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If you’re looking for outfit ideas to embrace Summer fashion in New England, look no further. In this blog, I give you style tips for how to achieve the “New England look”. By the end of this Summer fashion guide, you’re not going to wonder what to wear. You’re going to wonder whether you can fit it all in your suitcase. 😉

Geeves in front of a mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
The Breakers Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

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Summer Fashion in New England: Essentials to Pack

With its mix of urban cities, quaint towns, and coastal beaches, New England offers plenty of opportunities for you to show off your style while incorporating the preppy, nautical look that the region has become famous for…

Some common themes you’ll notice throughout New England’s nautical style are stripes and colors red, white and blue. How’s that for a little Americana for ya? 😉

But, how do you know what to wear this Summer? Don’t worry, your girl Geeves here has been a New Englander for over a decade. I’ll help you get that New England look down pat, boat shoes, collared shirts, blazers and all…

To master the look, let’s start with some Summer wardrobe essentials. Then, we’ll fine tune your outfits so it’s got that New England edge. What does every girl have to have?

  • Summer Dresses

Summer dresses are a perfect option for New England’s warm and humid Summer days. Choose lightweight and flowy fabrics such as cotton or linen. Opt for versatile styles that can be dressed up with wedges or dressed down with sandals.

Summer Dresses

  • Tops

A cute blouse, long sleeve or short sleeve top will do just fine. Get a light enough material that you can throw a jacket on when it gets chilly but feel comfortable when it gets hot.

  • Light Layers

New England’s Summer can be unpredictable, with chilly mornings and evenings, and hot afternoons. To stay comfortable throughout the day, pack light layers such as cardigans, light jackets like a blazer, and scarves. Choose pieces that are versatile and can be dressed up or down, depending on your activities.

  • Swimwear

New England has a wide range of beaches, so don’t forget to pack at least one swimsuit that you feel comfortable and confident in. Consider bringing a cover-up or sarong that you can wear to and from the beach.

Colorful Swimsuits

For more hot girl Summer essentials, shop my Amazon store here.

  • Pants and Shorts

Pack a mix of comfortable pants and shorts for different activities. Look for lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen. You can even pack a pair of jeans or khakis for cooler evenings. I like these pants because they’re stretchy so you can walk comfortably, but it looks dressy too.

Geeves dolled up at a restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • Shoes

Comfortable footwear is key when exploring New England’s cobblestone streets, boardwalks, hiking trails, or coastlines. Pack a mix of shoes such as tennis shoes, sandals, and flats, depending on your planned activities. I love boat shoes (“dockslide slip ons”) by shoe brand, Sperry. Don’t forget to also pack a pair of water shoes or flip flops if you plan to visit the beach or go sailing. If you want to dress up, wear a non slip, low heal or wedges.


  • Accessories

Pack accessories that can be mixed and matched with different outfits such as statement jewelry, sunglasses, and a hat to protect your face from the sun. What I love about a lightweight scarf or shawl is that it’s so versatile. You can wear it as a hair accessory, around the neck or waist, as a top or to tie on your purse or sun hat.

  • Sun Protective Clothing

New England’s summer sun can be intense, so consider packing sun protective clothing such as a rash guard, sun shirt, or sun hat. Look for clothes made from UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rated fabrics that provide an extra layer of protection from harmful UV rays.

UV Protective Clothing

  • Tote Bag or Purse

It goes without saying that every woman needs a bag to carry! There are some really cute beach bags for the Summer!

Geeves standing on a dock by sailboats in New England
Cape Cod swagger

What to Wear to Get the New England Look

This wouldn’t be a Summer fashion guide without giving you some easy breezy clothing to strut your stuff on a boardwalk, seaport sidewalk, beach or cliff’s edge. Now that we’ve got the Summer wardrobe essentials down, let’s dive into how to rock the New England nautical and preppy look…

The thing to remember about New England style is that it’s effortlessly chic, laid back and a bit minimalist and yet, put together and elegant at the same time. It’s the art of trying but not trying. A subtle way of playing up a simple look is to add pearls, watch or bangle.

New England Looks

  • Striped Shirts

Nothing says nautical like a classic striped shirt. Look for a boatneck or crewneck style in blue and white or navy and white stripes. You can dress it up with a skirt or wear it with shorts for a more casual look.

  • Nautical Swimsuit

If you want to go all out in the nautical style, get a swimsuit in red, white &/or navy blue.

Nautical Swimsuits

  • Jumpers

Throw on a jumper if you don’t want to think about what to wear. You can dress it up with a blazer, jewelry and heels, or dress it down with sandals and a sunhat.

  • Collared, Button Up Shirts

Pair with a v-neck sweater with collar popped or throw on a cardigan.

  • Cable Knit Sweaters

Cable knit sweaters are perfect for layering over dresses or pairing with skirts and shorts. Look for a lightweight style in a white, red or navy color. When you get too hot, tie it around your waist or around your shoulders for that easy, breezy, too cool for school New England flare. 😉

  • Tweed Set

For “old money” sophistication, go with a tweed jacket and skirt set or, throw it on over a dress with a strand of pearls to complete the look.

  • White Pants

White pants are an absolute staple for any preppy wardrobe. Go with white jeans, slacks or long, beachy, flowy pants which can be paired with a variety of tops and accessories to create a chic and polished look. Just be sure to bring a Tide-to-Go pen in case of any spills!

New England Mood Board

  • Boat Shoes

Boat shoes are a classic New England footwear staple. They’re perfect for sailing, walking along the harbor, or strolling through town. Look for a pair in navy or tan leather.

  • Trench Coat

A classic trench coat is a timeless addition to any preppy wardrobe. It’s perfect for cooler evenings or rainy days. Look for a style in khaki or navy.

  • Seersucker

Seersucker is a preppy Summer favorite. It’s a thin, lightweight, breathable fabric and perfect for New England’s hot and humid weather. Look for a dress, shorts, or a skirt in a blue and white seersucker stripe to really master the look.

  • Blazers

A blazer is a versatile wardrobe piece that can dress up any outfit. Look for a lightweight style in navy or white that you can wear with jeans, dresses, or skirts.

Geeves eating a lobster, wearing a straw bucket hat.
Get a bucket hat like this on Amazon.
  • Straw Accessories

Straw accessories like hats, bags, and sandals are perfect for a beachy, nautical look. Look for a floppy sunhat or a tote bag with navy stripes.

Adding in these nautical and preppy pieces into your Summer wardrobe will help you fit right in with the New England style. Don’t be afraid to mix and match these pieces to create your own unique look!

Brands to Shop to Get the New England Look

Pinterest pin about Summer Fashion in New England guide.
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That’s a Wrap!

New England offers a diverse range of activities and experiences during the Summer months, so pack a mix of comfortable, practical, and stylish clothing to make the most of your trip. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you go and pack accordingly.

Thank you for reading! I hope you got some ideas for Summer fashion in New England. Is there anything you’d add to this Summer fashion guide? Let me know in the comments below!

To join in on the fun and get helpful travel tips and guides, subscribe to the blog. You can also follow Geeves on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter for travel inspiration, funny stories and well, life!

Until next time… keep it real.

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Shop My Fall Fashion Guide for Your Trip to New England

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