5 Elegant Summer Outfit Ideas

10 Minutes

When summer hits, it’s hard to ignore all the bright colors and floral prints available. But that never resonated with my personal, minimalistic style.

Follow along with me to see some elegant summer outfit ideas if you feel the same.

The structured dress

1. The structured dress

My first summer staple look revolves around a structured dress.

This mini dress has a heavy, denim material, so it would be best for a chillier summer evening when you don’t want to bring layers.

The crispness of the silhouette makes this look feel classic and timeless. Because of the stiff structure, I paired it with a really fun shoe with tassels and a chunky heel.

These flats are an example of a lack of balance– they are tiny and look disproportionate with the heavy, structured dress. Another example of imbalance would be a flat pump with this heavy dress. 

The structured dress

You can still achieve visual balance using flats, for example, with these flats that have a bit more material and add the element of color contrast. 

The structured dress

For a lighter version of this look, try a shirt-dress like this one:

The structured dress

For a sporty take on the denim dress, I’ve added some white sneakers.

Because of the high hemline, I don’t mind that the shoes are chunky. I’m leaning into the sporty look by adding this fanny pack too. 

The structured dress

2. The carrot trousers

The reason why I like this silhouette with the subtle pleat is because it gives my long frame some more shape. 

The carrot trousers

With this fabric and cut, the trousers can lean toward overly preppy, so how I styled them is important.

For example, I added an organic looking shoe. The feminine also balances out the structured, “masculine” pants.

The carrot trousers

The top is a fresh take on the basic T:

The carrot trousers

3. The breezy dress

I’m not typically a breezy dress kind of person, but this dress adds the button down top element which aligns with my style.

The breezy dress

This dress is 100% cotton which I love for its crispness. Then you get an exaggerated A-line skirt on the bottom which I love.

It’s the perfect marriage between minimal classic and then fun and breezy. 

The breezy dress

The hemline is short enough to pair with flat, minimal sandals.

It also works with these sleek, slingbacks. The balance comes from the darker color.

The breezy dress

Add some playfulness with your choice of a purse.

The breezy dress

4. The button-up

I can’t extol the virtues of the button-up shirt enough in all of my content!

I believe it’s one of the most versatile pieces people can have in their wardrobe.

For spring and summer I would go with a linen fabric. I like to style mine with denim for an evening look, but you can wear it to the beach in a more “undone” style.

Wear it with short cut-offs on a hot day or tie it over a slip skirt. The options are endless!

The button-up

When paired with these high-wasted, super structured jeans, I opted for a softer, half-tuck on top.

The button-up

I didn’t add a belt because I wanted the mix of heavy and light textures on top and bottom to play together. 

The button-up

Add a woven or crocheted purse for a beachy feel. This texture allows me to bring those summer vibes to my classic looks without needing to pull in any crazy paisley or floral prints that scream summer.

With this purse, you have the structure of the leather but in a texture that feels light. 

The button-up

If you’re feeling more playful, you can add a more laid-back purse that also looks summery.

The button-up

5. The sneaker

I chose these sneakers because they incorporate the black from the T-shirt.

The sneaker

Add a fanny pack to match the sporty shoes, but it’s still chic and elevated because it’s leather.

The sneaker

Elegant summer outfits

That’s it for my classic, summer staples.

If these ideas resonated with you, I’d love to see some of the elegant, summer outfits you’ve styled from your own closets.

Feel free to share them in the comments below!

Next, check out my 5 Fashion Habits That Create Chaos and How to Change Them.

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