Nailing the perfect summer style for your next beach day or staycation getaway can be a tricky affair.

That’s not because you’re short of options. Au contraire, there are almost as many types of bikinis, basket bags and summer sandals as there are colours in the rainbow that you could choose from. It’s almost too easy to get caught up trying to decide on the right pair of sunglasses to pack on your next getaway. And it’s even easier to simply give up and call it a day with a basic tee, a pair of shorts, and some slides.

That’s why we’ve created the ultimate summer style guide, filled with all the must-have items that you’ll love for being versatile, chic and even practical. It doesn’t matter if you’ll simply by lounging by the pool at your favourite hotel, or if you’re planning to enjoy a fancy picnic with the whole works — sun, sand and sea. You’ll be the best-dressed with the summer essentials we’ve carefully picked out for being sophisticated, timeless and effortless to put on. (Hence, “essential”.)

The best part? They’ll fit right into your city wardrobe once the vacation is over and it’s time to head back to reality.

Be sure to pack our favourite face masks, hand sanitisers and sunscreens along with you — and you’ll be good to go.

Header photo credit: Vogue Eyewear

1

The perfect swimsuit does exist. This one-piece by Australian label Matteau is made from quick-drying stretch fabric that’s designed to hug all your body in all the right places. Besides being unbelievably flattering, it also boasts a timeless design that you can wear for countless summers to come. With its supportive wide straps, square neckline and bold silhouette, The Square swimsuit will speak to the minimalist in you — just as it did to Hailey Bieber.

(Photo credit: Moda Operandi)

Price
S$325
Shop here
2

Long live the bucket hat. The versatile accessory has been a street style staple for a while now, but the likes of Prada, Louis Vuitton and Loewe have us convinced that it can also be your go-to summer hat. And nothing screams summer more than this vibrant, rainbow bucket hat from Michael Kors, crafted entirely from lightweight cotton.

(Photo credit: Michael Kors)

Price
S$89
Shop here
3

Another crucial way to block out the sun besides a hat and sunscreen? Sunglasses, of course. Beachside is the best place to try out all those fun, bold styles that would get you weird stares anywhere else. These acetate shades fit the bill, boasting a translucent rectangular frame with the Valentino logo at the temples, as well as tinted green lenses (don’t worry they offer 100% UV protection).

(Photo credit: Selfridges)

Price
S$380
Shop here
4

Instead of changing out of a shirt and shorts, opt for the ease of throwing on a breezy summer dress over your bikini or swimsuit. Mexico-based fashion brand Caravana has an array of them to choose from, but this Yatzil dress is a stunner in its simplicity. Handmade by artisans, the dress hardly weighs a thing thanks to its airy cotton-gauze fabric. It’s cinched by a braided leather belt and features an asymmetric hem, creating a flattering silhouette. It’s an elegant cover-up that you’ll be glad to slip into after a day of sunbathing.

(Photo credit: Net-a-Porter)

Price
S$502
Shop here
5

You can either pretend that a straw tote bag is perfect for carrying all your stuff, or you can switch to this all-in-one cotton canvas bag from local label Beyond The Vines. Carry it two ways, either by the top handles or the long, adjustable strap. Inside, the boxy bag has room enough to fit your towels, clothes, and even your water bottle in a dedicated slot. (Not to mention the little tabs to hang your keys from, or the inner pocket to slot your phone in.) And if you need more space, Beyond The Vines is offering a limited-edition carrier tote to go with its new canvas bag, which is also available in two other colours.

(Photo credit: Beyond The Vines)

Price
S$129
Shop here
6

Leave behind the fussy sandals with their wraparound straps, or the boring branded pool slides. Jimmy Choo’s Tropica sandals are the only footwear you’ll need this summer. They come with cushioned rubber soles that are suited for long walks along the beach, but they’re also dressy enough to head back to your hotel with thanks to their artfully knotted leather straps.

(Photo credit: Moda Operandi)

Price
S$671
Shop here
7

Yes, towels are as much of a style statement as they are a poolside/beachside necessity. Ditch your boring white terry cloths for this fun, tie-dye printed towel by Isabel Marant. It’s made from super absorbent cotton and features fringed edges, a nod to the escapist, bohemian attitude you should have while lying stretched out on it.

(Photo credit: Farfetch)

Price
S$110
Shop here
Pameyla Cambe
Senior Writer
Pameyla Cambe is a fashion and jewellery writer who believes that style and substance shouldn't be mutually exclusive. She makes sense of the world through Gothic novels, horror films and music. Lots of music.