Every woman can use these 7 closet essentials on-trend to create the ultimate summer capsule wardrobe and get dressed in style. There is a secret to making capsule wardrobes that feel new. First, get a few new styles in your classic closet essentials that are on-trend and all mix and match. Just adding a new shape or silhouette to your jeans and basic white top assortment will make a difference. Next, go beyond basic and add some prints. Try a trending retro print piece or subtle monogram printed accessory. Then you will have everything you need to make new outfits you’ll love and feel great in all summer.
Meet the Team
Tops for Your Summer Capsule Wardrobe
1 | Oversized Button Up
In my post The Wardrobe Essential Responsible for Effortless Style I shared some shopping tips and styling tricks you can use to get the most bang from your button-up. This summer, this classic closet essential, is oversized and available in lots of colors. Try one transformed into a one-shoulder or strapless top. You can even wear it solo over your swimsuit.
All of these come in more colors.
2 | Puff Sleeve Blouse
Blue | Black | White | Pink
A puff sleeve top plays with proportion and adds another new shape to your arsenal of tops this summer.
Bonus Stylist Tip: If you are broad or busty and don’t have a long torso choose a sleeve that stops above or below your bust line, not at it is the most minimizing. Finding styles that “tack” or are fitted at the armholes helps too.
3 | Crochet Top
Jeans and a white top are still my favorite outfit combination. Try a white crochet top this summer. The texture is such a nice alternative to your basic cotton tanks and tees. Wear one solo, layered under, or even over another summer capsule wardrobe essential.
4 | Wrap
Bottoms for Your Summer Capsule Wardrobe
The fastest way to update your entire wardrobe is to update your jeans. A combination of long and cropped styles will help you create outfits that don’t all look the same. A tiered skirt is the best bottom this summer. It’s on-trend, goes with any shoe, and looks as good as it feels when it’s hot.
5 | White Jeans
White Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans
If you struggle with white jeans because they “show” too much try a pair of white wide-legs with a heel. You’ll love the look. The Levis are 100% cotton so nice and thick.
White Crop Flare Jeans
White Long Flare Jeans
The “Laurel Canyon” from Paige is a great choice. It comes with a 10.5″ rise and 32″ raw-edge inseam so you can easily hem them yourself. If you need a longer length go with these from Frame. They are 35.5″ long and also come in an off-white color called chalk that’s amazing. Good American has my plus-size friends covered in these jeans sizes 8-22.
6 | Blue Jeans
Long Wide-Leg Jeans
A popular all-around long wide-leg jean style is the “Jo BB” from 7 For all Mankind. If you like that wide opening but need something longer try the Frame “La Palazzo”, or if you want a higher waisted style Citazen’s “Paloma” has a 12″ rise. Make sure you measure so you have enough length in your torso to avoid that awkward zipper bunch one can get on high-rise jeans. If you’re curvy or smaller in the waist compared to your butt and hips try sizing down in higher waisted style.
Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans
You can easily size down in most of these wide-leg crop styles. Fidelity’s “Malibu” is the one I have in several washes. I love the 11″ rise on me. High but not too high. The “Loretta” from Pistola has a much higher 13″ rise and longer 28″ inseam. They have a great soft beachy feel. You can’t beat the price on these Joe’s premium jeans, under $100, and such a great fit for so many of us.
Long Flare-Leg Jeans
The Seven “Dojo” are the longest and come with a 36″ inseam but only a 9.5″ rise. The Frame ” Le High Waist Flare” sits at a popular rise of 10.5″ and 34″ inseam. She comes in lots of washes too. Mother’s “Skimp” with an 11″ rise and 32″ inseam is super popular. If you’re petite and want something in the same shape and smaller proportion try the “Fray”. It has a shorter 9.5″ inseam and narrower opening at 16″ verses 20-22″.
Cropped Flare Jeans
My two personal favorite crop styles I have in multiple washes. First is the Mother “Insider Crop” in this light wash and raw step hem with a 26″ inseam so they actually look cropped on my short legs. The Mother “Insider” is just an inch longer. If you have long legs try the “Claudine” from Paige. It stops at 28″. If you like the look of dressier dark denim jeans, especially when you travel, try Frame’s “le Mini Boot”.
7 | Tiered Skirt
Skirts with an extra-wide waistband can also do #doubleduty as a dress or strapless swimsuit cover-up.
If you prefer cream over white in your capsule you can swap neutrals. You can even swap your long-tiered skirt for a short one. The combinations remain the same.
“It’s gotta be the shoes?” Having the right shoes is key for this summer wardrobe capsule.
8 | Clogs
Clogs keep in step with the ’70s fashion influences that are so popular again this summer. Try one of my lightweight picks. Most of them are available in more colors.
9 | Platforms
Platforms are the best heels ever! The raised front minimizes the heel in the back so it doesn’t feel like torture. Espadrille-style platform sandals are a timeless choice. Marc Fisher is a personal brand favorite of mine. These Franco Sarto platforms are the most comfortable I’ve ever tried on.
10 | Birkenstocks
Remember these? They’re back. But wait, they were never out of style. The color and style choices are endless so it should be easy to pick a pair that goes with your summer capsule wardrobe.
Accessories for Your Summer Capsule Wardrobe
This category deserves its own blog post, coming soon. For now, you can cover your bases with these summer essentials.
11 | Turquoise Jewelry
In terms of jewelry, turquoise pieces will never go out of style.
12 | Panama Hat
Chinstrap hats might just be the most popular trend this summer. Get a round-up of more hats that are pretty and practical HERE.
13 | Thin Belt
These .8″ belts are the best investment. Size down if you can so you can wear it at your natural waist or through your belt loop. Are you wondering how to measure to see what size to buy in a Gucci belt? Start by measuring through your belt loops using the cm side of your tape measure. The measurements online are from the prong on the buckle to the middle hole. There is one inch between the holes.
14 | Monongram Bag
On-trend now and always in style, a monogram bag brings interest to your outfits. If you’re not a fan of bold prints add a subtle monogram accessory to your sea of solids.
The best part about my summer capsule wardrobe is you can’t mess it up. ALL the tops go with ALL the bottoms. Make even more outfits by picking pieces that do double duty like a tiered skirt that you can wear as a dress or a crochet tank you can wear as a vest.
Here is a sneak peek at two more summer capsules you can create with the same pieces. The first one has lots of black and white and a more classic feel. The second capsule works around neutral earth tones and substitutes cream for bright white.
You will be the first to get the shopping links to recreate both of these capsules and more emailed to you in my next Friday Fashion Fix, exclusive to blog subscribers. Sign up HERE for free.