How many pieces are in a capsule summer wardrobe? How do you build a summer wardrobe? What to add and what to remove? If you’re looking for answers to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place! Creating your very own Summer Wardrobe just got a whole lot easier thanks to my summer wardrobe list of essentials that will give you a variety of stylish minimalistic outfits guaranteed to turn heads.
Let’s start off with going through the concept of a summer capsule wardrobe. What does that even mean? Well in case you’re not sure, a capsule wardrobe is basically a limited collection of items you love that can easily be mixed and matched to create gorgeous outfits. The result is a compact, yet versatile wardrobe that brings you maximal style with minimal effort.
I have a post about creating a year-round capsule wardrobe that can really help you to understand the basics of what goes into making one, as well as some outfit inspiration.
Now let’s find out what are the absolute essentials to build your very own capsule summer wardrobe.
Capsule Summer Wardrobe Essentials List:
- Basic White Tees
- Vest tops
- White shirt
- Denim Jacket
- Shirt Jacket
- Denim shorts
- Linen Shorts (Skirts)
- Mom jeans
- Wide Leg Pants
- Neutral Dresses
- White Sneakers
- Stylish Sunglasses
- Classy Swimwear
- Hair accessories (Scrunchies, Claw Hair Clips, etc)
- Carry Everything Tote
Before printing this list and going on a shopping spree, I urge you to check what’s in your own summer closet first. You might be surprised to find that you already have some. Maybe not all, but the majority of these items, and so there is no need to purchase new ones.
At the end of the day, the whole idea of curating a capsule wardrobe is to minimize your fashion consumption by styling more of what you already have. And if you are to buy new pieces, then it’s only to invest in staples that you can wear season after season in limitless outfit combinations, for years to come.
Let’s get back to the list.
This post is all about the absolute essentials for your capsule summer wardrobe.
1. Basic White Tees
Everyone has plain white t-shirts in their wardrobe. And if you’re an exception and don’t have any, you should certainly get your hands on some. Basic white tees are the foundation of your summer wardrobe essentials. It’s the item you’ll wear on repeat, with all your favourite bottoms – and you’ll always look stylish and classy. Not just in summer, but all-year round, really. You don’t need to spend a fortune on white t-shirts because this is an item that wears down easily when worn every day, but make sure you go for ones that are made of natural fibres such as cotton, to keep you cool.
2. Vest Tops
Minimal vest tops go perfectly with denim shorts or linen skirts for the days when the sun is up and you’re going out to meet your girlfriends for an ice coffee. You can focus on staying cool in the summer heat, and not on how the barista mispronounced your name… again. Add a pair of Converse trainers for a casual look or tan sandals for more classy vibes.
3. White Shirt
Same as the basic tee, the white shirt is one of those items that you can just grab from your all-year round capsule wardrobe. It’s the staple of wardrobe staples, and you can make so much use of it in the summer. Go for a slightly oversized fit that will keep your body cool and allow for more style combinations. I love stealing my boyfriend’s white shirts and wearing them as dresses!
4. Cotton Bralettes
Can’t think of anything worse than wearing tight, restrictive clothing in the heat That’s where the cotton bralettes come into play. They are the perfect bra replacement and once you re-discover them, there is no coming back.
5. Denim Jacket
You don’t really need a lot of outerwear in your summer must-haves list because you can always dip into your all-year capsule wardrobe if you find yourself in a need of something warmer like a jumper or a hoodie. So just adding the denim jacket here as a ‘can’t-go-wrong’ option for your summer wardrobe ideas.
6. Shirt Jacket
Over the last few seasons, the shirt jackets have been a total saviour for me in the chilly summer evenings as they are such an easy throw-on item that can be carried around in our hand bags. They also go perfectly with everything. My advice is to get shirt jackets in neutral colors such as beige, cream or ivory. Simple enough to combine, but bright enough to go with your summer wardrobe color palette.
7. Denim Shorts
The thought of styling denim shorts makes me so excited about summer!! That’s another one of your summer must-haves that you should add (if you don’t have already) to your summer closet. They are so versatile and easy to wear. You can dress them up or down depending on the occasion. Wear them with a plain basic tee, white sneakers and some statement earrings for a stylish, everyday look, or throw on a white linen shirt, sunglasses, and your favourite platform sandals if you’re feeling chic.
8. Linen Shorts (Skirts)
Everyone needs a white pair of high-waisted linen shorts (or skirt, if you’re a skirt person) for the days when it’s just too hot for denim. They are comfortable, easy to wear, easy to style, and just the best choice to beat the heat whilst looking great!
9. Mom Jeans
Mom jeans are really a seasonless item that can (and should) be added to your summer capsule wardrobe if they’re not already in there. Get your hands on a pair of classy high-waisted Levi’s. You’ll make good use of them at the beginning of the summer season, especially in the mornings and in the evenings. Style them with a cute vest top and slim cat eye sunglasses for a 90s It-Girl vibe.
10. Wide-leg Pants
We need more relaxed and flowy clothes in summer, and the wide-leg pants are the perfect addition to your wardrobe. Stylish, versatile and SO comfy!! What more could you ask for?
11. Neutral Dresses
You can be lounging out on the Bahama Beaches or baking in the British sun, nothing feels better than that gentle breeze hitting you in a beautiful neutral colored dress. I have a whole post about how to style neutral summer dresses the right way. Check it out here.
12. White Sneakers
White sneakers definitely go into my TOP 5 items to pack for a beach holiday (along with classy bikinis, plain white tee, denim shorts, and a shirt.) That’s it. The white sneakers are such a classic choice for summer footwear as they are super versatile, and pair well with all your outfits. My advice – stay away from leather and rubber to keep your feet cool and prevent sweating.
Personally, if I had to pick between sneakers and sandals, I’d always go for sneakers as I just don’t like open toes too much, but for the hot summer days they would make for a more practical footwear. And that’s the reason why I’m including them to the list. Plus they add a more feminine touch to your everyday looks.
14. Stylish Sunglasses
Sunglasses are the girl’s best friend. You just need them! Not only to protect your eyes from those dangerous UV rays, but to elevate all your outfits too! You can either make them classy with a timeless pair of Ray Bans like this or go for a statement piece that will catch everyone’s attention, like this. Your style, your choice!
15. Classy Swimwear
I love bikinis! I mean, who doesn’t? When you think of the bikinis, you naturally think things like beach, sand, waves, relaxing. There are always different trends around summer swimwear, but when it comes to creating a summer capsule wardrobe, it’s a good idea to get yourself a set that you can match with anything.
16. Hair Accessories
Claw hair clips, hair scarves, or colourful scrunchies – pick one or add them all to your summer checklist. Pulling your hair off your face is a relief in the heat, and you can totally make it look cool and stylish by using some chic accessories such as silk scrunchies. By the way, they’re also good for your hair, compared to elastic ties, as they reduce breakage, and come in a wide variety of summer wardrobe colors.
17. Carry Everything Tote
You need a bag to squeeze in all your summer essentials. What essentials?! Sun cream, sunglasses, hair scrunchies, shirt jackets… don’t even get me started! So a good old carry everything tote comes in handy every day. I know, nobody likes carrying heavy bags in the summer. I certainly don’t. So my tip is to replace your leather bag with a canvas tote bag. It’s far more practical and easier to carry around.
This post was all about the absolute essentials for your capsule summer wardrobe.
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