Chic Summer Swaps: Airy Bags, Breezy Shoes, and Light Accessories

As the temperatures start to rise, it’s time to swap those heavy layers and cold weather accessories in favor of lighter, breathable pieces. One of the easiest ways to instantly give your outfits a warm weather refresh is by incorporating airy, summer-ready accessories. From woven raffia bags to breezy scarves, the right lightweight accents can completely transform your look for the new season.

To help inspire your own summer accessory swaps, here are some lightweight replacements to integrate into your looks:


Swap a heavy leather tote for an airy, woven raffia bag this summer to give your summer wardrobe an instant lighten-up. The textured material and open weave design adds visual interest and a relaxed summer vibe.

Susan B wears a casual spring outfit with a green cardigan, off-white tee, jeans, sequin-trim Vanessa Bruno raffia bag, green bracelets and fisherman sandals.

VANESSA BRUNO Raffia M Cabas Tote

 Add a touch of French insouciance to any summer look  with this chic raffia tote from Vanessa Bruno. The sequin trim lends a subtly glamorous vibe to the relaxed, textured raffia body. I scooped this one up last summer and can attest it’s the perfect warm weather bag – lightweight yet surprisingly roomy with an understated je ne sais quoi. Still Available here.

Paris Milano Straw Tote

For breezy days spent strolling through the farmer’s market or lounging seaside, this fun crochet tote is the ideal casual-chic companion. Not too big or bulky, it strikes the perfect balance as an effortlessly stylish grab-and-go bag for laid back sunshine-filled adventures.

Susan B. wears a striped cardigan tied over shoulders, an ivory tee, ecru jeans, straw "Paris Milano" tote and woven espadrilles.
Mar y Sol for Eileen Fisher raffia tote bag

EILEEN FISHER Raffia Bucket Bag

This versatile carryall from Mar Y Sol for Eileen Fisher brings laid-back bohemian flair to any summer outing. The larger size makes it a perfect choice to stow everything you need for a beach day or picnic!


Trade in your closed-in footwear for breezy, open shoe styles perfect for warm days, and add a finishing touch to your summer outfits.

Susan B wears Clergerie Birdie raffia oxfords. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Clergerie Birdie2 Raffia Derbys

Ever since scooping up my first pair of raffia oxfords years ago, I’ve been a devoted fan of these warm weather woven shoes. While open-toe sandals are a popular pick, raffia’s intricate open-weave construction allows feet to breathe with coverage. I love the textured, visually-interesting look they lend to any outfit.

My original pair has held up beautifully after four summers of heavy rotation! Their 2024 updated version is available here or if you prefer a wedge style, check these out

Mesh Mary Jane Flat

Love them or hate them, mesh flats have emerged as a polarizing yet persistent warm weather footwear trend over the past few seasons. But these airy, breathable slip-ons bring an undeniably fun and flirty vibe to any casual summer look. Plus, the shoes’ true-to-size fit makes it easy to find your perfect mesh match. Several colors available. Bonus: They’re now on sale!

Details: Susan B. wears blue jeans and Jeffrey Campbell red mesh ballet flats
Aerati t-strap ballet flat by Ancient Greek Sandals.

Aerati Ancient Greek Sandals

Step into summer in these covetable raffia ballet flats from Ancient Greek Sandals. The woven raffia uppers create an airy, breathable fit. perfect for warm weather. Yet the leather trim along the topline and footbed adds a polished look and structure. The ‘it’ flats of the season. (Also available in Natural and Black.)


Accessories can do a lot of heavy lifting in warm summer months to make outfits look finished. Lighter-weight clothing and fabrics call for lighter accessories too.

Print Modal and Silk Scarf

A lightweight, gauzy wrap or scarf is a summer layering essential. Drape it over shirts or bare shoulders for an effortless pop of color and pattern for cool evenings or air-conditioned interiors. 

Wallaroo Malibu Fedora

A sun hat is the perfect accessory to add to your Summer wardrobe. Crafted from 100% raffia, this option is breathable, lightweight, and stylish. Silver and gold beads on the band add a fun accent. And this style is available in brown and navy as well.

Flashdance” Set of 8 Bracelets

If you’re looking to give your wardrobe a Summer refresh, consider swapping out your usual bracelets for a contemporary-chic Layered Bracelet Set. This set features a collection of beaded and crystal-embellished bracelets in neutral tones, adding a sophisticated, yet Summer feel to your look.

I love the playful vibe these bead bracelets add to my outfits!

As you transition your wardrobe for the warmer months, remember that simple swaps can make a significant impact. By incorporating these airy, summer-ready accessories, you can effortlessly transform your look to embrace the season. Whether it’s a chic raffia bag, breathable woven shoes, or lightweight jewelry, these pieces add a touch of summer sophistication and ease to any outfit.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with textures, materials, and styles that you may not typically wear. Summer is the perfect time to refresh your wardrobe with items that not only look good but also keep you comfortable in the heat. So embrace the opportunity to infuse your style with the lightness and vibrancy of the season.

What are your favorite summer accessories to swap into your wardrobe? Share your must-have items in the comments below!

Happy summer accessorizing!

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  1. Susan, I love your idea to change to lighter weight accessories for summer but I struggle with the appropriate color of straw or raffia or leather for me since I am a Winter. Black or navy still seems too heavy, especially with the hot days we are having, but brown tones all seem wrong. Could you point me in the right direction for sandals and bags. Everything I currently have is black, navy, white or silver. Thanks for your help!

    1. I have had the very same question for a long time. I love raffia for summer, but I’m not sure it is the right tone for a Winter. Please help.

  2. Those Clergerie raffia oxfords are my dream shoe! I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but one day soon….
    Conversely, I cannot express how much I hate the mesh flat trend, and I really hope that trend flames out ASAP. To me, they all look cheap and not in a fun way.