Someone asked me for a list of good summer investment pieces, and that got me to thinking about my most worn summer wardrobe items and which ones are worth investing in, so I came up with this list!
For wintertime, I think we all know what those are. A great-fitting pair of jeans, quality sweaters, footwear, maybe a versatile blazer or moto jacket… But summertime tends to be more casual, and for many areas of the continent, it’s a much shorter season.
For those reasons, most of us probably don’t spend as much on our spring/summer clothing as we do on fall/winter clothing, but that doesn’t mean there are no summer wardrobe items worth investing in.
7 Summer Wardrobe Pieces Worth Investing In
These are the summer wardrobe items I wear the most, and basically the top 7 pieces I would recommend investing in, if they fit your life and style.
#1. Versatile Knit Dress
I never considered this an investment piece until I fell in love with the Eileen Fisher dress in hibiscus (pictured above) at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale a few years ago. It was a lot to pay for a casual dress, but I loved the high quality and forgiving fit, so I brought it home with me.
As it turns out, it’s one of the best wardrobe investments I’ve ever made. I’ve worn this dress more times than I can count over the past few summers, and it still looks like new. On a cost per wear basis, it’s pennies at this point.
It’s no longer available, but you might like this Eileen Fisher tank dress that is currently on sale. I purchased it in black a few months ago because I’ve been wanting an alternative to the hibiscus one. And if you want another option, there’s a similar style in this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (the blue one pictured above).
SIZING NOTE: Size down in Eileen Fisher dresses. I wear an XS in all three of the above.
#2. White Jeans
Denim is one of those clothing categories that I can really see and feel the difference in a quality garment, and if you’re patient, you can usually find premium denim on sale. Speaking of which, the Good American Good Straight is 25% off at Nordstrom right now!
Because denim styles have changed a lot in the past year or so, most of my white jeans are fairly new, but I wear all of them regularly. I rounded up all of my white denim favorites and some other recommendations below.
#3. Neutral Handbag
A quality bag has a way of elevating even the most budget-friendly outfit, so I think it’s worth investing in — especially if you’re one to carry your handbag every day. Because I carry mine so often and for so many years, the cost per wear works itself out in the long run.
The Louis Vuitton pictured above was a birthday present in the summer of 2019, and it’s the summer bag in my closet that I use the most, but there are plenty of quality handbags in a more accessible price range. I linked up my personal favorites along with some other recommendations below, and I included some that are deeply discounted at Nordstrom Rack.
#4. Denim Shorts
This is an area where some ladies don’t care to spend, I guess because it seems silly to invest in casual wear? I’m not sure, because I don’t see how it’s any different than investing in a pair of good jeans.
I wear denim shorts almost every day during the summer, so I often buy premium denim brands for my shorts as well. They always feel so much better on, and they fit better too. The pair I’m wearing above has been on constant repeat this summer, and they are so soft and comfortable.
If you like premium denim and don’t want to spend a lot, keep an eye on Saks OFF 5TH and other off-price retailers. My current favorites and some similar options are linked below.
#5. White T-Shirt
I know, I know… but hear me out. A good quality white tee is so versatile and works as a stand-alone top or as a base layer under all types of cardigans and jackets.
Yes, white t-shirts get pit stains and wear out faster than say, a sweater. But even if I have to replace it when the next season rolls around, I will still get a decent cost per wear out of a higher end tee, and they just look and feel so much better than their cheaper counterparts.
That’s not to say I don’t think there’s a purpose for cheaper t-shirts. In fact, I keep a few of those around as well, but if I’m going to make a list of investment-worthy summer wardrobe items, this ATM tee must be on the list.
#6. Leather Sandals
Tory Burch Miller Sandals (size 8; Makeup)
I can’t even remember how long I’ve had my Miller Sandals, but if I could have only one pair of leather sandals in my closet, it would be these. They’re so easily dressed up or down, they’re comfortable (for a flat sandal), and they hold up to just about anything.
The patent leather is definitely more durable than the soft leather (I have both Tan Patent and Makeup) but both pairs have withstood all kinds of abuse and still look great. The price has gone up over the years (they used to be under $200, at least) but I’d still replace mine in a hot minute if I lost them.
All that said, you don’t have to pay upwards of $200 for quality leather sandals, so I linked up some of my other favorites below.
#7. Classy Swimsuit
I’ve always invested in quality swimwear because the materials are thicker and more supportive, which means the suit is more flattering and holds up better over time.
I usually keep my swimsuits for several years, but because of my breast reduction surgery last month, I’ve bought all new ones this summer. Some of my favorite brands that I believe are worth the investment are Bleu Rod Beattie, Tommy Bahama, La Blanca, and Sea Level.
Also pictured is this gorgeous beach wrap from Anthro. I love how it levels up a poolside look and keeps it classy.
Speaking of keeping it classy, I really should have added quality sunglasses to this list.
I definitely consider them a summer wardrobe item worth investing in, although of course you can wear sunglasses all year ’round. Here are a few of my favorites.
I realize we are all different and have different priorities when it comes to this type of list, so I’d love to hear yours!
Stay In Touch
If you liked this post, be sure you’re signed up for my email newsletter. In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and an occasional peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox.
I would also love for you to join my JLS Fashion Insiders Facebook Group! This is a friendly place to discuss all matters of fashion and style with other women, share your outfits, get advice, and stay up to date on all the happenings in our community.
This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!