miller Sandals
My Tory Burch Miller sandals have been a perennial favorite for several years. Mine are in the shade “makeup.”

Keep in mind that almost every sandal in the shopping widget below comes in multiple colors.

1-2 Summer Handbags

Finally, at least for this list of summer wardrobe essentials, you’ll need a summer handbag. If you only want to invest in or even carry one bag this summer, I’d suggest a light colored neutral, maybe a beige, pale pink, soft white or warm caramel. Select one that will work nicely with your chosen neutrals and signature colors.

Kate Spade Hudson medium convertible crossbody // See the original post for details.

I’m enjoying my Kate Spade Hudson medium convertible crossbody this spring. It’s a bit pricey, but I expect it to be offered at a discount this weekend. And I don’t mind spending a little more on quality handbags that I can carry for several years or more because I know these will stand up to the wear.

white linen shell
straw bag from Brighton no longer available // See the original post for outfit details.

I also am still enjoying my straw bag from Brighton. It’s no longer available, but they have lots of other great straw and wicker bags to choose from. For me a straw bag is definitely a summer wardrobe essential. I enjoy pulling mine out at the beginning of each summer, and I know I’ll carry it for years.

I purchased this straw market tote last year and I’m still carrying it, too. It’s still available in multiple strap colors.

Astrid Chinos for early fall
straw market tote

Good straw handbags tend to be pricey and they rarely stay on the shelves long enough to go on sale at the end of the season. But a well constructed straw bag will not go out of style and you’ll use it for years.

crochet round handle tote
crochet round handle tote

I’ve filled the shopping widget below with a wide variety of summer handbags and shoulder bags in a full range of prices. In fact, many of them are currently on sale.

Other Essentials

Well, for the sake of not losing you altogether due to the length of this post, I’m going to simply name a few “honorable mention” summer wardrobe essentials. These are items that may or may not be essential to you depending on your lifestyle and personal style essence.

  • Denim jacket – This is a wardrobe essential, period. But depending on where you live and travel this summer, you may or may not use it often.
  • Swim suit
  • Swim suit cover-up
  • casual skirt, such as a denim skirt or linen skirt (more economical option)
  • neutral pumps or heeled sandals to wear with dresses and slacks
  • summer hats like this one I’m wearing this summer

Remember, when it comes to shopping for most wardrobe essentials, I suggest investing enough to get quality products. These are either items you will wear for years (think blazer, denim jacket, handbag, denim shorts) or they are pieces you will wear frequently (think white t-shirt, sandals, sneakers) so you want them to be durable, well-made and classic.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. If you have questions, please let me know. Thanks so much for reading.

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Blessed for My Day

How are you doing at living in community these days? Have you begun to get out and about and enjoy the company of friends again? Living in community is beneficial to our physical health, our mental and emotional health, but also to our spiritual well-being. It forces us to practice the “one anothers” mentioned in the Bible, such as love one another, be patient with one another, be kind one to another, etc.

So I’m making it a goal to reach out a little today. I’m sending out some texts and even placing some long overdue phone calls to check up on friends. And I’m telling you so I’ll be more likely to follow through! #accountability Let’s be women who intentionally live in community with others – encouraging, comforting, rejoicing, celebrating and rejuvenating with one another – so that we’re healthier and happier.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. ~ Romans 12:15


xoxo, Kay
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41 thoughts on “My Summer Wardrobe Essentials

  1. Hi Kay! I had my teeth cleaned yesterday afternoon. While I’m glad that they are good and clean, I do not enjoy having it done. I learned from my hygienist how difficult it is to breathe with the PPE and that once she puts the face shield and mask on, she cannot take them off during working hours, except to eat lunch. God bless them! I thought that I just somehow missed your post yesterday, so I’m glad to know that I didn’t. I appreciate the work you put into compiling some summer essentials for us. A brand of nice shorts, that are reasonably priced that I really enjoy wearing is the Kim Rogers brand from Belk. They run true to size. I hope that you have a great day and a relaxing weekend.

      1. Thank you for that link. I love the Kim Rodgers line of clothing. She has some very nice solid tees also.

  2. Great post, Kay! Thanks for doing all the hard work for us & making it easy to shop for summer essentials. I plan to keep this post and refer back to it throughout the summer. Thank you! Have a blessed weekend!

  3. It’s 85 degrees here t now and I’m dewing up just looking at you in that jacket. Mama told me horses sweat, men perspire and women dew up. LOL
    Beautiful outfits and the softer pretty colors just make me feel lighter in spirit. White jeans and drawstrings are my go tos for summer. I’m going to need my church fan if I sit outside today. Have a great one,?

  4. I am still saying no to haircuts, mani/pedis, shopping in stores, and dentists. Just not ready for the exposure at 66. Trimming my own hair a bit, doing my own nails and attempting to wear everything in my closet at least once instead of buying. But I still enjoy looking!

    1. Hi Diane. I hear ya! I’m definitely keeping all that to a minimum too. Take care of yourself! Nothing is more important than your health. ?

  5. Hi Kay, I am in Wisconsin and relatively new to your blog. You are adorable and a breath of fresh air! I love your honest, down to earth style in all that you do. Thank you for that. Also thank you for suggesting non-denim options. I’ve never been a denim fan; it looks good but I have always found it uncomfortable to wear. I’m 74 and retired. My budget does not allow me to buy at most of the stores you recommend but I try to take your fashion advice and apply it to what I can afford.

  6. Fabulous and helpful post Kay! Thank you! AND I LOOOVE that slider line under the fashion sneakers with the store and price popping up as you slide across the bar. That is really helpful. Now I need to look through my summer wardrobe that I have just BEGUN to take out in NE Ohio!

  7. Went through your list of summer essentials and have most everything I need except for a nude pair of sandals and new tees for layering. Need to go through my closet again though and make sure I don’t need anything. Lol
    I am retired but still like to have nice things for church, grocery stores and just for myself. I believe that you have to dress for yourself too, otherwise you get sloppy, lazy, and just don’t care about your appearance anymore. I have a sister and friend since the pandemic hardly ever go out of their houses. Too me this is unhealthy and causes depression. I have tried to talk to them about it but my friend has a fear and God does not want us to fear. We need to depend on Him. Thank you for the BFMD. This helps me to read your scripture and words. Bless you.

  8. Kay, there is a weird technical thing going on with this post. A lot of the comments showing up on my iPad are from a post you write May 29, 2020. Any way, this is a great starting point for us to use as a guideline. I would like to add one loose fitting linen blouse to my closet, specifically to go with my light grey linen pants. And adding one tank to complete the outfit would be good. I hope that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day and that today had been good for you.

    1. Hi Ginger. That’s because I reposted that post here. I updated it and reposted. It does better in Google search that way.

  9. Kay, this post is so timely and essential to being prepared for the summer season. Thank you! It is still quite cool here in southeast Michigan, so I haven’t even worn sandals, yet. To start off my summer wardrobe, I bought two new pairs of jeans – both from J. Jill. I bought a pair of boyfriend jeans, and the new cuffed jeans. I was looking to add a few items to complete my summer wardrobe, and your post was an answer to my prayers. I have a few items to buy, and I will be all set for a Michigan summer. When it does arrive. I am still waiting for spring to stay. Thank you again for all you do to keep us modern and stylish.

    Janet Hug
    Commerce Twp., MI

  10. Kay,
    Your blog posts and videos are always informative and inspirational. I have to say that I do not think denim shorts are very flattering on most older legs (like mine.) I think cropped pants in a nice cotton or bermuda shorts are a better way to go. But of course, this is just one opinion! Thanks for helping us all look good!

  11. Thank you for the verse. God puts so much in so few words. And for reminding us to encourage others.

  12. Thank you so much for this! It’s 90+ degrees here in Florida and we’re melting. Your style is totally on point and always serves as an inspiration to me and what I’m trying to with my wardrobe.

    Also, thank you for all the time and effort you obviously spend on getting all of this together for us thankful readers!!


  13. Hi Kay,
    Just wondering if wearing nylons under shorts to help improve appearance is a fashion no no?,
    I remember seeing this done years ago.
    Thanks for all you do

  14. Ideas for Summer Posts; 1. There are a lot of transitions in fashion happening after 16 months of WFH/SIP. What trends do you see and how can we prepare? 2. What’s a capsule wardrobe (inexpensive please!) beach weekend look like? 3. What nail polishes, general colors and wraps (kimonos, shawls, headbands) should we incorporate? 4. How do you arrange your closet to prepare to DFYD? 5. Deep conditioning for my hair, feet and hands, please! 6. When we sit outside to eat but the sun goes down….and we’re still outside…how to look summery but stay warm? 7. Can you help us work through your curriculum re: wardrobe, color, style, together as a group, with weekly ‘tasks’ to help us spend the summer improving our closets and wardrobes? I want to do it but I need to be ‘on task’. 8. False lash application. 9. Beauty Routine Guidance (daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally) 10. Examining our purses and wallets – what’s out? 11. How to wear summer scarves and accessories that add ‘polish’ to an outfit. 12. Elevate – progressively show how to take a wardrobe staple from ‘ok’ to “wow” to “OH YEAH!”

  15. Hi Kay,
    I love the post! Would you or anyone have any advice on size for a Levi’s trucker jacket, please? I’m contemplating buying one but the on-line reviews are giving mixed messages on sizing -some saying it runs very small and others that it is TTS.

    1. Hi Stephanie. I love my Levi’s jacket. Mine is a size medium, which is true to size for me. I’ve had mine for about 30 years so I don’t know if sizing has changed. I doubt it. Plus you do want it to be slightly oversized so you can easily layer under it.

  16. Kay, An idea for a post ould be on the subject of casual summer skirts. Belo the knee and longer ould be nice to see. Some of us NEVER ear pants!

  17. I have a real challenge with footwear, I have to wear orthotics in my shoes as well needing wides in sizes, presently using sneaker mules, what suggestions do you have for this challange in summer sandals? I really cannot wear heels or a higher wedge as well.

    1. Hi Cathy. The point really is just to have some shoes that are appropriate for dressier occasions. So whatever works best for you. I’m realizing that as we get older our bodies really start dictating more of our fashion choices. And the most importing we can do is wear what we need to wear and do it confidently. ?

  18. Thank you for this informative post. You have helped so much in my shopping. I’ve made better decisions when keeping your advice in mind. I often ask myself, “What would Kay think of this?” when mulling over a possible purchase.

    I can tell you work hard in presenting the best possible content. Thank you!

    1. Thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. These wardrobe essential posts do indeed take a lot of work. But I think they’re so important.

  19. Great post. Definitely worth the wait. I wear more dresses in the summer than pants. Dresses are cooler and can be casual also. According to the syle
    of dress and and accessories. Hope you have a nice weekend coming up.

    1. I posted my comment and then went back to read what the other ladies had to say and saw that not only my comment from this year was there, but my comment
      from last years post too. Think something is still not right. Just thought I would let you know.

      1. Hi Sherry. No, that’s right. I just refresh this post every year with new essentials, new photos and new links. But the comments do indeed stay from each year. This way I don’t have competing posts on my website and people who find the link to any of the previous years’ posts will be linked to the most current wardrobe essentials post. Earlier today the post was running off the edge of the page on the mobile version, but that has indeed been fixed. Thanks so much for reading. 🥰

  20. Hi Kay…..a great post! As I was reading through and saw the sandals you were wearing I clicked onto the post that they were originally posted in.
    And YAY they were on sale! They are the ones from Walmart…….


  21. Just a tip; QVC has been selling some linen blend clothing that doesn’t wrinkle as much, in fact much less. For anyone who doesn’t care for the wrinkling of pure linen.

  22. Great base items, Kay, thank you. Would be interested in how you travel/pack for a longer trip. We will be gone 2 weeks and dont think there will be much opportunity for doing laundry.

  23. Thanks for a great post, Kay! Helpful content, and you take the guesswork out of the equation when I shop for clothes.
    Appreciate all that you do!