Summer on the High Street: The basics you need + how to style them

Britain may have slumped back into rainy season, but the brief heatwave we enjoyed has gotten us all in the mood for the summer heat, and of course you need a killer wardrobe to go with it. Whether you need a complete wardrobe overhaul this summer, or you just want a few pieces to update your clothing collection, fear not. Today I bring you a style post aimed at helping you pick some hardworking pieces to see you through summer for an affordable price. These are all items I’ve picked up over the past three months and have been wearing non stop for easy, yet chic ensembles.

The first thing you need this summer is a denim shirt. I say this as I’ve been living in mine, and now can’t remember what a ‘normal’ jacket is like. They’re light, they’re not tight-fitting, they go with everything, and what’s better, you can pick them up everywhere on the high street right now. My denim shirt, (pictured below) is a snip at £10 from Primark, and is instore now. As I mentioned in my OOTD where I wore it recently I’ve seen identical ones for double the price in other high street stores. For genuinely worn in, vintage denim shirts Urban Outfitters is a good place to start, and for more luxe high street shirts with embellishments and more je ne sais quoi, Topshop is your best bet. As part of an upcoming DIY post I’ll be showing you how to add studs to a shirt or jacket you already have (as I’ll be studding up my shirt!) so stay tuned for that!


and styled:

To see the full OOTD post this photo came from, click here

The next thing on your list should be a great pair of shorts. Be they denim, patterned, plain, whatever you feel comfortable in, because when the weather heats up leggings and trousers are going to be the last thing on your mind. The key to picking good shorts is to try them on without tights or leggings. If you won’t wear them with bare legs, you won’t get half as much wear out of them. I always try on my shorts with bare legs and if I wouldn’t feel comfortable walking down the street in them, I leave them. You’re never going to be able to maximise wear of your summer pieces if the thought of donning them fills you with dread.

My favourite pair of shorts this summer are from H&M. They traverse both formal and casual and I love dressing them up and down. These are lovely and light for the beach come ‘real’ summer, but with leggings underneath and a patterned top they’re great for days out in the city too. A plus point is the studded belt that comes with these that I’ve been pairing with plenty of other bottoms too since I got it. For £12.99 I think these are a real bargain and they’re available instore now.


and styled:

and styled again:

To see the full OOTD where I wore these shorts, click here, and to see the styling post where I featured these shorts, click here.

Next up we’ll go for some tops. I’ve picked three that I think are must-haves this season so we’ll start with number one. This cute gold tip collar top was a complete steal from Primark and is currently available instore. At £6 you really can’t go wrong with this sleeveless top that’s perfect for tucking into skirts and shorts and even wearing under jumpers or t-shirts on cooler days to let the collar add impact. I feel like the collar adds edge to a girlier outfit and the fact that it’s mononchrome means it really will go with everything. I recently wore this tucked into an aztec print skirt with some black flatforms and I felt completely summer ready. It’s a light top that will allow you to breathe, but I recommend downsizing by at least a couple of sizes for a more flattering fit as it is very billowy at the bottom. If you prefer that style, stick to your regular size, but for a more fitted look, you may need to size down by two.

Next is a grungier top which perfectly suits my style at the moment. This vest was a present from my boyfriend recently, as I saw it instore and completely fell in love with it. It’s from Urban Outfitters and is currently on sale for £20 and I think it’s a great summer top for those days where the heat really is taking over. I teamed this with a grey Primark hi/lo hem skirt (also featured in this post) and it made the perfect breezy combination. This is an extremely versatile top as it’s rather long, so you can throw it over your bikini on the beach, wear it loose over shorts, skirts, or even jeans and tuck it into high waisted pieces for a different look entirely. I wore a multitude of gold necklaces over the top of this to add a more luxe edge that would be perfect for an evening whilst on holiday too.

The last top I’ve got to show you today is this light ‘jumper’ from Oh My Love. I picked up this jumper last month in Brick Lane, and although it looks like a jumper, it really isn’t. It’s a rather light top that’s perfect for summer days that aren’t so, well, summery. I’ve been wearing this over floral jeans and printed skirts to tone them down on dull days and it’s just thin enough to keep you warm yet not stifle you. I love the dark grey colour as it adds a grungier edge to feminine pieces, and come winter it’ll be a great piece for layering too. Unfortunately Oh My Love are all out of these, but you can find similar pieces like this online and instore at Topshop now.

Next up I have two dresses from Primark that are both currently instore and that I am so thrilled that I bought. I honestly can’t believe how I got by dressing myself without these before, as now they really are my go-to summer dresses.

The first is this black and white stripy dress that was £10 and has a distinct nautical vibe, which I love. This is the perfect dress for teaming with wedges, a beachy bag and sunnies. It’s almost an outfit in itself and it’s so easy to team with accessories as you can count these stripes as a neutral. If it’s not summery enough where you are, this goes perfectly with leggings and scarves and statement necklaces can really shine with this as your base.


and styled:

To see the full OOTD where I wore this, click here.

The other dress, which was also £10 from Primark, and still available, is almost identical in fabric, shape and length except that it’s grey. I’ve been loving teaming this with statement necklaces and as a neutral to mix with pastels, it really gives the look a more modern edge. This is easily given a colour pop with a killer pair of shoes and a statement belt and as with the striped one, this is easily paired with leggings for cooler days where the sun isn’t playing fair.


and styled:

To see the full OOTD post featuring this grey dress, click here.

Finally in the clothing section, it’s this gorgeous hi/lo hem skirt, also from Primark. I picked this up for £5 at the Oxford Street store about two months ago, but they still have them instore and also in black if that takes your fancy. As I mentioned earlier, I paired mine with my grungy skull top, loads of necklaces and a skinny studded belt for a different take on summer dressing, but pops of neon would really stand out with this skirt too. These hi/lo hem skirts can look uber modern when teamed with minimal accessories and your favourite basics, so try wearing this with a plain white tee and your favourite bright shoes for a super luxe summer look.

Lastly we’re going for footwear and being as I have more than my fair share of summer heels, recently I needed to invest in summer flats. All of these shoes are still available instore too!

We’ll start with these gorgeous cream flats from Primark, which were £8. I have these in black and wore them all winter so I jumped at the cream ones when I spotted them. They make a great neutral shoe for busier outfits and the cutesy bow detail adds a feminine touch, while the gold accents will compliment any gold accessories or studding that feature in your outfit. I paired mine recently with a casual outfit in Kew Gardens that consisted of a stripy candy shop style skirt and a cream shirt topped off with a denim shirt as a jacket and these shoes kept the look uncomplicated.

You can see these shoes as part of an OOTD by checking out the first OOTD image in this post. To see the full OOTD post, click here.

The penultimate shoes are these gorgeous bright pink beauties that are currently available online and instore at H&M for a lowly £9.99. I couldn’t resist the colour pop and can’t wait to team these with bright painted toenails all summer long. These are great, as unlike conventional flats, like the ones above, these allow your feet to breathe a lot more due to the crossover detailing. I always find H&M flats to be super comfortable and so these were a no-brainer for me. They’ll make the perfect addition to an otherwise plain outfit and a welcome clash with other coloured pieces. The vintage style shape will add that ’50s vibe to cutesy summer dresses too. What more could you want?

Lastly I have two pairs of flip flops, also from H&M and these were £3.99 each which I think is a reasonable price for well-made, comfortable flip flops. I bought a pair in black and a pair in tan, as the chances are if I’m wearing flip flops, the rest of my outfit will either be a bright bikini or a patterned ensemble that requires minimal, neutral footwear. These colours will cover all bases and the mock suede strap adds an element of texture to an outfit and extra interest. The straw base is perfect for days when you’ll be walking around a lot as it really is the softest, and unlike plastic bottoms melds to the shape of your foot with wear for ultimate comfort.

That’s it for this summer essentials and styling post, I hope it helped you get kitted out ready for summer, and even inspired you to mix up your outfits. Let me know what you think of today’s post, or what you’d team these items with by leaving me a comment or tweeting me @MillieDelacoe. Until next time…

Millie x

Disclaimer: All images were taken and are owned by my boyfriend and I. All opinions are my own, all items were purchased with my own money, aside from the Urban Outfitters vest which was a gift from my boyfriend, and no links featured are affiliate links. I am not affiliated with any brands or companies featured.

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