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Refresh Your Warm-Weather Wardrobe With These 6 Easy Pieces

We've scouted some examples to get you started.

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photo collage of summer wardrobe refresh, clothes, fashion
Ethel Staff
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Hitting the refresh button on your warm-weather wardrobe promises a built-in level of comfort. You can see it in the cut of the clothes — elasticized waistbands! pockets! — and also in the trends themselves. There’s nothing radical here.

These are styles you’re familiar with from seasons, even centuries, past. Best of all, you may already have some of them in your closet. As they say, if the shoe — or the prairie skirt, for that matter — still fits, wear it for a second act. In case you need any updates, we’ve scouted some examples to get you headed in the right direction. Keep them in mind as you shop your favorite retailers, outlets and discount stores.

Shiny objects

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Photo courtesy Zara

Sparkle and shine are usually reserved for holiday outfits, but this year they follow us into spring. Metallics are back in vogue, and lucky you if you saved some from the last round. If not, you can find lots of silver — from Zara’s Minimal Flap Shoulder Bag ($40, zara.com/us), which bedazzles on your shoulder, to Metallic Leather Ballerina flats ($100, shop.mango.com/us) and Steve Madden’s Croc Embossed Penny Loafer ($80, nordstrom.com), which twinkle on your toes.

If you’re more of a golden girl, go all in with High Rise Faux-Leather Vintage Slim Jeans in champagne gold ($98, gap.com), or dial it down to a pop with Aqua’s Metallic Mini Hobo on your arm ($55, bloomingdales.com). Looking for something subtler? The sheen of satin elevates daytime separates like softly draped, calf-length skirts ($22 at hm.com to $130 at stories.com) or tailored tops epitomized by the Satin Classic Shirt ($42-$49, bananarepublicfactory.com) and the Flowy Satin Effect Shirt ($36, zara.com/us).

For a night out, you can slip into the Satin Effect Midi Dress with flowy neckline and pleats ($70, zara.com/us) or Open Edit’s Bias Cut Satin Slipdress ($70, nordstrom.com). When you want a little coverage without sacrificing allure, consider a barely-there chiffon wrap ($35, nordstrom.com) or a diaphanous cape in tulle or gauze ($50-$60, zara.com/us).

Denim decisions

Photo courtesy Zara

We are happy to report that spring’s big denim decision has nothing to do with skinny jeans. Instead, it’s all about which denim maxi skirt will find its way into your closet. Will it have a front slit and a medium-blue wash like Mango’s Matilda style ($70, shop.mango.com/us)? Will it graze your ankles with the A-line silhouette of Zara Woman’s Long Denim Skirt ($70, zara.com/us)? Or will it have an asymmetrical hem and light fade like Wash Lab’s Jagged Skirt ($128, washlabshop.com)? All we know for sure is that it’s going to be tough to pick just one.

New order in the court

Photo courtesy DSW

If your favorite hashtag is #TBT (for Throwback Thursday), you’ll recognize one of the season’s freshest footwear trends — the court sneaker. A blast from the ’80s past, this iconic style takes its inspiration from the tennis courts dominated by Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

Designs like the Adidas Grand Court Alpha Sneaker ($60-$75, dsw.com) combine retro tennis detailing with a refreshed color palette that now features options like pink, silver and, in Puma’s Suede Classic XXI Sneaker ($40-$75, us.puma.com), marshmallow and peach skin. Enhanced arch support and comfort technology — like the cushioned footbed in the Reebok Club C 85 Vintage Sneaker ($85-$90, reebok.com/us) and others — are well suited to aging feet that have lost some natural padding.

The big top

Photo courtesy Old Navy

Oversize shirts have been a thing for a couple of summers, and their easy, breezy comfort continues to be a staple this season too. Fabrics and detailing set this year’s crop apart. Styles like the Silky Oversized Shirt ($35, bananarepublicfactory.com) have a dressier — but still slouchy — vibe, while the best-selling Oversized Boyfriend Shirt with its menswear loop in back ($32, oldnavy.com) captures the weekend casual aesthetic. For something that swings both ways, the versatile Eyelet Lace Boyfriend Shirt ($59.99, gap.com) has a subtle sheerness that works for date night or simply hanging out at home.

Going long

Photo courtesy H&M

We are in luck. This summer, even the kids are forsaking minis for the wonders of the midi and maxi. Honestly, who wouldn’t prefer a long, full and floaty skim of a skirt that camouflages everything from a sunburn to a midweek stubble? Sign me up! If you’ve kept your prairie skirts from the 1970s, pull them out. This is their year to shine again.

Anyone needing to replenish or refresh their lineup can find options like Moon River’s Textured Tiered Midi Skirt ($102, nordstrom.com) at mainstream retailers or more unique offerings such as the Sophia Skirt ($72-$82, CottonFlowerClothing) on Etsy.com. Whether an A-line silhouette like Boden's Taffeta Pull-On Midi Skirt ($120, bodenusa.com) or an ankle-skimming swirl of sunray pleats like H&M’s Pleated Skirt ($40-$50, hm.com), these longer lengths often provide the added bonus of an elasticized waistband.

Snowy white

Photo courtesy Old Navy

White jeans are a staple, you probably have at least one pair in your wardrobe for those summer days ahead. If not — or your old pair is showing its age — there are plenty of refreshes on this longtime favorite. A raw hem lends edginess to the High-Waisted OG Straight White-Wash Cut-Off Ankle Jeans ($40, oldnavy.com), which also offer the benefit of Secret-Smooth front pockets to hold you in. Wide-cut legs like those on Loft’s High Rise Wide Leg Jeans ($75-$90, loft.com) provide another modern take on this warm-weather classic. Now you’re set! Whenever warm temperatures arrive wherever you live — or vacation — you will be ready to go forth and conquer in style.

Which of these trends above would you like to try this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

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