Why Summer Clothes Suck | Alternative Summer StyleThe Newlywed Notebook

The Newlywed Notebook



March 2015

Why Summer Clothes Suck

Written by Lindsay Ropella

Summer is by far my favorite season. I love the warm sunny days, the weekends and the cabin, and the Friday night bonfires. But summer clothing? Not so much. See, it’s not that I don’t love a cute summer dress and a good pair of wedges, I just get confused. Fall and Winter I’ve got it down. Give me a good pair of leggings or skinny jeans, a chunky sweater, and a scarf and I’m set for life. But there is just too much versatility in Spring and Summer. You would think that would be a good thing, but for some reason for me it’s not. From dresses and rompers, to shorts and skirts, to pants and capris, it seems like I can’t nail down a signature style for myself.

I think one of the biggest issues for me is that Summer trends seem to change more drastically from year to year than Winter clothes do, which makes me feel like I need to revamp my wardrobe every season. And let me tell ya, this girl does not have the budget to be switching from maxi dresses to short dresses and from high-waisted to low-waisted pants every 5 seconds.

Summer clothes suck sometimes. Between rapidly changing trends, too many options, and barely-there outfits, it can be hard to find things that work.

The other issue I run into way more in the summertime than I do in the cooler months is deciding on how much skin I’m willing to show. I know this is definitely a personal decision from woman to woman, but it seems like with each Summer (as I’ve been married and as I’ve been getting older) I’ve found myself wanting to show less and less. I know I was far from a bare-all girl in the first place, so lately I’ve had a really rough time finding that balance between something that is stylish and that I feel comfortable in, and something that is still eons away from mom jeans.

#firstworldproblems, amiright?

Anyway, I decided to actually try and be a bit proactive this year and to actually try and pick out some Summer 2015 styles that are on trend, a bit more more “family friendly” (because I refuse to use the words modest or conservative, yek), and easy for me to pull off. Here’s what I found:

Summer clothes suck sometimes. Between rapidly changing trends, too many options, and barely-there outfits, it can be hard to find things that work.
That right there is my ultimate Summer wardrobe. As you can see, I kind of have a grungy glam style going on, or as I’ve affectionately dubbed it, “Whimsically Wisconsin.” You know, part farm girl, part big city glam? Uhh…just go with it.


|| Kimonos || I bravely branched into the kimono territory at the end of last season, and they quickly became a staple for me. They are just so easy to be able to throw on over a tank top and/or a pair of shorts and feel a bit more covered up. Especially when going out to eat…is it just here or do all restaurants keep their air conditioning levels below freezing?


|| Graphic Tees || Yes, I do realize that these may be totally out of style, but I will continue to wear them forever. I don’t enjoy graphic tees that are over the top, but I think just a little cursive word or phrase is super cute. And super comfy. Win win.


|| Jean Shorts || Finding a good pair of jean shorts is always the first thing I look to add to my wardrobe at the beginning of each summer. I try to find some that are short enough to not be mistaken for bermuda shorts even by a 15-year-old girl, but long enough to conceal my cellulite. #reallife. Last year I found an AWESOME pair for super cheap and JCPenny’s, so they will definitely be my first stop again this year.


|| A Plaid Shirt || I have wanted one of these for YEARS now and have yet to add one to my wardrobe. I’ve worn my husband’s a time or two, but I’d really like to find a fitted one of my own. I love how these look with flowy skirts, jeans and high heels, and even plain white or black pants.


|| Flowy Skirts || I recently discovered that structured skirts just don’t work for me. I can’t figure out exactly why, but they always seem to add extra bulk — something I’m definitely not in the market for. Also, for me personally I tend to find them a little more constricting and not very comfortable for summer. Pleated chiffon skirts and my new obsession.  


|| Versitale Dresses || Summer dresses can be tricky. You have some that are appropriate for work, some that are appropriate for a dinner out, some that only work for a day at the beach, and some that you only wear to weddings and other special occasions. Lately I’ve been working to find dresses that fit many different occasions so that I can keep my wardrobe simpler and not have to buy so many pieces. And that, my dear friends, is no easy task.


|| Bold Accessories || For me, no summer outfit is complete without some bold accessories. Whether it be a statement handbag, a fabulous pair of shoes, or some glitzy jewelry, I always have to add something a little fun. Recently I’ve really been loving little gold accents like earrings, watches, and delicate necklaces. I’m hoping to be able to add a bit more of that to my wardrobe this Summer.


|| A Good Jean Jacket || Throw it on over a summer dress, a tank top, a t-shirt, or even a blouse. Enough said…this thing is perfect.


|| Cowboy Boots || And what summer outfit would be complete without an awesome pair of cowboy boots! Oh, you don’t live in the Midwest? Then never mind. :)


This is quite the list, but at the same time I really enjoyed putting this together because it will help me have some direction as I hunt for some new summer staples. I will be documenting what I find, where it’s from, and how much it cost me over on my Instagram, so if your style is fairly similar to mine make sure you are following me so we can game plan together!
So tell me – do you struggle with any of these same issues as me? Or am I just a table-for-one in the crazy section? What trends are you loving for the warmer months? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Corie M

    I was in the same boat too! Up until this winter I had no interest in fashion or what was “in” I just stuck with yoga pants/jeans and tees. Now that I’m in grad school and needing to look more professional I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest and lately (, which I LOVE! Every season she has a “challenge” where she provides you with a shopping list and ~20 outfit combos. They have made this transition so much easier! I don’t know if it’ll help, but check it out :)

    • Lindsay Ropella

      Oh I’m SO excited to check her out! It sounds like something that is right up my alley. Thank you SO much for the recommendation. I love when someone gives me a bit of direction or guidelines..takes some of the guesswork out of it. :) Have you participated in a challenge yet?

      • Corie M

        If you go to her site she has a free challenge available (I believe it’s last years spring challenge) If you’d like I could email you about the other challenges (summer, fall, winter, work), because they aren’t free (but I’ve already paid for them) and wouldn’t mind sending you them… as long as you don’t get me in trouble ;)

        But so far I’ve loved them!

        • Lindsay Ropella

          Oh neat! I will definitely have to go check out her free challenge! Did you enjoy the challenge? I definitely don’t mind signing up (I think I looked and it seemed like it wasn’t too bad at all price-wise) and have been thinking of doing so..I actually check out her site last night. :)

  • Susannah

    I know what you mean! I think creating a cohesive wardrobe can be so tough sometimes!

    • Lindsay Ropella

      It really can! I’m hoping that by being a bit proactive this year and planning things out in advance I will have a little easier time, but I’m not holding my breath. :)

  • chelsea

    totally struggle with this too! i also work from home so for me to put on any sort of cute clothes rarely happens anyways and when i actually leave…i have no idea what to wear. love your suggestions and maybe it’s time to invest in some cowgirl boots, i am married to a texan after all :)

    • Lindsay Ropella

      hahaha well you have a totally valid excuse. ;) YES! I definitely think you need some cowboy boots in your wardrobe. If you get some you totally have to share pictures!

  • krista

    I was in the same boat until I nailed down a signature style for myself. which is super boring but tanks and longer shorts. I really like the ones from old navy! dress them up with cute accessories (like the kimonos) and you’re golden.
    and then I throw in cute pieces to mix it up each year to stay on trend.

    • Lindsay Ropella

      I wouldn’t consider that boring at all! I would say that’s beautifully classic. :) That’s a great idea, I will definitely have to check out their shorts! I have to say I never really think to shop there, but I stopped in last summer and picked up like 4 summer dresses that I absolutely love!