No season presents a more appealing opportunity to show off your style, free from the shroud of outerwear, than summer. But the biggest caveat is figuring out how to not sweat through all your great-looking clothes. How have I adapted to dressing for swampy-hot weather? For one, I rely on an arsenal of less pricey, no-fuss neutral tops — think minimal halter bodysuits and strappy tanks you can wear alone, or with bold-printed skirts and high-waisted shorts. Or for a workweek look, under a tailored linen blazer.
For these types of basic foundation pieces, I find myself repeatedly coming back to Free People. The brand recently updated their intimates collections, creating more seamless lingerie and under-layers that are made of materials like lightweight neoprene. The result are undergarments that feel smooth and substantial, and with most pieces ringing up under $30, I can buy essential styles in several colorways. Scroll below to shop 11 of my favorites.
The Bra You Can Wear as a Top
Reviewers love that this bra can double as a top, and the cropped length styles well with high-waisted pants (which I wear practically everyday).
The Fun-and-Freeing Bodysuit
My former take on halter tops was that they belong in the ’70s and should stay there. But they’ve recently become one of my go-tos when I want a top that’s both cute and sweat-proof. Basically 50 percent of it’s backless, so I don’t have to worry about embarrassing sweat stains showing through.
The Easy Sleeveless Layer
A loose, easy crop top to throw on over a swimsuit for a trip to the beach. It’s a simple cover-up that looks much better than a faded logo tee from college.
The Bralette You Can Go Out In
The perks of a halter top (did I mention they’re partially backless?), but in bralette form. I’ve been known to use one as an occasional late-night going-out top.
The Bra-Meets-Cami Top
Dubbed a “brami,” this top marries the light coverage of a bra with the shape of a camisole. It makes getting dressed with as few layers as possible more of a reality, and with 23 different colorways to choose from, I can have one ready to go with any outfit color palette.
The Supportive Bandeau
Unlike most bandeau tops, this one is actually supportive, thanks to its sculpting scuba material. I like to wear it under thinner layers, like organza or other sheer tops, for added dimension. This combo also achieves the impression that I spent a lot of time thoughtfully layering my outfit, when realistically it only took seconds.
The Modern-Day V-Neck
The most universal white tee gets an update with a slightly cropped silhouette, shorter sleeves, and a clean V-neckline.
The Everyday Bodysuit
When I have nothing to wear, bodysuits are my savior: They’re simple and can be paired with anything. Plus, no more constantly checking to make sure my shirt is neatly tucked in. This season is all about the bust-flattering square neckline, which plays nicely against vintage-style pendant necklaces.
The Bra for Plunge-Neck Tops
Not only is this bra seamless, but its plunging neckline makes it great to wear underneath all of the little summer tops in my closet.
The Bra for Bra-Haters
When wearing an actual bra is an absolute must, let me introduce you to the Ari Underwire. You’ll still feel supported, without the overbearing sensation of underwire digging into your chest.
The Classic to Buy in Bulk
For only 20 bucks, this fitted muscle tank is a versatile staple. I stock up on them to wear with everything from casual suits for work to leggings for my morning workout.
All images courtesy of Free People.
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