Summer has arrived, and with the hotter months comes the right to casual-chic comfort. During the season of sun and surf, neutrals, brights and prints are ideally paired with picnics in the park, strolls on the beach and clam bakes under the starry evening sky.

Try a lightweight boho scarf for a hint of coastal sophistication —we’ve got our eye on Lilogi’s latest collection personally, the cashmere blends comfort while playful embellishments decorate. Or, go for a look that lets out a girly sigh with the twirl of its skirt like the dresses in Banana Republic’s Milly Collection; each one is an all-American classic and as easy-to-wear as it is timeless in style.

With lazy summer days and sangria-filled summer nights on the mind, we’ve selected our go-to brands to keep you looking stylish at the season’s plethora of back yard barbecues and beachside cocktail parties.

Spice up your summer wardrobe with Lilogi’s Indian Summer collection. Created by designer Matthew Williamson, these scarves should be a staple in any wardrobe that desires a bohemian edge to it.

Turn heads with bold patterns inspired by the rich culture of traditional Indian textile design. Look to Williamson’s Raj Patchwork scarf to add a subtle splash of colour to your favourite go-to little black dress. The combination of pinks, blues and playful pom-pom trim on this one are a vision of femininity, making it the perfect accessory for a romantic dinner date for two.

And should your dinner date lead to date number two, the collection’s Cobra Ikat cashmere scarf is a stylish choice for the girl who doesn’t want to look like she’s trying too hard. The fringed edges and rich salmon colour of this scarf will bring out the boho in your sun-soaked skin, and have him leaning in for a closer look.

It doesn’t get more bohemian than Henna, but should you not have five hours to spend getting a real Henna tattoo, opt for this modal-cashmere Henna scarf instead. Inspired by the ancient Indian tattooing traditions, this scarf features incredible detailing and bursts of bold tangerine with hues of muted aqua blue. Try it with skinny jeans and a white blouse for a sophisticated Gwyneth Paltrow-esque look, or drape it over your favourite sheath dress for a night out to Shakespeare in the park.

It’s the return of the prep with Banana Republic’s Milly Collection. The classic shapes and styles of this collection, matched with bold colours and lively prints, will bring you back to the days of Pretty in Pink, when linen pants and popped collars ruled. Though most definitely yacht club chic, the modern sophistication of the collection will keep you on trend when holidaying in the Hamptons this summer.

With the Hampton’s being the weekend destination of stylish New Yorkers, the collection’s feather printed skirt is the perfect choice to fit in with the visiting East coast royalty while having a casual lunch with friends. Stay in character when the sun goes down in the Milly collection’s geometric colorblock pleated patio dress, accessorized with the collection’s baguette bangles and a two-tone stretch bracelet. And don’t forget about a cute compact purse to tote all of your summer essential’s (blotting papers, tinted lip balm, sunscreen); try the Milly Collection’s wristlet for a no fuss option that is just the right size for a girl on-the-go.

Denim. Where would we be without it? Since Target’s recent arrival to Canada, we’ve been blessed with some fashion gems that until now were only available south of the border. Thanks to our US friend, bargain hunters are discovering why the 160-year-old Levi’s label, by way of their latest off shoot dENiZEN jeans, remains the globe’s go-to denim label.

Don’t let the low price tag fool you, these jeans are designed for life outside suburbia. dENiZEN’s Essential Stretch skirt takes the soccer mom out of affordable denim with a mid-thigh hemline that is a grown-up alternative to that faded denim mini lingering in your closet. Try it with a loose fitting version of this season’s preferred crop top to stay on trend.

While jeans aren’t an ideal choice of pant in the heat, the label’s Essential Stretch Ankle Skinny jean is a good way to stay cool in denim. Try them with a ballet flat and a striped oversized boyfriend tee for a stylish just-rolled-out-of-bed look. Edie Sedgwick would totally approve.

And dENiZEN hasn’t gone and forgotten about men. Guys, girls aren’t into the saggy look…or wide straight-leg jeans for that matter — when it comes to jeans, channel James Dean and go slim. dENiZEN 216 Skinny jean are just slim enough for those still having a hard time letting go of bootcut denim. For gentlemen already game and up for adventure, try on the line’s eggplant shade, and give those Harvard boys in Nantucket reds a lesson in style.

Fun, flirty, and utterly fantastic. Peter Som is bringing his signature feminine silhouettes and in-your-face prints to Anthropologie this summer. A collection inspired by timeless glamour and feminine confidence, women in search of head-turning cocktail attire need look no further: Som’s collection for Anthropologie is Mad Men worthy. Mint Julet please!

Be the belle of your next backyard get together in the collection’s Sophie dress. This charming number oozes ’60s allure. Pair with flats and some vintage baubles, and watch as the Summer-effect (as seen in 500 Days of Summer) takes hold.

Got an office cocktail party to attend? Instead of your typical little black dress, say hello to the Genevieve Postcard dress. The whimsical print and flirty structured detail of the dress allows it to easily transition from day to night with nothing more than a change in lipstick colour. A summer wardrobe gem, this little dress will always be the right choice when in a pinch.

Lunch break dreams have you wishing you were sipping on Mexico? Fly away in Peter Som for Anthropologie’s Luisa Poppy dress; the cha-cha worthy ruffled hem on this one with have you doing the salsa all night long.

The West Coast knows how to do contempo-casual fashions, and designer Sam Edelman is who Angelenos look to for shoes to go with a laid-back style agenda. This season, Edelman is all about rad colours, stellar studs and bold, beautiful styles.

Keep up with the California girls in the Trina sandals, a nice match up with cut off jean shorts and a tee-turned-tank band shirt. For soles with a little more dramatic effect, try the silver Jerome oxfords with a breezy sundress to get Greta Gerwig’s glam-grunge style. Or try the studded Yara sandal with with an evening version of that sundress to keep things more cool than glitz.

The combination of snakeskin and a strappy heel may sound like something out of the Real Housewives handbook, but Edelman’s signature shoe looks anything but ostentatious when paired with a mix-matched print on print separates look — that sort of fashion pairing is outside of the window display bracket and hence not in Real Housewives territory. Finish off the look with vintage frames to vanquish any ties with the housewives.

Published June 28, 2013