Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Summer is a laid back season, especially around our house. My husband and I are both teachers, so on May 27 at 3:00 the madness of the school year came to a screeching halt. Now mornings are a lot less hectic, days are more relaxed, and we get a chance to slow down. We take our time getting chores done, we go where the days (and let’s be honest… the kids’ moods) take us, and we try to take it all in.

I’m taking that same approach with my summer (capsule) wardrobe. A few weeks ago I took the time to pull out all of my summer clothes and try them on. As expected, I ran into quite a few that didn’t fit, literally and figuratively, so I sent those on their way and took a look at what was left. I added a few key pieces that I know will be major contributors to my summer wardrobe.

If I’m totally honest, I didn’t put a whole lot of thought or planning into this capsule. I had a few days where I kind of stressed about the approaching season and not feeling motivated to create the “perfect” capsule, then I realized I just needed to chill. I have a great start to my summer wardrobe and at the moment I’m not going to worry about adding anything. This season I’m going with a more fluid and laid-back approach to the capsule, just like our summer days.

These 22 items make up my core wardrobe for summer, though I haven’t included everything here. A long-sleeve tee or sweatshirt may be needed on occasion or I may wear my wide leg pants or gray jeans from spring for a change mid-season, but I don’t foresee those being major closet contributors.

I have done my best to link ethical or better-made options for my items, but it will be an ongoing process. Being a newcomer to ethical fashion, I’m still navigating unfamiliar territory and learning brands, so I don’t have links for every single item. Keep an eye on my Shop Summer page for ongoing updates and thanks for your patience on that.

summer essential wardrobe

Row 1: Tank top (old from Old Navy, made in USA version) / Striped tee (old from Gap, better option, ethical option) / Striped peplum (old from Old Navy) / Gray and blush tank (old from LOFT) / Gray linen tank (old from Gap, ethical option) / Camo tank (old from Old Navy, similar)

Row 2: Graphic tee (old from Old Navy) / Gray long sleeve tee (Old Navy, better, ethical option) / Cream lace shorts (old from Target, made in USA eyelet version) / Cream lace tank (old from Target, similar, similar, made in USA off the shoulder) / Sleeveless chambray (old from Walmart, similar) / Star-print chambray (old from Old Navy, sleeveless version)

Row 3: Cutoffs (made from Old Navy men’s jeans, great option) / Jeans (Levi’s) / Linen pants (old from Old Navy, similar) / Print tank (old from Old Navy, better option) / Striped swing dress (old from Old Navy) / Nursing-friendly jumpsuit (c/o Loyal Hana)

What I Added:

I added four new items for summer:

summer 2016 wardrobe

Green Maxi Dress (c/o Cole Hands) Hannah at Cole Hands sent me this classic maxi dress in a gorgeous muted green color. At 5’2″ I often have a hard time finding maxi dresses at the correct length, so I love that Cole Hands makes each item to suit your body. Stay tuned – later this week I am going to do a try on and review.

Black Maxi Dress ($78 Brass) This flattering maxi dress has been on my wishlist since last summer. I was originally drawn to the neckline and pockets (!), but I’ve been lucky enough to get to know the ladies behind Brass Clothing, which makes me love the dress even more! See more here.

Blush tank ($10 H&M, better option, made in USA version) I love this blush pink color as an accent in my wardrobe, but it was the interesting detail that sold me on adding this to my wardrobe. As I experienced with my spring capsule – I love having a variety of textures and shapes in my neutral color palette.

Striped tank ($13 H&M Conscious, similar) I was excited to check out the H&M Conscious line during a recent shopping trip with my sister. Is it the best ethical option out there? Probably not, but my thought is that if this line can be a success for H&M maybe more large companies will also start slowly changing their approach to fashion production? I did not have a striped tank, so it was a hole I needed to fill in my wardrobe and this is my favorite cut for a simple tank top, so it will be an easy addition.

I am still on the fence on how I’ll share my summer looks here, but I post over in Instagram pretty regularly. It’s pretty safe to say I’m wearing denim cutoffs and a tank top on any given day! 😉

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2 Comments

    1. I love your capsule! It encompasses all of what I love about summer. Great job!

      1. Thank you, Heidie! Casual and laid back just about sums it up! 🙂

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