My 5 Essentials for a Casual Summer Wardrobe

Spring officially starts next Wednesday, can you believe it?! It’s been feeling like springtime here in Georgia now for a couple of weeks. This warmer weather has me so excited to do a bit a spring shopping to update my summer wardrobe.

In today’s post, I thought I’d share some of my favorites for summer, the 5 items that are pretty much my essentials for summer. I would love to hear your essentials, as well!


Summer Hat:

Summer means lots of wonderful sunshine. A hat will protect your face and help to keep you cooler. Plus, they look pretty awesome, too! It’s especially convenient if you can find one that packs well so you can take it along on your summer vacation or those weekend getaways to the beach.

My favorite go-to hat is the one I wore in Egypt last October. This hat and its sister with a navy bow have accompanied me on so many trips…

Camel Riding in Giza, Egypt, 2018


…including my trip to Morocco where we were glamping for three days in the Sahara Desert. It’s a great hat for travel because it packs beautifully. I always place it upright in the bottom/center of my suitcase with the center part stuffed with socks or underwear, but even if it gets squished, it springs right back into shape when you arrive at your destination and pull it out.

Camel Ride in Sahara Desert


You can see it with the navy bow hanging in this photo below.

Hat Storage Display for Summer Hats


I checked to see if they brought it back again this year and they did! Oh My Gosh, they brought it back with a pink bow! I’m obsessed with pink everything lately, so I ordered it with the pink bow today.

Pink Bow Sun Hat


You’ll find this hat available in 4 different color bows (Navy, Cream, Black and Pink) here: Bow Sun Hat.  Just as I was about to check out, this code popped up and gave me 10% off: TNUCKab416 . Try it when you’re checking out and hopefully, it will work for you, as well.

You can see all the great summer hats they have available here: Hats.

Sun Hat with Pink Bow


White Pants or White jeans

White pants are a favorite of mine during the spring and summer months because they go with everything! Other than a cream top, I think you can pair white pants with almost any top you can imagine. They are definitely a staple in my summer wardrobe.


My favorite white pants are the slim ankle white jeans that I’ve shared here on the blog so many times. I’m 5’4 and they come all the way down on me like regular pants. Currently, they are on sale 30% off. I just ordered two more pairs because the sale ends today. You’ll find these white jeans on sale here: 30% Jean Sale.

It’s not just the jeans that are on sale, though. All their pants (including their jeans) are currently 30% off. See all the pants that are on sale here: 30% off Pants Sale.

Update: It looks like the tops are also 30% off, too! Awesome! You’ll find the tops sale here: 30% off Tops.

White Jeans on Sale


Light-Weight Long Sleeve or 3/4 Sleeve Shirt With Sleeves That Can Be Rolled Up

Another staple in my summer wardrobe is 3/4 length sleeve or long-sleeve tops, preferably made of linen, cotton or a light-weight fabric. I love that the sleeves can be worn all the way down for full sun coverage or rolled up to just below the elbow.

I really came to understand in Egypt how helpful it is to have the arm fully covered when out in the sun, so much cooler than wearing a short sleeve top and having the sun beating down on your skin. Linen is my favorite fabric for summer shirts but there are plenty of other light-weight alternatives if you aren’t fond of ironing.

I love this beautiful floral cotton top that’s currently 30% off here: Floral Top.

Floral Cotton Shirt on Sale


The linen camp shirt is one of my faves every year. I have several of these in various colors. This is the exact same style shirt I’m wearing in the first photo in this post, only that one was in a vertical blue and white stripe color. The sleeves on it roll up and button just as they do on this shirt below. I love the colors in this one! You’ll find it on sale here: Linen Camp Shirt.

Wouldn’t it be cute with white jeans and the sun hat I just ordered today…the one with the pink bow. 🙂 Yup, I think I need this shirt!

See all the tops that are currently on sale here: 30% Top Sale.



I live in sandals during the summer months. If I’m not wearing sandals, I’m usually in Sperry Topsiders, but most of the time, it’s sandals. I love pretty, feminine sandals, but for the days when I’m going to be on my feet all day, like when I’m traveling or working on something here at home, these are always the sandals I wear. There is simply nothing better to wear for support and comfort when you know you are going to be on your feet all day long.

These are the exact same sandals I wore all through Egypt as seen in this photo below. I can’t begin to explain the difference in how you feel at the end of a long day, as opposed to wearing sneakers. The best example I can give you is the difference they make when I’m cooking a holiday dinner and I’m on my feet for the majority of the day. Normally I would be exhausted by the end of the day, but not when I’m wearing these. The shoes you wear really does make a tremendous difference on those long days. I simply ADORE these sandals for how comfortable and supportive they are. They have the best arch support I’ve ever seen in a sandal.

Silly Camel, Giza Plateau


I love them so much, I ordered two more pairs at the end of summer last year so I’d be ready for summer this year. I decided to branch out and get something other than a tan or neutral color, which is what I’ve always ordered in the past.

If you have problem feet, these are the shoes to try. I’ve never found any that were more comfortable! Apparently, a lot of other people feel the same way since they have a 4.6-star rating after 2,530 reviews!

You’ll find them in many colors/patterns where I buy mine here: Sandals. Also, you can buy 80th-anniversary edition of this sandal here: Anniversary Edition.

Best Sandals for Arch Support and Comfort


Summer Wicker or Straw Handbag

If you’ve been reading BNOTP for a while, you know I love me a straw/wicker bag for summer. Nothing says summer for your wardrobe like a pretty wicker bag. I have quite a few wicker bags that I’ve collected over the years and I love them all.

Not sure if I’ll add a new one to my collection this year, but I love this one in a combination of wicker, leather and bamboo. The bamboo handle makes me think of Gucci! You’ll find this cute bag here: Wicker & Bamboo Bag.

Wicker and Bamboo Bag for Summer


One of the cutest straw bags I’ve seen for summer is this adorable bag with straw/ruffle bag. Unfortunately, it’s not available right now, but when they get them in, I definitely want to order one. It is beyond cute! Couldn’t you see carrying this during a summer beach vacation? Update: This bag is now back in stock here: Summer Bag.


It would be perfect for stashing away your sunscreen, hairbrush, lipstick and a credit card for fruity umbrella drinks for some time around the pool. It looks like it would hold a good bit!


Hopefully, they will get it back in. Not sure if it sold out already or they are just showing it as a preview, but hopefully they will get it back in. You can read more about it here: Straw Bag.


Because I’m straw/wicker bag obsessed when it comes to summer, I splurged last summer and purchased my first designer straw bag in this beautiful, soft, pink color that’s like a neutral and goes with pretty much anything. I really like how it can be worn either as a hand-carry or shoulder/crossbody bag. I usually wear it as a shoulder bag. I got so many compliments on it last summer when I was out shopping or running errands.

It’s back again for this summer and you’ll find it here: Prada Wicker Bag. The tassel is removable, I removed it from mine since I prefer it without.

Adorable Prada Wicker Bag



Update: I think this may be this year’s style for their wicker bag. It’s is super cute although I would try to find a different should strap for it. The tan just doesn’t go with it. I found it available here: White Wicker Bag.

Prada White Wicker Bag for Summer


Another bag that would be perfect for summer is this woven straw bag with a cute striped lining. I absolutely love it! It looks like it would be easy to carry either crossbody or as a shoulder bag. Love that! And it appears to be on sale 40% off, with another 10% off that! Wow!

You’ll find it here: Straw Bag.

Woven Straw Bag for Summer


Are you a fan of Cult Gaia bags? They have been super popular for the last few years. Seems like every Fashion YouTuber has one! Unfortunately, the prices have been going up with its popularity so they are up to around $150-170 now for the regular size.

I love this dupe below that’s only $37.99. I am super tempted to get one, especially since the reviews are so good. The best way to carry little things in a bag like this if you don’t want them to be visible is to tuck them inside a small cosmetic bag.

It would be really cute to take along on a beach trip…feels very tropical! You’ll find it available here: Bamboo Bag. Note: It comes two sizes at that link, a small and a large.

If you want the actual Cult Gaia bag, you’ll find it here: Bamboo Bag.


This arc bamboo bag actually comes with a little bag that fits inside to hold your items. I really love that! There are three designs from which to choose for the insert.

I loved the lemon design but I ended up going with this one with the palm fronds and flowers. You’ll find this adorable bag here: Arc Bamboo Bag.

Just found this really cute Betsy Johnson version in two colors. I kinda like its boxy shape. I especially love the red color! You’ll find it here: Bamboo Bag.

Betsy Johnson Cult Gaia Style Bags in Red and Natural Brown


What’s an essential item in your summer wardrobe? I would love to hear!

Happy Summer Wardrobe Shopping!


Update: Have to share these adorable Converse sneakers Wendy shared in the comments. Oh. My. Gosh…pink Converse! lol I love it!

You’ll find them here: Pink Converse.


They also have them in pink with glitter here: Pink Converse with Glitter.

Pink Converse with Glitter

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  1. I love these awesome shopping lists you do — thank you! The hats are cute, but the camel is adorable!!

    Also I wanted to share these pink slip-ons that I just bought (but just know: they’re a bubble gum pink, more pink than the photo shows:

    • Wendy, those are sooo cute! I love them! Do they run pretty true to size? I’m so tempted to buy a pair. I really love the color!

    • Wendy, did you see these?

      I love them, too! Everyone needs a little glitter in their lives, right? lol

    • That’s so cool that you put the shoes onto the site!! They do run true-to-size, but here’s the thing: I’m somewhere between an 8.5 and a size 9. So I never know just by looking what size will fit.

      Just note the first pink shoe is a very comfortable slip-on. The shoe with glitter is a regular shoe with laces.

  2. Good heavens! Talk about great minds thinking alike! Went to Guadalajara this week shopping and found full length jeggings in the perfect length for me. I have a 32” inseam (my Dad used to call me High Pockets) and I’m tired of ankle length and crops. These were at Chico’s so I got a pair in black (for the plane to England) and a pair of white. They hadn’t restocked the Dyptique cologne I wanted so picked up Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardomom.

    Then I got on EBay and found a knit Ralph Lauren blazer new with tags in navy with white piping for $60.00. I know how Ralph Lauren sizes run so that was safe. Guess I have started a capsule wardrobe for London this summer! Black, white and navy.

    I love all these Talbot clothes you post but I’m not sure about the sizes and it’s impossible to return things from here. You sure know how to find some pretty clothes!

    • Ohh, the Jo Malone perfumes smell so nice! I need to smell Mimosa and Cardamom next time I’m in a store that carries Jo Malone.

      Great score on eBay! So far, I find the Talbot’s sizing is pretty forgiving. I think they are pretty generously sized, definitely not too small. So I would order your normal size. You may even find you can order a size down if it’s jeggings that are kinda stretchy.

  3. I got those sandals last year per your recommendation and I love them! I need wide shoes with cushioning and with arch support and these did it all. Thanks Susan! (I should consider buying another pair 😉 )

  4. Lois Munn says

    I really enjoy your blog. You do not follow the typical blog decor where all the homes are so similar! I’m curious about your fashion budget, do you have one? Love your research and suggestions. Thanks, again, I really love your diverse posts.

    • Thanks, Lois! I know the trend is to go mostly all white and a lot of farmhouse style, but my home doesn’t really call for that. I think it would look very out of place in my traditional style home.
      I like a room or two with a lot of white, but I wouldn’t want my entire home to be that way. I need color, especially during the cold winter months.

      I love a cottage look, so I kinda get that with my guest bedroom. But I also love a warm, cozy, paneled room for movie watching and reading in front of the fire during the winter.

      I get my “white” fix via my screened in porch and my kitchen. I do love a white kitchen! This will sound weird, but this house kinda told me how to decorate it. There are certain things that just would never work in this house, where other choices seemed just right.

      Regarding a clothing budget…that varies from season to season regarding what I need. The winter before (2017) I purchased a lot of wonderful L.L. Bean flannel shirts and several of their sweaters. So this past winter I only purchased a couple of new sweaters, a scarf and a pair of rain boots because I really didn’t need that many winter clothes.

      I do scope out the Fair Isle sweaters every year, though…love adding at least one each winter if I can find in the colors I like. I sorta like to collect those, but I’m super picky on the colors/designs. Have to really love it to buy it.
      For this summer, I really do need some new things. Since I wear the linen camp shirts so much during the summer (and we have a long spring/summer here in Georgia) I usually try to add one or two of those each year. I didn’t mention it in this post, but another staple for me for summer are linen or cotton shift dresses and cotton skirts. I especially like the Tommy Bahama shift dresses, they are the perfect length where other brands tend to be a bit too short. When I find a style/brand I love, I try to add a few new pieces each season, concentrating on going with classics that will most likely not go out of style.

  5. It’s so nice to go shopping with you. I can enjoy my tea and press the mouse for the next display. I loved every thing I saw. Especially the hand bags. You have a nice collection of hats. Thanks

  6. Jenny Grandfield says

    I’m in love with the Keds Rifle Paper Company Embroidered Herb Garden shoes! I love how spring-y they are with the flowers. They are super comfy right now, but eventually I will change out the insole for one with a higher instep.

  7. Jean PATRICK says

    I really enjoy Vionic sandals. Have 1 pair for slippers as they are so comfy Great arch support.

  8. As usual great selection and taste Susan! A must for my summer wardrobe is long sleeved tops but not so much for the sun as for keeping me comfortable in air conditioned places. i.e.: Particularly in the refrigeration grocery aisles where you will find me sprinting if I am wearing otherwise …. lol!
    P.S.: Do envy you for your beautiful weather as we are stilling having snow flurries off ‘n on.

    • Oh, I so know what you mean. I’m so cold natured, I freeze in grocery stores and restaurants! Always have to carry a sweater everywhere I go. I hope you guys start seeing some warmer weather real soon. When does it normally start warming up there?

  9. Cyndi Raines says

    Yes, spring is almost here! We will be in the 40’s and a few days of low 50’s over the next week or so and that is awesome for MI! Love all of your choices. I may have to order those sandals, I’m sure my poor old feet would be thrilled. I really like that coral pair. Yes, I’m eager also to bring out spring / summer clothes and straw purses. So much fun shopping with you Susan!

    • Whooo, hooo! That definitely sounds like spring weather! Thanks, Cyndi! I get in trouble creating these posts…I ended up ordering the Cult Gaia style bag and those adorable pink Converse Wendy shared. 🙂

  10. Your picks are spot on. I love the way you explained how you pack your hat. I like a small straw hat, mostly to keep my crazy hair out of the wind, but it flattens of course!! White pants or capris are a staple, and natural weave bags have been my summer staple forever—they “go” with everything!

    Enjoy your adventures!!

    • I wish I looked good in capris. I bought several pairs a few years back and love wearing them, but then I saw a photo of me in them and it wasn’t very flattering. lol I think I’m too short or something. I do still wear them at home sometimes, just not out since they seem to make me look even shorter than I already am. #shortpeopleproblems
      Thanks, Jane! Do you have any adventures planned for this summer?

  11. Susan, there are some embroidered Keds on sale at the Keds dot com site. They have a pair in the blush color.

  12. I remember when I could wear hats and women’s hats came in sizes. Now that I am old and have to wear glasses all the time and have a small head and face, I’ve given up on hats and earrings. They overwhelm me. The only hats I wear are baseball caps when I garden. If I did wear hats I would definitely get that one with the pink bow.

    I tried to figure out why “says” was so responsive to the other posters, then finally realized that it was you, Susan. lol

    Too many cutes.

    • Unfortunately, the Genesis update we had a few days ago broke the comment section of the blog. Right after I completed the update, I noticed the names of the people leaving comments didn’t look quite right. I keep hoping they are going to send out an update that will fix it. I know I’m not the only one who’s blog was affected. So all the “says” comments aren’t mine, but some of them are. I know it’s super confusing. Fortunately I can see the name of the person who left the comment in the dashboard of the blog, it just doesn’t display on the front end of the blog.
      How wonderful that hats used to come in sizes. Now that you mention it, I can remember when my dad wore hats, there was a little size thing inside. The hat I’m wearing in the pictures in this post has a little adjustment built into the room that you can adjust to make it fit your head. As I recall it’s just a little ribbon that gets adjusted. It’s simple but it works really well to keep it on your head.

  13. Lisa Polinsky says

    Love your style girl!!

  14. Evnin’ Susan,
    I should know better than to read your articles on an empty stomach. Thank goodness I had Lord and Taylor for breakfast. The white jeans and the blue striped sweater (at least one a year). It is already being shipped out. Nobody does online better than L&T. I miss their store in our area.
    Then you take me off to Tuckernut for lunch and a big pink bowed hat that took me to a Barbour winter hat on sale, after that I went for dessert at Zappo’s and got the pink Converse. I’m stuffed.

  15. Susan, this post about clothing for warmer weather got me to wondering how you store your lovely cashmere and merino wool sweaters. Have you found the need to give them special care and protection? Ever since moths ruined a wool jacket that I’d never worn, I have been hesitant to buy wool items! Thanks!

  16. I HAD to have those pink Converse. Just ordered them!

  17. Kathy O'Rourke says

    ECCO Sandals are Fabulous: Thanks for the Tip
    I saw this post a few weeks before I left for a month-long trip across Europe. I just got back and I am so happy you told me about the sandals. One day in London I think I walked 15 miles in those ECCO sandals. (We did end up calling a Black Cab to get back to the hotel, because 15 was my limit, but it wasn’t my feet that were tired.) I am actually using these instead of sneakers for my daily walks on hot days now that I am home. You never disappoint. I am really grateful for all of your suggestions!

    • Oh, I’m so glad they worked out so well during your Europe trip, Kathy! Your trip sounds amazing! 15 miles in one day…that’s awesome!
      I made the mistake of wearing my sneakers one day during my two-week trip through Egypt last year and I was so hot that day, I thought I’d pass out. I went right back to wearing my sandals the next day and it made such a difference in how much cooler I stayed. I live in Ecco sandals all summer long, I even wear them on the days I’m cleaning house because it makes such a difference in how I feel at the end of the day. So glad they worked so well for you on your trip!

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