It’s that time of year where your jackets go to the back of the closet and pants are anything but necessary. Summer essentials include anything from a beach towel to a base tan, but instead of always having to restock your closet each June, try experimenting with the pieces you already have. And with the addition of a few key, versatile pieces, you can make anything ready for a day out in the sun.

It’s easy to get caught up in buying more for “less” with every clearance sign staring you in the face but sometimes less can be more. Simplicity, in and out of your wardrobe, is a great way to save time and money that can be better used on adventures outside the department store. That $10 shirt from Forever 21 may be good for a few wears but once it hits the washer, all bets are off. Do yourself a favor and make the most of the warm summer months without spending the extra cash.

Here are 5 versatile pieces that can help bring your look to life in more ways than one:

1. Tote

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It can carry anything for any occasion and is a staple all year. A canvas or leather option brings together a look and transforms from night to day with ease. The right bag works with a summer dress, pants or beach attire and is the perfect piece to add to your  wardrobe. Our picks for this summer’s go-to totes are a mix of color and practicality. Make sure you find one that fits the essentials and also looks great after hours.

2. Scarf

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If there’s one accessory you shouldn’t go without, it’s a scarf. We all know its normal function but there are a few other ways to wear it as well. It can pair perfectly with your outfit as a shaw and effortlessly transform into a bathing suit cover up on the weekends. A lighter fabric will still give you the needed breeze on a hot day and also the easiest way to add a pop of color to your outfit. This summer’s scarves can include a pattern or a bold color with a neutral outfit. If you’re really into a larger option that you can layer, opt for a light fabric to balance out the look of the day.

3. Maxi Skirt

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Comfort meets its match with this casual skirt fit for any body type. It can bring together any outfit with little to no effort but when you can’t find the right shirt it has another use as well. Try pulling that skirt up and belting it for a new and improved strapless dress. The size of the belt depends on the fabric but for a standard maxi that hits right below the ankles, a midi dress is in your midst. We’re loving nudes this summer and flirting with florals of all colors. A simple belt and sandals will bring this look to life and makes a whole new outfit each time.

4. Chambray Shirt

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Each and every one of us should have at least one jean shirt in our closet. Not only is it the perfect layer over jeans and booties, it brings new levels of chill to a dress or tucked into a fitted skirt. Still in the market for a bathing sit coverup? A chambray shirt is breathable and an oversized option creates a new element of style to any beach ready outfit. Try knotting it at your natural waist over a dress or tuck in one side for a relaxed look all summer.

5. Romper

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Finding the perfect romper is like finding your favorite pair of jeans. It’s flattering, fitted and adds just the right amount of flare to any outfit. Instead of trying to find a new set of tank tops to pair with your skirts and shorts of the summer, try layering them over a romper. Whether you decide to try out a pattern or classic color, the essence of a good romper is all in the fit. An option that cinches at the waist will fit perfectly under a skirt and still keeps the look of a tucked in shirt without worrying about it coming out.

Try getting creative with your wardrobe this summer and bring new looks to your favorite pieces. With a few key accessories and one or two adventures, the days of sunshine will be even more enjoyable.

About The Author

Lauren is a writer for the Fashion Department and a Product Development Associate by day. She loves high-waisted skirts, thrifting and singing karaoke everywhere she goes. You can follow her travels and fashion findings on Instagram @laurentaber

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