After a dreary winter, Mother Nature finally graced us with that summer sun we thought was pretty much non-existent. And with Memorial Day coming up (also known as the unofficial kick-off to summer), it’s time to start the season in the most fashionable way yet. Here are five must-have essentials to rock all summer long:

1. Floppy Hat

A floppy hat is the best accessory to rock at the beach and block your face from the sun’s harmful rays.

Element Bungalow Sun Hat, $34,

2. White Jeans

Hard-core fashionistas will say that Memorial Day is the first official day to start wearing white jeans (and to wear it after Labor Day is considered a “faux pas”), so be sure to grab a pair that’s one or two sizes above your normal jean size for a relaxed, comfortable fit.

Blank NYC “The Good Date” in White Lines, $62,

3. Wear-Anywhere Sundress

Summer is also the unofficial sundress season. There is nothing more comfortable (or chic!) than running errands around town in a breezy sundress and flat sandals. This adorable little number has pockets, comes in two standout summer shades, and is only $11.

Tulle “Day to Date Dress” in Lemon, $10.99,

4. Aqua Nail Polish

Neons have their moment every summer, but a fun, fresh alternative is aqua polish on your toes. The bright color pairs well with nude flat sandals.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in On the Beach, $17,

5. Nude Espadrille Wedges

Swap your pumps for walk-friendly espadrille wedges in a nude hue. Not only will they make your legs look a million times longer (even for short girls like myself), but they are so comfortable and can easily be dressed up or down. They also work as a fabulous neutral against a bright-colored pedicure (see above).

Tommy Hilfiger “Dalishay” wedges, $89,


Hannah Gettleman is a bubbly twenty-something living in Chicago. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Journalism. Don't tell her that print is dying--she's already made the switch to public relations. As a Midwest girl, winter happens approximately 80% of the year, so she knows a thing or two about a good pair of snow boots. She lives for summer weather (even though she can never tan), Boy Meets World reruns, and an unhealthy addiction to dark chocolate and online shopping. She's a die-hard Chicago sports fan, even though she's well aware the Cubs always end up in last place every year.

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