How to Create a Summer Capsule Wardrobe: The Ultimate Guide
Summer is a time for fun and fashion! Want to know how to simply create a summer capsule wardrobe? Read on for some simple ideas.
By creating a summer capsule wardrobe, you are making a wise decision for both your closet and your wallet. Capsule wardrobes center around versatile clothing items that can be worn in multiple ways. With just a few key pieces, you’ll have everything you need to look great all season long.
The goal of this article is to show you how to build your wardrobe so that you always enjoy the process of creating outfits. We’ll do this by discussing colors, fabrics, quality, quantity, and function. By understanding all these elements, you’ll be able to see the big picture of your closet.
In this article, we’ll focus on colors, and fabrics and finish with clothes, shoes, and accessory examples so you can better understand where to start your fashion journey.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of essential pieces of clothing, shoes, and accessories that you can mix and match to create multiple outfits. The idea is to have fewer clothes but higher quality items that are more versatile, timeless, and easier to maintain.
How to choose colors for a summer capsule wardrobe?
Most of your clothing should be base neutral colors that can be combined easily. Patterns and brighter colors are for staple pieces which you should have fewer of.
The first task is to choose basic neutral colors:
- Your personal choice plays a role here, that is, which colors emphasize the natural beauty of your skin and eyes. Add different colors to the face and you will understand immediately.
- Seasonality is also important when choosing colors. Choose lighter and fresher colors in the summer than in the cold season. You can try to replicate the colors you see in nature and change them with the changing seasons. This way you can try out a fairly wide color palette.
- There are also some trendy colors. We pay less attention here, as trendy colors can be replicated in small staple items like accessories and the like.
In this article, we are talking about the summer capsule wardrobe. We are starting with the most common basic colors suitable for the warmer season – whites and browns and their various shades. We will also add some warm colors – pink and yellow, and some cold colors – blue and green, also in various shades.
The whole secret of an aesthetic outfit is to learn to match these colors:
- Choose one or two base colors.
- The remaining colors should create either a harmonious combination or be in one color but in several different tones.
- In total, your outfit should have a maximum of three colors. For example, two neutrals and then one color. Or one neutral and a combination of two more colors.
How to choose fabrics for a summer capsule wardrobe?
Fabrics play an important role in the design of clothes. Fabrics are what give clothing its shape, texture, and breathability.
In the summer season, it’s best to choose light fabrics like cotton, linen, viscose, or silk – all of which will keep you cool and comfortable throughout the day.
Finally, when selecting fabrics for your summer capsule wardrobe, keep in mind that certain materials may require special care. For instance, silk needs special detergents whereas cotton is easy to clean and maintain. So, when choosing fabrics for a summer capsule wardrobe, consider the long-term care that might be required.
Now that you know how to choose colors and fabrics for a summer capsule wardrobe, let’s look at some examples of clothing items and accessories that can help you create versatile outfits.
What tops to choose for a summer capsule wardrobe?
We will begin by discussing white cotton shirts. Be sure to take note of varying types of tailoring such as sleeve shapes and lengths, an accentuated waist, various collars, and cropped shirt styles.
When picking a white shirt, remember that it should be different than the ones you already own. If you’re just starting to put together a summer capsule wardrobe, one pair of white cotton shirts is plenty.
- Acne Studios: White Cotton-Poplin Shirt
- Frankie Shop: Uma Cropped White Cotton-Poplin Shirt
- Adam Lippes: Ruffled White Cotton-Poplin Shirt
- Alexander McQueen: Piqué-Trimmed White Cotton-Poplin Shirt
Knitted tops add a touch of elegance to any outfit, and can be easily dressed up or down. With so many options, there is guaranteed to be a style that will fit your body type and look flattering.
In the below example, we chose different types of sleeveless or short-sleeved knitted tops.
- Arch4: New Apple Ford Ribbed Silk-Cashmere-Blend Beige Tank
- The Row: Desio Ribbed Silk Beige Turtleneck Top
- Theory: Gray Cashmere Sweater
- Balmain: Button-Embellished Ribbed-Knit White Top
For our third example, we chose classier tops that would work well in a summer capsule wardrobe. Options include a linen cropped top, also a top with gorgeous sleeves, an off-shoulder top, and a neck and open-back top. Try experimenting with different colors, from white to various shades of beige.
- Le Kasha: Nagaa Cropped Organic Beige Linen Top
- Veronica Beard: Briana Cotton-Jersey and Cotton-Blend Broderie Anglaise White Top
- Gauchere: Backless Draped Woven Halterneck Sand Top
- Safiyaa: Off-Shoulder Twist-Front Ivory Crepe Top
If want more choices in your wardrobe, buy a silky camisole and different types of t-shirts. With t-shirts, you can experiment with the fit, for example, tighter or looser styles.
If you’ve never created a capsule wardrobe before, all you need for summer is one or two t-shirts.
- Alexander Wang: Oversized Printed White Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
- Dion Lee: Paneled Ribbed Ivory Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
- Re/Done: Classic White Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
- Vince: Draped Silk-Satin Neutral Camisole
What blazers and outwear pieces to choose for a summer capsule wardrobe?
For a summer blazer, opt for lighter materials like silk, cotton, or linen. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and cuts – from double-breasted to oversized.
- Brioni: Barathea Satin-Trimmed White Wool Blazer
- By Malene Birger: Rosettan Cotton-Blend Beige Blazer
- Fortela: Bobbie Double-Breasted Camel Woven Blazer
- Stella McCartney: Herringbone Blush Wool Blazer
We have also selected a few outerwear pieces that are ideal for summer days when the weather isn’t as warm as usual. A white sweater will go with plenty of different tops and dresses. We’ve also included a denim jacket, a leather jacket, and a parka for rainy days.
- Frame: Cropped Crochet-Knit Off-White Cardigan
- Saint Laurent: White Denim Jacket
- Loewe: Cropped Hooded Cotton-Twill Beige Parka
- Vince: Brown Leather Jacket
What pants, shorts, skirts, and dresses to choose for a summer capsule wardrobe?
In the example below, we illustrated white and pastel-colored wide-leg pants. This style of pants always appears elegant and can be matched with a variety of blouses and shoes, particularly heels.
- Roksanda: Pleated Cady Straight-Leg Ivory Pants
- Stella McCartney: Cropped Light Blue Pants
- Bouguessa: Helena Pleated Crepe Wide-Leg Pants
- Valentino: Silk-Crepe Wide-Leg White Pants
Flared pants are also very stylish. not only stylish and come in a variety of colors to match any outfit. When selecting pants, it’s always a good idea to try out at least two different fit styles first so you know what your preferences are.
We have also selected different types of shorts. The first is high-waisted, and the second is loose-fitting.
- Akris: Faralde Crepe Light Blue Flared Pants
- Akris: Farid Cotton-Blend Twill Gray Flared Pants
- Zeus + Dione: Dionysus Pleated Sand Linen Shorts
- Rime Arodaky: Dua Scalloped Broderie Grain de Poudre White Shorts
A summer wardrobe would not be complete without skirts and dresses. We show a high-waist flared skirt with a pencil skirt that has two completely different looks. The fabrics should be light, soft colors, and maybe with some floral motifs.
This also applies to dresses; one could be solid colored while the other is floral prints.
- Rosie Assoulin: Flower-Print Cotton-Canvas White Maxi Skirt
- Safiyaa: Hokoku Stretch-Crepe Baby Pink Skirt
- Burberry: Belted Cotton-Jacquard Beige Mini Shirt Dress
- Adam Lippes: Floral-Print Cotton-Blend Twill White Midi Dress
How to choose shoes for a summer capsule wardrobe?
We recommend off-white or beige shoes, as they always visually elongate the leg and look effortlessly elegant. We chose two sandals with heels, both with open toes, one embellished with crystals and suitable for a more elegant outfit, and the other for daytime.
We also chose pumps with low heels and mules without heels. So, you have shoes for all occasions.
- Gianvito Rossi: 105 Crystal-Embellished Beige Leather Sandals
- Saint Laurent: Tribute Woven Beige Leather Sandals
- Malone Souliers: Maisie Cord-Trimmed Cream Leather Mules
- Christian Louboutin: So Kate 70 Beige Leather Slingback Pumps
How to choose accessories for a summer capsule wardrobe?
The list of essential accessories for your summer capsule wardrobe includes one timeless handbag, a belt, a straw hat, and sunglasses.
- Saint Laurent: Le 5 à 7 Cream Leather Shoulder Bag
- Gucci: Blondie Leather Belt
- Fendi: Fendigraphy Oversized Square-Framed Black Acetate Sunglasses
- Gigi Burris: Mabel Braid-Trimmed Straw Sunhat
Swimwear is a key element of any great summer. We’ve illustrated a beach dress, bikini, swimsuit, and flip-flops below for your summer capsule wardrobe. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Miguelina: Delaney Belted Crocheted Cotton and Linen White Mini Dress
- Matteau: The Wrap Plunge White Swimsuit
- The Row: Ginza Leather and Velvet Platform Off-White Flip Flops
- Zimmermann: Jude Ruffled Floral-Print Off-White Triangle Bikini
Summer and sports are inseparable elements. Make sure you have the right gear for the physical activity you’ll be doing. And comfortable sneakers.
- We Norwegians: Voss Striped Merino Wool-Blend Cream Jacket
- Girlfriend Collective: Paloma Stretch Recycled Beige Sports Bra
- Alexander McQueen: Sprint Runner Glittered Mesh and Leather Exaggerated-Sole White Sneakers
- We Norwegians: Voss Color-Block Merino Wool-Blend Sand Leggings
Creating a summer capsule wardrobe is not only easy but also an enjoyable experience. With the right items and accessories, you can create multiple outfits to wear throughout the season with minimal effort!
You now know which colors work best for a summer capsule wardrobe, how to mix and match them, and the types of fabrics that are most comfortable in warm weather.
With this guide, you now have all the essentials for your perfect summer capsule wardrobe! Enjoy creating your unique looks, and don’t forget to accessorize to complete the look.
Featured image by Merve Safa.