The temperatures are heating up throughout the country, which means that most people are starting to abandon their indoor activities to head outside. With some beautiful weather, glowy sun-kissed skin, and endless amounts of fun to be had, it is the perfect time of year to soak up the summer sun and Brazilian fashion influencer Donata Meirelles has plenty of ideas for this warmer weather.
Whether you are looking for fun outdoor activities to do with your friends, you are planning a family day outside, or you are looking for ways to keep yourself busy, there are plenty of options. First thing’s first: You do not have to go far to get outside. Look into local produce markets, festivals, or food tastings. You will likely also find jazz in the park or other outdoor music events. If you are looking for an outdoor adventure that allows you to explore your state, consider an activity like hiking or bike riding. Finally, you cannot go wrong with a casual Sunday brunch or dinner under the stars.
Now that you have a list of bucket list items to complete this summer, it is time to plan for another part of this experience: what you are going to wear. Summer is a favorite season for many fashion lovers, as bright colors, lightweight fabrics, and soft textures are on full display. This sunny season is overwhelmed with new fashion trends that you will probably either love and want to try or hate and avoid altogether. If you have not experimented with this season’s trends yet, we are guiding you through the summer with a list of what to wear during your favorite outdoor activity.
Here are Donata’s 7 outdoor activity ideas, along with what to wear for each:
Picnic in the Park
If there is one summer activity that everyone should experience this season, it is the classic picnic in a park. After a long week at work, a picnic is the perfect way to unwind with friends, your partner in crime, or a good book. Start planning ahead by packing the essentials: a large blanket or towel; cold fruit, sandwiches, and snacks to share; a lawn game; and perhaps a bottle of rosé, which can bring the whole experience full-circle. Be sure to bring some sunscreen to protect your skin!
Once you have everything you need to make your picnic day fun and relaxing, you can focus on what exactly you are going to wear. Now, planning your outfit for a picnic day does not have to be a big task. Your goal with this look is to feel comfortable, to be able to move around, and to celebrate summer’s top trends without going too overboard.
If you know you are going to be playing games and running around during your picnic, we suggest the classic, go-to pair of cutoff denim shorts. You cannot go wrong with this summer essential, as pretty much everyone looks good in jean shorts. Next, it is all about the summer top. If it is going to be a super hot day and you welcome getting some sun on your arms and chest, go for a flowy cotton blouse. You can give a flowy tank a French tuck into your shorts and leave this casual look the entire day. A long necklace with a turquoise stone could give you one of this season’s coolest trends. A strappy pair of gladiator sandals can finish the look, or you could wear some tall wedges and take them off once you hit the grass.
Brunch on a Patio
One activity that will live on no matter what the season is, is brunch. Whether you need an idea for a date, you want to catch up with old friends, or you need something to combat the wine from the night before, brunch can become your best friend on just about any day of the week. Brunch also happens to be one of the top reasons for researching summer trends. If your brunch game is strong, your social media photos will thank you.
What do you wear to brunch? This is a loaded question, as there are many ways to stand out while sipping mimosas on a patio. First, choose an option: short or long. If you go with short, you will likely prefer a summery skirt option. If you go with long, a maxi dress or midi skirt is the direction you should go in.
For the short look, go with a layered skirt in either a bright color or floral pattern. The layered skirt look is very on-trend this summer, and you can pair it with just about anything. A white tank and your favorite leather jacket can finish the look. And no, you do not have to wear the jacket, but propping it on your shoulders will inspire everyone around you to step up their game. For a longer brunch look, a draped midi skirt will give you high recognition in fashion this summer. Wear this type of skirt with a band t-shirt and open-toed booties. The maxi dress is also an easy option, paired with layered gold necklaces for some pizazz.
Short Hike in the Mountains
If you really want to enjoy the outdoors this summer, all you have to do is gain some altitude. If you do not live in a state where mountains exist, you might consider a little trip to the inner part of the country. After all, the mountains might be calling.
When you think about going on a summer hike, do not automatically think of cargo hiking shorts and an old-school fanny pack, although a fanny pack might actually be a big trend again this summer. We envision a look more in line with what you can see all over social media. That’s right, some of your favorite influencers go hiking, and they definitely don’t wear old man clothes while taking in the views.
Remember those knee-length exercise shorts your mom wore in the ‘90s? Well, those are back in style this season. A black pair of long exercise shorts can come in handy during many fashion scenarios, and hiking is definitely one of them. Pair these high-waisted shorts with a crop top or cut-off t-shirt, and you’ll look a lot like one of the most popular reality TV families that raise fashion standards. Find a pair of fashionable leather hiking boots for your adventure, or go with some platform white sneakers for a look stolen from the hills of Hollywood.
Weekend Farmer’s Market
You won’t need to rally up your crew for this outdoor summer activity, but your friends might be jealous if you go without them. A summer farmer’s market is the perfect place to pick up fresh produce, relax with a sweet lemonade in your hand, and scope out the weekend fashion in your city. Although you could technically get away with just about any outfit at a farmer’s market, we have a couple ideas that will complete your outdoor look.
Donata Meirelles feels that the midi skirt look could work well for a farmer’s market, but we are also loving a slip dress with a denim long-sleeved shirt tied around the waist. This look says that you know your personal style, while also taking it down a notch to shop for some healthy goods. You can complete this look with some slides or your favorite everyday sandals.
A couple ways to amp up your farmer’s market game is with a bright color. If you are wearing less colors in your clothing, a pop of pink or red on your lips will make you stand out. When heading to the market, don’t forget to grab a weaved basket. You can save a tree by saying “no” to a bag for each item you purchase, and you will also look like a farmer’s market pro with this convenient prop.
Al Fresco Dining
A hot and sunny day usually brings an evenly enjoyable warm night. Long gone are the days when you have to grab your winter coat and carry it around with you while trying to enjoy dinner or evening drinks at a bar. Because of this change in temperature, one of summer’s best activities makes itself available.
If you have not heard of al fresco dining, you are missing out on an experience you will likely never forget. Although it may be a super romantic date night idea, al fresco dining is great for a dinner with friends, a summer birthday celebration, or a family get-together. Restaurants throughout the nation bring their tables outside to allow you to eat well while having the stars hang delicately above you.
What do you wear to a summer dinner party under the stars? This is the perfect excuse to get a little fancy for the night. We recommend a long, silky number. It’s comfortable, it’s lightweight, and it’s dreamy. Some of summer’s top colors include a dusty rose shade, charcoal grey, and even mustard yellow. Finding a long silky dress in one of these shades should be easy. Otherwise, you can also go for a sleek pair of skinny jeans, a white silky top, and some pumps that offer a pop of color, such as lavender.
Another great way to enjoy the cool temperatures of the summer night is by attending an outdoor evening concert. There are many venues that offer this experience, whether it’s the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado or an outdoor concert in your local park or botanic gardens.
For an evening concert, you’ll want to find that balance between comfort and style as Donata is a huge fan of on her Instagram. You can go with the classic denim look with a band t-shirt, but we suggest going a step further. Try switching to a high-waisted denim skirt. It will keep you cool, while also putting you on the trend radar. Pair this with an off-the-shoulder top that is loose and also cropped. This look can only be taken to the next level with some bright red lipstick, an iconic summer staple.
A maxi dress can also be a great way to take in an outdoor show. One trendy maxi seen everywhere this year is a backless or open-back maxi. Usually dipped really low, this design element is popular among the top social media influencers, and it is a fun way to expose yourself to summer’s cool temps. This look can be finished off with some mid-calf gladiators or even pointed leather booties.
Shopping at an Outdoor Mall
Our last outdoor summer activity is less active but still important, especially if you are trying to get all of this season’s top trends before the next season is upon us. Put your phone and computer down, and take your shopping from online to on-site. Your state likely has an outdoor shopping mall, whether it is an outlet mall or a fancy new mall modeled after LA’s favorite fashion mall, The Grove.
A lot of people rush to the mall to find something to wear, rather than planning an outfit to do the shopping in. But since you are all about fashion, we have some suggestions for how to stand out in the sea of shoppers. First of all, make sure that whatever shoes you wear will be comfortable to walk many steps in. Padded wedges are fashionable yet comfy, while flat sandals can also be a smart choice.
When it comes to your outfit, think about whether or not you are going to be in and out of the dressing room. A flowy, lightweight dress will be your best friend if so, as you can easily pull it on and off quickly, while also being fashion-forward to walk around outside. Another favorite trend to shop in is a pair of boyfriend jeans with a tucked in tank. You can go for a classic pairing, such as a white-washed pair of jeans along with a blank tank top. Either way, let your accessories do the talking with oversized sunnies and a trendy over-the-shoulder barrel bag.
Whatever outdoor activities you take part in this summer, there are a few keywords to keep in mind: comfort, color, and balance. Do not push yourself in shoes you can barely walk in. Stand out with a seasonal favorite shade of color. And mix and match styles delicately, as you do not need to wear every single trend in each look.
About Donata Meirelles
Donata Meirelles is a popular Brazilian fashion influencer, and the former Style Director of Vogue Brasil. She’s also an experienced fashion industry vet from her time at Daslu, where she was voted one of the five best international buyers on the planet. But Donata is also just as passionate about philanthropy, as is evident from her support of the Women in the World Foundation, as well as her commitment to amfAR.
Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more fashion advice.