Put together your own summer capsule wardrobe in a few easy steps. You'll be cool, chic, comfortable and be able to get ready in no time!
Much of the content in this post was taken from my post on winter capsule wardrobes.
I'm totally sold on capsule wardrobes, so I really hope you give them a try! Creating seasonal ones ensures that you don't get bored of your clothes, so that's how I do it.
If you need some inspiration for winter dressing, I have a post on starting a winter capsule wardrobe that you can check out.
WHAT IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE?
A capsule wardrobe is a limited collection of intentionally chosen clothing items that all work together to create many different looks.
Often capsule wardrobes consist of neutral colors and tones. However, you can absolutely incorporate bright colors and patterns if you wish!
WHAT IS A 10 ITEM CAPSULE WARDROBE?
I first heard of this concept from Jennifer L. Scott of The Daily Connoisseur YouTube channel and blog. The idea is to collect 10 "core" pieces of clothing that will be the staples of your outfits for the season. Core pieces could be things like pants, dresses, skirts, blouses and sweaters. On top of the core items, you can have extra items to round out each outfit, like jewellery, cardigans, jackets, shoes, scarves and other accessories.
Every season, you switch it up (especially if you live in Canada where the seasons are drastically different!) and hopefully, since you require less clothing, you can acquire higher quality, timeless pieces that can be used year after year!
The idea isn't to be strict about having a certain number of items. The important thing is to be very intentional with everything in your wardrobe, and actually use all of it! You can have however many items you want.
Each time should have a good fit and be comfortable so you will actually want to wear it!
WHY HAVE A CAPSULE WARDROBE?
There are many benefits to curating and utilizing a capsule wardrobe:
- Save space - A capsule wardrobe contains significantly less clothing than an Americanized wardrobe that is constantly added to and rarely fully used. Using a smaller amount of items will allow for more space in your closet. It might seem quite empty, but you'll find the spacious feel quite refreshing!
- Save money - Because you won't be buying new clothes constantly, you'll save money! And because you're buying less, you can afford higher quality items that can last for years, saving even more money in the long run. Since you'll have a plan for your items, you'll also avoid purchasing things you don't love or that don't fit with everything else in your closet.
- Save time - Having less clothing actually makes it much easier to get dressed in the morning. The more options you have, the harder it is to choose. So having a limited collection of clothes that you love, fit well and are comfortable, makes putting together an outfit fast and easy!
- Reduces stress - A lot of us have stress around our clothing, whether that's how we look, how we feel, or the growing mountain of laundry! Having fewer clothes, and better clothes, is a great way to take much of that stress away, allowing you to look and feel good and be able to confidently keep on top of the laundry.
- Reduces guilt - Have you ever gone into your closet and as you look through the clothes, you feel horrible about all the money you've spent on clothes you never wear, or about clothes that used to fit you and that you wish still did? Getting rid of these items is so freeing! They are not benefiting you by collecting dust in your closet, so donate them and create a wardrobe that doesn't bring you down when you look in it.
HOW TO CREATE A MINIMALIST SUMMER WARDROBE
Planning your minimalist capsule wardrobe is an essential step. The whole point is to put thought into your clothing.
CONSIDER WHERE YOU LIVE
Your climate will be a major factor in planning what kind of clothes you'll want to wear in the summer. Here in Canada, summer days are hot and summer nights can be cool, so I planned for light, breathable summer outfits, with some options for layering in the evenings.
CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
Are you going for a casual, laid-back look or a more chic, elegant style? If you're not sure what you like, it's a good idea to look through Google or Pinterest for some inspiration, or even go shopping and try on some different styles. Chances are, you'll already have some idea of what you like.
CONSIDER YOUR LIFESTYLE
I used to love wearing pencil skirts and heels. I used to wear clothes that looked great but were uncomfortable because I cared more about my appearance than my comfort.
Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, I still value a put-together appearance, but I have to be able to move and be very comfortable in what I'm wearing. I had to consider this when deciding what kinds of clothes would practically work for me.
I found it useful to come up with a few of my favorite outfit "formulas". For the summer months, this was (1) dresses and (2) light pants or jeans with a blouse or t-shirt. I chose these because I wanted comfortable clothing, since I'm a stay-at-home mom, but clothing that was more refined than yoga pants and an activewear top (nothing wrong with that kind of casual outfit, I've just decided it's not the look I want to go for!).
I also planned to get a few light cardigans or jackets for layering in the evenings if I needed some extra warmth.
WRITE DOWN ITEMS
Write your whole capsule wardrobe plan down. This way you can shop much more intentionally. My plan was 6 dresses, 1 pair of pants and 5 t-shirts/blouses. My extras are 2 cardigans, 1 denim jacket, nude loafers, white sneakers and accessories.
LOOK AT WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
Now that you have a plan, it's important to go through your entire closet and find the clothes that you already have that would fit into your capsule. Perhaps you already have a good pair of jeans that you love and wear all the time or a blouse that flatters you and is very comfortable. Think of it as a head start!
CHOOSE A COLOR PALETTE
You want to decide on a color palette, to make sure all of your items will work together. Write down your color plan next to your item plan so you know exactly what you are looking for when you shop.
I was wearing dark colours all winter so decided to go with lighter colors for the summer.
To make things simple I chose a color for my lower half that would go with literally any color or pattern I wanted to wear on top. Light blue skinny jeans! This way I could get any top that I loved and it would match with all my bottoms.
I got a nude cardigan to go over all my blouses and a denim jacket as a layering piece to go over my summer dresses.
All my blouses are bright or light and the dresses are in various colors and patterns, but they all go wonderfully with my denim jacket.
MAKE A LIST BEFORE YOUR SHOP
This is a total game-changer! After you go through and find what items you already have, you have a ready made shopping list- you just need to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe. It's so much easier to shop when you've decided beforehand what you are looking for! You can move quickly through more stores because you can see almost immediately if they have what you're looking for or not, especially when you've decided to look for certain colors.
HOW MANY ITEMS SHOULD BE IN A CAPSULE WARDROBE?
This is really up to you. I have enjoyed using only 12 key pieces this summer season, so I'd highly encourage you to try it. But again, don't feel tied to any number- it's about having the right pieces. Your closet is yours, so you know what you want and what'll work best for you!
SUMMER CAPSULE WARDROBE FOR STAY AT HOME MOMS
Dresses aren't for everyone, but if you're on the fence, give them a try. They can't be beaten when it comes to keeping cool, and they make you feel like a million bucks. Also, they're an outfit all on their own! A-line dresses are a good place to start because they are flattering for every body shape.
It's also nice to have some more casual outfits that you can really play in. That's so much of what we do in the summer as moms! I enjoy a good pair of jeans and dressing them up with a nice blouse or Breton striped t-shirt.
These are comfortable, practical items that will keep you cool in the summer months and also make you feel put together!
Some other light, comfortable and versatile pieces are denim shorts, linen pants, linen shorts, white jeans, white t-shirt and a linen shirt.
MY SUMMER CAPSULE WARDROBE OUTFITS
- Green and white striped dress
- Burgandy floral dress
- Blue floral dress
- Blue and white gingham dress
- Pink dress
- Multicolored floral dress
- Light blue skinny jeans
- Blue/yellow/white striped tee
- Black and white Breton striped tee
- Blue floral blouse
- Light purple floral blouse
- White silk button-down shirt
- White cropped sweater
- Tan cardigan
- Denim jacket
- Nude loafers
- White sneakers
These are just a few examples of ways I put together my items.
My main jacket is my denim jacket, but I also have a tan cardigan that goes well with all my blouses.
I also found a cropped white cardigan to wear over some of my dresses that feels a little fancier to me. It gives more of a skirt and sweater look. I can use my white button-down shirt in a similar way on top of my dresses by tieing it at my waist.
Having a light trench coat on hand for rainy days is a great idea too. Another idea is a leather jacket that coordinates with your chosen color palette.
Again, choosing pieces that coordinate with all of your clothing is essential! I found a pair of nude loafers at a second-hand store and bought a pair of classic white sneakers new (along with some products for protection against water and stains!).
I'm still looking for a neutral sandal for everyday wear, especially on hot days. It's important not to rush these things either because this is about buying what you love and is perfect for your wardrobe!
This is the fun part- gathering items to round out your outfits!
A straw hat and straw tote are summer staples and very functional too.
Some dainty jewellery can really elevate any of these looks as well.
Having a few scarves for cooler days is a fun way to add a little warmth!
Sunglasses- obviously a MUST in summer!
A fun belt or headband can really add life to an outfit as well!
NOT READY TO COMMIT?
You can try out a capsule wardrobe without going and buying all new pieces. Simply choose items from your closet that you love and that go together, keep them in your closet, then put the rest of the clothing in boxes or bags out of sight. This way you can test out using a capsule wardrobe without fully committing and getting rid of the rest of your clothes.
Put a timeline on this and if you enjoy the freedom that comes from using a capsule, commit to donating those bags that you haven't used!
Do you use a capsule wardrobe? What are your tips for curating one? Let me know in the comments below!