With summer officially kicking off tomorrow (#YAY!), I’ve been feeling so refreshed when it comes to fashion. You can probably tell from my Instagram, but it’s HOT in Dallas and summer style is in full swing. But instead of going out and buying all the things this summer, I’m trying really hard to be more mindful when it comes to consuming. Maybe it’s just me going through a phase, but it’s actually been SO much fun working with what I have in my closet. I did pick up a few new items but for the most part, I’ve been kinda remixing what I already have. Because let’s face it, I have a whole freaking closet of clothes – do I really need more?
Since the response to y’all on me mixing up previously owned items has been so freaking great, I thought I’d do a whole blog post about it. Me trying to recycle what I own has got me thinking about summer essentials and the list of items you really need for the season. I noticed that 1. it’s not THAT many things and 2. I actually already owned most of these items – so you probably do, too!
If you’re looking for a way to feel cute all summer long, go through your closet to see if you have the items below. Maybe you can live without a few things or maybe you need a few other options (especially if you work in a conservative office because this is very much for casual days aka my life as someone who doesn’t have a corporate job – but lemme know if you’d want something like this for the office, too). But overall, this list should serve most people!
I’ll be sharing a bunch of ways to style these items in different ways on my Stories throughout the next couple weeks, so be sure to tune in there. Hope y’all think this is as much fun as I do!
Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials
I’ve organized each item by where on the body it fits so that it’s easier to go through. To make things REALLY easy on yourself, you could even dedicate a little portion of your closet to only items on this list. How easy would that make getting dressed though?! I’ve broken things down for you into 4 main categories: tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories. And for each item, I’ll be recommending my suggestions.
Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: Tops
First up, let’s talk about essential tops that’ll make up the foundation for your capsule summer wardrobe. We’ve got a few basic essentials and then I’m suggesting a few fun trendier options as well.
1. White T-Shirt
If you don’t have a white Tee that you absolutely love, get one. They’re just such a no-brainer and great go-to when you just don’t feel like trying or thinking honestly. You can wear it alone, front-tucked into bottoms, or layered. I personally like to have a few options when it comes to white tees, but I also wear casual clothes every day. Personally, I have three different short-sleeve styles that I wear all the time: my fitted-ish crew-neck, loose-fitting scoop neck, and relaxed v-neck.
For more outfit inspiration for styling a simple white tee, check out The Outfit Guide with recent outfits where I’ve styled a white tee.
2. Chambray Shirt
Everyone should have at least one good chambray shirt in their closet. I love to get creative with styling my chambray top – I’m always putting together different looks with mine. They’re great to layer with (over a cami), paired with white denim, or to tie at your waist to make a dress look like a skirt. This J.Crew one is my favorite and has been for years. The color of the denim makes it easy to wear for every season.
4. Denim Jacket
Because #duh. I’d argue this is the only jacket you need all summer actually! I wear my denim jacket all the freaking time and love how it can complete an outfit. I like pairing mine with a contrasting denim wash or white jeans, but also love throwing it over a strappy summer dress too! Honestly, a denim jacket is just a year-round closet essential!
Every Summer, I love to pick up a few new cute tops and this one caught my eye immediately for a few reasons. First of all, I’m obsessed with all things lilac and I loved this little bow and the eyelet detailing on the hem.
Next up: 2-3 fun, Statement Tops. So, of course, I’m all for the classics, but I’ll admit that every Summer I love to get a few, new (and often trendy!) fun tops for dinner and going out on weekends. I love finding new tops that I can pair with my classic items – like pairing a new top with my go-to white jeans or fave pair of denim shorts!
Something about any sort of chambray always catches my eye – especially when it comes to cute summer tops. I just love how it looks with white denim and/or mixed with a darker wash of denim too. Plus, it’s such a great neutral base for when I want to wear a statement earring, shoe, or accessory!
6. Neutral Bodysuit/Cami
To layer under things or for really hot days. Or I sometimes I wear mine with high-waisted shorts and skirts as well – especially when paired with a colorful or printed material. In that case, I’ll let the bottoms be the hero of the outfit and just pair it with a cami like this one to ‘complete’ the loo. I also think it’s cute to wair tops like this with high-waisted jeans and a statement belt and/or earrings.
During the Summertime, I love a good white-on-white combo! And I especially love pairing my all white looks with cognac and gold accessories. I’ve been wearing this little eyelet tank on repeat so far this Summer, if you haven’t already noticed!
Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: Bottoms
When it comes to Summer go-to bottoms, I’d say I usually end up circulating a few favorites all summer. Of course, you’ve got your year-round pair of skinny jeans but I usually have a few lighter-weight or cropped pairs of pants that I wear specifically in the Summer. Plus, I like to add a new, fresh pair of skinnies to my collection each Summer season.
Jeans and a tee are such a go-to for me since I work from home and am usually wearing casual attire. Since I’m pretty short (5′ 4″), I’m always thankful when I’m able to find a good pair of cropped jeans that I don’t have to alter. These ones from Madewell are literally the perfect length on me and I love the raw hem!
9. White Denim
White jeans are a must for summer! They immediately brighten up an outfit and pair well with lighter, brighter colors. And is it just me or is it hard to find a good pair these days!? I feel like I’m always on the hunt for a solid, reliable pair. Last season, I was all about FRAME white jeans, but now I think I’ve found an even better winner. Have you tried these high-waisted ones by Madewell?! I like that they’re a little thicker and something about them sucks me in and makes me feel skinnier….idk, just sayin. They’re good!
10. High-Waisted Skirt
I’ve actually become a huge fan of high-waisted skirts, especially maxis, because they’re so dang comfy and pretty. Depending on your preference, choose the length that you like but keep the material casual.
I’m always game for a high-waisted skirt! I picked this one up back in April and have been wearing it every chance I get! I love pairing it with a fitted top tucked in or a little crop top like I did here! Speaking of cropped tops, did you catch my blog post on the best tops to wear with high-waisted bottoms?
Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: Full Body
Summer temps call for flowy dresses and easy-throw on items like jumpsuits and rompers. I always had a few fun new pieces to my wardrobe at the start of the Summer season. Plus, Dallas gets so freaking hot towards the end of Summer that the thought of pulling on a pair of jeans sounds like literal torture! I like to have a good mix of casual, dressy-ish, and then fancy options to cover my bases for events such as bridal showers, bachelorette parties, happy hours and the like. I love a classic linen jumpsuit that cinched at the waist for everyday wear. Pick one that is summery that is midi or floor length and a little dressier. You’ll be amazed at how much wear you can get out of this when you’re over jeans or a dress.
Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: Shoes
I’ve been wearing these on repeat for about 2 years now and they have not gone out of style. I love a platform wedge because it makes the arch not so high and wayyy more comfortable. This cognac color is perfect to pair with shoes and bags. I highly recommend one great pair of wedges for summer to wear instead of pumps.
I love a good denim and white top combo in the Summer! Honestly, I think I wear some version of this duo at least 2x a week. It’s fun to mix it up too with different accessories like fun earrings or a little bandana like I did here! I’ve been wearing this bandana on repeat if you haven’t noticed!
Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: Accessories
My favorite part of any outfit honestly, accessories. I just love that they can totally transform any look! And Summer totally calls for a little more fun when it comes to playing with color and textures. I call accessories my “outfit completers” because I think that’s totally the case. Plus, I’m able to create different looks with the same pieces by simply switching up my accessories.
Oh, ahh yay! This has got to be my absolute favorite summer accessory!
20. Statement Earrings
All year long, I’m a fan of a good statement earrings to add some umph to an outfit! Needless to say, I’m obsessed with statement earrings. If you’re going to put on jewelry let it make your outfit pop, right?!
21. Neutral Sunglasses
Sunglasses are a must for summer! And you honestly only need one pair if you think about it. During the summer, I have a few go-to pairs that I keep on heavy rotation. Here’s one of my favorites as of late:
These are my absolute favorite pair of sunglasses if it isn’t already obvious by how often I wear them. They’ve been such a staple for me and, in my opinion, can really pull an outfit together! The shape makes them a bit trendy but they’ve still got that classic, everyday feel to them which makes for a great go-to pair.
22. Straw Bag
Nothing screams summer like a straw bag, and I’d recommend a medium size (good for regular days or the beach). And if you haven’t noticed so far this season, all things straw are totally IN and everywhere. This is one of my favorite trends this year. I’ve collected a few straw pieces I really love including a tote, clutch and hat.
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