10 Basics That Will Rock Your Summer Wardrobe

Target basic full of clothes and accessories

Friends. I feel like this is about to be an epic group date to Target and I like it.

Everyone together now! Basket or cart today? Here, let me hold your iced coffee while you grab one of EVERYTHANG in the dollar section.

Okay, some context.

A few months ago, I posted about my new switch over to a capsule wardrobe.

It wasn’t totally in line with normal Pinch of Yum content (ummm, hello, food? does this involve food? will this lead to a saucy recipe at the end? spoiler: no, but let’s eat cookies while we chat about simplifying our lives? can that work?). But it was and is something that gets me super excited because of all the time and mental space and physical space and overall energy it has saved me, and it’s also something that people ask me about all the time. Either in the “that’s really cool” way, or in the “actually Linds why are you wearing those jeans again” way. #proud

Capsule Wardrobe for Beginners graphic.

I capsuled my happy little way through fall and winter and spring and it was awesome. Relatively easy. So straightforward and maybe best of all, a little bit validating in that it was suddenly okay and maybe even a little trendy for me to wear the same 5 favorite items of clothing, like, all the time.

So when spring came, I had this idea: I would get myself organized well enough to share my favorite capsule wardrobe pieces with you via post, like I did for winter. Links, images, basic capsule wardrobe awesomeness.

Two problems I ran into:

  1. Sharing links to my capsule wardrobe pieces requires there to be an active link for said capsule piece somewhere on the internet, and over the last few seasons, more often than not, when I’ve gone to build my seasonal capsule wardrobe, I’m pulling clothes out of a box that were purchased anywhere between 2010 and 2016 (always super inspiring) or off of a sale rack. So, yeah. Struggles with the linkage.
  2. Sharing links to my capsule wardrobe pieces also requires that I have my capsule wardrobe “done” for the season. As in planned out and thought-through and just generally ready to go. Which leads to that one small problem that I have which is being really slow at adulting sometimes. I have been known to officially complete my capsule wardrobe as late as during the last month of the season, and at that point it doesn’t seem super helpful to post anything about it.

Here’s what happened this summer.

Since I shop at Target almost every week (and have for, like, ever), I have developed a nice little collection of Target essentials over the years. I’m talking about things I wear all the time – ultra versatile, comfortable, and everyday wearable.

In the last few weeks, I’ve feeling overwhelmed with the idea of building out my summer capsule (meaning I would need to finally do a deep comb-through on the box of clothes in the basement like *screeeeeam*). So when I was at Target, I thought, you know what? Let’s just pick up a few things that would rock with the pieces I already have for summer. And something magical happened: just like that, my capsule was done.

With one trip to Target, a few baseline essentials, and zero malls. Not mad about it.

Even though my capsule involves more than 9 items altogether and I will probably continue adding a few fun pieces to it here and there throughout the next few weeks, here’s what I want you to know: these 9 pieces are getting me about 90% of the way there with the summer capsule wardrobe.

Ready for this group shopping field trip? Let’s go.

Note: All items below were found at Target! Not linking to each piece directly as links and products change, but this should give you a good idea of the types of basics I love to buy from Target.


Hand pulling a shirt off of a clothing rack.

Okay, I have the equivalent of this gem from Express (the chambray-denim-like one – it’s not neon baby blue as it looks in this picture) and I wear it all the time. PRO TIP that I wish I would have known before buying mine from Express – this one is almost exactly the same in terms of fit, length, and supersoft feel. But kicker -> it’s way cheaper. If I could do it again, I would get this one.

I wear this – usually unbuttoned or just buttoned once – over everything. Dresses, tank tops, t-shirts galore. This shirt MAKES my capsule wardrobe. Yay for supersoft button ups!


Hand holding a black tank top in a store.

You do not even want to know how many of these fitted solid color tank tops I own. Black, white, grey, white and grey stripes, more black, more white. Wait though – isn’t this a capsule? – okay okay fine. I get it. I’ve probably overdone it in the ONE TINY AREA and thanks for calling me out on it.

You know what’s great about a capsule wardrobe? YOU MAKE THE RULES, PEEPS. I wear these often enough that I gave them their own special section in my capsule wardrobe which I call “the base” because these are the glue that hold many of my outfits together. You can read more about that concept on the capsule wardrobe post – or you can just go straight to Target and stock up.


Hand holding a grey shirt.

Same is true for these babies. I prefer the tank tops to the t-shirts since the tees are sometimes more difficult to layer with, but I still have quite a few. Once again, black grey white is kind of my zone for the base.


Hand pointing to a cream colored shirt on a rack.

If I could wear one shirt for everything all summer, it would be this one (I have the grey one on the left). It is a super light, flowy, slouchy soft fabric with a little speckly texture to it. It isn’t fancy, so I would be lying to say it would be easy to dress this one up. But lucky for me, I don’t needtabe fancy! Job perks!

I find the v-neck to be more flattering than the scoop neckline. I normally wear a small/medium, but for this I went with a small. The sleeves are just the right length, the v is just deep enough without being whoa, and the length is the perfect in-between – not too long, but long enough to be forgiving and flattering.

With shorts, with pants, with leggings, all day, every day.



White shorts.


For me, they are the elusive unicorn of summer apparel.

Good news, though. I found awesome, basic shorts. They are affordable, they are comfortable, and they have varied lengths of inseams so you don’t have to worry if they will actually look like swimsuit bottoms when you’re wearing them out in the wild.

I have these exact mid-rise midi shorts in white and an even longer version in denim and they are proudly holding down the coveted spots of my two shorts for summer in the capsule wardrobe. Also, for the record, mine are not size 00. FOOD BLOGGER, guys.


Hand holding a pair of sandals.

Meta, right? Wearing the sandals in the sandal shot – it’s either kinda cool or you should run away right now.

No, but seriously. These lovely little guys go with everything, have a fashionable flatness (sometimes the thick, squishy sandals just don’t do it in the fashion department for me), and bonus: they didn’t rip my feet into a million pieces when I wore them (brand new!) on vacation in Florida last week. I’m not going to say you should stand in them all day and expect your feet to feel awesome, but are flat sandals ever comfortable to stand in all day? Still waiting for that to happen.

These are a good in between while we wait for the shoe makers to work miracles for us. Plus they are CUTE like no one’s business and way more secure than any other flip-floppy sandals I’ve ever owned because of the strings around the middle.


Stripped dress.

I bought the striped one because I love stripes and because it only makes sense since literally the only other skirt and dress I have hanging in my closet are also blue and white striped. STRIPES FOR LYFE.

Things to know: It’s extremely comfortable and it can easily be dressed up or down (top knot? hair down? denim button up over top? sunglasses?) for just about any event or occasion. I like to evaluate the success of each item based on how many times I’ve worn it since I bought it, and I just bought this one within the last two weeks and I’ve worn it at least 5 times. A DRESS. 5 times. This is unusual for me. It’s a winner.


Hand holding black leggings.

These are a long t-shirt’s best friend.

Stretchy, comfy, affordable, goes with everything. I can often be found in the summer pairing these with one of those slouchy t-shirts and the sandals. Super casual, super comfortable, and affordable. This is my dream wardrobe.



How do people spend hundreds of dollars on sunglasses? I don’t understand these things, says the girl whose sunglasses live in the bottom of her deep, deep purse and get regularly knocked around by lip gloss, phone, and wallet. I break approximately 19 pairs of sunglasses each summer, so Target is my go-to for a few pairs of affordable and cute sunnies at the start of the season.

PS. Now you know what I look like when I take these pictures in Target and why people give me LOOKS, man.


Black swimsuit top.

How many times do yo actually wear your swimsuit in the summer? I’m sad to say I don’t wear mine that much. Especially a frilly bikini.

Last summer I got a swimsuit from Athleta on clearance and it is super great for actually DOING STUFF in the water (gasp) like swimming, paddle boarding, and wake boarding or tubing. Do I sound like I live in the land of 10,000 lakes? LOVE LIVING HERE.

But then sometimes you just need a cute suit for tanning, laying out, vacationing, whatever. And that’s where Target comes to the rescue. The back wall of almost every Target I’ve been to has those bikini mix-and-match basics, so when I need an affordable, wear-it-five-times-in-the-summer swimsuit, that’s where you’ll find me.

And there it is! My summer capsule faves (all from easy Target) that have helped me keep my wardrobe life simple and streamlined and uncluttered. Mwah! See you tomorrow for the FOODS.

The post 10 Basics That Will Rock Your Summer Wardrobe appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

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