Today’s post is all about building a casual classic capsule wardrobe for summer.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by your closet or plagued with decision fatigue when you get dressed, it may be time to embrace the concept of a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of essentials that can be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of outfits. It’s a minimalist approach that emphasizes quality over quantity, allowing you to simplify your mornings and elevate your style.
In the summer I often find myself gravitating towards easy, lightweight pieces that effortlessly blend casual comfort with polished sophistication, and but nice enough for a last-minute dinner or plans with a friend.
If you’re looking for a more refined approach to your summer fashion, here’s my guide on what you need to build a casual classic capsule wardrobe plus 40 outfit ideas to get you started.
How to Build a Classic Capsule Wardrobe for Summer
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
Picture this: you walk into your closet, and it’s filled with versatile, well-coordinated pieces so you can easily create a multitude of outfits. A capsule wardrobe is thoughtful curation of essential pieces that you can mix and match to simplify your style choices.
There are a lot of capsule wardrobe ideas out there, but the focus on this post is casual summer clothing that evokes classic style.
This capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of timeless pieces that transcend fleeting trends. Think tailored shorts, short sleeve white tees, and button-down shirts, to name a few. These garments are truly the foundation of a great wardrobe.
However, the beauty of a capsule wardrobe is this: Not only can you mix and match each capsule wardrobe essential with another, but you can also incorporate trendier, fashion-forward items that reflect your personal style.
Here are few easy steps to get you started:
Identify Your Color Palette
When creating a capsule wardrobe, start by choosing a concise color palette. For a classic capsule wardrobe like this, emphasize neutral colors and patterns such as stripes or gingham.
Black, white, and tan are always chic, even in the summer, but don’t forget to add a pop of color to the mix.
Invest in Quality Basics
One of the advantages of a classic capsule wardrobe is that its pieces remain relevant season after season, and won’t feel out of date next summer. After all, there’s a reason why these pieces are considered timeless.
Knowing that, invest in key essentials that suit your style preferences for summer. Maybe that shoes and accessories, or maybe that means a great-fitting dress. Focus on classic cuts that transcend temporary trends and opt for enduring quality. Capsule dressing is no new idea, but it’s at the front of fashion more than ever thanks to the quiet luxury trend.
PRO TIP: Brands like MM LaFleur have perfected the art of the year round capsule wardrobe.
Don’t Forget Accessories
A capsule wardrobe encompasses all pieces of an outfit, not just the clothing. When curating your classic capsule wardrobe for summer, remember to pay attention to shoes and bags. Keep it simple and choose accessories that don’t overpower your outfit. My personal favorites include a belt that that transitions effortlessly from day to night, a silky scarf, and a quality leather bag.
Classic Capsule Wardrobe Essentials
I’ve gathered 18 of my favorite casual yet elevated summer pieces for a concise classic capsule wardrobe:
- White short sleeve t-shirt
- Black and white striped tank top
- Tank top to provide a pop of color
- Striped button-down shirt
- White long sleeved button-down shirt
- White or ivory summer sweater
- White dress (or black dress, depending on your personal style)
- Black tailored shorts
- Light tan tailored shorts
- White straight leg jeans
- Tan wide leg trousers
- Brown sandals or sandals in a neutral color
- Black sandals
- Straw bag
- Black purse
- Brown purse
- Silk scarf
- Brown or black belt (depending on your preferred color)
Classic Capsule Wardrobe Outfit Ideas
These 18 pieces provide countless outfit options, 40 of which I’ve included below. Of course, these are suggestions, so feel free to adapt to your summer lifestyle. For me, these pieces are easy, elevated items and I’ve worn several of these outfits during the day and at night to dinner.
Phew! Can you believe you can create 40 outfits with just 18 pieces? That’s at least one full month of casual chic summer outfits! You can even take this classic summer capsule wardrobe even further by adding extra items from your closet that you already own. Get ready to step into summer with confidence and style!