How to Build a Summer Capsule Wardrobe

What is a capsule wardrobe?

The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to invest behind a curated selection of pieces which work well together, so they can be combined in a variety of ways, and which can be worn to both formal or casual settings, meaning that your pieces work harder and get you more bang for your buck - with fewer items in your closet.

Why should you create a summer capsule wardrobe?

Nailing the perfect capsule isn't just money saving, though. It's also time saving. Imagine if everything in your closet matched - and you had endless perfect combinations? But the best benefit of all? You will look better, too. Seriously. When you opt for a capsule wardrobe, and invest into fewer, better pieces, all your looks will be timeless, quality, and elevated. In short, you will look better without having to buy a new dress every week.


How to build your summer capsule wardrobe?

1. Invest into quality, not quantity: Every piece in your capsule will be getting a tonne of wear. Investing into good quality pieces that can stand the test of time, and will last you into future seasons, is therefore super important. Make sure you're getting pieces with quality fabrics that will feel comfortable, and fit well, and that have been made with enough craftsmanship to stand a regular washing or dry-cleaning cycle.
2. Pick a palette, and go tonal: Start by deciding on a palette of colours that suit you. The easiest way to do this is to look at your current closet, or recent photos of you, to see which items you gravitate towards. What colours are they in? You will quickly find colours that flatter you, and suit your personality. From there, look for pieces which fit into the same tonal family (e.g. browns or beiges are all tonally similar), or come in complementary shades. This is easier to do if you gravitate towards neutral, or softer colours. Black, white, muted pinks or blues, and shades of grey all work well together, as do beige, brown, green and shades of camel or off-white. If you love bright colours, it's easier to pick a neutral palette, and add a few pieces in bright colours to spice it up (accessories, or layers, that can go with different pieces).
3. Build your basics: Every summer capsule wardrobe needs:
1 pair of comfortable, high-quality jeans (in either blue, black or off-white). This is a great base that goes with virtually everything, and will really elevate your style. Go for a classic cut, such as a lightly flared, high-waisted mom jean.

1 pair of comfortable high-waisted shorts or skirt. Opt for a classic silhouette, and preferably neutral tones (off-white, blue denim, beige, brown or moss green). These will be easy to pair with a range of different tops, as well as bikinis, on holiday.

1 good quality white tee, tank or bodysuit. These will go with practically any bottoms, and if the quality is high, can be dressed up or down.

1 white shirt. These can also double as a light jacket, worn over a dress or tank top - and if made of a light cotton or linen material, will look timeless and elegant for any occasion.

1 comfortable sun dress. This can be colourful, or neutral, as you prefer. Pick a simple shape, that can be dressed up with heels and a blazer for formal occasions, or down with sneakers or sandals for day-time.

1 versatile jacket. An oversized blazer works particularly well for this, as it can be worn formally over slacks, or casually over a dress or mini skirt.

1 pair of wide-leg trousers. These will go wonderfully with your white tee, tank or shirt - no matter what colour you opt for. They can be dressed up or down, with shoes making a huge difference, and can even be worn on holiday with a bikini top and sandals.

A small selection of comfortable, elevated shoes:
    A good pair of cool sneakers which work with jeans, formal trousers, sundresses and everything in between. You will get a lot of wear from these, just make sure to wash them regularly so they stay looking fresh!

    Minimal pointed flats. These flatter most body types, and work well to make any basic outfit look more put-together and cool.

    Strappy sandals that match your dresses, trousers, and shorts. A black, nude, or brown pair will likely work best.

    Hard-working, versatile accessories. This is an easy way to spice-up your capsule, making more interesting looks out of simpler pieces. A small straw handbag, a cool white shawl, and an elegant brown belt are all great options. Small, dainty jewellery can also elevate any simple look.

      4. Add statement pieces: Incorporate a few statement pieces that reflect your personality and add interest to your outfits. This could be a vibrant printed skirt, a straw hat, or a pair of statement earrings.
      5. Avoid too many patterns, or crazy outfit shapes: Anything that is hard to match with the other pieces you have chosen, such as busy prints, or awkwardly shaped tops, will limit the number of times you can wear that garment. The key is to pick pieces that can match with a lot of pieces in your capsule, so they all get a tonne of wear. Block colour/unpatterned pieces and simple, minimalist silhouettes tend to work best for a capsule.
      6. Be mindful of textures: When matching outfits, don't just think about colours. Silhouettes and texture are also key. Outfits look more interesting when you pair a range of complementary textures. For instance - a linen shirt with denim shorts, a straw bag and leather sandals. The mixture of textures will look wonderful together, and make the entire look more interesting. A cotton tee with cotton shorts and plain ballerina flats will likely look less elevated.
      7. When in doubt, keep it simple: The key to easy, elegant dressing is to identify simple, high-quality and well-fitting clothes. If you're struggling with curating your capsule, strip it back to basics, and seek out pieces that fit you really well. Fewer, but better fitting trousers will get much more wear than a whole selection of poorly fitting pieces. If you're Petite, adding dedicated Petite pieces to your capsule will instantly elevate your look, and make you look more put together.


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