Style Guide: Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials Checklist

Don’t have anything to wear this summer? Even though your closet is filled with clothes, it seems like it’s not exciting to come up with new outfits to wear every morning. If you feel that way, here is a step by step detailing what summer capsule wardrobe essentials you need to survive the heatwave. 

From linen to nylon fabrics, there are many fabrics that are perfect for summer. There are specific materials that work best to keep you cool during the daytime. However, without a proper style guide, it’s challenging to shop effectively and dress smart.

Dressing up is pretty stressful every morning, especially when your closet is unorganized and you have zero idea what’s in the closet. Start with classic wardrobe pieces as basic items that you can easily build on top of.

If you’re attempting to build a summer capsule wardrobe , we are here to help you. This is a step by step guide to create the best summer capsule wardrobe that you will be excited to wear year after year. 


Pros And Cons Of Having A Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Summer capsule wardrobe don’t always look green and fun all the time. There are definitely pros and cons of having a capsule wardrobe collection. Understand the keys elements so that you can avoid the cons by adding more pros into your one-of-a-kind wardrobe collection.

Start by figuring out your body type and what color palette works best for you. Thats how we will begin adding up the basic pieces.


Pros of summer wardrobe:

  • Keep your closet organized.
  • Sustainable and environmental-friendly.
  • No need to spend extra on new clothes for a summer vacation.
  • Able to pack light for short and long trips.
  • Manageable quantity in order to utilize every piece to create outfits.

Cons of summer wardrobe: 

  • Require laundry frequently.
  • Can create outfit boredom.
  • High-cost upfront.
  • Clothes wear out faster.


Each season’s capsule wardrobe always has a bright side and dark side to be aware of before you build the best summer capsule wardrobe.

By using homemade laundry detergents and the proper clothing cleaning hacks, your clothes won’t wear out fast. Save all these tips and hacks in a Fashion Planner in order to make your personalized capsule wardrobe last forever. 


How To Build A Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Building a summer capsule wardrobe for the first time require time and budget. Before starting to invest in these pieces, understand your personal style and color palette. This will help you to make the right decision for each clothing piece that fits your lifestyle.

Here are easy 5 steps for how to build a summer capsule wardrobe:


Downsize and re-organize your wardrobe

First, pull out your exiting summer clothing and pile them up by categories. By doing so, it’s easier to view what you have so that you start to downsize the pieces. Determine which ones you wear the most, and also the items you haven’t worn before.

At last, label the piles and re-organize by categories like light to dark shades. As a result, you visually know what you are missing.

For the pile that you don’t wear, send it to ThredUP. You will receive credit so that you can exchange with new pieces to add to your summer capsule wardrobe essentials. 


Build your personalized color palette

Color speaks louder than the style of garments. Even though it’s a simple and classic t-shirt, the rich and deep color makes it look expensive. Always have a 1-2 base or neutral colors that you can rely on. Then, choose 2-3 bold pop colors that enhance your overall summer color palette to look chic and stylish.

For summer, you also have the option to mix and match light pastel colors with bright pop colors. Below is the up-to-date summer wardrobe color combinations for you to try.


Fill your closet with new pieces

Now it’s time to fill your closet with fun wearable pieces! This step is the most exciting time for everyone. However, setting up a budget and knowing beforehand how much to spend on clothing is crucial. 

Your goal is to find high-quality and well-made essentials with an affordable price point. Learn the best clothes shopping tips to help you build a wardrobe collection on a budget.

From Everlane to Madewell and Nordstrom Rack, avoid breaking the bank by using these clothing shopping tips and verified coupons. They will totally change your shopping habits for the better. 


Customize summer outfits

Mix and match spring and fall capsule wardrobe pieces to customize summer outfits. As a result, you can easily cover a wide range of early and late summer weather, which even includes rainy days. From work to hiking, and travel, prepare the best summer outfits so that your morning routine is not hectic as usual. 


Evaluate your look

At Fashion Wanderer, we highly recommend always planning outfits by evaluating how you feel and how they look on you. Sometimes, it’s not easy to evaluate yourself by looking at the mirror.

If you feel like you need a third eye perspective, we have to tool to give you ideas and opinions before a date night or important interview. Simply share your outfit on the Fashion Planner and let our community help you to succeed and feel empowered everyday.

Sip a cup of your favorite latte and lets start to build a summer capsule wardrobe that you are proud of. As a result, you don’t need to spend extra on summer office outfits and travel clothing. Stay cool and look fashionable everyday by using this practical step by step style guide.


Summer Wardrobe Color Combinations

Summer Wardrobe Color Combinations The summer season is all about bright pop colors. Use these complementary color combinations to create a fun and youthful summer wardrobe.


What color should you wear on a hot summer day?

Other than white, you may consider what color to wear when it is extremely hot outside. Ironically, light or pastel colored clothing reflect sunlight, while dark shaded colors absorbs it.

As a result, its best to incorporate light and crisp colors into your outfit to keep you feeling cooler.


What colors to wear in summer?

If you need a little help to pair colors together, we have fun and unique color combos for you to consider wearing. Here are 6 best summer color combinations you need to know when creating an outfit with your summer capsule wardrobe: 

  • Fuchsia / Red / Cobalt
  • Olive Green / Blue / Black
  • Purple / Yellow / Camel
  • Pale Pink / Orange / Turquoise
  • Light Blue / Green / Pink
  • Black / Red / Bright Blue

When creating a capsule wardrobe for the summer season, it’s not all about high-quality pieces. You also need to consider the right color palette to look stylish. Summer is a great season to wear pastel and bold pop colors that enhance your facial tone and look great with every essential item. 

Grab Your Free Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials Checklist + Travel Packing List!


How Many Pieces In A Summer Capsule Wardrobe?

From spring to winter, the number of pieces for capsule wardrobe essentials varies from 10 to 50 pieces for each season. 

Because summer season requires more lightweight fabrications and fewer layers are necessary, it’s recommended to begin with classic wardrobe pieces that never go out of style. Add items from the checklist that are unique and give a personal touch to the collection.

Downsize your summer capsule wardrobe essentials into roughly 21 classic pieces. As a result, you will be able to create more than one thousand outfits to wear for work and travel. Here is a summer capsule wardrobe essentials checklist for you to evaluate.


Summer Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

Summer Capsule Wardrobe Checklist source: @twentiesgirlstyle

Due to pricing and ways fabrications are treated, it feels like clothing doesn’t last as long as it used to. Summer capsule wardrobe do require care and effort to make them hold together.

Prepare your daily outfits for the transition from late spring to summer and early fall weather. Keep cool and look fashionable by incorporating this summer capsule wardrobe essentials checklist. 


Camisole Top

Pretty Camisole Tops

From going out to professional office looks, cami tops are known as the go-to layering piece that works for all four seasons.

They are more doable than a knit t-shirt, so consider a higher quality and well-made camisole top made from long-lasting silk fabric. For this must have essential item, we recommend silk over polyester material.

Black or white are the basic solid colors that you need in order to pair with jeans. If you feel like an additional cami, try fun prints such as leopard, polka dot, or classic floral print patterns.


White Tank Top

White Tank Top

Other than short sleeve white t-shirt or striped t-shirts for the spring season, upgrade your summer look with a white tank top.

From v-neck to crewneck style, choose one that fits your body silhouette because that is the most important factor you need to consider.



Cute Bralettes

A lace, crochet or plain bralettes may look too dressy to wear everyday. However, it is the must-have item for a party or festival outfit.

They can easily go well with an oversized summer sweater or under a loose tank top with denim shorts for a casual weekend outfit. Add cute bralettes into your summer capsule wardrobe to totally make you instantly look attractive.


Casual Summer Skirts

Casual Summer Skirts

Summer skirts have so many options from mini to midi and maxi length. Choose the length that looks best with your height and body type.

Furthermore, color plays an important role, especially with a pear shape silhouette. Go with a darker color and a shorter length to lighten up the heavier bottom. This works no matter what kind of top you wear. 


Denim Shorts

Denim Shorts

Denim shorts are the best options to replace your classic denim jeans for the summer season. Keep cool and look stylish even when it’s extremely hot outside.

From travel outfits to hiking, have a couple of pairs ready to wear any day of the week. Don’t forget to try a denim on denim look with these shorts, it’s totally acceptable. 


Travel Shorts

Best Travel Shorts For Women

Summertime is all about vacation, which means you need to prepare clothes that are chic, functional, and secure. Find the best travel shorts for summer to wear anywhere in the world.

Not all travel shorts are created equal. So if you get hot and sweat easily, we recommend wrinkle-free linen shorts or cargo shorts that have lots and lots of pockets to store the necessary travel essentials.


Wide Leg Pants

Wide Leg Pants

From culottes to high waisted, wide leg pants give a long leg and slimming effect to any body type. They look great with crop tops or tucked in camisole that give the appearance like you are wearing a playsuit. If you struggle with what shoes to wear with these pants, pair with heels or flat sandals depending on the occasion. 


Denim Jeans

Denim Jeans

It feels like you need to hold on to denim jeans even though it’s above 80 degrees outside. Instead of dark-washed or black denim, pull out white skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, and cropped jeans to create an all white denim outfit this summer.

The only exception is bootcut jeans, it’s acceptable to wear medium-washed denim for a boho-chic look. 



Stylish Romper

A lazy day doesn’t mean you have to give up on style. Forget about wearing a top, shorts, or dresses. Instead, a playful and youthful romper solves your lazy day dressing up problem. Add an accessory or two that looks good with the romper style for the day. 

If you haven’t added rompers to your capsule wardrobe, a surplice or wrapped style are classic silhouettes that literally look good on every body type.




Do you have a wedding to attend? Whether it is a beach wedding or ranch style venue, you don’t need to wear maxi dresses all the time for the event.

Try a chic jumpsuit that actually hides the tummy and looks like a dress so it won’t make you feel uncomfortable. Wear with a pair of strappy sandals and you are set!


White Linen Dress

White Linen Dresses For Summer

If you have lots of different printed maxi dresses for the summer collection, we recommend to narrow down your closet. Other than classic prints, printed dresses are not easy to wear over and over unless you just live with them.

That is why white linen dresses are the new little black dress for summer that you won’t get sick of wearing again and again. Downsize your dress options and add this white linen dress to the closet. You’ll be amazed how well it goes with your capsule wardrobe essentials. 


Straw Hat

Cute Straw Hats

When it’s sunny and the days are longer than other months, a wide-brimmed straw hat is a must-have accessory to add to your summer capsule wardrobe.

They are breathable, keep you cool, and are also a bad hair day solution. Bring your hat to the beach, hike, and even outdoor festivals throughout the season. 


Straw Tote Bag

Summer Straw Tote Bags

Nowadays, you can carry straw tote bags all year round. How amazing is that!

From tiny, round, to rectangular shape, pick one that balances your height and body silhouette. It may look too summery or casual, however Fashion Girls just use them on any occasion and every month of the year. So, yes, it’s approved.


Flat Sandals

Cute Flat Sandals

Enjoy the endless beach days this summer with a pair of cute flat sandals. They are comfortable and versatile shoes to wear with a dress or denim shorts to look gorgeous.

For a minimalist and edgy look, try black or tan color leather material that you can easily wear with anything. 




Have you seen this year’s swimsuits trend? These super cute swimsuits are so irresistible that you need a few pairs for your upcoming beach vacation.

From bikini to monokini, we’ve got everything you need to survive the beach vacation.


Beach Cover-Ups

Beach Cover-Ups

If you have been wearing shorts and a tank top over your swimsuit, invest in these beach cover-ups to wear all summer long.

There are so many styles and silhouettes to choose. From chic kaftan to dresses and kimono style, you only need to find the perfect one for you. 


Block Heel Sandals

Block Heel Sandals

Do you know that every Fashion Girls are wearing these block heel sandals? They’re better than skinny heels that make your face cringe.

Stylish, comfortable, and easy to wear with any outfit, what else do you need to ask for more? Try for yourself with every basic essential and let us know what you think!


Ponytail Cap

Ponytail Cap

Maintaining a hairstyle while wearing a hat is not easy. The good news is that with a ponytail cap, you can have ponytail and messy bun hairstyle and not need to worry about a bad hair day.

Review your summer capsule wardrobe color palette and choose the best color cap that looks good with any outfit. 



Best Classic Sunglasses

Do your Ray-Ban fits you the right way?

Not all sunglasses work for every face shape. The key is to find the classic pieces that enhance your face shape and hide any flaws you have.

Read through the tips for how to find the best sunglasses that look good on you. Save time and money when shopping for a new pair or organizing the existing ones in your closet. 


Flip Flops

Trendy Flip Flops

From jelly to pretty embellished, there are so many flip flops when it comes to choosing a summer shoe. Review your budget for a summer capsule wardrobe. Then decide to invest in affordable and trendy flip flops to wear for the long term. 


Espadrille Wedges

Comfortable Espadrille Wedges

Hurry and add these comfortable espadrille wedges before summer ends. The leg-lengthening footwear is perfect for hot weather to wear with maxi length dress or a skirt.

In addition, wedges equally distribute the weight from toe to heel. Therefore, you won’t feel any foot pain at the end of the day. 


To enjoy the summer season, all you need are these 21 classic pieces that translate into more than 1000 outfits to wear for work and travel. Mix and match basic essential items from the spring and fall season to create outfits. As a result, you won’t look the same all the time with the limited clothing.

Once you completely review the summer capsule wardrobe essential checklist, add a personal touch with your own color palette. No matter how dry, hot, or humid the weather is, you won’t need to give up looking stylish this summer season.

Do you have a summer capsule wardrobe essential checklist?

Share your tips for how to build a summer capsule wardrobe!


fashion wanderer

Style Guide: Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials Checklist

Soonjoo Uh

I graduated with a bachelors of fine arts degree in fashion design. I worked in the fashion industry as a lead designer for major brand name labels such as Stitch Fix, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Dillards. Now, I am the founder of the website Fashion Wanderer where I share current fashion trends, style tips and how to build a capsule wardrobe collection.

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