How To Build A Stunning Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Getting dressed in the morning can be a minefield as we struggle with mismatched clothing and bursting wardrobes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by tons of clothes and keep picking the same old boring outfits. When I became a mum, I noticed that I barely wore any clothes in my closet. Knowing where to start and how to make a capsule wardrobe can be daunting. This post will show you how to build and organize your spring-summer capsule wardrobe and polish up your style.

This post will talk you through the first steps you need to follow to start building a closet for summer. If you’re wondering which essential pieces you should be keeping in your wardrobe, click here after reading which bare essentials you need in your capsule wardrobe. Read how to choose a color palette for your closet in this post.

summer capsule wardrobe
two girls on a picnic blanket

Making a summer capsule wardrobe

Before you start building your capsule wardrobe pieces, you will need to put all of your winter items into storage.

But first, let’s consider how we shop for clothes. Most successful capsule wardrobes contain clothes that easily fit into each season. For example, a chambray shirt, vest tops, t-shirts, cardigans, and a dress are examples of clothes that transition well through the seasons.

You will start by taking everything out of your wardrobe and only putting back what you need, what fits well, and what you love.

If you’re struggling to find the motivation to declutter, read this post first!

How to start building your summer capsule wardrobe

  1. Empty your wardrobe

    Take everything out of your wardrobe, including bags, accessories, and shoes. We will be heading towards making a wardrobe that is both winter and summer compatible. I shall be doing a separate post on that at a later date. So, for now, empty everything onto your bed.
    Now is an excellent time to assess clothes that you haven’t worn, that are uncomfortable,  don’t make you feel a million dollars, or anything that you don’t love.
    If it fits any of those categories, donate it immediately!

  2. Give the inside of your closet a good clean

    I like to use a soap and disinfectant solution to give the inside of my closet a fresh smell. Make sure you dry the area well.

  3. Remove anything you will not wear in the summer.

    We will create a capsule wardrobe that can transition from winter to summer and back again. But for now, remove things like chunky jumpers, coats, heavy jackets, and boots. Wash all clothes going into storage, but don’t iron them, as you’ll iron them when you take them out of storage next winter!
    Place all your winter clothing in storage if you have space. If you are short of space, move them to the least most accessible part of your wardrobe, such as the top shelf.
    Make sure to store it in a clean, dry place.

  4. Empty everything onto your bed.

    Now is an excellent time to donate clothes that you haven’t worn, that are uncomfortable,  don’t make you feel a million dollars, or anything that you don’t love. If it fits any of those categories, donate it immediately!

  5. Assess all your summer clothing.

    Go through each item the same way you did with your winter clothes and follow the same process.
    ✔️ Do you love it?
    ✔️ Does it fit?
    ✔️ Does it make you feel fabulous?
    ✔️ Did you wear it last year?
    If not, donate it straight away! Now is the time to get rid of those shocking pink baggy shorts with matching tote bag that you last wore three summers ago!

  6. Follow the steps to choose your capsule wardrobe essentials

    Choose three base colors, for example, black, grey, and navy blue, then select your capsule summer wardrobe essentials in those three colors using the guidelines in this post

  7. Choose one signature color to add to your palette

    Who says capsule wardrobes need to be dull? Choosing one splash of color to add to your summer capsule wardrobe helps to brighten up your basics. If all your clothes follow a similar color palette, you can match all your outfits together all the time. Follow the rules in this post when choosing a splash of color for your closet. Think of a capsule wardrobe like home decor and stick to the four-color rule!

  8. Put back any items you would like to keep

    Make sure any clothing returned to your summer capsule wardrobe fits within the four colors you have chosen. If it doesn’t contain the four chosen colors, donate it! You can build your wardrobe of summer clothes from the clothes you already have, we like to be budget-friendly! You do not need to buy any new clothes unless you have gaps in your essentials.

  9. Assess the gaps

    Assess the gaps in your wardrobe capsule and think about the essential items that would complete your outfits. Write them down in a handy capsule wardrobe list and keep them in your purse, so you buy things you need rather than impulse bargains next time you shop.

  10. Keep your summer capsule wardrobe clutter-free.

    You should now have heaps of space to view your minimalist summer wardrobe, and you should be able to create many more outfits with the clothes you have kept.

Key pieces for a summer capsule wardrobe

  • Maxi dress, this is a versatile piece which can switch from daytime to evening wear very easily and qalso makes a great item for your holiday wardrobe.
  • Shorts, choose wisely for your age, make sure your shorts are classy and comfortable. Pair with a fabulous pair of wedges and a long cardigan for a cool 60’S vibe. Shorts are also great for wearing in the winter with thick woolly tights, boots and a slouchy jumper in the winter and are a good staple for your spring capsule wardrobe.
  • Vest tops, these are my absolute go-to item of clothing in my summer capsule wardrobe and something I really could not live without! A vest top can be worn with skirts, shorts, jeans and can also be used as a base layer in your winter capsule wardrobe.
  • Cardigans, I prefer to keep a cardigan in my winter and summer wardrobe simply because they transition into all seasons well, and are better for layering than a chunky jumper.
  • A denim jacket can be great for popping on top of a day dress for that super casual summer look, it can also work well with a jumper in the autumn months or a short sleeved top in spring. I find that a denim jacket in the current seasons colour is a great staple for summer. Go for a larger size to get the oversized look.
  • Skirts work well at transitioning from day to night wear and are versatile pieces from your summer wardrobe to take on holiday, they are also great for wearing will woolly tights in the autumn months.
  • Day dress. Day dresses are so versatile to have in your summer wardrobe as they really can be worn for most occasions, you can make them grungy or pretty them up depending which shoes and accessories you choose to wear. Day dresses are also a great staple for your winter capsule wardrobe.
  • Cropped jeans, these are stylish worn with a longer shirt or cardigan and a slouchy vest top for a super casual summer look, they also look great in the winter with a pair of Dr Marten boots for an edgy winter look!
  • Linen dress, this is easy to pack for holidays and looks great with an edgy pair of slide sandals, or pumps for a casual look. Team with some wedges for the ultimate soft summer look and you’re ready for dinner!

Remember to shop within your four chosen colours.

  • Stick to this rule when shopping for clothes and you will find shopping so much simpler.
  • Patterns should only include your chosen colours!
  • You will always be able to quickly put an outfit together if you follow these steps to creating a capsule wardrobe, as all your garments will match.

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to build a stay-at-home mom summer capsule wardrobe, read this post

If you’re looking for tips on building a capsule wardrobe for your kids, read this post!

For more capsule wardrobe outfit ideas and inspiration, head over to unfancy.com

FAQ

What is a summer capsule wardrobe?

A summer capsule wardrobe is a closet that contains only a few essential items which work well together to create many stylish outfits. The key to the concept of a capsule wardrobe is to own fewer clothes but to choose clothes within a limited color palette, so each garment matches every other item in your closet.

What should I consider for my basic summer wardrobe?

The first thing to consider when setting up a lady’s summer capsule wardrobe is where you spend most of your time. If you work in an office, your clothes will need to be suitable for the office, but if you’re a stay-at-home mom with small children, your key pieces will lean towards comfort and practicality.
You should consider buying clothes that will transition through all seasons, and you should search for quality items rather than bargain basement clothing. The aim of creating a capsule wardrobe is to wear your clothes until they wear out, rather than because they are no longer in fashion. If this makes you feel uneasy, remember you will only keep clothes you love wearing!

What is it like having a capsule wardrobe?

Capsule wardrobes are fantastic as they enable us to get dressed more quickly. When you get dressed, you are confident in your clothing choices and always look well turned out. You save money on clothes shopping and find it easier to purchase clothes. You have more space in your wardrobe, and you can see what you have to wear without having to rummage.

Which apps are best to organize a capsule wardrobe?

You will find that as you start to streamline your clothes and stay within the four-color rule, your wardrobe will stay organized, and you will not need an app to keep organized. You will have fewer clothes to keep track of, and you will quickly see all your outfits. As long as you are not buying more stuff, your closet should stay neat, tidy, and well organized.

What is in your wardrobe?

Good question! My wardrobe is pretty casual as I am constantly moving with my very active seven-and 11-year-olds. My basic color palette consists of navy, grey and black, and for my pop of color, I chose red.
Vest tops, leggings, and a plaid shirt are what you’ll find me wearing around the house, and I’ll throw on a tunic if I’m popping out. I have a couple of dresses for going out for meals etc. My choice of shoe is either converse, Doc Martens, or wedges. I like to be comfortable and casual as much as I can. I also have a couple of running tops and pants, and work clothes that are uniform but very comfortable. I have one coat for the school playground and one for going out.

Can I build an all-year capsule wardrobe to save money?

Building an all-year-round capsule wardrobe is one of my favorite ways to shop. When choosing items for my summer capsule wardrobe, I select items that naturally transition into autumn and winter. This helps me maintain a minimalist wardrobe all year round.

Can I buy a capsule wardrobe online?

You could buy items for your wardrobe online. However, I would recommend always trying on any clothes you purchase to save the hassle of returning any items and prevent impulse purchases.

How many items should be in a capsule wardrobe?

This will vary depending on your lifestyle; however, many people suggest less than fifty items for a minimum or capsule wardrobe.

Can I make a minimalist summer capsule wardrobe for my little girl?

Building a capsule wardrobe for kids is a great way to keep the kid’s clothes in control and put together some amazing outfits for your little one. Go for it! Find out how to start here