Top 5 Summer Break Fashion Staples

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Lounging In Pool


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As stressful as finals may be, there's definitely a positive side to them: they mark the end of spring semester, and usher in summer break! If you're anything like me, you can't wait for barbecues, bike rides, and of course, the beach.

The beginning of summer break also means that it's time to unpack the shorts and swimsuits, and maybe add to last year's repertoire of warm-weather clothing. These five summer staples will ensure you're prepared for some fun in the sun!

1. Fun & Functional Hat

Cute hats for summer


Product Information: Boater Hat - Miss Selfridge, Black Floppy Hat - H&M, Bow Fedora - Nordstrom, White Floppy Hat - Target, Straw Cloche Hat - Miss Selfridge, Cowboy Hat - Fat Face.

A cute hat with a brim will protect the delicate skin on your face from the harsh rays of the sun, while also camouflaging wind-blown strands.

A floppy straw hat can be tossed into your beach bag for sunny afternoons at the seashore, while a more structured topper, like a trendy boater hat or fedora, will add fun flair to dressier ensembles. Finally, cowboy-style hats mesh well with the southwest-inspired fashions that have been popular this spring.

2. Versatile Shorts

Summer shorts


Product Information: Denim Bermuda Shorts - American Eagle, Cuffed Blue Fabric Shorts - H&M, Pink Denim Shorts - Topshop, Green Cargo Bermuda Shorts - American Eagle, Dark Denim Shorts - Tilly's, White Shorts - All Saints, Denim Boyfriend Shorts - Topshop, Floral Shorts - Delia's.

Every girl needs a great pair of shorts in her summer wardrobe, and with so many styles to choose from, it's never been easier to find your perfect pair!

No list of summer fashion must-haves would be complete without denim shorts - these warm-weather staples are incredibly versatile and can be worn with nearly everything in your closet. Show off your legs in a dark-wash pair of Daisy Dukes, rock one of summer's hottest trends in colored denim shorts, or go for the effortlessly chic look with some worn-in boyfriend shorts.

Not into showing so much skin? Bermuda shorts are a great alternative to short-shorts. Different materials make them extremely versatile, while a longer inseam provides extra coverage. Cargo-style bermudas in neutral colors look crisp with a bright white tee, and you can dress up denim bermuda shorts with an embellished top and heels.

If you're looking for something a little more unique, try a fun pair of floral print shorts, perfect for channeling the '70s boho look, or some loose-fitting, cuffed fabric shorts, which can be dressed up with heels and a fitted top. Alternatively, keep things classic with a pair of tailored white twill shorts. The possibilities are endless!

3. Comfortable Swimsuit

Comfortable and practical swimwear


Product Information: Navy One-Piece - Urban Outfitters, Embellished Turquoise Bikini - Victoria's Secret, Blue Stripe Bikini - Urban Outfitters, Polka Dot Bikini - Victoria's Secret, Black Monokini - Urban Outfitters, Zebra Stripe Bikini - Victoria's Secret.

String bikinis are super-sexy and great for (safely) catching some rays. However, let's face it: some of summer's most enjoyable activities are just not friendly to the flimsy swimsuit.

Halter-style bikini tops, boy short bottoms, and simple one-piece bathing suits are all practical alternatives to string bikinis. These simple, comfortable styles will allow you to participate in everything from wakeboarding to jumping off the dock without having to worry about adjusting your suit.

4. Sundress

Sundresses


Product Information: Coral Sundress - Topshop, White Corset Sundress - Victoria's Secret, Floral Sundress - Forever 21, Purple Sundress - Old Navy.

A pretty sundress will take you everywhere from the pool to the party with ease. This summer staple takes two seconds to style (add jewelry, slip on some sandals and go), can be worn with anything, and makes a great swim cover-up. Lightweight fabrics will feel breezy and are easiest to layer over for chilly nights.

5. Bright Scarf

Brightly colored scarves


Product Information: Pink & Yellow Scarf - Miss Selfridge, Turquoise Scarf - H&M, Pink & Blue Head Scarf - ASOS, Pink & Orange Square Scarf - American Apparel, Pink & Orange Long Scarf - Urban Outfitters, Beige & Yellow Scarf - Topshop.

A brightly colored scarf has a myriad of uses: try a long sheer one as a headwrap or headband to tame your tresses, or wrap a silk square around your wrist and wear it as a bracelet. You can even tie a simple silk scarf to your handbag for an unexpected pop of color. Finally, worn around the neck, a bright patterned scarf adds a pop of color to any outfit.

What Do You Think?

What are your summer fashion essentials? Can you think of a summer fashion essential that wasn't covered here? Is the weather warm yet where you live? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts!