Must Have Right Now! Part 1

I got a request from a friend who is doing a much needed closet overhaul (her words, not mine) for a post on my top five summer must haves. “This should be easy,” I thought as I sat down to make a quick list… but then the top five grew into a top ten, so I’m going to have to do this in two parts. These are the items that I find myself reaching for most often this summer. I’ll show you my version of each, and some others to check out. Chances are you already have some of these things in your closet, and if not, you can find them for relatively cheap. Yay!

1. Maxi Sundress – I am thrilled that the maxi is here to stay. Not only is it a great staple for sipping lemonade while porchanging (porchanging: to hang out for extended periods of time on a porch) or frolicking in the field (?), but the maxi sundress is an easy go-to for fancy summer parties. It’s like a glorified nightie by day, laid back gown by night. My favorites are the ones in silky fabrics, because they are extra flattering and a little dressier for night. But every last one of us should have one in a solid jersey, and basically live in it til October. To really wow in your maxi, look for ones that almost graze the floor, rather than hit around the ankle – perfection!

Check Em Out:

From left: Victoria’s Secret $108, Arden B $38, Ella Moss $178, Victoria’s Secret $69

2. Boyfriend Blazer – This summer, my cardigans are in the back of my closet collecting dust, because the boyfriend blazer has taken their place. I love this look because it flatters any outfit – shorts, jeans, jumpsuit, maxi… It adds a bit more oomph to a delicate summer ensemble rather than just keep your arms warm on a cool night. The key to nailing the look is rolling or bunching up the sleeves, since the style is oversized and could add pounds if not done right. I also love it in navy, paired over a lingerie-like top and shorts.

Check Em Out:

From left: Aqua at Bloomingdales $88, Top Shop $125, Silence & Noise at Urban Outfitters $88

3. Straw Hat – I’m not usually much of a hat person, but this summer I just had to have one of these straw fedoras I was seeing all over the place. Admittedly, I was a total follower on this one, as girls in straw fedoras are a dime a dozen in LA, but I am really getting my money’s worth out of this thing. Straw hats are fabulous in any style – floppy, structured, Panama, you name it. Just pick one you love, and chances are it will barely leave your head this summer. On the days when I just can’t pull myself together, I add the hat (or just “Hat” as Ian and I like to call it – see, it has a personality all its own) and all my troubles disappear!

Check Em Out:

From left: Top Shop $36, Urban Outfitters $28, Charlotte Russe $12.99, Newport News $29

4. Embellis
hed Flat Gladiator Sandals – When this summer approached, the first thing on my list was a pair of gladiator flats. Looking at my summer shoe collection, I was seeing nothing but flip slops, casual sandals, and heels, but nothing in between. That’s why I LOVE the gladiators – they actually dress up a summer outfit while still remaining totally appropriate for daytime, not to mention really comfortable. The first thing I looked for was a pair that had a lot of sparkle because I wanted something I could wear instead of heels at night, but also while walking Kenzie. I need to get like 3 more pairs!

Check Em Out:

From left: Luichiny at Zappos $67, Steven By Steve Madden at Kitson $148, Juicy Couture at Zappos Couture $164.99

5. Shabby Cutoffs – At first, I reached for an old pair of jeans thinking I would cut them to shorts and wear them while doing laundry. But then I wore them to the movies that night with aforementioned lingerie top and boyfriend blazer. The rest is history. The key to making them fab is wearing them with something delicate and girly on the top. The best part? They’re totally free! Just take your least fave pair of jeans (we all have them) and cut away! I like to cut a little slit on the side seem so I can fold up the bottom about an inch. I saw a pair of these at Anthropologie for like $140. No! That’s just silly.

I would recommend these five items to anyone – no matter which element you are! Just make sure you honor your essence, whatever you’re wearing this summer. What are your favorites for summer? Stay tuned for the rest of mine!


  1. Christine 07/25/2009 Reply

    YAY for favorite things!!maxi dresses… i own one but i need AT LEAST 18 more. seriously the best thing to ever cover my bodyalso is that a grape fit on your toes? ah-mazing for real i love it

  2. Catherine 07/25/2009 Reply

    ye, that's a grape fit! i need a jersey maxi. they are so great!

  3. Christine 07/25/2009 Reply

    i'm gonna pick one up because nordstrom has them on sale for $30

  4. Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri 07/26/2009 Reply

    You know that I love dresses I can let it all hang out in…

  5. raymond luxury-yacht 07/26/2009 Reply

    i'm still searching for a straw hat to fit my small head! maybe i should try a children's store…

  6. I love the boyfriend jacket and straw hats. Wish I could pull off the maxi, but,on me, it reminds me of the long dress I made and wore when I was pregnant with said blogg writer. (Maybe I can find the picture and post it!) Any ideas on spiffing up white linen pants that wrinkle before one walks out the front door? Help!

  7. Rachel 07/27/2009 Reply

    Why can I not find them at Help! I need an affordable one asap!

  8. Catherine 07/27/2009 Reply

    rach you may have to go to the store? otherwise the victorias secret ones are fab and affordable, and they always have sales online. old navy has some too i think.

  9. Oooh I wish you could see my maxi… it is the quintessential moo-moo (how do you spell that?) and I totally love it but it's kind of been too cold here to wear it much! lame.

  10. Oh yeah, as for sources… I got mine at Nordstrom rack, the best place for cheap dresses!

  11. Rachel 07/29/2009 Reply

    Cat, going to a family graduation party on Saturday and am thinking of the shabby cutoffs with a cute shirt to glam/femme it up. Any ideas?

  12. Catherine 07/31/2009 Reply

    Yes – let me think of some ideas for the outfit and e-mail you!

  13. […] I hope this inspired you go through your jeans collection and make some edits. Any you don’t want to keep, but can’t seem to get rid of? Don’t forget you can always bring out the scissors and turn them into your go-to shabby cut offs! […]