In this post, I am going to show you how to get the perfect summer capsule wardrobe with only 14 items. These are the essential items you need for the perfect Summer wardrobe that will give you stylish outfits for 2021 and for years to come.
What is a Summer Capsule Wardrobe?
A summer capsule wardrobe is a selection of versatile, essential pieces that are easy to pair together and match with many other outfits in your closet. The idea of a capsule is to collect a few quality, staple items that will make many different outfits and be trendy for years to come. As I mentioned in my Things I Wish I Knew In My Early Twenties, one thing I wish I did earlier is invest in quality staples for my wardrobe—rather than buying a bunch of cheap, trendy items. So in this post, I include a premium version of the item as well as a more affordable amazon variation. I am going to show you how to build the perfect summer capsule wardrobe with pieces that will last you for summers to come.
Items You Need To Build It
Now let’s get into the pieces you need to build your summer capsule wardrobe
1. A Trusty Pair of Denim Shorts
This one goes without saying but it ain’t a summer capsule without a good pair of denim shorts. I mentioned in my beach packing guide that I absolutely love the paperbag short trend. These ones from L’Agence are the best. While they are a bit on the pricy side, I think they are worth every penny. The material is so soft and breathable that you will want to sleep in them. The tie waist is super cute and the loose, high waisted fit is flattering on just about everyone. For those of you who want a cheaper alternative, check out this pair on Amazon. I haven’t personally tried them, but they seem like a close alternative.
2. A White Oxford Shirt
If y’all read my Winter Essentials post, you already know that this is a wardrobe staple that will serve you all year long. While it’s perfect for layering for other seasons, a white button-up just screams summer. It’s perfect for a casual lunch or a day at the office. Tuck it in or tie it up, use it as an outer layer over a dress—it’s the shirt that keeps on giving. Because this is such a classic, essential piece, I do recommend splurging and getting a good one that is going to last you. That’s why I like this R13 one. But if you can’t make it long without spilling coffee or wine on your white articles, it may be better to just get this cheap one on Amazon that you can replace every year.
3. A Blue Oxford Shirt
This is another one that will serve you for every summer occasion. Just like the white oxford shirt, the blue looks great with pretty much everything and generally is a very flattering summery color. (Especially on the blonde-haired blue-eyed girls like myself) but really I think the color looks great on everyone this time of year. Pair with dark denim or white pants or even tie up over a dress. I think they stopped selling the one that I have but R13 has a blue variation of the one above if you want a quality piece that will last. if you’d rather get an affordable version on Amazon, try this one.
4. A White Sleeveless Body Suit
Next in the summer capsule wardrobe is this white sleeveless bodysuit. Effortlessly pair with white or denim shorts and pants in the Spring and Fall. This is a staple that will serve you for years to come. This one is my favorite because (unlike most bodysuits) it actually fits my long torso. Here is a more affordable version on Amazon.
5. White Linen Shorts
These white linen shorts are another summer essential. They are extremely comfy and breathable and are easy to match with the other items on this list. The tie waist is also an addition that I love. Wear with the white or black tank or tee. Here is a similar, cheaper pair on Amazon.
6. White Tee Shirt
Another summer capsule wardrobe essential: a white tee shirt. This is another piece you can also wear in the spring and fall with literally, just about anything. Tie it up over the floral dress below or pair it with either of the shorts. Throw an oxford shirt or jacket over top and you can’t go wrong. Amazon alternative here.
7. Black Tee Shirt
Similar to the white tee, you can’t have a capsule wardrobe without a black tee. It’s a nice way to give contrast to other items (which in the summer, tend to stay on the lighter side of the color spectrum). But it matches well with the white and denim shorts in this article and can be used year round as well. Here is something similar on Amazon.
8. Black Sleeveless Body Suit
Next is another essential that will serve you year-round. This black bodysuit is so easy to style with all of the other items in this post. Swap with the sleeveless white bodysuit to give your outfit a bit more contrast or for an evening look. Here is an Amazon alternative
9. A Navy Patterned Maxi Dress
I got this maxi dress from Amazon and am absolutely obsessed. It’s so light and breathable and easy to pair with some of the other items in this list. Tie a t-shirt over the top, add an oxford shirt or denim jacket. Pair with any of the shoes below and you are all set for a warm summery day.
10. Black Sundress
Next for the summer capsule wardrobe, is a black sundress. I love this one for its flowy bottom and tie straps. Throw an oxford shirt over it, the white blazer, or the denim jacket and you have a complete look. You can pair it with any of the shoes below. Tennis shoes for a more casual look, wedges, or loafers to dress it up. Amazon alternative can be found here.
12. White Loafers
These quilted white loafers are another summer essential that you should add to your closet. A classic item that makes you look bougie and be in style for years to come. They are not only insanely comfortable but are again, easy to match with all of the above items. While I think the TODs (pictured) are worth the investment, if they are a bit out of your price range, you can try these ones. I own both pairs and find I can’t wear the latter pair for too long without getting blisters but both are cute and classy additions to your summer capsule wardrobe.
13. White Tennis Shoes
In the summer, you basically will never see me without these sneakers. After two expensive variations that got dirty beyond repair, I decided to stick with a more affordable pair. These ones are from Steve Madden and are super stylish and comfy and won’t break the bank. I love the thick sole because it gives a bit of added height as well.
14. Nude Wedged Sandals
Y’all know I am a big believer in getting quality items for your wardrobe, especially when they are staples or part of a capsule. But I got these sandals for only $30 and absolutely love them. You can also get them on Amazon. They are not only stylish but insanely comfortable. I wore them around an entire day of walking just after buying them and had no blisters or issues after the fact. Plus they give you an inch or two in added height, which nobody is ever complaining about.
15. A Straw Bag
Last on the list for your summer capsule wardrobe is a trusty straw bag. I think straw just screams summer and the nude colors are so easy to match. I have two straw bags that I really couldn’t decide between because I think each is more suitable for different lifestyles. The first is this straw shoulder bag from J. Crew (I also featured this on my beach packing list). I like this one because the white straw is a little harder to come by, which makes it unique. And the fact that it’s a shoulder bag makes it easy to carry if you are walking around all day. Notably, it’s pretty small so you really can only put your phone and a small wallet in there. On the flip side, I also love this straw tote. You can fit everything you need in it and it has a very classic look to it. Both are great options that will go with all of the items above, it just depends on what you like.
Disclaimer: While this post is not sponsored in any way (I chose and paid for any of the products or services featured), I do make a small commission on some of the affiliate links above. If you chose to purchase any of the items through the links, I appreciate your support in that way.