The Ultimate Guide to Summer Finds Under $40

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While there’s no denying that I have a deep love for shopping, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of finding a bargain. Over the years, my style has evolved to incorporate a mix of both high and low pieces. Some of my wardrobe staples are from smaller, more high-end brands while others are basics from affordable shops. I have found that the combo can create really rich and well-rounded looks—the key is to browse thoroughly so you find the right picks.

Luckily, you don’t have to go digging to find affordable yet ultra-chic pieces that will serve you well this summer. Here, I’ve rounded up a handful of summer style finds that I’m currently loving and eyeing. These picks are from Walmart and Target, two retailers that I’d highly suggest you consider when shopping on a budget.

And before you tell yourself that you’re not someone who shops at either of these places, just trust me when I say they both have sooooo many hidden gems. I always get compliments on my outfits when I wear pieces from both retailers, and the best part is that they don’t break the bank!

From flattering swimwear and cute cover-ups to everyday dresses and beach accessories, consider this your affordable summer style guide.

Affordable Summer Style Picks

Everyday Dresses

When dressing for summer weather there is truly no better pick than a simple sun dress. I love that because dresses are just one piece, they take the guess work out of getting ready in the morning. Another bonus is that dresses are comfortable and lightweight, making them ideal for hot and humid days. Not to mention that they also transition seamlessly from day to night.

Whether you opt for a strapless maxi dress (this one is adorable!) or you prefer shorter linen varieties, all of the options below would pair perfectly with sandals or heels.

Black Dresses

I know that the summer season typically calls for lighter and brighter colors, but a little black dress is a year-round staple. When shopping on a tighter budget, I always suggest choosing neutral pieces, which can help things look a bit more polished. This doesn’t mean you have to shy away from prints or patterns, but just keep in mind that the basic colors will likely serve you for a longer period of time.

The dress I’m wearing below has already been on high rotation this year, and it looks and feels so much more expensive than it is ($29!) When styled with strappy gold heels and an understated clutch, this makes for a classic wedding guest or date night outfit.

Shorts and Tanks

Looking for a simple everyday outfit idea? Styling a basic tank with a pair of shorts will never get old, and the combo can be worn for a variety of occasions. Whether you’re grabbing coffee with a friend or you’re hanging out at home, shorts will ensure that you stay cool (and cozy!)

I’m loving this two-piece linen set for more casual outings. I’d style them with white sandals, a cute handbag, and some dainty gold jewelry. Oh, and if you want to wear shorts but need to look a bit more elevated, opt for trouser shorts, like these.

Swimwear and Cover-Ups

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while now, you likely know that I’m a big fan of the swimwear brand Hunza G (which is definitely on the pricier side). However, I’m happy to report that I also have several swimsuits from Walmart and Target that have proven to be winners. This one in particular is a recent fave!

When it comes to cover-ups, I don’t love to spend a ton of money. They aren’t pieces that you wear very often so I find that this is a good place to save a bit and opt for picks that are more affordable. I have been a big fan of the linen pant and crochet-style cover-up trends this season, so I’m sharing several finds below!

Summer Tops

Style any of these breezy tops with a pair of jeans, linen pants, or shorts and you’ll have a warm weather-friendly look. You could wear any of these to brunch with the gals, on a date night out, or to a backyard party.

I love that all of these picks can be worn well into the fall months since they’re easy to layer. Tip: Smocked detailing is very much in right now, so don’t be afraid to lean into that trend!

Shoes and Accessories

Last but not least, if there’s one area that’s worth saving in, I’d argue that it’s in the shoe and accessory department. Aside from investing in a comfortable pair of heels and some timeless jewelry, I think it’s so much fun to switch up your look with more attainable pieces in this category.

Sandals are obviously the shoe of choice during the summer months, and as always, I’d recommend going with nude, white, black, or even gold picks so you can get the most wear out of them.

Also, beach bags and raffia-style totes are great to mix in with more elevated pieces (like I did in the photo below.) They offer a more summery feel to otherwise plain outfits—and they’re practical to use for multiple occasions.

I hope this post helped you find some affordable summer pieces to add to your wardrobe! Where are your favorite places to shop on a budget? Let me know in the comment section below.

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