How To Build A Chic Capsule Wardrobe: The Summer Edition

As the weather starts to heat up, many women feel the need to refresh their summer wardrobe.
If you like so many others find yourself looking for answers on how to build a capsule wardrobe for the summer.
Or maybe you just wanna know what a capsule wardrobe is? Well, you've come to the right place. 
In this post, I'll show you how to build a chic capsule wardrobe with stylish and versatile pieces that will see you through the summer season. 
So read on and get inspired!
capsule wardrobe

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what is a capsule wardrobe? 

A capsule wardrobe is a versatile collection of clothing that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of different looks.

Rather than having a closet full of clothes that only work for specific occasions.

A capsule wardrobe allows you to create multiple outfits from a handful of versatile pieces. 

what are the benefits of having a capsule wardrobe?

Learning how to build a capsule wardrobe can save you tons of time later.
Since you won't be out hunting down something to go with your skirt for your dinner party. 
It's about being able to look at your closet and see the clear options and outfits you already know look great together.
No, more wrestling with your wardrobe for hours trying to get piece an outfit  together like some jig saw puzzle when you're already running late.
It will also save you money in the long run since you wont be constantly shopping.
But lastly, It's a great way to reduce fashion waste so overall its a win win. 
summer capsule wardrobe

How to build a capsule wardrobe?

1: Make a list 

Write out a list of the items you need for your summer capsule wardrobe.
Include tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, outerwear and accessories etc.
Dont forget to include some pieces you may already have in your closet.
Contrary to popular belief building a capsule wardrobe does not require you to buy a whole new wardrobe (unless you want to).
building a capsule wardrobe

2: choose a palette

If you have been here a while then you will have noticed I really love white, black and nude neutral shades.
So here is an example of what a color palette for my summer capsule might be.
Making a color palette helps when you're out shopping.
This way you don't get distracted by tons of colors and patterns that wont mix well with your other capsule pieces. (I use a website called "coolors" to make my color palettes)
Remember, you want everything to be able to go well together so you can create endless outfit from a small amount of pieces.
This is especially important when you are traveling.
The more you stick to a color palette the less you will need to pack.

3: Start With The Basics

A capsule wardrobe should include basic pieces that can be included in multiple outfits. 
You want to choose interchangeable pieces without patterns that are classic.
Look for pieces that can be dressed up or down. Like a fitted white t -shirt, or a pair of sharp denim pants. 
Pay attention to the basic items I've chosen below for you to shop.
If you notice they can all be worn together to create tons of outfits.
I've kept my color palette above in mind as well when choosing the pieces here.  

basic tops


basic bottoms


4: add some trendy pieces 

You should Include both classic and trendy pieces.
A capsule wardrobe needs to have some on-trend pieces. This will help you create looks that are both stylish and practical. 
So look up the current trends of the season and see whats new.
See what will fit with your basics and the color palette you've already laid out.
I've pulled a few trending summer pieces (polka dots, bows, stirrups, Bermuda shorts).
But as you can see they are within the palette and they will all go great with the basics I've already selected. 
When it comes to the trendy pieces try not to go with the really "out there" trends  because you want to be able to mix these pieces and hopefully keep it in your capsule for next summer
I love a trend just as much as the next fashion lover (Bows have my heart) but just Remember, trends change with the wind.  

trendy pieces


4: begin to make outfit ideas

What I like to do when building a seasonal capsule is, if I buy new pieces I will keep the tags on. Then I try the pieces on with the other items in my capsule. 
It's important you know these items will lend themselves well to other pieces in the capsule already.
I like to aim to be able to wear each pieces with a few looks for day and night.
For example a dress is best if I can wear it to the beach with flats, with heels out to dinner, or maybe with sneakers and a jean jacket.
Also for a top it should go well with denim shorts as well as a little black skirt
Once I'm sure it works well then I take the tags off, if not I send it back and continue the search.
how to build a capsule wardrobe

4: choosing capsule Accessories 

When it comes to the accessories for a seasonal capsule you want to keep in mind your seasonal palette for the entire year.
Its also wise to keep classic colors in mind for accessories so that they can be used during other seasons and mix well then too. 
For example if you have a choice between a nude colored purse or a bright pink purse.
I'm sure they would both be gorgeous purses but the nude colored one is a better choice especially if you like luxury handbags like me.
For luxury investments  you should try to choose fairly classic colors.
The classic colors are always a safe bet when it comes to luxury items. Trends or bold colors and patterns are not usually safest investment long terms. 
But if you find yourself wearing bright pink all year round it could be a good choice because you will get a lot of use out of it.
This is up to you, just think about it being able to mix well and hold its value.

summer shoes


classic investment bags


capsule wardrobe for summer

5: summer capsule

Outer wear

For a summer capsule wardrobe you are going to look for light weight pieces. Maybe a little knit cardigan or lightweight blazer, or even a leather jacket for those cooler nights.
The best trick with this is if you choose classic colors that go with your color palettes during other seasons yu can wear them them too.
For example a cardigan can be worn under a winter coat as a extra layer if it goes with the dress under. 
So even though this is all preparation for a "summer" capsule we always want to keep in mind the pieces tucked away for winter.
We may not be able to wear our sandals and sheer tops during winter but most likely we can still wear our outer wear so consider your palette and patterns when choosing these pieces. 

summer outer wear


So, there you have it!
My step-by-step guide on how to build a capsule wardrobe for summer. I hope this has been helpful and given you some ideas on how to create your own capsule wardrobe.
If you have any questions or want more tips, shoot me a comment or sign up for my newsletter below.
Oh, and be sure to check out the other Capsule Editions for inspiration on how to build your capsule wardrobes all year round. 
Thanks so much for reading!

This was a post about How to

build a capsule wardrobe. 

By Ryan Starr