The 5 Most Versatile Pieces for Your Summer Wardrobe

In every wardrobe, there are a few key pieces from which you can build upon. Without them, you’re lacking a strong foundation to mix and match so you don’t fall victim to fast fashion and nonstop shopping. Outside of the obvious—like a good pair of denim or shorts—we’ve rounded up five summer must-haves to build your wardrobe foundation.

1. The Solid White T-Shirt 

Why so versatile?
Tucked into skirts, paired with denim or shorts, or layered over a fun printed pant, a great fitting t-shirt is a wardrobe workhorse. I recommend something that fits a bit loose—not oversized—but certainly not too tight. We love these t-shirts from Truly Madly Deeply because they’re oh-so-soft and come in a variety of necklines.

How to style it:

Source: The Darling Detail

I love the way Jessi from The Darling Detail rocks this chic and sexy look. She knots her white shirt so it pops against the nude tones she is wearing.

Source: Blingaholic88

Dressed up with a great platform (as seen here) or paired with your favorite white sneakers, dark denim and a fresh white t-shirt could just be our favorite fashion combo, ever.

Source: Livvy Land 

A simple t-shirt takes the stuffiness out of a prim and proper floral skirt and fancy heels, creating a gorgeously playful look for daytime.

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2. The Button-Down

Why so versatile?
A well fitting button-down is a fantastic option, not only as a stand-alone piece, but also for adding light layers and visual interest to an outfit. Want to try the crop top trend without showing belly? Throw on a button-down underneath! Want to get that cool, classic weekend look? Pair yours with a checkered shirt and shorts (see below).

How to style it:

Source: Le Fashion

Checks, denim, and a great sandal make for our new weekend wardrobe.

Source: The Hallie Daily

We love this look because of how undone yet pulled together it looks. Paired with a pretty heel, it’s perfect for daytime special occasions.

Source: Musings of a Curvy Lady

Not afraid of bright colors? This blogger owns her saturated look with a bold skirt and shoe topped with a basic white button-down.

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3. The Lightweight Jacket 

Why so versatile?
While we’re all for tank tops and off-the-shoulder silhouettes all season long, having a lightweight jacket is a must—especially when you need shoulder coverage on chilly summer nights. Consider wearing a fun color that pops against neutrals, like this gorgeous dusty rose perforated option. You’ll be surprised how this rosy shade complements so many other colors!

How to style it:

Source: Fabes Fashion

A floral jacket looks so very chic paired with white denim and colorful flats.

Source: Fashernably Late

Summer whites are perfectly paired with this lightweight bomber with cargo pockets—perfect for carrying your cell phone, cash, and lipstick.

Source: The Vogue Spy

Perforated pastels paired with white scallops and sneakers? This outfit is giving us some major style envy!

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4. The Cotton Dress

Why so versatile?
Lightweight, breathable, and worn dressed up or down—opt for a dress in a fun pattern or print that can be worn both with flats or a wedge heel, depending on the look you’re going for. We love this striped midi option that can go from the beach to cocktails in an instant.

How to style it:

Source: My Style Vita

Classic stripes make beating the heat oh-so-stylish. And this blogger gets extra fashion points for rocking a printed button-down on her waist to add visual interest.

Source: Flaunt and Center 

This dress has a breathable fabric plus on-trend silhouette, which equals the most stylish way to beat the heat this summer.

Source: The Sweetest Thing Blog 

Black and white diagonal stripes in a forgiving trapeze cut may just make this our go-to Sunday brunch outfit.

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5. The Flat Leather Sandal 

Why so versatile?
In the summer, it’s all about enjoying the beautiful weather! While we love a great pair of heels, we want be sure footwear still looks cute and works with a variety of outfits—even running around outdoors. This lace-up option is an absolutely perfect budget-friendly find that goes with everything.

How to style it:

Source: Karamode

A few extra straps make these black sandals anything but basic.

Source: Trend Hungry

So we cheated a little bit, but these neutral sandals with block heel add a bit of height and a whole lot of style to your summer shoe selection. Pair them with every single seasonal piece you’ve got. Trust us.

Source: The Chic Burrow

We love the wide ankle straps on these gorgeous summer slip-ons. Perfect for dresses or jean shorts, they’ll be the one item you won’t take off all season long.

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What pieces in your wardrobe do you wear repeatedly during the summer? Share in the comments below!