In many ways, everything seems to be happening all at once — we're socializing again, heading back to the office, finally going on vacation, and trying to dress for the heat. And, while we've definitely seen an uptick in playful fashion choices (it's time to break out those chaotic bottoms and '00s-inspired tops!), we've still found ourselves experiencing the same old dilemma when picking out an outfit.

What's something easy that works for all the events on our list? That we can throw together in a flash, without too much fuss?

Well, that's when it's time to break out the Summer-3 rule. This classic trick is key for finding an impressive, cute outfit that you can wear to both an in-person meeting (!!!) and drinks with your friends.

All you need are three key items in order to nail this fashion formula: a dress of your choice, statement earrings, and a pair of sandals. That's it! It's the season's easiest, no-brainer outfit idea, and it works every single time, especially since you can quickly switch out certain styles in order to make it more formal or casual.

Ahead, we're rounding up photographic proof that the Summer-3 is a favorite among well-dressed women, and that despite its simplicity, it's far from boring.

Reach for Puff Sleeves or Ruffles

With a fun dress as the focus, you won't have to overthink the other two items. A pair of gold hoops and some strappy sandals will be more than enough.

Try a Maxi

Summer 3

A solid colored design, paired with a bold pair of earrings and simple shoes, will always look sleek. If your dress is somewhat simple, throw on a pair of heels to add some spice.

Make It Bright

Summer 3

Sure, Gothcore is having a moment, but if you're feeling the urge to dress a bit more whimsical, go ahead and pile on all the colors. Style a bright, printed dress with a vibrant pair of earrings to ensure your outfit stands out from the pack.

Remember the Essentials

Summer 3

Slides are for sure a summer staple, so if you're looking for a sandal that will go with every outfit — including your best dress — invest in a neutral pair. They don't have to be fancy; even a pair of Birkenstocks are surprisingly versatile.

Try Long Sleeves

Despite the season's steamy reputation, there are days and nights when the weather is a tad chilly. Not to worry, though: the Summer-3 rule works with breezy, long-sleeved styles, too.

Play Around With Your Shoes

Summer 3

Platforms, metallics, lace-up straps, embellishments — footwear that features these tiny but powerful details will give your sweet floral dress and drop earring combo a fashion-forward boost.

Add an Extra Step

If you still feel your outfit is missing a little something, simply add a belt. Whether it's a wrap-around option, leather, or a chain style, it will accentuate your waist and give your look some flair.

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