It’s that time again — summer is finally HERE which means it’s time to bust out a new seasonal capsule wardrobe! If you’ve been following along over the past year or two, you’ve probably seen another capsule or twelve on the blog [peep ’em all here] and if you’re new here, you may be thinking “what the WHAT? a summer capsule wardrobe? girlfriend, speak English please.” I get it, I’ve been there – a clueless girl about what in the world a capsule wardrobe is. Have no fear friend, a capsule wardrobe explanation is here!
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
If you aren’t familiar with what a capsule wardrobe is, I’ll quickly explain – a capsule wardrobe is where you take several pieces (15-20) that all work together within your wardrobe to interchange and get creative with. The point behind a capsule wardrobe is to minimize the number of items you have on hand while maximizing the number of ways you can wear each piece. From a creativity standpoint, it’s awesome – a capsule wardrobe will force you to be more intentional about making sure all items work together in multiple ways, which really will make you feel like you have a closet full of options with just a few pieces! This not only creates a lot less headache and time in the morning when deciding what to wear but also saves you money as well. I think we can agree that we like saving on all of the above.
How to Build a Summer Capsule Wardrobe
For our summer capsule wardrobe, we went with a light and bright color scheme because nothing says “Summer Ready” quite like easy breezy pieces. For this capsule, we included five bottoms that will work for both work and play, six tops to mix and match with ’em, two lightweight must-have summer dresses, 4 pairs of shoes and two accessories to finish the looks! With just 24 items we were able to come up with 70+ different looks for both work and play. Curious what pieces we chose for our capsule? Here you have em’!
Meet the Pieces in the Summer Capsule Wardrobe
- Striped Pocket Tank Top [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] A classic striped top is a closet must-have — I’ve been wearing these for years and turn to them season after season.
- Luxe V-Neck Tee [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] You can’t go wrong with a basic white tee. These are a LIY favorite — easy on the eyes, even easier on the wallet.
- V-Neck Blouse [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] From work to play, this top is slightly on the dressy side which makes it a perfect option for the office [or a zoom call] to GNO or date nights!
- Crinkle Split Neck Top [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] Another great option to take from work to play. If you’ve followed along for any length of time, you probably already know my love for Gibson runs deep and this top is no exception.
- Queen of the Pool Graphic Tee [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] This top speaks for itself. Graphic tees are a summer staple and this one was made for having fun in the sun.
- Tie Dye Lace-Up Hoodie [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] The tie dye trend this season is to dye for [see what I did there? 😉 ] and this lightweight hoodie keeps the good vibes rolling on cool summer nights!
- Canvas Utility Jacket [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] Kenny Chesney lied when he said everything gets hotter when the sun goes down. If you live anywhere with cool summer evenings, a lightweight jacket is a must.
- Distressed Jean Jacket [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] A jean jacket is a year-round wardrobe staple. I’ve been wearing this one on repeat since it arrived. See it styled an addition 20+ ways here. I’m not kidding when I say it’s a versatile one, friends.
- Batik Kimono [Fit Tip: runs large, wearing xs/small] A kimono is a great option when it comes to lightweight layering. I love this one for days when I want an extra layer without the extra heat.
Dresses & Skirts
- Maxi Dress [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] My favorite maxi dress for summer! Super comfortable and available in both regular and petite sizing. I am wearing in size small regular, however, at 5’4 I should have gone for the petite version.
- Sandwashed Tee Dress [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] The most comfortable t-shirt dress — seriously, it could double as nightgown. Insanely soft and great for hot days. Or any day you can’t get yourself to put on a pair of pants.
- Cargo Shift Skirt [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing size 2] Introducing the skirt I didn’t know I needed in my life. Dress it up, dress it down. It’s cute, it’s comfortable, it can be styled a TON of different ways. What more could a gal ask for?
- Belted Printed Jumpsuit [Fit Tip: true to size] Jump, jump, jump around in this belted jumpsuit. It’s such an easy outfit to throw on and comfortable for alllll the occasions.
- White Crop Skinny Jeans [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing size 2] One of my favorite pair of white jeans of all time. They’re not sheer and have a little bit of stretch, because we can all agree comfort is key.
- Navy Tie-Waist Ankle Pant [Fit Tip: true to size, wearing in small] These pants have all the comfort of sweats with a cuteness-level of “real” pants. Dress ’em up, dress ’em down — the world is your oyster.
- Girlfriend Denim with Double Roll Cuff [Fit Tip: size down if in between] Sayonara skinny jeans, see ya never. With the heat of summer, I’m all about non-restrictive denim. This girlfriend style is quickly becoming one of my favorites with a little extra room to move & groove.
- Cut Off Denim Shorts [Fit Tip: size up if in between] Finding the perfect pair of denim shorts can be similar to hunting for a unicorn. But good news: we found the unicorn shorts. I’ve been turning to these over and over again this season. They’re comfortable and flattering without making Daisy Duke too proud.
- Linen Shorts [Fit Tip: true to size] I love an outfit that feels like PJs. And these shorts do just that, folks. ‘Nough said.
- Platform Sandal [Fit Tip: true to size] I’M IN LOVE AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT. These platform sandals are beyond comfortable and pair well with just about any outfit. I’ve been slipping my feet into them a LOT since the day they walked into my life.
- Shoreline Slip-On Sneaker [Fit Tip: true to size] It would have been impossible not to include my beloved Converse for this capsule wardrobe. I wear these more than almost any other shoe in my closet as I feel like they go with nearly everything! I find them true to size!
- Miller Flip Flop Sandal [Fit Tip: size up .5] Okay okay, I know I’ve been claiming to wear nearly every shoe on repeat. Hear me out: if you’re going to purchase ONE quality pair of flops, make it these. I’ve been floppin’ and rockin’ in them ever since I took the Miller plunge.
- Espadrille Wedge Sandal [Fit Tip: true to size] If you’re looking for a good standard wedge sandal, these are a great option. Classic, comfortable, and an LIY Tribe favorite season after season!
- Vegan Leather Tote With Trim: We get it, you have a lot of stuff. And you need a great tote to carry it all. I’ve been turning to Sole Society handbags for years and I’ll be the first to say they do not disappoint, friends.
- Faux Leather Crossbody Bag: For the days you’re only packing the essentials, a cute crossbody is a great option– so your hands are free to hold important things. Things like a summer cocktail [or two] instead.
The Summer Capsule Wardrobe *Drumroll Please*
First up — 14 ways to style my favorite White Crop Skinny Jeans:
Next up — the Navy Ankle Pants in action:
Moving on to Cut Off Denim Shorts:
Annnnd now introducing Linen Shorts:
Last, but certainly not least — Dresses & Skirts:
Whew! And that’s a wrap, friends. If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around! You can shop all of the pieces included in the Summer Capsule below:
Founder and creator of LIY, Erin turned her dream of a hobby blog into a full-time career which she now runs alongside the LIY team! When not in front of her computer screen [with a La Croix or wine in hand] or in front of a mirror taking mirror selfies, you can find Erin spending time on the water, cuddled up with her two pups and husband most likely watching the latest Shark Tank episode, or getting lost in an easy beach read.