Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Updated May 2, 2022

Creating a summer capsule wardrobe is easy. Start with your essentials, and add pops of color and pattern. Then wear on repeat. This post will show you how.

Photo by Avi Richards

Updated May 4, 2022

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Running at full speed, I could taste how cool the pool was going to feel. It was one of those scorching 110 degrees Inland Empire summer days. A day when the news station would fry an egg on the sidewalk as the nightly lead-in story. HOT. In the background, I could hear a faint scream of “No don’t jump in!!! You don’t have your floaties on yet!”

It was too late, I went in with a splash. Problem—I didn’t know how to swim. I was soooo excited to get into the pool that I forgot this detail. My mom was there, she was the one screaming. She came in after me, and all was good. Except for the mini-heartie I caused my mother.

You might feel the same way about your summer wardrobe. You’re in the deep end, splashing around, trying to figure out what you need and how to put it all together. I’m here to throw you a style lifeline. Today we are going to take your summer essentials from last week’s blog and flesh it out for a full summer capsule wardrobe.

What should be in a summer capsule wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe by definition is a series of essential items in your wardrobe that will never go out of style. See my blog post on a classic capsule wardrobe for a more detailed explanation. I think that each season has it’s own capsule, that includes summer.

A summer capsule should include the things you like to wear. Dresses, shorts, skirts, pants—you decide. The key is that they all go together so that getting dresses doesn’t involve much thought.

Once you have your essentials in place, you need to determine your color palette of 2-3 colors, add in pattern, solids, and accessories in these colors. That is your summer capsule wardrobe.

How many pieces are in a summer capsule?

I do not subscribe to the belief that a capsule has to have a certain number of items. It depends on your lifestyle, budget and closet space. If a capsule gets too large, it becomes unruly and it’s hard to manage and erases all the good that a capsule wardrobe does. So you need to find your middle ground and limit things as you see fit. Remember you can have more than one capsule. You can have a vacation, work, and so on capsule and these can all be summer clothes.

How do you build a capsule wardrobe?

I’m going to answer this question visually. As I explained above, you start with your essentials and build from there. Take a look below.

Start with your summer essentials

Your summer essentials are neutral basics that are the backbone of your full summer capsule wardrobe. Below are my top 10 summer essentials for your capsule.

Adding in color and flair

Now it’s time to add in some color and pattern. The selected items below all come from a pink, blue, green color palette and everything works well not only with the other items in the flair section, but the summer essentials shown above.

Getting dressed this summer following a similar template will make getting dressed easy, will save you time and money. No more shopping all the colors of the rainbow, just your determined color pallet.

Let me know in the comments, will you be building a summer capsule wardrobe this year?





I show women over 50 how to get noticed, stay relevant, and be connected through their wardrobe. Getting dressed is something you have to do each day, why not make it fun.



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