As trends come and trends go, I can’t help but start to resent the fast fashion industry. It’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful patterns and unique designs, but it seems like it’s out of style almost as soon as you bought it and it’s on to the next ‘in’ thing. But when I take a step back and really get a good look at my closet, there are some things that have been in there for years – the timeless pieces as I like to call them. The things that stay solid and trendy, no matter what the new it thing is. When I really examine these pieces, there are a few things that stand out to me: they are durable, yet lightweight materials, minimal patterns and designs, and some of it is even buy-it-for-life, meaning the company will replace it at any time if it wears and tears.
With these things in mind, we can now start to shop and buy with the goal of longevity. We not only want to buy and wear things that we love from the latest fashion house, but we want them to be timeless, the staple pieces of our wardrobes (1). Here is a list of our favorite items to create a timeless summer wardrobe for both men and women.
Women’s Summer Wardrobe
As women, the fast fashion industry takes advantage of us the most. We are constantly bombarded with ads, discounts, the newest brands, the latest trends, and we can’t help but get lost in it all. We aim to shop for one of the four seasons – spring, summer, fall, and winter. The fast fashion industry, however, goes through 52 seasons a year… 52! That means the fast fashion industry is shoving a new ‘season’ and ‘trend’ in our faces every week. Not only is it impossible to keep up, but it’s exhausting too! And let’s not mention the hit our bank accounts take too. Thankfully, there are also a lot of options outside of this industry that we can look for that won’t be in style for only a week.
Choosing Light Denim
First things first, it’s summer, so it’s time to lighten things up! During the winter we tend to live in darker denims and black denims. But when summertime rolls around, it’s time to come out of the dark – literally! When choosing shorts or jeans, be sure to look for durable whitewash and light denims (2). Stay away from patterns, laces, holes, fringes, or any sort of bedazzling (especially the bedazzling). While these things have their place in fashion, we are looking for timeless pieces here – so minimalism and simplicity is key. These staple pieces can always be paired with a wild print t-shirt or linen button up.
Dress In Linen
When looking for the right summer dress, always aim for linen material. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous and never out of style, but it is also the world’s strongest natural fiber, much more durable and long lasting than cotton (3). It’s comfortable, breathable, and will last you for the years to come.
Leather Is Key
If you are looking for a long-lasting summer sandal, always look for leather or a high quality vegan leather. Our personal favorite is Rainbow Sandals (but maybe that’s just the California in me) for their minimal look, comfort, and long-lasting wear. Rainbows also has a guarantee that if the straps breaks, they will replace them for free. What we love about Rainbows is not only their reliability, but the more you wear them the better they shape to your foot. On top of that, they can be worn with any outfit – casual, dressy, beach days, nice dinners, whatever the occasion, Rainbows are extremely versatile sandals.
However, if you are looking for a more humane option, we recommend going with Reef Vegan Leather sandals. You can enjoy all the same benefits of the Rainbows sandals, as Reef is an incredibly durable and popular brand, without having to buy leather products.
This piece is always the hardest because trends, styles, and patterns are constantly changing for women’s tops. The key here is to again buy durable materials like cotton or linen, and very minimal patterns or solid colors. Try and stay away from busy patterns, cheap materials, and odd designs. Aiming for whites and light wash beiges will give you an especially Hamptons aesthetic to your look.
With so many different options out there, it’s hard to know how to buy a good swimsuit that will last you through a few summers. When it comes to shopping for a swimsuit, looking for the right materials will help you pin down the best swimsuit. Typically most swimsuits you will come across in the female fashion world is nylon blends. These are typically soft, last a while, but can be subject to chlorine and UV damage, in that they fade quickly, create pills, and can sometimes even stretch out. Instead, try looking for swimsuits that are polyester blends. These are just as soft as nylon, but much more durable. On top of that, they are resistant against chlorine and UV rays, which allows them to hold on to their fresh color and soft feel. They also are not prone to stretch out over time.
Men’s Summer Wardrobe
While men’s fast fashion is not subject to quite as much change as women’s, there are still many styles and trends the go just as quickly as they came. However, men’s fashion has a few staple pieces that have lasted through the years and will continue to do so. The key when shopping for timeless pieces is to look for the styles that have stayed steady through the many changing seasons that fast fashion throws at us.
Linen, Cotton, and Spandex Shorts
Because this is going to be a staple piece for your wardrobe, you want materials that are reliable, durable, and won’t be subject to normal wear and tear. Aim to look for linen, cotton, spandex, or blends of those for your summer closet. Not only will they last you, but they are extremely comfortable, light weight, and breathable, making them a no-brainer summer choice. While patterns can be extremely popular in men’s shorts, remember the goal is a timeless look so keep the patterns to a minimum or go with a solid color.
When shopping for men’s shorts, there are a few different lengths to choose from. Shorts should fit right at the knee or right above the knee. Stay away from anything below the knee as that is a big ‘no no’ in the world of men’s fashion.
Thin Button-Down Shirts
Summers are not only hot, but they are full of fun activities too. Having a staple shirt that is flowy, breathable, yet stylish will help create the timeless wardrobe you are looking for. When it comes to buying the right shirts, again aim for linen. Linen is the most durable natural fabric, making it long-lasting and very comfortable for your summertime adventures. Again, the key is minimalism and simplicity so try and stay away from bright colors, loud patterns, and unusual designs. Try and have at least 2-3 shirts that are solid color, or small print designs that blend in.
Having a solid summer sandal is staple to any wardrobe. They are great for any occasion, casual or classy, and have a timeless look and long-standing durability. We recommend choosing a sandal from the Rainbows family. They are very durable, stylish, and can be dressed up or dressed down. They also form to your foot over time, making them unique to you and extremely comfortable once you break them in. Rainbows also has a lifetime guarantee if anything happens to your sandal that is outside of normal wear and tear. If the strap breaks they will be replaced for free.
If you are looking for a more humane option, we recommend buying Reef’s Vegan Leather Sandals. They are extremely comfortable, a popular brand, and you can enjoy the same benefits of buying a Rainbows sandal without having to buy real leather.
Finding The Right Swim Trunks
When shopping for men’s swimsuits, there are a lot of different materials, lengths, and styles to consider. The best thing to look for when finding something that will last you at least a few summers is the material. Men’s swimsuit material should be a Lycra or polyester blend. These materials are extremely durable but also hold up against chlorine and UV rays, which allows them to resist fading and not stretch out like most brands do over time.
When buying swim trunks, remember to follow the same rules you would for regular shorts. They should be at or above the knee, never past the knee. For staple swimsuits, it’s ok to go wild with patterns and designs, just make sure you are not buying for the sake of a trend, but rather buy because you enjoy the pattern – this will be key for a timeless swim trunk (4).