It's not always easy to look put-together in summer: it's too hot and everything feels uncomfortable. Think of the skirt-and-shirt combination—two items that you probably already have in your closet—as a go-to when it's hot out. Because you almost certainly already have them, you don't even have to buy anything new (not that anyone's stopping you, of course).
Simple and functional, the beauty of these two stalwart pieces is that, together, they're a fast track to summertime style—often a hard fashion nut to crack during soaring temperatures when the default look tends to be: flustered.
This outfit also works as a great base—for jackets and sweaters on top when it starts to cool down, for flats or heels depending on the occasion. On vacation? Add a hat!
Here, our favorite shirt-and-skirt combinations—and how and where to wear them.
The Look: Sophisticated and Feminine
That simple white shirt you thought you could only wear for job interviews can become your summer favorite. The wide sleeves on this one mean that you'll be well ventilated, and the shirt brings a crisp edge to a pretty, ornate skirt. The outfit will work all day long: wear it with flat sandals running around town, or with loafers at work, and then switch to a heel when it's time for dinner out with friends. Done.
The Look: Dressed-Up, Dressed-Down
This is all about taking a very fancy skirt and teaming it with a relaxed look up top. Opposites attract, and the skirt is so fancy that it makes the whole outfit entirely appropriate at even the poshest of events.
The Look: Bookish Bohemian
Skirts and shirts don't have to be boring. Pussy bows and pleats, lamé, and a palette of jewel tones make the proposition of these otherwise staple items more exciting. Here, the idea is to clash: clash those colors, clash those prints, clash it all! Have fun. The crazier you go, the better.
The Look: Office-Bound
Small style tweaks make a huge difference to the traditional skirt-and-shirt combination, transforming it from standard to special—but still smart, stylish, and appropriate for the office. Look for interesting sleeve shapes and skirt lengths, but this time, obviously, don't go overboard.
Start with introducing one new tweak first—for instance, a midi length is a modern and neat alternative to something knee-length or a maxi. A wrap skirt, too, feels fresh and contemporary. Or opt for a shirt with a fluted sleeve, or one that plays with volume and proportion, over something with a buttoned cuff.
The Look: Vacation Dressing
The idea with this version of the look is to achieve something rather Roman Holiday. The skirt should be as much like a dirndl as can be, in something quintessentially summertime such as gingham, broderie anglaise, or patchwork; and the shirt should be cute and cropped, or off the shoulder. Just add a big basket, a bunch of flowers, and some serious oversize shades, just like Audrey would have. See, skirts and shirts can be glamorous, too!