Spring/Summer Wardrobe Basics That Won’t Break the Bank (Neutrals Edition)


Warm weather is here and that can only mean one thing…time to switch out your seasonal clothes! Goodbye sweaters, hello t-shirts and sandals!

While I won’t deny that I love to shop, I’ve been trying to pare down my wardrobe over the years to basics that I love and aren’t dictated by trends. And as the title of this article might have already given away, I am a neutrals gal through and through. I love to add in pops of color or texture with accessories or shoes, but a clean, neutral palette is usually where I start.

I’ve put together a list of a few of my favorite basics to get you through the warm weather months without breaking the bank!

Spring Wardrobe Basics

  • I love these jean shorts from Target so much that I have two of the exact same pair. (I bought the second pair one size up so they are a little looser to wear over bathing suits to the pool and beach.) They’re stretchy with just the right amount of distressing and lightweight enough for the Charleston heat. Costing less than $20, it’s a no-brainer, and I’ll probably even get a third pair…just in case.
  • Speaking of Target, they’ve really upped their shoe game in recent years and the not-so-minimalist in me says you can never have too many summer sandals. These are a super simple pair that I’ve recently bought that will work for errands, a pool day, or even patio drinks out with friends.
  • I wasn’t intending for the first three items on this list to all be from Target, but, here we are. I am always on the hunt for the perfect white tee or one that’s just slightly elevated from my typical white tees. This tee (with sleeves that are somewhere in between a tank and t-shirt) isn’t see-through and takes your white shirt game up just a notch with its slightly flared sleeves. A good puff sleeve neutral tee is always on my radar too.
  • I love a good neutral shoe with a slight edge, and these under $20 studded bow flip flops from Amazon totally fit the bill.
  • When I’m tired of regular blue jean shorts, I find myself reaching for these tan/beige jean shorts from Old Navy. They’re neutral enough to go with almost anything and I love the high waist on them.
  • I’m not a huge dress person, but I scored this cute midi-length t-shirt dress from J. Crew Factory last year and it quickly became a favorite! This dress plus a denim jacket have become my go-to travel outfit.
  • Speaking of denim jackets, I love this one from Target. Inexpensive and the perfect shade of blue, it’s a must-have with the up and down spring temperatures in Charleston.
  • The perfect pair of non-see-through white denim can be tricky to find, but I recently bought these high-rise skinny jeans from Old Navy and feel like I hit the white jeans lottery! Dress them up or down, white jeans are a nice break from your normal blue denim, plus they just scream spring! (P.S. I also love my high-waisted white denim shorts from Old Navy!)
  • A good button-down shirt is always classic, but for the warmer-weather months, a lighter gauze material is a must. I recently scored a great one from TJ Maxx, but this one from Target is very similar. Dress it up with some white jeans and a chunky heel for date night, or wear it knotted in front with some denim shorts for running errands. It can even work as a bathing suit cover-up depending on the length!
  • While I can’t vouch for this lounge set (yet), it’s been sitting in my Amazon cart for awhile and looks like the perfect post-pool/beach outfit or when you’re just lounging in the house. Available in a variety of colors, I can already see myself living in this over the next few months!
  • No outfit is complete without some fun jewelry. If you’re a neutrals lover like me, jewelry and accessories are a great way to spice up an outfit. In the warmer months, I love a good stack of colorful bracelets (I found my current stack at a local market last year, but you can find similar ones almost anywhere these days.) For everyday, I adore these front-back succulent earrings from Madewell, and these layered gold necklaces from Amazon.

Two honorable mentions:

Although these next two items are pricier, I did want to include them because they have personally been worth the investment for me.

  • I got these Sam Edelman white sneakers for Christmas in 2020 and absolutely love them! They are instantly comfortable, neutral enough to go with any outfit, and I wear them year-round. If you like the Golden Goose look but not the high price tag, these are a great dupe. Bonus: here they are from Nordstrom Rack for even cheaper than what they originally were from Nordstrom! Tip: I stalked the reviews on these before purchasing and many said to size down which I did and they fit perfectly!
  • These Perfect Vintage jeans from Madewell were my foray into Madewell jeans and honestly, I’m not looking back. I love the way the Perfect Vintage fits and it’s an bonus that they come in petite sizes. These are a great wash for spring and summer. Tip: Sign up to be a Madewell insider and they’ll send you $25 the month of your birthday. They also have sales fairly often so keep an eye out for those!

What are your favorite warm-weather basics? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jody Vitali
Jody and her family made the change from big city life in Chicago to the suburbs of Charleston and couldn't be happier! With an undergraduate degree from Elon University, and a Masters in Counseling from DePaul University, Jody's career path took a different turn when given the opportunity to take over ownership of Charleston Moms. This new adventure has left Jody with so much excitement for continuing the great work that CM has already started, and also very little free time as any business owner knows! In between balancing the responsibilities of being a WAHM, Jody enjoys spending time/keeping up with her two young daughters, date nights with her husband Rob, practicing yoga, exploring Charleston, and indulging in some retail therapy.