Summer may not officially be here until the summer solstice on June 21, but for most people, summer starts with Memorial Day. By June, shorts have already been worn, boots have been swamped for sandals, and jackets have been neglected for weeks.
Whether you're planning to stock up on new summer essentials or dig out old favorites to style in fresh ways, the Byrdie team is right there with you. From beaded watermelon handbags to staple white tanks, these are the pieces we couldn't get enough of this May.
Star Donaldson, senior social media editor
Soraya Hennessy Nespresso Shoulder Bag
Lately, I’m feeling really drawn to knit pieces. When I saw this Soraya Hennessy shoulder bag I knew I needed to add a knit bag to my summer purse collection. Soraya Hennessy uses organic cotton and sustainable practices. Each bag is woven by a person in their home(!) ,which means they don't use any factories or mass production. And honestly, the quality and care are very evident. Despite being knit, this is one of the more sturdy bags I own complete with a magnetic clasp inside to keep my things from falling out.
Grey State Dawn Tank
I live for a white top for summer and so I've been eagerly stocking up on my supply. I've found that many of my tanks from last year have stains or have turned yellowish in the wash, so this year I've been on the hunt for tops that will hold up for more than one season. I am obsessed with this Grey State tank for exactly that reason. This top is ribbed and feels solid and is also opaque enough that I can go braless. I am super happy to support Grey State because of its focus on ethical and sustainable production, and it's a plus that it's woman-owned and operated.
ASOS Design Francesca Flatform Sandals
As a person who is 5’1, I love a flatform sandal. So during my (daily) scroll on ASOS, I fell in love with these Francesca flatform sandals. They give me a little bit of height without being so high that I have to worry about breaking an ankle. They are also incredibly comfortable. Often times thong sandals tend to chafe between the toes, but these have a pillowy-like top that allows for walking around pain-free. I choose these above my black sandals lately because the beige color goes with everything and tends to elevate my look instead of blending in.
Madeline Hirsch, news director
Susan Alexandra Watermelon Dream Bag
Year after year, I return to this bag. There’s nothing that quite captures the spirit of summer like a watermelon purse made entirely from beads. Designer Susan Alexandra is basically the Willy Wonka of accessories, so if this particular fruit isn’t your style, there’s plenty to choose from. Perhaps a minibag adorned with 3D roses is more your thing? Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of a beaded champagne glass to carry around? Regardless, there’s plenty of quirky, statement pieces to bring out your inner child this summer.
Selkie The Baby Banana Puff Dress
Do yourself a favor and get a babydoll dress this summer. They’re incredibly low effort, super comfortable, and a ‘90s classic for a reason. I’ve been re-wearing this dress for three summers straight, and as such, I’m tempted to buy another. I’ve had my eye on this yellow version from Selkie for a bit, and it just might be time to pull the trigger.
Erika Harwood, senior style editor
Storets Maria Oversized Plisse Shirt
Storets Maria Flared Leg Plisse Pants
I can't say enough good things about this set. I'm wearing it right now as I type this. It's comfortable, breezy, and comes in a slew of beautiful, summer-ready colors. Plissé has been cropping up on TikTok as a must-have for summer, whether it be a dress, tank top, or pair of shorts, but this set may be the champion. It's equal parts on-trend and eccentric grandmother who's never without her chunky jewelry.
Steve Madden Slinky30
I have a trauma response to new shoes. I anticipate blisters, bleeding, and scabs for the first few wears of any new pair. When I slid into these '90s-inspired platform sandals, I actually said out loud, "oh, comfortable!" As I walked around my neighborhood running errands, I waited for a pain that never surfaced. Luckily, these work with just about any look. Even when they don't, I still wear them. No blisters, no problems.
Mazin Jewels Chain Link Necklace
I've always been a gold person, but lately I've found myself wishing I had more silver in my collection. Sometimes the vibe just calls for it, other times I'm in the mood to mix metals. Right now, my collection of silver pieces is still slim, but this chain link necklace with studded rhinestones is my choice du mois. It's classic but still fun, and is probably the gateway piece for my newfound love of silver.
Jasmine Phillips, social media editor
Stori Perseverance Fitted 7" Short
Biker shorts season has finally arrived. One thing I often struggle with is finding a pair that stays on my waist and doesn’t slide down forcing me to readjust every five seconds. These perseverance fitted shorts not only stay put but they are moisture-wicking and breathable making them the perfect pick for low-impact workouts and weekend errands. I like to pair these shorts with the matching legend cropped shelf tank.
Made by K West Africa Ring
I met Kira West a few years ago at a fitness event and I’ve been a fan of her content and mission ever since. When she launched her Made by K West jewelry and wellness line I knew it was going to be good. Enter: My new favorite ring, the Africa Ring. What’s unique about this piece is that it flips so you get a two-for-one accessory. It’s also water, sweat, and tarnish-resistant so I can wear it pretty much anywhere without worrying about the gold fading. Bonus: 10% of each sale are donated to African Entrepreneur Collective.
Old Navy Black-Wash Classic Jean Jacket for Women
Old Navy is one of my favorite places to shop for denim jackets; I have three light-medium-wash jackets in my closet. I finally added the black-wash to my rotation and it has quickly become a weekly staple. It has a really good fit and quality and is perfect for cool spring and summer nights.
Jesa Calaor, editor
Herschel Nova Backpack
Some of my favorite summer pieces feature colorful floral prints, and this backpack is no exception. Featuring a custom Miriam Schapiro-inspired print, this backpack mixes the vibrant blooms and quilt patterns that are inherent in the artist’s work with the Herschel brand’s quality fabrics and functionality. The backpack features four pockets (two of which fit my Swell bottle to a T) and gold hardware (the zipper features gold heart-shaped charms). It’s the perfect size, shape, and vibe for summer adventures.
After a back injury, I’ve been slowly getting back into Pilates workouts. To help me feel more secure in certain positions, I’ve been wearing the Flex Studio Shoes from Bloch. They fit similarly to socks and have rubber grips strategically placed throughout to keep my feet from slipping.
Erika Reals, associate fashion editor, commerce
Stars Above 100% Cotton Short Sleeve Notch Collar Pajama Top
Stars Above 100% Cotton Pajama Shorts
With much warmer weather on the horizon, I've been focusing my shopping list on easy, lightweight clothing that won't turn me into a human puddle come summertime commuting season. From the list of my recent purchases, one I highly recommend (and one you've probably seen all over TikTok, as well) is the Stars Above cotton pajama set from Target. The kicker is that you need not only wear it to bed. I've thrown it on for weekend errands with socks and sneakers and brunch dates paired with black leather flip flops. I've even worn them with vintage cowboy boots, which are somewhat surprisingly this season's hottest footwear trend.
Tecovas The Annie
While you may be preparing to store away your jeans for the summer, don't pack up your cowboy boots too just yet. Now's the time to publicly wear them with anything your heart desires: Silk slip dresses, leather mini skirts, and even, yes, cotton pajama sets. Long story short: This summer is all about wearing what you want, basking in comfort, and taking some much-needed fashion risks.