Ah, summer in Kansas City. Sometimes sweltering, sometimes stormy, always fun and always so much to do! Legends Outlets stylist, Sarah Findley, breaks summer down into her top five favorite looks and where to wear them this season!
MY PICNIC PICKS
Summer is the season for outdoor eating! Whether it’s brunch on a patio, family reunions, or a backyard BBQ, my favorite picnic look comes head-to-toe from J. Crew Factory. I wear this breezy cotton-linen striped midi skirt with everything and sub it for shorts when I’m feeling like kicking my outfit up a notch without sacrificing comfort (hello elastic waistband for second helpings of pasta salad and watermelon)! I tuck in or tie cute graphic tees like this brunch top, or a sweet v-neck like this J. Crew Mercantile basic tee in brilliant poppy—a fresh take on pink and a popular color this summer! I love to mix prints and could wear these Zoe faux calf hair d’orsay flats with everything. If I want to dress it up a bit, I opt for my go-to canvas espadrille wedges, which offer some height without sinking your heels into your neighbor’s yard! Layer on chic summer accessories like this oversize tortoise shell link necklace and a timeless straw fedora, and you’re ready for any outdoor party!
MY SUMMER PARTY DRESS
For more dressed-up affairs, I always head to my favorite femme dress spot, the Express Factory Outlet. This summer, bright rompers are the new LBD for your bachelorette party, winery tour, or day-to-night party look. I love this grassy tropical print on a bold berry background and the off-the-shoulder cut and flowy sleeves totally make this anything but your basic one-piece. With so many fun colors in the print, I’m always swapping out bright tassel earrings and eye makeup choices to change up this outfit. If I’m transitioning my look from day to night festivities, I always go with black accessories, like these minimalist strappy block-heel sandals by Express Factory Outlet. A black floppy straw hat and plastic rimmed shades give sun protection and style points at the same time!
MY POOL VIBE
For me, my pool look has to be functional and fashionable. One-piece suits are everywhere this summer, and I don’t hate it! I love this entire look from Forever 21 Red, featuring an earthy olive deep-v one-piece with high cut legs. The color is super popular and goes with anything, but I loved it with a pair of creamy peach linen shorts and a long flowy palm leaf kimono. I seriously love this as an outfit AND a pool cover-up! A low-maintenance pair of slides with rose gold faux leather straps are easy to kick off poolside and also work great for a long walk on the beach (or from the parking lot to the waterpark with the kiddos). I do NOT skip on sun protection so I loved this flat brim straw hat with mauve tassels. A basic pair of oversize rose gold hoops complete this look for me and I’ll feel cool whether I’m in or out of the water!
MY PATIO PARTY LOOK
Summer is also super fun for all the outdoor festivals, patio drinks, and festive events! I like to look summery, while having the layers and style I need to make an outfit work for me in any setting. If I’m heading to First Fridays, block parties, or concerts, I’ll add my boho personality to a basic white tank like this one by tying it in a knot and adding some awesome, colorful, exotic palazzo pants. I love this outfit from Francesca’s because it’s creative and fun, while including some major style points like the flowy legs, trendy mustard color scheme, and turquoise jewelry. A gauzy lace kimono with bell sleeves adds a layer of style without adding any unnecessary warmth for this steamy season, and a laser cut clutch with gold chain strap allows me to tote my money, phone, and—most importantly—shine blotting paper with me in the Midwest heat. I hide a pair of Birkenstocks under the wide legs of my palazzo pants so that I can stay on my feet all day and night!
MY DAILY UNIFORM
What about the day-to-day summer slog? Let’s be honest … most of your summer is spent in and out of the car, stores, and restaurants! For errands, appointments, and lunch with friends, I keep my summer look minimal and breathable. My go-to outfit this summer has been this spaghetti strap romper from H&M (it has pockets!). I love it because it’s so cool and lightweight, featuring an elastic cinched waist and the most delicate straps with a perfect neckline in front and back … and because I can trade out my accessories to make it a different look while wearing it on repeat all summer. Straw canteen purses work great for lunches on the go, heels and wedges dress it up for nights out, and colorful beaded earrings and bracelets spice up the color palette. That said, my absolute default version is styled with leather sandals like Birkenstocks or these cute knock-offs from Off Broadway that feature a trendy white outsole, oversize tortoise shell earrings from H&M, my trusty J. Crew Factory straw fedora, and a big woven bag with tassels from H&M that’s cute enough to be a purse but big enough to tote contents for meetings and errands!