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Ah, summer. The temperatures are rising, and the outdoor beckons. Time to clear away the winter coats and make room for new summer wardrobe essentials. With the following necessities in your closet, you’ll be prepared for all the best that summer can bring.

Flip Flops

Skip those flimsy bargain bin flip flops you keep buying and run out and get some thong footwear that won’t actually cause you to hydroplane when you walk across a wet floor. (Yes, this is a real thing.)

Okabashi footwear sells made in the U.S.A., ergonomically designed and anti-microbial (they won’t smell after repeated wear) sandals and flip flops that will take you from boat deck to beach in style.

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Image: Shutterstock/Diana Indiana

Wedge Sandals

You can add a little heel to any shoe and it’s instantly upgraded, right? Wedge sandals are stylish, sexy and comfortable even for the widest foot. Wedge sandals like the ones made by Castener, a family-owned, free-trade business from Spain, look awesome with sundresses, shorts and skirts.

Beach Cover-Up

Even if you live nowhere near the actual beach, you’ll likely need a beach cover-up. Maybe you’ll be invited to a pool party, stay for a few days at a hotel with a pool, or finally get invited for a day out on your neighbor’s boat.

Look for a beach cover-up that is long enough to cover your rear, sheer enough to hint at that gorgeous bod underneath, and light enough to wear in hot afternoon sunshine. This one by Billabong is sexy, yet provides enough coverage to be functional.

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Image: Shutterstock/ginger_polina_bublik

Cocktail Dress

A smashing cocktail dress is a summer wardrobe essential that will serve numerous purposes. You could wear it for drinks at the bar with your girlfriends, at a social gathering, or at a bona fide cocktail reception if you’re lucky enough to have that kind of life.

You can get away with so much in a cocktail dress that it would be no fun to try to fit you into just one. When shopping for cocktail dresses, think strappy, fringe, swingy and short.

Swimsuit

Yes, that’s right, I’m talking to you. You need a new swimsuit every year. Don’t even think of trying to get away with the one you already have. First of all, the elastic on last year’s swimsuit is likely worn out. The colors are faded from the chlorine, and it’s highly unlikely your body has the exact same measurements as it did last summer.

Luckily, there are some very cool swimsuit choices out there that will make it tolerable or even fun, to shop for your new suit.

High wasted bottoms are in (thank you, Taylor Swift!), so you can actually get away with a control top two-piece that is trendy.

Designers like Michael Kors are making one-shoulder swimsuits that help make you look slimmer from the front. (These look great with beach wrap sarongs, by the way.)

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Sun Hat

All that bright summer sunshine is great, but too much can cause dry, brittle hair and accelerate aging. Whether you’re sitting on the back deck with a good book, doing your gardening or falling asleep on the beach listening to the waves, make sure your head and face are protected with some kind of sun hat.

A wide-brimmed sun hat will cast a shadow over your face, protecting it from sunburn and UV rays. The floppier, the better, so you can adjust it as the sun moves across the sky.

If sun hats aren’t your cup of tea, and you need something that suits your sporty lifestyle, opt for a broad-brimmed baseball hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and away from your hair and face.

These are your summer wardrobe essentials that will come in handy as you enjoy the long summer days and breezy nights this season. Throw in a pitcher of Sangria and you’ll be all set for anything that summer brings your way!

Kate Supino writes from South Florida, where she enjoys the sun, the sea and the sky.