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The M Dash

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The Easiest Outfit Formula for Busy Summer Days

There’s no need to sweat the small stuff when you have no time.

By Emma Steinbergs

At M.M., we view summer as an opportunity to get especially experimental with your style. We will always encourage you to sport vibrant colors, play with prints, and consider baring some skin throughout these warm-weather months. But sometimes, the reality of a chaotic summer schedule calls for ultra-simplified styling.

Perhaps you ran that extra mile before work, or maybe your kid is having a pre-day camp meltdown. Whatever your reason, you may find yourself short on time and energy, and you simply can’t be bothered to craft even mildly creative outfit combinations amid the hecticness and humidity. On these days, you need—you guessed it—an outfit formula. Since we’ve already established that you’re one busy (and maybe sweaty) individual, we put one together for you, featuring all machine-washable pieces you can mix and match: 1 breathable top + 1 stretchy pant = foolproof (read: easy-to-style and easy-care) summer outfit.

1.

Beloved Bestsellers

If we had to describe our ideal summer blouse, we’d just point to the Nora top. Featuring an eco-conscious version of our beloved Soft Wave fabric, the Nora is lightweight, made with 35% recycled polyester, and treated with an odor-resistant finish called Polygiene, so it’s perfect for sweaty days. Complement this elegant top with other cool tones to create a cohesive palette. The best-selling Foster pant, low-heeled Irene slingbacks, and silver Lyssa earring will do the trick. Once we approach fall, keep the machine-washable Moreland jacket in your tote bag for easy layering.

2.

Clean Classics

There’s no pattern more timeless than the stripe—meaning it’s one of the most reliable ways to incorporate visual texture into an otherwise solid-colored ensemble. The thin stripes of the Owen T-shirt make this top especially straightforward to style, and its rollable ¾-length sleeves give you options in unpredictable temperatures. For your bottom, try the Shiloh pant, which offers a kick crop that balances out the Owen’s slightly boxy silhouette. Then, add the versatile, metallic Rowan flat and a pearl statement earring to complete this clean, classic look.

3.

Alternatives to Athleisure

It’s easy to fall into a habit of throwing on workout clothes when you know you’re going to sweat, but it never feels good to show up somewhere and realize you’re underdressed. On the hottest of days, play it safe by relying on a polished version of an on-the-go uniform. Go with the pima cotton Wyatt tank, OrigamiTech Delaney jogger, a leather sneaker, and a small stud earring. On cooler days, incorporate a laid-back yet structured layer like the Anna jacket.

4.

Balanced in Black and White

As the most basic neutrals, black and white require the bare minimum when it comes to styling. For an instant uniform, reach for the simple yet sophisticated Antonia top, the slim Stella legging, the two-tone snakeskin Rowan flat, and the wear-with-anything Ponza earring. The combination of a relaxed top and cigarette pant, along with the alternating use of black and white, creates a balanced ensemble that’s hard to beat.

5.

Nautical No-Brainers

As M.M.’s CEO, Sarah LaFleur, attests, wearing lots of navy and white is a sure-fire way to look chic all summer long. Slip on the Foster pant and the Alina T-shirt, which has the airiness of a tank and the coverage of a tee. Finish off this look with minimalist, warm-toned accessories like the Carter slide and Claressa hoop.

6.

The Feel-Good Frock

Okay, so this outfit technically doesn’t follow the top-plus-pant formula, but it employs the same principle, minus the stretchy pant—even easier. There’s really not a whole lot to say about this combination, which is the point. A cotton T-shirt dress like the Renee is the ultimate one-and-done summer outfit. The black Carter slide goes with everything, the Parker earring instantly elevates the look, and the black and tan stripe ties everything together. Chef’s kiss.

Written By

Emma Steinbergs

Emma is M.M.LaFleur's Senior Brand Associate. She previously worked as an M.M. stylist and Customer Communications Associate, and she still loves thinking through styling challenges and solutions for customers.

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