5 Must-Have Summer Accessories for Women

fashionable woman in summer hat

Accessories are the easiest way to update your look and get the most mileage out of your wardrobe. They can instantly add new life to any outfit. A few new accessories will keep you looking seasonally appropriate and current with the latest trends.

Five Must-Have Summer Accessories

Retro Sunglasses

retro stylish sunglasses

Retro sunglasses are a must for summer. They're the perfect trend because they're also timeless. Some of the most popular and flattering styles are the wayfarer, the cat eye, and the Jackie O. If you want to wear your retro shades year round, go for one in the standard tortoise or black. If you're looking for a summer-specific style, try a bright color like turquoise or red.

  • Two-tone wayfarers are very in right now. Try these Ray-Bans in turtoise and yellow.
  • Forever 21's Mod cat-eye sunglasses are a subtle take on the popular 50s fashion.
  • House of Harlow's 1960 Anais are the perfect oversize frames to achieve that iconic Jackie O. glamour.

Straw Hat

cute straw hat

Staying protected from the sun's damaging rays doesn't have to be a hassle. A cute straw hat will keep those UV rays away with style. Even if you don't consider yourself a hat person, classic styles like the boater and panama can work for you. If you want even more protection, go for a floppy sun hat with a large rim.

  • J Crew offers the Panama Hat in white or natural. It's a versatile style and a great "starter" hat for those buying their first.
  • The ​Straw Boater Hat from Free People is adorable. It's great for the beach or day to day wear.
  • This Large Straw Stripe Sun Hat by SS Sophia will keep you completely covered while looking chic.

Mixed Material Handbag

mixed material fabric and leather accents bag

Ditch heavy leather bags for summer. Get a fabric or straw purse with leather accents for a lighter but still stylish look. Bags in bright colors and embroidered fabrics are the perfect way to give your wardrobe a summer feel.

  • Nautical styles are always in for summer. Try something like this patterned bucket bag.
  • The Eric Javits Paradise woven clutch is a modern take on straw bags. It's the perfect day to night summer clutch.
  • Beautifully designed, the Desjardins Crochet Tote from Anthropologie is a gorgeous way to bring color and prints into your summer style.

Bangle Bracelets

summer bangles

Bangle bracelets are perfect for summer; since your wrists are bare, you can give them the full exposure they deserve. Try earthy, natural bangles made out of wood or embellised with semi-precious stones like quartz. Brightly colored enamel bracelets are also an excellent choice if you're looking to add a pop of color to your outfit. Wear as few or as many as you like; and don't be afraid to mix and match bracelets of different materials, colors, and sizes for an eclectic look.

  • Stack a couple of the Astrid Cuff bracelets by Dream Collective in different colors with some simpler bracelets.
  • This set of beaded Vanessa Mooney Allie Bangle is great on its own or paired with other styles.
  • Karen London's Wave Bangle is a great statement piece to wear with a few smaller, colored bangles.

Lightweight Shawl

 teal summer shawl

A shawl is an essential, multi-purpose summer accessory. Shawls make great cover ups at the beach and are perfect as wraps on chilly evenings. Go for breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. Consider your wardrobe and other accessories when shopping for a shawl, because you want it to complement pieces you already own. If you have a lot of colored clothes and accessories for summer, choose a neutral shawl; if your closet is generally neutral, get a brightly colored shawl.

  • Love Quotes is a fantastic line of shawls. For summer, try their Tassle Scarf, and airy linen blend.
  • The Cecily Crinkled Infinity Scarf in a cool mint green is just the thing to add a splash of color to summer whites.

Where To Buy Summer Accessories

  • J Crew has great hats, bags, jewelry, shawls, and sunglasses. They have their own line and some designer collaborations.
  • Urban Outfitters sells a range of affordable, trendy accessories from brands like Ecote and Quay. They also offer higher end products from House of Harlow and Sibilia, among others.
  • Anthropologie has a wide selection of accessories fitting their trademark classic, feminine style. Check out their sale section for deals; they usually cut prices 50%.
  • Mille is an online boutique that sells handbags, jewelry, and scarves from fantastic lines including Virginia Johnson and Clare Vivier.
  • Revolve Clothing offers a huge selection of chic designer accessories from labels like Rebecca Minkoff, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and more.
  • Amazon has anything and everything you're looking for from a wide range of designers for any budget.

Summer Accessories Shopping Tips

  • If you wait until it's actually summer to purchase your summer accessories, you can get better prices. By July, stores will be getting ready to carry fall items and will have much of their summer stock on sale.
  • Look for items that are both practical and stylish. Get a hat with a rim to shade your face from the sun and make sure your sunglasses offer UVA/UVB protection. Also try to choose handbags, jewelry, and other accessories that will go with many outfits and can take you from day to night.
  • Keep things light. It is summer, after all, and it's going to be hot. The last thing you want is to be weighed down with heavy materials.
5 Must-Have Summer Accessories for Women