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17 Tips to Elevate Your Basic Summer Outfits

One of my favorite things about fall is the layered clothing—scarves, boots, sweaters, hats, etc. You can throw on a few pieces and your outfit looks fabulous no matter what. But during the summer months when it’s blazing hot, and all you can stand to wear is shorts and a breezy shirt, it’s easy for those basic outfits to fall a little flat. So I’ve come up with a few ways to accessorize, layer, and just boost your simple summer outfits without leaving you a miserable puddle of sweat!

  • 17 Easy Tips to Elevate Your Basic Summer Outfits! 1 of 11
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    Click through to see all my suggestions!

  • Simple Dress 2 of 11
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    A simple dress and sandals is a staple during the summer months. But by itself, it's totally boring. Plus, with all the amazing sandals out there, save your rubber flip flops for the beach and pool only

     

  • Simple Dress – Elevated! 3 of 11
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    TIP #1: Add a skinny belt. It's instantly slimming when you belt the narrowest part of your waist, and it helps break up the big chunk of solid gray dress. 

    Tip #2: Add a lightweight scarf. Super lightweight chiffon scarves are a perfect way to add some dimension and layering to your outfit without making you too hot. 

    Tip #3: Sub out those rubber sandals for a simple black sandal. They're a million times cuter, and I think they're more comfortable because the strap around the back of your heel keeps them from flopping around when you walk. 

    Tip #4: Add some arm candy. A gold watch and a pretty gold bracelet make the outfit feel complete!

  • Jeans and Tee 4 of 11
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    Every time I go to the grocery store or Target, I see moms in t-shirts, jeans and tennis shoes. It's not my favorite look, and with just a few simple changes, the outfit looks a thousand times better. 

  • Jeans and Tee – Elevated! 5 of 11
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    Tip #5: Sub the tennis shoes for cute flats. These pointed leopard print ones are super comfy and don't make you look like you just came from the gym. 

    Tip #6. Knot your tee. This is one of my favorite little tricks for a slightly oversized tee. It's so simple, but adds just a little detail without having to add any layers. 

    Tip #7. Add a big, bold necklace. If you're just wearing jeans and a tee, a bold necklace is just the thing to elevate that simple outfit. 

    Tip #8. Complete the look with basic accessories. A pretty watch and bag make the outfit feel finished. 

  • Blouse and Shorts 6 of 11
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    Shorts and a blouse are a perfect summer outfit. But when they're just by themselves, you can see how flat and boring this outfit is. 

     

  • Blouse and Shorts – Elevated! 7 of 11
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    Tip #9: Add a patterned belt and half tuck your blouse so it's visible! The half tuck also gives a shapeless oversized blouse a little more shape. 

    Tip #10: Change out your rubber flip flops for a bright sandal. It adds a fun punch of color to a colorless outfit. 

    Tip #11: Play around with your hair! If it's long, do a fun fishtail braid like I did here. If it's shorter, try a head wrap, a hair clip, or other hair accessories. 

    And just like Tip #8, complete the look with a watch and bag. 

  • Skirt and Tee 8 of 11
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    This is a good summer outfit, and a patterned skirt is always fun. But still it can be a little blah without any layering or accessorizing. 

  • Skirt and Tee – Elevated! 9 of 11
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    Tip #12: Layer your necklaces! When you have a solid colored shirt, especially just a plain white tee, layering necklaces is a great way to add some visual interest. Keep them cohesive by pairing similar colors. 

    Tip #13: Add a lightweight jacket. If it's not super hot, a lightweight jacket can add a fun layer and help the outfit feel complete. 

    I also half tucked the shirt, but you could also knot it like in tip #6!

  • Button-up and Jeans 10 of 11
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    A lightweight button up and white jeans is a great summery ensemble. With a few simple changes, it's perfect for a summer picnic! 

  • Button-up and Jeans – Elevated! 11 of 11
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    Tip #14: Top Knot it! I don't love how I look with a pony tail, so to keep the hair off my neck in the heat I opt for a top knot. 

    Tip #15: Add a colorful bag. A bright pop of color adds the perfect touch to a basic navy and white outfit, and is way more fun than a brown or black bag!

    Tip #16: Roll your jeans. It makes your jeans look more summery and keeps you a bit cooler! 

    Tip #17: Add some fun earrings! With my hair pulled up, a big pair of earrings is a perfect addition. 

    I also half tucked my shirt, and added some arm candy, and some pretty sandals to complete the look!

What do you think? Will you try these 17 tips?

Find more of Merrick’s style and writing at Merrick’s Art.

You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook!

 

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