I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a capsule wardrobe for a while, but haven’t quite been able to bite the bullet and actually do it. After organizing this Summer Capsule Wardrobe I’m thinking that maybe I could stick with it. It’s such a happy collection of outfits!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “capsule wardrobes” it is basically is a collection of a specific number of items of clothing that you mix and match to make outfits, and then trade it all out seasonally. Some people are really hard core about it, and literally choose like 39 pieces, down to the scarves, and stick with it. And then when the season changes, they box it up and get out the next season’s stuff. I don’t know if I can commit to such strictness, but I looooove pinning capsule wardrobes (and outfit inspiration in general) to my Outfit Ideas Pinterest board.
And I had so much fun planning this summer capsule wardrobe!
My little summer capsule wardrobe consists of 20 pieces that can be mixed and matched into at least 35 different outfits (even more, if you include the shoes. But the math got too big for my brain… lol). I personally own 17 of these pieces (or really similar versions). The remaining 3 are on my wish list! (Dress, tee, crops). I specifically chose items that are fairly low priced, I think everything is between $10 and $60. I am fairly frugal, so I RARELY splurge on big ticket items. So I think this is a pretty realistic and conservative capsule wardrobe. And modest! That’s pretty important to me.
(shopable images below)
First up, the pineapple tee! Pineapples are really popular this year. They symbolize hospitality and friendship, which I’m all about. This tee is casual enough to wear with the slouchy shorts, but would still be really cute with the coral skirt. Basically, it goes with everything, except the white shorts (which I guess you could still rock at a “White Party” if you get invited to one, haha).
The Embroidered Grey Vneck is one of my favorites. The sleeves are my favorite “cap” length, and the detail makes it a bit more interesting than a plain Vneck. This top goes with the jean shorts, white shorts, coral crops, and coral skirt.
Chambray shirts are a summer staple. They look so beachy and somehow polished at the same time. I think J Crew kills it in the chambray department, you can’t go wrong with either the outlet or regular store. This top goes great with the white shorts, coral crops, and also the coral skirt, and floral skirt for church or date nights. I think people will be tying these at the waist in the front this summer. And even if they don’t, I still will. haha
GINGHAM! If you’ve followed me for longer than a minute, you already know of my love for all things gingham. It took serious restraint to not add 3 more gingham pieces to this capsule (like this swimsuit, this skirt and this other shirt). This gingham shirt fits so well, and is nice and cool for summer. It goes with the denim shorts, white shorts, and coral skirt. And maybe the floral skirt, if you’re gutsy.
This Coral Linen Pocket Vneck is my most favorite recent purchase. I didn’t realize just how much cooler linen was as compared to regular tshirt material. Love Love Love. It does kinda stretch out a bit after its been worn and washed a few times, so don’t size up. The colors on the website are misleading, the “peony” color is actually a neon coral, FYI.
I’ve been on a hunt for the perfect white scoopneck tee for ages. This one works perfectly with my, ahem, religion. The round neck follows the line of my undergarments perfectly, and isn’t too sheer. Its more fitted, so it looks so good tucked in with skirts, but is still flattering worn casually with shorts. It goes with everything, except the white shorts. You know, with the exception of White Party at the Hamptons invitations.
I love this Sailboat tee. It is a casual top, but doesn’t have a sloppy tshirt cut. I have it, and love it. Its linen too, which gives it a classy feel. It goes with the denim shorts, white shorts, coral crops, or coral skirt.
This striped tie-front tee is on my wish list. I had a bit of a mid-life crisis when deciding whether I was allowed to love it or not, because it comes from a store that I previously associated with people my mom’s age, not mine. But I can’t resist much longer. I love the sleeves, and the tie in the front is a fun new detail. It goes with the denim shorts, maybe the white shorts, coral crops, and peach skirt. And maybe the floral skirt, if you’re into mixing patterns.
(shopable images below)
If I can share one clothes related secret with you, its these black lounge shorts. I own 8 pair of these type of shorts (different brands) and wear them almost everyday. They are the perfect summer version of yoga pants or joggers. They are insanely comfortable, and are perfect for busy summer days. Pockets! Stretchy! Modest! I wear mine with vnecks or graphic tees. If you buy them in black, navy and white, I promise you won’t regret it.
Denim bermuda shorts are also a must. These have a bit of stretch and go with everything. Well, they might not go with the chambray shirt. But you’ll get a lot of wear out of them this summer, and probably the next 4-5 summers as well.
These white chino bermuda shorts are a perfect summery short. The cut and fabric make them feel bit more polished, and they’re a nice thickness (not too sheer). They’ll go with most of these tops. Bonus, white shorts make you look tan!
I’ll be honest, I might trade these coral cropped pants out for another pair of chino shorts or another casual skirt in my own closet. It’s too freaking hot to wear pants in Charleston past May. These are really cute though, and having colored pants is a fun option.
Skirts and Dresses
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Casual skirts are the secret to surviving summers in hot climates. That breeze is priceless. I love this coral version, the length and cut is perfection. Great for everyday, great for church. It would even work for tossing it on over your swimsuit. It also comes in mint, which is so tempting.
I love these floral pencil skirts. I have one similar from Loft from a few years ago and it gets lots of wear. This skirt is available from Zulily and Jane and might be sold out, but you can find similar skirts here from Very Jane. Follow me on IG (@thehowtomom), I’ll keep you updated there when I see it in stock.
A good Tshirt dress is another closet must. It can be tricky to find them the right length, so you might want to order this one in “tall”. Looks so cute with sandals for church, or Converse for taking the kids to the park.
I adore this navy embroidered dress, and hope to buy it soon. I cannot resist navy and coral (obviously!). I love the cut of the sleeves, and the side slits. Its listed as a coverup, but I would totally wear this to church too.
(shopable images below)
Everyone needs a pair of white Converse. I love this slip-on style. Cute with denim shorts or a tshirt dress. They’ll get a lot of wear, I promise.
I’m fairly confident that these strappy Crocs wedge sandals will be your new favorite wedges. They are insanely comfortable, and go with so much! The footbed is squishy and the leather is soft.
The gold flat sandals can be easily dressed up or down. I like the gold. And the silver.
If you buy one new pair of shoes this summer, let it be these Birkenstocks. Love love love. If you follow me on IG, you already know of my love for them, and I’ve posted about them here on the blog too. The footbed is supportive with a good amount of squish, and they’re super lightweight, so your feet won’t get tired. I find myself wearing them almost everyday.
There you have it friends, my little summer capsule wardrobe. If you wanted to add a few more pieces, I would suggest a few more of those knit shorts, and a couple more plain v-necks or graphic tees.
I mixed and matched a few outfits below so you could see some of your options. Go easy on me, my photoshop skillz are a bit lacking.
How many of these pieces do you already own? Oh, you can also check out my Casual Modest Young Mom outfit post here. Would you like to see more outfit posts? More capsule wardrobe ideas? Let me know here or on IG (@thehowtomom)!