Buy Now, Thank Yourself Later: Every Summer Essential You Could Possibly Need

Living in the Midwest, I never really feel like I have time to prepare for summer. Warmer weather always seems to sneak up on me, which means my summer shopping is usually done in a rush during the hours before a trip or on the first day I realize I can’t get by wearing jeans and T-shirts anymore. Other times, I don’t bother shopping at all and spend the whole summer realizing at random times that I’m missing this and that. But with everything I’ve got going on this summer (and spontaneous plans popping up at will), the last thing I want is to stress about not having something I need.

Since we’ve been blessed with a few warm days early on this year, I could finally assess the situation and get everything I need for the season ahead. You bet I’m prepared for every backyard barbecue, beach or pool day, hot AF day working from home, and every situation in between. Here’s summer shopping made easy—you’re welcome!

Summer Beauty Essentials

There’s no doubt your beauty routine changes a bit once warm weather rolls around. We suddenly have to cover our entire bodies in SPF all day long and address awkward problems like boob sweat. And worst of all, many of us will inevitably have to deal with the aftermath of accidentally getting too much sun. Here’s what you need to get through it all:


SPF without the oily residue and chalky-white finish? An absolute no-brainer.

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Black Girl Sunscreen

This sunscreen goes on sheer and doubles as a moisturizer.

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Always make sure to keep your lips protected from the sun, too!

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This is the 2024 way to apply your post-sun aloe gel.

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Say goodbye to bikini-line irritation for good.

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Between sweating at the gym and laying out at the pool, summer body acne is an unfortunate reality, but this mist makes it a thing of the past.

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This is my #1 summer essential every single year—I simply would not be able to wear shorts without this.

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It also comes in a powder!

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If you’re not running cold ice globes on your sunburnt face after too much sun, you’re doing it wrong.

summer shopping
Source: @petiteelliee

Warm-Weather Accessories

No matter where you’re headed this summer, you’ll want to be well-equipped in both function and style. There’s always that one bag or storage solution we wish we had (like those wet bags below—genius!), and this summer, we’re finally stocking up on each and every one.

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West Elm

A chic bag that perfectly fits not one, but two bottles of wine? Immediately yes.

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Never carry around a wet swimsuit with your dry clothes ever again.

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J. Crew Factory

These pool slides will look adorable with any swimsuit.

3 colors available

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Whether you’re heading to the beach or the farmers market, this tote has got you covered.

2 colors available

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These hexagonal frames look super flattering on all different types of face shapes.

10+ colors available

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Ambercrombie & Fitch

Whether you wear it to a farmers market, brunch, or as a swimsuit cover-up, this easy shirt dress will help you live the coastal-grandma summer of your dreams.

2 colors available

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Claw clips are the unsung heroes of sweltering summer days when you thought wearing your hair down was a good idea.

9 colors available

summer shopping
Source: Dupe Photos | Cora Pursley

Wellness Routine Upgrades

Between long weekends away and plenty of patio happy hours, staying healthy during the summer can feel like a challenge. But with a few simple solutions (like the perfect travel workout equipment and our editors’ favorite water bottle), your wellness routine doesn’t have to change.

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Taking your yoga sessions outside this summer? This strap makes it easy to carry your mat to the park or beach.

10+ colors available

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Introducing: our editors’ favorite water bottle. This convenient straw-top and leakproof lid mean you can easily pack it in a bag to take anywhere.

10+ colors available

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These weighted bangles make it easy to turn up the heat on your pilates session or hot girl walk.

10+ colors available

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No matter where your summer adventures take you, this Lululemon belt bag is the chic-yet-functional accessory you’ll want with you.

10+ colors available

summer shopping
Source: @michelle_janeen

Summer Home Items

In the heat of summer, inside with the AC blaring is one of the best places to be. That means your home deserves a little sprucing up for the summertime, whether it’s for function (like an air purifier to combat seasonal allergies) or fashion (these salad bowls that will make you forget Sweetgreen even exists). 

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Get your bed summer-ready by swapping your sheets for a lightweight linen option.

9 colors available

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West Elm

Serve up every salad you can think of: pasta, macaroni, potato, fruit, kale—all in style.

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Shield the food at all your fabulous outdoor dinner parties with these practical and stylish food covers.

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Threshold x Studio McGee

Why use bug spray when you can keep mosquitos at bay with a pretty candle?

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Seasonal allergies who?

2 colors available

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No summer bag is complete without snacks.

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Iced coffee, tea, matcha—whatever your drink of choice is, fun ice cubes in the summer are a must.

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Source: Calvin Shelwell | Unsplash

Must-Haves for Outdoor Activities

After a winter of staying indoors practically 24/7, outdoor activities are looking better than ever. But to fully partake, you need the proper gear. Beach and pool days, picnics, park dates, sporting events, maybe an outdoor concert—you might have a lot of events to prepare for this summer, and we found all the basics you need:

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Sunday Supply Co.

Whether you’re lugging it to the beach or out to the backyard, this chair’s lightweight design makes it easy to carry.

7 colors available

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You’ll never have to worry about your drink tipping over in the sand again.

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We’re not taking any chances this summer.

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An on-trend pattern turns this summer essential into an accessory in its own right.

5 colors available

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Yes, this is an essential!

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Pick up the brand-new beach read of the summer to accompany you on every outdoor adventure!

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Looks like a chic tote but can hold an entire picnic’s worth of snacks and drinks? We’re sold.

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These sneakers are lightweight and breathable—perfect for long days spent outdoors.

10+ colors available

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If you haven’t yet jumped on the pickleball bandwagon, consider this your sign to start.

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