While breezy dresses, flowing skirts and chic sandals are summer mainstays no matter your age, certain pieces that look great on 20-somethings are ready to be retired by your 40s (up-to-there short shorts, we’re looking at you). But the one thing we all crave in scorching temps is a carefree-cool ensemble, so we’ve mapped out the key wardrobe staples for every decade—from cutoffs to linen trousers and everything in between—to make sure you look amazing all season long.
In your 20s, cut-off shorts, a flouncy off-the-shoulder top and metallic sneakers are mainstays for the beach, brunch and beyond. For waterfront affairs, a bold bikini is confidently cool.
In your 30s, a feminine dress, halter one-piece, punchy clutch and vibrant pair of heels are essentials—all versatile enough for drinks, dinner and afternoon fêtes.
In your 40s, a lightweight shirtdress, wide-brimmed hat and pretty espadrilles are all-purpose pieces in balmy temps. For fun in the sun, a dark pair of sunnies ensure optimal UV protection.
In your 50s, linen separates in modern silhouettes will keep you cool. Comfortable slides and a printed scarf punctuate any look from backyard barbeques to poolside affairs.
In your 60s, beat the heat in a flowing kaftan, contemporary carryall and flattering one-piece at the beach or poolside—for more elegant looks, a mid-heel sandal is impeccable.