A Summer Capsule Wardrobe

June 27, 2019

A Minimal Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Dressing for summer is something I've struggled with the most when choosing clothes to add to my wardrobe. It's taken a couple of years to really understand what works for me and what doesn't. I want to dress like me without compromising my comfort in the summer sun so relaxed silhouettes and natural fabrics feature heavily in my summer styling incorporating lightweight linen and organic cotton with a little pop of colour.

My summer capsule wardrobe is made up of four tops, two bottoms, three dresses, one jumpsuit, one cardigan, two pairs of shoes, a bag and jewellery. Fifteen items seems to be the sweet spot when it comes to putting together my capsule wardrobes. When I pick wisely, I can create dozens of outfit combinations without tiring of the pieces I've picked.

Just like with previous capsule wardrobes, these are the items that I'm most likely to wear over the current season. I can dip into my all-seasons wardrobe if I find myself in need of a piece of knitwear, more practical shoes, or an extra shirt or two. This is the problem I have with capsule wardrobes, I simply don't find restricting myself useful. My capsule wardrobes are created with the intention of getting the most wear out of my seasonal-appropriate clothing; 30+ wears is what I'm aiming for.

If you want to make your wardrobe more sustainable, either by decluttering or adopting a capsule wardrobe approach, I hope by sharing a real-life look at what a smaller wardrobe looks like is useful for you. This is how I plan a seasonal capsule, and you can find examples of previous seasons' capsule wardrobes here. I also share my outfits on Instagram Stories - check the Styling highlight for archived posts. Remember: dressing with less should make your life easier, not harder. Don't impose strict rules about how many clothes you own and when you can wear them.

Just a note: I don't like to link to fast fashion clothing that I've purchased, second-hand or otherwise. Instead I've provided alternatives if you'd like to purchase something similar.


A Minimal Summer Capsule Wardrobe


Cotton Top by MUJI. Made from 100% cotton with an oversized but structured style; this is one of those tops that has become a staple in my wardrobe. I reach for it all year long because it's so easy to wear. This one is close if you want something similar.

Striped Shirt by People Tree (gifted). I like to mix a little colour into my summer capsule and this classic oxford shirt with pink pinstripes is a great option. It has a super relaxed style with a longer hem at the back so it can be worn untucked, tucked, or tied.

Polka Dot Shirt by Dickins & Jones (second-hand). This is a couple of sizes too big giving it a lovely relaxed feel. I wear the collar open and knot it at the front for a chic summer look. Two alternatives if you're on the hunt for a polka dot shirt: this one by Thought or this one by People Tree.

Cropped Shirt by Hobbs (second-hand). Search eBay and you’ll find different colours of the same top. I went for a size I knew would be slightly too big with the idea that tucking it in would make it look smarter while achieving a comfy relaxed style when left untucked.

Broderie Anglaise Shirt by Lighthouse (gifted). Broderie anglaise is very on-trend at the moment, it has such a summery vibe too. I love the grandfather collar and pullover style of this Bayside Shirt, which makes it so easy to style.

Linen Trousers by UNIQLO (second-hand). The first pair of trousers I've owned in years - and I love them! They're comfortable, easy to wear, fit perfectly, and look exactly how I want them to (now I've dyed them and taken in the waistband). They're a linen-cotton mix, which makes them the perfect choice on a hot summer day. I recommend the People Shop Linen Trousers as a better alternative; they're handmade by an independent brand.

Paperbag Skirt by Tricotage. This was a wardrobe investment for me and it was worth every penny. It's such a versatile piece, made from 100% linen, and the length and fit is perfect. The Elizabeth Suzann Bel Skirt is the best alternative, if a little pricey. If you're willing compromise on colour, this skirt is similar (but in blue) and so is this skirt (but in pink).

Sleeveless Dress by MUJI. Since dyeing this black I've found it's become twice as wearable. It can be styled in so many different ways, it's a piece that sees me through the entire year. In summer, I tend to wear it mostly on its own or with a shirt underneath for a little protection from the sun.

Maxi Dress by Filosofia (gifted). I'm excited to wear this new addition to my wardrobe. It's a full length dress made from lightweight, pre-washed linen in a beautiful wheat shade, making it so easy to wear in summer.

Poplin Dress by Everlane. This is such a great piece that's a little more dressy than my other picks. Including it in my capsule means I don't have to compromise on comfort when I've got somewhere fancy to go. I've had this dress for a few years so I gave it a refresh by dyeing it black and now it looks as good as new.

Easy Jumper by Avec Clyde (gifted). This is my favourite piece in my summer capsule; it's easy to wear and super comfortable, fits perfectly, and can be dressed up or down making it such a versatile piece. I've already be wearing it a lot on its own or with tops layered underneath. I can see myself wearing this all year round and I envision it being a workhorse in my wardrobe.

Wrap Cardigan by Dorsu (gifted). I've opted for a singe piece of knitwear for my summer capsule. If the weather turns sour, I'll dip into my all-seasons wardrobe and retrieve a coat. The style of this Dorsu cardigan has a lovely silhouette making it look great whether you tie it at the waste or wear it open without the belt.

Espadrilles by TOMS (gifted). Slip-on espadrilles are such a classic choice for summer footwear and for good reason; they're comfortable, don't look overly casual, and pair well with most outfits.

Cross-Strap Sandals by Po Zu (gifted). These sandals have everything I dream of from footwear. Practical, comfortable, and smart; they work with everything in my summer capsule and make outfits a little dressier.

Handbag by Matt & Nat. My daily essentials are all I can squeeze into this tiny bag but in summer I find I rarely need anything more.

Hoop Earrings by Oh My Clumsy Heart. Jewellery elevates any outfit and in summer I opt for simple studs or minimal hoops, or a slim bar necklace.




Want to see how I'll be styling these items? Follow me on Instagram where I share my outfits.




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