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Seven Summer Must-Haves

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We sift through hundreds of items each day at stylenotes, and have noticed that some have been standing out as definite must-haves for the summer. We've put together our top seven items that should be on your radar, as well as in your closet, this season.

1) Anything Gradient!

Gradient tones are making their way onto tops, dresses, footwear and bags this season demanding not to be looked over. From smokey greys, blacks, and beiges to acidic hues, practically anything gradient goes! Just remember to keep everything else you wear veer on the simple side – let the gradient item make the statement for you. A few of our favorites include this Greyscale Tie-front Top ($27.99, Modcloth.com), the Pretty Grunge Dress, ($178, French Connection), and the F9071 Sunglasses ($6.80, Forever 21).

2) Retro Chic Shades

There's no better time to indulge in the trend then now. If you can't locate an authentic vintage pair in your Mom's closet or at the thrift store, don't fret – there are plenty of options at affordable price points. We really like the Wayfarer look, which is available in a bunch of colors, or what we've dubbed as the "glamorous Grandma" style – oversized frames with a bit of detail on the sides. We recommend any of the following to get the look: F6011 Sunglasses ($5.80, Forever 21), Risky Business Sunglasses ($10, Fred Flare), or the Isaac Mizrahi for Target Plastic Aviator Sunglasses with Metal Rims ($17.99, (Target).

3) Chino Shorts

The breathable cotton material is a perfect fit for the warm weather, and we couldn't be more pleased to see a selection of chino shorts in a color palette that we can surely pair with the season's other trends. The length of shorts this season has drastically risen – skip anything that grazes the knee and go for the shorter options. For the most versatile look, stick to classic Khaki, or try a deep red, white, or army green shade. Our favorite styles include the Marc by Marc Jacobs Slubby Chambray Shorts (although technically chambray material, $99, eLUXURY.com), Dolphin Hem Shorts ($12.50, Old Navy), and the Chino 3" Short ($39.50, J.Crew).

4) A Bright Tank

Besides looking absolutely perfect with your new chino shorts, a brightly colored tank will appear equally chic layered under a button-down oxford or peeking out of a dress. We love the ribbed, "beater" variety most, in either a traditional or racerback style. We found that for the best color selection, go for either the 2x1 Rib Boy Beater Tank ($17, American Apparel) or the 2x1 Racerback Tank, ($17, American Apparel). We also like the AE Boyfriend Tank ($15.50, American Eagle) – it's super soft with just the right amount of stretch.

5) Canvas Bag and Shoes

Go absolutely crazy for canvas this summer! Canvas bags, particularly the tote variety, is particularly on our radar, and we couldn't be more pleased with the selection of canvas shoes coming out for spring and summer. Of course, there's always the classic converse, but 80s inspired styles as well as wedges, slingbacks and more with canvas as center stage have also caught our eye. There are so many fabulous canvas items out there, that it was a challenge narrowing it down to just a few. For shoes, our top picks include the Converse One Star Court Oxfords in White ($39.99, Target) , the Keds Champion Mini Slip On Stripe ($39.95, Amazon.com), and the Naturalizer Sherene Wedges ($43.50, Piperlime.com). As far as canvas bag selections go, we picked the Mossimo Printed Tote Bag in Purple/ Pink ($16.99, Target) and the On Call Canvas Doctor Bag ($39.99, Urban Outfitters), which reminds us of a Filson bag, as our favorites for the spring/summer season.

6) Floral Dress

You knew this one was coming! We've been mentioning for a while that the floral dress is an important must-have, and just like the flowers in the prints, the trend just continues to flourish. Because this look is so of-the-moment, a wide selection of dress styles, as long as they have a floral print of some sort, will keep you looking fresh as a daisy. Some of our recommendations include the AE Garden Sundress ($19.95, American Eagle), Yumi Kim Mary Dress in Pom Pom ($198, Wink), and this Flower Field Tube Dress ($22.80, Forever 21).

7) A Lightweight Scarf

We've been monitoring this trend for quite some time, and we feel that a lightweight, slightly rumpled scarf, in either a solid or pattern, can add a dash of chic to practically any outfit. Retailers have taken notice too, as a lot of stores have long cotton scarves available this season. We recommend tying one loosely around the neck with either your floral dress, or with a basic tee or tank for a touch of whimsy and romance. We'd like to try either the Wide Floral-Print Scarf ($19.50, The Gap) or the Picot-Trim Scarf ($19.50, also The Gap). To add a bit of shimmer, you can also try this Striped Scarf with Lurex ($20, Urban Outfitters).

Now that you're equipped with the hottest items of the season, there's nothing left to do but to get shopping!

--Julia DiNardo

Note: there may be a way to make the items mentioned above an even better bang for your buck -- remember to search stylenotes for special promotions and coupon codes that may be applied to your order.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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