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5 Ways To Elevate Your Summer Wardrobe Basics For Any Occasion

Let’s be honest, we probably all lived in loungewear and boring basics for a large part of the last year. But now that things are opening up again, you don’t have to let them go to waste — you just need a couple of tricks to elevate them enough to be able to wear them out to work or drinks.
For summer, we’re talking t-shirts, button-up shirts, denim jackets, a shirt dress, boyfriend jeans and shorts and linen everything. These items should get you through the entire season with these styling tips.

Find interesting silhouettes

Hanan Ibrahim
There’s nothing basic about a basic item of clothing when the silhouette is striking — after all, elevated shapes have been a huge staple for 2021 style. Halter tops, structural cut-outs and even one-shoulder silhouettes are an easy way to amplify a casual look.
It's also a great way to flex your DIY skills as well. Pull both arm straps of a tank to one side of your head for a one-shoulder look, or criss-cross them for a whole new look. A few studs secured on the corner of a denim pocket, or a coloured faux-fur trim sewed to the lining of a jacket can completely refresh a tired look, and add a lot of edge to your outfit.
The tie-dye trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast, so grab some dye and add a little colour to your basic white tees (it is possible to get your tie-dye right every time even if you DIY).

Take your swimwear from the beach to the bar

Our long-awaited Hot Vaxx Summer is upon us. In Australia, we're blessed with some of the world's most beautiful beaches and bays — and if hitting the waves isn't exactly you're thing, showing off your favourite swimsuit might just be the activity for you.
We're all about looking as cute and functional (as well as sun-protected) at the beach. Adapting your outfit into one that'll transition you seamlessly from the sand to tucking into a jar of sangria at a beach-side bar is exactly the kind of energy we're striving for in 2021.
We're talking bikini tops layered under a baggy, white linen shirt, using your one-piece (like this classic Tommy Hilfiger silhouette) as a bodysuit with a pair of high-waisted denim shorts, wearing slides for every occasion — you get the picture. It's about comfort, style and embracing the carefree nature of the season (which is what we all need right now).

Clash patterns and colours

The Avant-basic trend has undeniably dominated 2021. It makes sense — it combines our pandemic obsession with comfort and practicality, as well as our need for radical self-expression.
Hanan Ibrahim
One of the easiest ways to create some intrigue with your basics is to level up the pattern — and not to fear clashing​​ prints. If you're looking to start simple and build off a clean foundation, Tommy Hilfiger's linen sleeveless blouse is a great base for clashing over the top.
You've probably seen patterns like coloured checkerboards and zebra print everywhere this year, and if this summer’s swimwear trends are anything to go by, they're not going away anytime soon.
If you want to ease into clashing prints, try choosing one dominant pattern, then another to use as an accent. You can also choose two different prints that share one main colour, or pick different patterns using the same colours, like black and white.

Layer up

Hanan Ibrahim
Just because it's summer, doesn't mean you can't add flair to your basics with a layered look.
In the warmer months, layering should focus on minimal, lighter fabrics to look good without over-heating. Try using your swimsuit as a top with a light button-up over it.
A patterned button-up can serve retro vibes when layered over denim shorts and a cropped tank. It’s also amazing how cute a simple polo dress can look with an oversized denim jacket — if you’re not sure where to start, get some inspiration from the street style of Tokyo.

Utilise bold accessories

As any capsule wardrobe enthusiast knows, accessories are your best friend when you’re working with sartorial basics. One of our favourite jewellery trends this year has been bold, plastic rings and beaded necklaces — which have all trended thanks to TikTok. Even phone charms (that are so 00s) have been donned by the likes of Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid, and more could add a little Y2k flair to an otherwise basic look.
Over summer, your number one accessory is obviously a hat (because there's nothing cuter than sun safety). You can try a huge, fuzzy print bucket hat, or something simpler like this classic bucket hat that'll help the rest of the outfit pop.
Lightweight summer scarves look cute tied from a belt loop on your pants, or adorning the handle of your handbag. Take some accessory inspiration from the Spring ‘22 runways.

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