linen pants outfit

Summer Outfit Ideas for the Person Who Loves Classic Style

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It seems like most classic style staples, such as trench coats and cashmere sweaters, are more suited to cooler temperatures. But this doesn’t mean you can’t pull off that same timeless, classic look in warm weather too! Many of those wardrobe essentials can be effortlessly styled into gorgeous spring and summer outfits without sacrificing that refined and sophisticated look. Here’s how to transition a timeless personal style using these classic summer outfit ideas.

Summer Outfit Ideas for the Person Who Loves Classic Style

Linen Shorts

Linen is one of the best fabrics when it comes to creating a classic summer wardrobe; it’s ideal for the warmer months, being thin, breathable, and comfortable. These shorts combine all of the comfort of linen with the chic, sophisticated, and timeless silhouette of a high-waisted pair of shorts that will work wonders for your summer style.

It’s a good idea to go for light neutral colors with linen. This ensures versatility and will keep you cool on those particularly hot days. Use these to dress up everything from a breezy white blouse to a plain white tee.

linen shorts classic summer outfit idea

similar outfit details: white top | linen shorts | woven slip-ons | watch

Denim Skirts

On those days that are just too hot for your favorite pair of skinny jeans, a denim skirt will easily do the trick. You can still achieve that same cool-girl casual look, but better suited towards warmer weather.

Plus, with so many different lengths and washes to choose from, there’s something for everybody! Just like with jeans, a denim skirt can easily be accessorized with items like a silk scarf or bangles if you’re craving some bright colors.

denim skirt classic summer outfit idea

similar outfit details: tie-shoulder top | denim skirt | colorful scarf | slide sandals | bracelet stack

Linen Dresses

As we’ve established, linen is a fabric that was practically made for the summer. So, a linen dress is also an absolute must for the summer heat! I love this black midi dress as it’s the perfect warm-weather answer to the little black dress, and just as easy to style.

Cat-eye sunglasses, a straw bag, and espadrilles give this look a vintage vibe that proves you absolutely can wear black in the summer! This outfit is ideal for every warm-weather occasion, from a summer party to a backyard get-together. Add a straw hat and you also have an effortlessly chic beachside look.

linen dress classic summer outfit idea

similar outfit details: linen midi dress | espadrilles | bag | cat-eye sunglasses

Related: How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Spring & Summer

Cropped Cardigans

Cardigans are always a perfect choice for creating classic outfits, but even during summer? Yes! A cropped, short-sleeved version won’t be as hot as one with long sleeves and be worn in several fashionable ways.

Try wearing it buttoned up as a crop top with a patterned skirt, like the outfit below, for a flirty and fun look. You can also wear this piece more traditionally over a dress or with those linen shorts above for a little extra warmth during a breezy day. On that note, if you are looking for extra warmth on a cool summer night, a great denim jacket is also a great option.

cropped cardigan classic summer outfit idea

similar outfit details: short-sleeved cardigan | patterned skirt | strappy shoes | earrings


Bodysuits are one of those great hacks to creating a classic wardrobe. With these, you don’t have to worry about constantly making sure your shirt is tucked in, as they will always ensure a completely seamless and sleek look.

As with most basics, you can’t go wrong with a neutral color like white or black, but a more summery bold color will also work well for this style. Throw on a white pair of pants or white jeans and you’ve got an incredibly chic and easy outfit for summer. For a reverse of this look, a white top and black pants create the same chic contrast.

linen pants classic summer outfit idea

similar outfit details: black bodysuit | white pants | straw bag | woven mules | pendant necklace

Button Downs

There really is no wrong time to wear this wardrobe essential! For summer, try going for a more lightweight cotton or linen version. We’ve talked plenty about linen, but any natural fabric (cotton, and even lightweight wool!) is a perfect choice. This piece can be tucked into shorts, tied at the bottom, or even layered over your swimsuit as a chic coverup.

If you’re looking for a more formal look that isn’t just the typical dress, a silk button-down shirt is a good piece to have. When paired with wide-leg dress pants and heels, this is perfect for summer and very sophisticated.

linen top classic summer outfit ideas

similar outfit details: black shorts | linen top | classic watch | white woven loafers

As you can see, you don’t need a trench coat or black jacket to create the perfect classic look. These outfits are all perfect for those hot summer days, giving you comfort and breathability without sacrificing style.

One of the best aspects of these items (and all timeless wardrobe staples) is that you can mix and match them together for even more outfits. So don’t be afraid to experiment!

Looking for more summer outfit inspiration? Then check out this post on 10 outfits to wear for summer if you love the minimalistic style!

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classic style outfit ideas for summer


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.