The Best Summer Fashion Items Of 2019—Tested By Our Editors

We’re fast approaching full summer mode, so the COOLS team has been road-testing warm-weather style staples to determine which ones are best. From which dresses will have you feeling great to the sunglasses that can make or break your outfit, we’ve tried it all.


Below, a breakdown of the must-have products the COOLS editors are actually wearing.

Summer Tentpole TK

Quay ‘Farrah’ Round Sunglasses





“The versatility of these sunglasses makes these glasses easy to throw on for any occasion. Plus, the round shape is very lightweight and fits great with my face shape.” – Kelly Henderson, Brand Marketing Manager
Man Repeller Tortoise Glasses

Man Repeller

Tortoise Glasses


“I’ve been wearing the same pair of Chanel sunglasses for the past seven years, but this Man Repeller pair has been sitting on my kitchen counter for a few months now, and I think it’s time they enter the rotation.” – Erin Cunningham, Managing Editor


The Conga Jet by CRAP:

Crap Eyewear

The Conga Jet Sunglasses



“I love these glasses because they are classically bitchy, perfect shape, and the best price point.” – Alix Gutierrez, Associate Art Director


Square Peggy Gou Ray Bans


Peggy Rou Square Glasses


“Okay, so this is very sad but I recently left my previous vintage Versace sunglasses in a BRANDY MELVILLE  and no doubt they were quickly snapped up by a 15-year-old city kid who was in desperate need of a butterfly crop top. So these are my other pair (equally nice).” – Beatrice Hazlehurst, Deputy News Editor

Summer Tentpole TK 2

Levi’s Ribcage Shorts



Ribcage Shorts – Medium Wash



“I live in jeans, so denim cutoffs are a summer staple. These ones from Levi’s feature their new Ribcage fit, meaning they sit higher than high on the waist. If that’s your thing (like it is mine), you’ll love these. I brought these along with me on two recent vacations and ended up wearing them constantly.” – Callia Hargrove, Social Media Director


Vintage Adidas Satin Running Shorts


Vintage Black Shorts



“I got these vintage Adidas shorts last time I was in Paris and now I don’t want to wear anything else. I’m leaning into full ’80s dad with mid-calf socks and my classic Reeboks.” – Heartleigh Little, Editorial Director


Farm Rio Fringe Shorts


fringed denim shorts



“I have a difficult time finding shorts I actually like and this pair is just a really fun way to switch it up. They’re also super high waisted and look so cute with a shirt tucked in.” – Alyssa Hardy, Senior Fashion Editor


Forever 21 Classic Bike Shorts

Forever 21

Basic Cotton-Blend Bike Shorts



“Though I’m usually a denim fanatic, I’ve been heavily drifting into the sea of bike shorts. I know, I’m so late to the game, but whatever, I love bike shorts.” – Jen Hussein, Beauty Editor

Summer Tentpole TK 1

Staud Rio Sandal





“These sandals are the cure-all for summer dressing—they pair well with anything, allow for endless accessorizing, and are soo comfortable you’ll never want to take them off.”  – Jess Teves, Editor-in-Chief


Senso Gilly Sandals 





“Honestly, I find sandals to be pretty uncomfortable, especially if you have to walk an extended distance. But, I love the simplicity of this pair of slides; they can be dressed up or down and don’t totally kill your feet after a few hours wear.”  – Erin Cunningham, Managing Editor
Birkenstock Two Strap White Sandals


White Two Strap



“White Birkenstocks are just an easy summer shoe that you can wear anywhere, and with anything.”  – Alix Gutierrez, Associate Art Director


ASOS Jelly Lace-up Sandals


Felicity Jelly Tie Leg Flat Sandals



“I’m constantly searching for sandals that can provide both support and survive the summer elements. These ASOS Jelly Lace-Up sandals do both—and are super budget-friendly!” – Kelly Henderson, Brand Marketing Manager

The Best Of Summer Fashion, Tested 1

Galamaar Red Bikini


Lou Bandeau



High Bottom



“I have a very athletic build with pretty small boobs and I feel like this bikini was made for me. It fits well (I even surfed in it!) and it’s super supportive. Plus with the red, I felt like I was having my ‘Baywatch’ moment.” – Alyssa Hardy, Senior Fashion Editor

Sommer Swim Uma Bikini 

Sommer Swim

Uma Top – Riva



“Unnecessarily-slutty-meets-’60s-Russian-spy-meets-Fran-the-Nanny-meets-Lara-Croft is pretty much the entirety of my style. This satisfies those criteria.” – Beatrice Hazlehurst, Deputy Fashion Editor


Solid and Striped The Brigette Bikini

Solid and Striped

The Brigitte



“This cut is perfect. I love that the high-waisted bottoms are balanced out by a teeny strappy top.” – Erin Cunningham, Managing Editor



Baseline Bonded Bottom



“I absolutely love how the bold, cobalt color of this Chromat bathing suit pops against a tan. Additionally, the crop top style of the bikini top feels secure and comfortable for the occasional involvement in more active poolside or beach activities.” – Kelly Henderson, Branded Marketing Manager

The Best Of Summer Fashion, Tested 2

Solid and Striped

Tiered Printed Voile Midi Dress



“Single-item outfits are my style solution for easy, stress-free dressing and this breezy number by Solid & Striped is simply perfect—the silhouette feels appropriate for any settings, and the polka dot/cabana stripe mix feels equal parts romantic and timeless.” – Jess Teves, Editor-in-Chief
Realisation Par Rosalita Dress

Realisation Par

The Liv – Rosalita



“This Realisation dress is literally the perfect recreation of my favorite vintage slip dresses. It’s bias cut so it clings in all the right places and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Currently paired with some snakeskin ATP sandals and my signature gold hoops.” – Heartleigh Little, Editorial Director


Line & Dot Jaimie Mini

Line & Dot

Jaimie Mini



“Contrary to the ever-popular bodycon sundress that everyone wears, I like to actually breathe in the bruiting heat. Enter: the mini A-line dress, a staple to my summer closet since 2010.” – Jen Hussein, Beauty Editor


Ganni Check Mini Dress 


Seersucker Check Dress



“I love a throw on and go dress and I’m really into plaid this summer. This Ganni dress is a little more punched up for a cute dinner or work.” – Alyssa Hardy, Senior Fashion Editor

Feature Image Credits:

Photography: Alix Gutierrez 

Fashion Editor: Alyssa Hardy 

Sunglasses by Krewe 

Shorts by Farm Rio

Swim by Galamaar 

Dress by SVNR 

Sandals by Birkenstock

No more articles