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Model Ashley Graham shares her must-have summer style staples

Five go-tos for good summer vibes

Model Ashley Graham poses for selfie. Credit: Reviewed / Ashley Graham

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Beyond strutting the catwalk, Ashley Graham walks the walk as an outspoken advocate for self-love and body positivity. If you’re in need of an extra dose of confidence this summer, the frequently filter-free model has some seasoned advice for the season. “Go in knowing that there's other people that feel like you and no one's your biggest critic except for yourself, so just remember that,” she says.

With summer in full swing, Graham sat down with Reviewed to share her warm weather style secrets and must-haves—from Spandex to sundresses. 

Dress for how it makes you feel

Focusing on feel-good fashion is one of Graham’s biggest style secrets, and also a lesson she plans to someday impart to her kids, two-year-old Isaac and six-month-old twins Malachi and Roman. “I think that comfort is key, and that's something that I can definitely pass down to them,” she says.

Among the family’s current fashion favorites? In-sync styles. “The twins dress alike and Isaac and [his father] Justin dress alike, because Justin wants Isaac to feel like he has a partner in crime in the fashion industry,” she says of her husband, filmmaker Justin Ervin, who she also consults for “sound advice” when putting together her own outfits. 

Whichever pieces you pick, be sure to find fashions that fit with your own sense of style. “In the beginning of my career, it was like I was just excited if it fit,” Graham says of how her style evolved. “But now there are so many more options for designers that go up in my sizes…It's not about just wearing something because they have my size, it's about wearing something because it feels good and it looks good on me.” Below, her five go-tos for good summer vibes. 

Classic linen pants and a button-down

Model wearing button-down shirt and jeans. Ashley Grraham in middle and white linen pants on left.
Credit: Reviewed / R13 / Ashley Graham / Banana Republic

Copy Ashley's linen looks with crisp, coastal styles.

Graham rocks her own take on the “coastal grandmother” aesthetic. (Let’s just call it the coastal model mom.) The catwalker recommends investing in a pair of linen pants to pair with a range of quintessential summer outfits. Consider choosing a pair from Banana Republic, which she recommends for its “really good” linen options. Try the brand’s high-waisted Wide Leg Pant, which features both deep pockets and an elastic waist. It’s available in crisp white in women’s sizes 0 to 20. 

$110 at Banana Republic

Another classic style she’s always down for? Button-down shirts. “You could either get a blue pinstripe or a white,” she says. Graham’s go-to is from R13, which sells both cropped and classic versions of the traditional top. Try the Oversize Oxford Button-Up Shirt in white, available in women’s sizes XS to XL.

$345 at Nordstrom

A comfy pair of bike shorts

Models wearing black biker shorts.
Credit: Reviewed / Knix

Short on summer style inspiration? Add some bike shorts to your warm weather outfits.

Athleisure looks are also among Graham’s go-tos, which she plans to rock “shamelessly” all season. Forget the trend cycles (pun intended), and add a pair of go-to bike shorts to your wardrobe. Graham also gravitated towards the stretchy styles while pregnant last summer; after opting for looser fitting fashions during her first pregnancy, the second time around she leaned into “[living] in spandex” and focusing on “showing off the bump instead of hiding it.” 

When shopping for shorts, the runway fixture loves both Prada pairs and the supportive styles from Knix, a brand she recently partnered with. The Knix HiTouch High Rise Short is a top-rated design that comes in black and maroon in women’s sizes XS to XXXXL. Graham recommends pairing your bike shorts with “either a sneaker [to] actually work out in” or a flip flop so “you can do all your errands and run around.”

$60 at Knix

A bag to tie the look together

On left, black leather handbag. On right, tan leather tote bag.
Credit: Reviewed / Gucci

Since first packing her bags for NYC, Graham has been a big fan of designer bags.

As a young model, Graham’s first major style splurge was a Givenchy carryall, “one of the really big totes that I could jam a whole weekend into,” she says. “When I moved to New York at 17…it was like instead of a car you get a bag. That was my first big purchase.”

While today she’s known to mix high and low styles, her love of splurging on timeless designer bags hasn’t faded over the years. “There’s always a new bag,” says Graham, who is a paid partner of pay-as-you-go service Affirm, which offers payment plans for products including Gucci bags she has her eye on. “That's why I like Affirm, because if you're like me and you want to invest in the timeless, classic pieces for a new season, you know that you can get it without breaking the bank.”

Shop Gucci bags

To get your hands on a designer handbag for less, also consider shopping resale clothing sites like The RealReal, which sells second-hand styles from high-end brands like Gucci. The site evaluates each piece for authenticity prior to listing. Graham herself invests in the site’s discounted designer duds, saying “Oscar de la Renta always has really great finds.”

Shop Gucci on The RealReal

Shop Oscar de la Renta on The RealReal

A lightweight knit cardigan

Models wearing oversized cardigan sweaters with denim jeans.
Credit: Reviewed / Universal Thread / Khaite

Shop sweaters so cute you won't want to keep them in storage all summer.

While knitwear might not be top of mind when it comes to summer tops, don’t forget a cardigan for chilly summer nights. “Just having a little cardigan with a pair of shorts or the linen pants is perfect,” says Graham, whose favorite design is from luxury designer Khaite. The knitwear brand’s offerings include the Scarlet Cardigan made of mid-weight cashmere, which comes in women’s sizes XXS to XL in white and camel.

$1,680 at Khaite

If you gasped at that price, not to worry: You can rock a similar style with more budget-friendly fashions. Consider pieces like Target’s A New Day Women's Button-front Cardigan, which has a 4.5-star rating and over 160 reviews. It’s sold in burgundy and green in women’s sizes XS to XXL. For another year-round wardrobe staple, try Target's Universal Thread Open Front Cardigan, which is sold in seven shades in women’s sizes XS to 4X. Even Graham herself sometimes shops styles from the megaretailer, as she tells us she loves a “Tarjay moment.”

$21 at Target

$25 at Target

A fun, flowy dress

Models wearing full-length flowy, maxi dress.
Credit: Reviewed / Vince

Slip on a slip dress this summer for a breezy, effortless look.

On the hottest days, your best friend is a lightweight versatile dress. Search for breezy designs that can be dressed up or down, suggests Graham. The model pairs her summer styles with equally effortless hair and makeup, saying: “I just like to just throw my hair up and not worry about what my hair looks like. I just wear a little bit of sunscreen, and I go on with it and just embrace the sweat, embrace the heat.”

Embrace (and beat) the heat with dresses from elevated essentials brand Vince. “For my size, I fit into Vince perfectly,” she says. “The flowy dresses, they’re gorgeous.” Consider the brand’s Square Neck Tank Dress, a satin style available in light gray in women’s sizes XS to XL. For a pop of floral, try the Floral Knot Front Drape Maxi Dress, a light yellow look sold in the same size range.

$150 at Nordstrom Rack

$190 at Nordstrom Rack

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