Sure, those fancy pom-pom sandals and cropped flares seem to-absolutely-die-for in theory. But when push comes to shove (and your credit card is feeling the pinch), you’ll be much happier with smarter pieces that last you longer than just a season. Here, the only five essentials you really need this summer.

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A FLATTERING ONE-PIECE

Yes, there are a million swimsuits you can (and probably will) fall in love with this summer. But to get the most bang for your buck, invest in just a singular one-piece that feels both on-trend enough to turn heads at the pool yet classic enough to wear for summers to come.

Get the look: Target ($40); J. Crew ($118); Marysia ($310)

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A NEUTRAL SADDLE BAG

Tassels and bright fabrics on bags are having a moment, but it probably won’t take long before you grow tired of neon-yellow fringe. Do yourself a favor and opt for a half-moon shape in a classic hue. From your tropical island vacation to your weekly girls’ night out, this bag will be your go-to.

Get the look: Old Navy ($35); Rebecca Minkoff ($225); Coach ($445)

RELATED: The 5 Bags You’ll See Everyone Carrying in 2016

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A COMFORTABLE PAIR OF ESPADRILLES

Again, we love the festive prints and playful accoutrements as much as the next gal, but a pair of straw-heeled sandals or wedges in neutral leather is just a better investment. (If you’re looking for a modern update to your tired rope wedges, look for a flatform sole in either a slide silhouette or with a chic little ankle tie.)

Get the look: ASOS ($26); Marc Fisher LTD ($150); Loeffler Randall ($225)

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A BREEZY MIDI DRESS

Flowing maxi dresses will always have a special place in our hearts, but calf-skimming numbers are a much better buy for 2016. You're getting both a trendier silhouette and cooler hemline for those upcoming dog-day afternoons. 

Get the look: Warehouse ($73); Paul & Joe ($160); Rebecca Taylor ($297)

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AN OVERSIZED DENIM JACKET

You already know and love a denim jacket. But if you’re in the market for a little update, go big--as in size and length. The boxy shape will look killer with those ankle-tie espadrilles this summer and again with your boots this fall.

Get the look: Free People ($50); Urban Outfitters ($64); Madewell ($128)

RELATED: The 8 Biggest Trends in Denim Right Now

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