Everything You Need for a Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Keep it simple during hot, humid summer months with easy outfits that work for the beach, a cruise and everything in between.

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April 24, 2019
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If you're ready to simplify your clothing selection, summer is the perfect time to test out a capsule wardrobe. Avoid overpacking and stressful outfit planning by scaling back your closet to just the essentials. To help you get started, we put together 10 outfit formulas for a beach or cruise vacation using just 20 items (plus accessories). Keep scrolling to see our suggestions and shop our capsule wardrobe favorites.

$49.99

Keep a pretty printed dress in rotation for summer that can be dressed up or down with the right accessories.

Shop Our Picks:
Sleeveless stripe dress from Urban Outfitters, $49
Leather slide sandals from Walmart, $28
Hoop earrings from Amazon, $9
Straw bag from ASOS, $29

Buy It
$34.99

Layer a one-piece swimsuit under shorts or a skirt to go from the pool to lunch. Or wear it instead of a top on especially hot days.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
One-piece swimsuit from Target, $34.99
Multi-color scarf from American Eagle, $15
White shorts from Amazon, $45
Straw hat from Target, $16.99
Leather slide sandals from Walmart, $28

Buy It
$59.95

Prints bring variety and vivality to a capsule wardrobe. Keep a printed skirt in rotation for when you want to make a statement.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
Printed button-front skirt from Gap, $59.95
Solid color fitted tank top from Amazon, $14
Heeled espadrilles from Zappos, $125
Pendant necklace from Anthropologie, $44

Buy It
$140.00

Easy and breezy, a jumpsuit works for day and night in the summer.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
Striped jumpsuit from Anthropologie, $140
Multi-color scarf from American Eagle, $15
Heeled espadrilles from Zappos, $125
Hoop earrings from Amazon, $9.36

Buy It

A classic button down is a must-have in your summer capsule wardrobe. Pair it with denim shorts and white sneakers for a laid-back daytime look.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
Striped short-sleeve button down from Urban Outfitters, $39 (originally $54)
Denim shorts from Nordstrom, $64.50
White sneakers from Zappos, $49.99
Lightweight cardigan from Amazon, $18
Sunglasses from ASOS, $19

Buy It
$18.00

For chilly restaurants and offices, a lightweight cardigan is good to keep on hand as part of a summer capsule wardrobe. Throw it on over a white tank tucked into a floral print skirt and you're ready for dinner or the office. Add a hat for Saturday mornings at the farmers' market.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
Lightweight gray cardigan from Amazon, $18
Printed button-front skirt from Gap, $59.95
White flowy tank top from Anthropologie, $90
Straw hat from Target, $16.99
Pendant necklace from Anthropologie, $44
Heeled espadrilles from Zappos, $125

Buy It
$45.00

White denim jeans are a closet staple, but shorts are cooler for hot summer days. White shorts are super versatile. Wear them with anything from a colorful, printed top and sneakers to a simple white tee and espadrilles.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
White shorts from Amazon, $45
Denim jacket from Target, $22.99
White t-shirt from Walmart, $10.46
Multi-color scarf from American Eagle, $15
Heeled espadrilles from Zappos, $125

Buy It
$150.00

Great for dressing up or down, a solid color dress provides versatile outfit options. We love it with simple slide sandals, a sun hat and statement necklace.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
Solid-color sleeveless dress from Anthropologie, $150
Leather slide sandals from Walmart, $28
Straw hat from Target, $16.99
Pendant necklace from Anthropologie, $44
Denim jacket from Target, $22.99

Buy It
$45.00

Add a fun, colorful shirt to your capsule wardrobe that can be worn with shorts or jeans. We layering a one-piece swimsuit underneath so you're always pool-ready. Don't forget seasonal accessories like sunglasses and a trendy straw bag.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
Printed shirt from ASOS, $45
Lightwash denim jeans from T.J. Maxx, $69.99
White sneakers from Zappos, $49.99
Straw bag from ASOS, $29
Sunglasses from ASOS, $19

Buy It
$64.50

This staple item absolutley needs to be part of a summer capsule wardrobe. Classic denim shorts go with everything from flowy tops to simple tanks and tees.

SHOP OUR PICKS:
Denim shorts from Madewell at Nordstrom, $64.50
Solid-color fitted tank top from Amazon, $14
Multi-color scarf from American Eagle, $24.95
Leather slide sandals from Walmart, $28
Sunglasses from ASOS, $19

Buy It

Items for a Capsule Wardrobe:

  • 2 pairs of shorts: white, denim
  • 1 pair of lightwash jeans
  • 5 tops: printed, short-sleeve button down, fitted tank, flowy tank, t-shirt
  • 1 jumpsuit
  • 2 dresses: printed, solid color
  • 3 pairs of shoes: espadrilles, white sneakers, leather sandals
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 printed skirt
  • 1 denim jacket
  • 1 lightweight cardigan
  • 1 colorful scarf
  • 1 hat
  • Accessories (not counted): earrings, necklace, sunglasses, bag

Styling: Jennie Andrews, Molly Miller; Photography: Cassidy Garcia

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