Whether you love the beach, thrive on being one with nature in the great outdoors or you’re heading for a summer vacay in the coming holidays, there are some things you just can’t do without — fashion essentials to help you overcome the sweltering heat and the unforgiving sun rays. To make your summer experience that much more pleasant and enjoyable, we’ve rounded up six necessities — from clothing that provides ultraviolet (UV) protection to sunglasses and linen outfits — you have to pack before you head out the door. Your skin will thank you.

summer fashion

UV-Protective Outfit

You should be familiar with the term sun protection factor (SPF) because you should be applying a sunblock with at least an SPF of 30 every day, even if you’re staying at home indoors. (If you’re not, it’s not too late to start now.) But have you heard of UPF — ultraviolet protection factor? The rating indicates how effective an article of clothing is in shielding you from the sun rays. According to Japanese label Uniqlo, “UPF measures how many times more it would take for your bare skin to be sunburned from the same sunlight exposure” and that “a higher UPF offers better UV-blocking properties due to longer UV protection”. In addition, both Uniqlo and Mott50, a label that retails sun protection garments, agree that non-UPF treated fabrics only have a low UPF rating of 5 and would thus be insufficient to protect your skin from UV rays.

summer fashion

Japanese fast fashion label Uniqlo has released a collection of outerwear comprising parkas, cardigans and hoodies for both men and women that are minimal yet stylish. As the category suggests, these are meant to be worn over other outfits, including the brand’s perfect-for-summer AIRism range, to shield you from UV rays.

Big Sunglasses

Trendy mini sunglasses, like those sported teetering close to the ends of noses on the likes of Kylie Jenner, Rihanna and Dua Lipa, might be cute for the ‘gram and all, but they simply do not provide enough shade protection against the sun’s rays. Instead, we’re advocating for large, goggle-like sunglasses that cover from the eyebrows to the top of the cheeks as they block out as much light as possible. Remember, sunglasses are the only sunblock option for your precious peepers. Lastly, ensure that your sunglass is actually certified to have UV protection.

summer fashion

Sunglasses, price available in store, Dior 

We are currently loving the XL size of this Dior pair that was released as part of the summer’19 collection as it has a large size while retaining lightweight properties with ultra-thin frames. In addition, its rectangular silhouette is flattering to most face shapes. You could even wear this for days where you’re just running errands and don’t want to put on too much makeup.

summer fashion

Square cateye sunglasses, S$39.90, Zara 

The beloved cat-eye shape is given a unique twist by Zara as the brand has made it look even more angular than what we’re used to. Throw this sassy pair on with a statement outfit and boldly show off your confidence.

Straw Hat

A straw hat is almost synonymous with summer vacay. It’s undeniably your best friend in balmy weather because 1) it shades you from the sun and 2) it look hella cute with a breezy summer outfit, whether you’re going for a beach party or just lounging by the pool. This summer, we’re opting for a straw hat with straps because you can securely knot them around your face to prevent them from flying away with the wind. The last thing you want to do on a romantic picnic date at Marina Barrage is to chase after your hat, right? We also don’t recommend a visor if you’re going to spend a long time in the sun because scalp sunburn is real.

summer fashion

Magherita x Cambiaghi x OAfrica silk-trimmed printed straw hat, US$183 (S$253), www.net-a-porter.com

We chose this straw hat created in collaboration between Italian designer Margherita Missoni (of the Missoni label) and milliner Cambiaghi, not only because of its warm hue that reflects the vibrant colours of summer and nature, but also because part of the sale proceeds of the hat will go to OAfrica, a charity that supports orphans and vulnerable children in Ghana. Furthermore, the geometric print of the scarf draws inspiration from the handwoven Kente fabric of the Ashanti ethnic group in Ghana and the hat is made by artisans in Bolgatanga, Ghana. We’re always down for a good cause.

White Shirt

White shirts are a wardrobe staple to look sharp for work. But there’s no reason to keep them in the closet for the weekends either. Whether it’s a t-shirt or a button-up shirt, you can dress them down in a multitude of ways — from making it into a crop top by tying a knot to french tucking it into casual wide-legged trousers or denim jeans with a straw bag in tow. Plus, white reflects heat so it will keep you cool too- — just choose a looser silhouette or one made with a thinner, lightweight fabric such as silk or linen.

summer fashion

Linen-silk knit top, US$89 (S$122), Cos 

While this might look like any other white t-shirt in the market, this Cos design is actually made without side seams to give it a loose silhouette and casual relaxed fit. It is also made with a blend of linen and silk to ensure it is lightweight and breathable. Wear this with a sharp pencil skirt for work or distressed denim for work.

Sandal Flats

Summer is a period to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature. You might be taking more walks in the park or heading to yacht parties, so proper footwear are in order to fulfil your needs. And by that we mean flats, because well, it’s self-explanatory why they are a better choice than heels. Sandals get our vote because not only are the straps secure, they are also girly and chic, and easy to pair with your coveralls and kaftans.

summer fashion

Bejewelled sandal, price available in store, Giuseppe Zanotti

We chose this sleek pair from Giuseppe Zanotti for two reasons: a) the black shade is really versatile and b) we love the bejewelled flower detail as it adds bling while giving a nod to nature. You can wear this with a wrap dress for a yacht party or a dressed down t-shirt and shorts combo for a weekend errand run.

Linen Clothing

Made out of fibres of the flax plant, linen is another summer staple to have in your wardrobe. Not only is it lightweight, linen is also absorbent and breathable, which means that it can absorb your perspiration and wick them away to ensure that you feel fresh and cool. Plus, linen clothing come in a rainbow of colours, from its natural shade of ivory and ecru to black, red and blue even, so trust us when we say it’s hardly a boring choice.

summer fashion

Isabel Marant Etoile paisley and floral print linen blouse, S$275, www.farfetch.com

Add a touch of boho chic to your wardrobe with this brick-red floral and paisley shirt from Isabel Marant Etoile. Wear with bell-bottom jeans for the weekends or go with a black pencil skirt and heels for work.

summer fashion

Linen blend midi shirt dress, S$129.90, Marks & Spencer 

Great for a weekend al fresco brunch date or for work, this earthy brown Marks & Spencer number is a versatile piece to add to your collection. Pair it with gold jewellery and leather boots. It is also available in navy, light blue and black.