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Here’s our edit of the must-have summer essentials to get you into the mood of the season.  Think of it as your capsule collection to transport you into a vacation headspace.

While many of us won’t be travelling to far-off, exotic destinations that we conjure up all year long, it still doesn’t mean we can’t dress as if we are on vacation!

Ultimately how we dress can reflect our state of mind, and what better mind-set to have than one of blissed-out holiday spirit.

1. The Understated Espadrille

More pulled together than a slipper, the espadrille is a beach must have that is just as suited for a detour into the city. Opt for leather weaves as an upgrade to the “tourist shop” canvas versions for a chic take on a holiday classic.  May we suggest these contemporary versions from Chloe, Chanel and Valentino that will transition well from “city-to-sea” scape.

2. The Designer T-Shirt

A polarizing piece.  The naysayers will lament paying a premium for a mere T-shirt.  But you know better, for this is not just any t-shirt. It’s an emblem of style.  A stance for your favourite brand.  A particular cult of cool.  Plus, it looks good all season long, can be dressed up or down and has that irresistible cool-girl appeal that says: “this old thing, I’ve had it for years…” Get one and get to know the feeling.

3. Multi-Occasion Summer Dress

Its “that” dress.  The one that works for a back-yard BBQ, can up uplifted with extra accessories for cocktails and glammed up with heels for a fancier dinner.  The key requirement.  It must “flow”.  Our top pick goes to this white Norma Kamali “Goddess” dress as well as this pleated black silk dress from Eden.  It’s not what you expected as part of your summer essentials, but that’s the whole point.

4. A Memorable Cover-Up

Enough with the worn-out sloppy shirts that stick unceremoniously to your damp skin post pool dip.  Imagine yourself on a boat, the salted sea of the Med flapping against you and wrap yourself in something more glamorous akin to resort wear for women of leisure. Here are our picks of cover-ups that still leave something to the imagination.

5. The Chic Carry-All Bag

Step away from the backpack.  Put that canvas tote aside and upgrade to a roomy, elegant carry-all bag.  What might be inside it may not be so glamorous, but no one needs to know.  We recommend the Chanel Straw bag to hide all your indiscretions.

6. Retro Over-Size Sunglasses

You may not be going to any parties, but that doesn’t mean the party can’t come to you.  Hide all evidence behind oversized shades.  A summery beach must-have, effective for indoors as well.   We have our eyes (pardon the pun) on these…

7. Something Nude

To show off the tan obviously.  Also, beige is always the rage, not only reserved for resort wear. More than just a season-specific summer essential, beige is a staple that is here to stay.  We’ve seen in so many capsule collections for both summer and fall, so it’s worth investing in some “new nudes” that will put you in a tranquil mood.

8. Something Black

Like we said earlier (see point 3), black is not an “expected” contender for your summer essentials.  Yet, it works.  Think clean lines, slicked-back hair (a beach must-have) and some stand out gold jewellery for an almost sculptural look.  Remember those Peter Lindberg ads starring the 90’s supermodels?  Channel that vibe and strut your style.

9. The Snazzy Pair of Shorts

These show up on every Resort Wear collection.  But as we all know, one doesn’t need to be on an island to fancy herself an explorer.  Perfectly acceptable to be worn casually as a beach must-have, but we find these shorts take on a different dimension when paired with wedges, a light blazer and cinched-in belt.  It’s a staycation look  2.0.

10. The Slinky Silk Shirt

A wardrobe staple part of every worldly woman’s capsule collection, irrespective of the season.  We suggest unbuttoning it low for summer.  Lower than what makes you feel comfortable.  Add a lot of chain necklaces and revel in your clavicles.