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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.


DENIM BUTTON UP

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!


ESSENTIAL LAYERING TANKS

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.


ESSENTIAL EVERYDAY TEES

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.


ESSENTIAL SLOUCHY TEES

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.

LOVE.


SHORTS THAT AREN’T MINI SHORTS

White shorts.

Whyhyhyhyyyy. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FIND GOOD APPROPRIATE 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.


SANDALS THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY WALK IN

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.


LONG COMFY DRESS

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.


CROPPED LEGGINGS

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.


CHEAP (BUT CUTE) SUNGLASSES

Sunglasses.

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.


SWIMSUIT BASICS

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.

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39 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    LLLLOVE the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I was doing a variation of it when I got serious and lost 24 lbs! Now I’ve started over. I used to love shopping at Target but ..I’m supporting the boycott at this point. Alas guess it’s Walmart, Shopco , Sears etc . Great post though.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Sharon

      I’m with you, Vickie. No more Target for me unless they wise up and change their bathroom policy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take part in the “capsule wardrobe” idea. There are lots of other stores to shop… and shop I must. 😎

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have been needing to refresh my capsule wardrobe since I adopted it in the winter. I was moving and downsized most of my closet but I just wasn’t sure what to do to adapt for summer! Thank you! 😀

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Erin R.

    I have to tell you, your previous capsule post had a big impact on me. I, too, used to buy cheap things from the sale rack that didn’t fit me properly, simply because they were cheap. I knew I didn’t look good in the boxy flannel shirt I was wearing as I read your words, and I immediately took it to the donation box that night. I’ve weeded out a number of other dumpers since then and have found myself perfectly happy wearing the remaining items more often. I’m going to look for that denim shirt next time I’m at Target. Leaving it open and wearing it as a top layer would completely change the fit and I think I could pull it off! Thanks!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I loved your last post about a capsule wardrobe and thought it was amazing. Then I realised that I too seem to wear the same things “often” i.e. all the time. After reading this post I realised that I should actually plan one out rather than letting happen by accident! Thanks.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I loved this! I wasn’t able to commit to only a few pieces to make a capsule, but you did inspire me to go out and get some basics…so that’s still progress towards a capsule..right??

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary

    Fun post! I’ve moved a lot since growing up in Minneapolis and spending summers at a cabin in the Brainerd area, and I’m starting to think you guys HAVE ALL THE LAKES!
    Love Target and shop there even more now in support of their latest policies. Thanks for the inspo!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary

    Fun post! I’ve moved a lot since growing up in Minneapolis and spending summers at a cabin in the Brainerd area, and I’m starting to think you guys HAVE ALL THE LAKES!
    Love Target – shopping there even more now in support of their policies. Thanks for the inspo!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Julie

    So weird how I knew someone would have to mention that they are boycotting Target. Myself, I would shop Target for literally EVERYTHING if I could now since I’m so proud of them!???? But back to the wardrobe capsule: I’m slowly but surely trying to do this. After I thought about it, I usually end up wearing the same things over & over anyways cause I love them, so why not save room in my closets too!?! Thank you for this post!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Debi

    So disappointed that you not only still shop at Target but are obviously promoting them in this post.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Debi, I do shop at Target, but just to clarify this post is not sponsored in any way. It’s just my personal take on building an easy summer wardrobe. I will add a note to the end of the post too just to make sure there isn’t any confusion about that.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have been wanting to try the capsule wardrobe I just spent a day cleaning out my closet, it was insane how much stuff I had that I never wear. I love target too!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love the pieces you chose for this post! I can shop at Target every day for the rest of my life and not get bored. They have some great basics for a summer capsule wardrobe. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Beca

    I love your post, I like the idea of this type of wardrobe… But will NOT be shopping at Target as it was suggested.. I have a young daughter so you can imagine my opinion on the matter (a grown man going into the bathroom while my daughter is there- I don’t think so) But love your idea on the wardrobe…

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Rachel

    I’m pretty sure this is a post about some cute finds at Target – not a post about their bathroom policy. If you don’t shop there for personal convictions that’s a-okay, but there is no reason to comment, judge or be “disappointed” that someone would still shop at Target…that store is so much more than their bathroom policy so please respect all decisions on the matter. Let’s be people who encourage one another on the internet – Lindsay thanks for sharing with us Target shoppers some sweet finds! I’m all about the cute affordable sunglasses as well. 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Samantha

      I agree. People think everyone cares about their specific opinion on the internet. I appreciate this post, I like the basics regardless of the store!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Those tank tops are everything. I have a whole stack of them and they get layered with everything. 🙂

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Karin

    Ok, this is going to sound weird, but I first heard about capsule wardrobes on your blog and I was wondering what your summer capsule looked like. Thanks for the post!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Carol

    Too bad I’m boycotting Target. For their new practice of allowing any sex in any bathroom. My rights have been pushed aside for a few. Such a surprising move, not.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Finding shorts that flatter is basically the hardest wardrobe to do every year. Especially if you have some curves. So frustrating.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Eileen

    The problem I have with your capsule wardrobe is that a lot of the stuff from Target falls apart quickly, esp. the t’s. Also, I’m sure NONE of their clothes are made in the US. So you get cheap, foreign-made junk. Not sure it’s a good use of our money or good for our country’s economy. That being said, I do shop there, but not for clothes.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Julie

      That’s soooo not my experience with their clothes. Maybe you just haven’t purchased clothing there in a while? I have stuff from there that I’ve worn/washed over and over for years. And as far as being made outside of the US? Unfortunately, most clothing is these days.

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Eileen! I agree about the products not being made in the US. I’m sure we don’t know the conditions that some of these products are made in which is something I’ve wrestled with in the past. However, to the point about the clothes falling apart, I have never had that experience – the tank top I am wearing today has literally been in my closet for 5+ years. 🙂 And all their t-shirts last me for at least a few years. I usually end up upgrading eventually more for style rather than anything falling apart.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jodi Janzen

    Hi Lindsey
    LOVE, the capsule wardrobe and also love a good bargain! But, not the cheap sunglasses!! Unfortunately, “cheap” sunglasses are often not protective. Fashion sunglasses are unfortunately not well regulated and most often do not block the UVA AND UVB radiation that they claim, especially if not manufactured in this country. Sunglasses are sun protection for your precious sight. Sun damage in the eye is manifested as macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over 50, as well as melanoma (that can be inside the eye as well as the skin). You definitely do not need to spend $100s on a quality pair of sunglasses, but in my opinion the protection of vision is not the place to look at price only. Sorry for the PSA, I am a bit passionate about vision:)

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo
    andrea

    You should take some pics of the various combinations you have made with the pieces! I like the denim shirt, but don’t envision that as a summer piece, for some reason.

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jaime

    Actually, YES! to all of this. I have been browsing capsule wardrobes for years and I have not found anyone else who has the comfort/style/budget that I prefer. Express jeans forever. Seasonal Target T’s, too. And those layering tanks are everything. They don’t shift and cover all of my things and under garments. Even when I’m playing on the floor with kiddos and picking up toys. Love them!