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5 Must-Have Items for Summer 2013 from 'The Hot List'

Thank you to J.Jill for providing The Hot List graphic below and for sending me a gift card as a thank you for taking the time to participate in this campaign.  The image above was created by me on Polyvore.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Whether you're building a brand new summer wardrobe from scratch or would just like to round out your existing one, there are a few items that are a must.  This year we are seeing a lot of washable linen separates in tropical solids and prints.  My favorite of the bunch are coral, turquoise, and watermelon pink.

9 of the 10 item's on this summer's The Hot List from J.Jill are featured in the graphic below.  From their list of 10, I think the following 5 are absolutely essential . . .

1.  Comfortable Tanks - If you are to survive the heat and humidity where I live, comfortable tank tops are essential, no matter your size or shape.  Pick up some in neutral colors, such as black, linen, or white, and then a few more in your favorite tropical brights.

2.  Shorts in Neutral Colors - Several pairs of Bermuda or walking shorts in easy-to-match colors will make summer dressing that much easier.  They can be paired with a casual tank top or a dressier peasant top.

3.  Lightweight Cardigans or Sweaters - One or two summer-weight cardigans would be perfect to throw on during the milder summer nights or when you find yourself in an air-conditioned restaurant or theater.  Choose one that would work with denim capris, linen shorts, or your favorite summer dress.

4.  Basic Summer Dress - Owning at least one basic summer dress will likely get you through most non-formal occasions during the summer months.  I prefer tank dresses because they are cool, comfortable, and can be dressed up or down with the right accessories, such as wrap and strappy heeled sandals.

5.  Easy Slip-on Shoes - Just as I like to slip on my laceless fur-lined boots in the winter, during the summer I want something that looks great, is versatile, and easy to slip on and off.  A simple pair of slip-on sandals is what I would recommend because they would go with most casual outfits from shorts to dresses to capris.

6.  Medium-Sized Summer Tote - (I know I only said 5, but this one is important!)  Now that you do not need to carry all your extra winter gear, you can downsize to a medium sized tote that is  just large enough for your essentials, plus a magazine or a tablet.  If you like to wear neutral tones for clothing, then try choosing a bright tropical tote for a pop of color.  If your outfits are usually bright and colorful, then choose something neutral, like linen, black, or one of your favorite metallics.

Have I left anything out?  Tell me which summer wardrobe pieces you just cannot live without.  Be sure to visit for more wardrobe inspiring ideas.