Putting together a summer capsule wardrobe can be summed up into a simple four word mantra: Buy better, buy less. It’s a great way to think about shopping sustainably, as it encourages you to thoughtfully select cohesive, high-quality pieces that’ll last a long time. So with just 20 pieces—some seasonal, some standbys—we’ll show you how to create a minimalist summer wardrobe that can be styled for work, weekend, and special occasions. Check it out, then keep scrolling for all of the different ways we’ve styled these essentials. Sometimes less really is more.
Summer capsule pieces
When you boil it down, these 20 pieces are true basics. But that doesn’t mean they’re boring. We’ve categorized this capsule as modern boho, rooted in light, summery neutrals, organic fabrications, and soft hits of pink, purple, and blue. But a capsule can take many forms. Think about how you can incorporate your personal style and a few cohesive pops of color into your unique wardrobe.
Whether you prefer a classic fit or something more modern, a trucker pulls together any ensemble.
Professional and practical, it’s a work essential that’s become an unexpected element in going-out looks.
There are so many versions of this mainstay. Try anything from a simple oxford to a romantic lace top.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—this print is a neutral. Though black or navy are classic, consider a pop of color.
We’ll find any excuse to wear a comfortable tee. Style it with a blazer for work or with jeans and sneakers for the weekend.
A patterned top can be just as versatile as solid options and helps incorporate color into your capsule.
One of our summer favorites (especially white denim) since they can be worn with sneakers, heels, or sandals.
Whether you prefer wide-leg or skinnies, pick your preferred silhouette and color, like black, grey, tan, or navy.
An essential for the hottest of days. We went with chambray for some flow, but tailored styles are just as stylish.
Perfect for warm summer days, a lightweight dress can be worn from casual farmers markets to lunch and wherever else the day takes you.
Something with a bit more structure is ideal for work. May we suggest a wrap? It’s flattering on practically any silhouette.
This is our go-to summer work shoe since it’s seasonal but not open-toed. They’re comfortable and contemporary.
Understated but statement-making in their own right, neutral sandals with slim straps are sure to stand tall for any occasion.
Show off your pedicure with sandals that are made from a soft real or faux leather. Extra points for a padded footbed.
They can be worn with just about anything—no, really. Style them with a casual dress, a blazer and jeans, or shorts.
Aviator, square, or cat-eye—no matter your preferred frame shape, sunglasses are the perfect accessory for sunny days.
An oversized, over-the-shoulder bag is perfect for carrying your belongings for work or weekends.
Ideal for going out, this scaled-down satchel with a long strap is the perfect accessory for elevated casual looks.
A compact handheld fits just the essentials for special events such as weddings or dinner parties.
15 summer outfits using our capsule pieces
Refined outfits to wear on the weekdays
Sometimes you just need the perfect outfit to get you into the right headspace. And if your day consists of replying to emails, video conferencing, or any other type of work-related tasks, these polished outfits are the way to go. Style your blazer with the tailored dress, or go for a T-shirt and pants if you want something more casual. Don’t want to wear a blazer with your wide-leg pants? Try the striped top instead.
Take it up a notch for special occasions
There are everyday outfits, then there are outfits that make you want to twirl with joy. Put an extra pep in your step by making sure to have a few summer-inspired dresses in your rotation. To make styling them an easy task, we suggest having a reliable set of accessories that can be mixed and matched. You can never go wrong with a pair of strappy sandals in a soft shade of nude or white. And depending on the level of formality you’re going for, a clutch or shoulder bag serves as the perfect finishing touch.
Take it easy on the weekends with relaxed looks
Who says a casual look has to be super laid-back? These outfits are chic, comfortable, and easy to pull off. To begin, start by asking yourself if you want to wear jeans or shorts. Then add a top that fits the vibe you’re going for, whether it’s simple, boho, or statement-making. After, consider if you want to add a third piece overtop. If so, choose a blazer or denim jacket, whichever fits the mood. And finally, tie everything together with the right pair of shoes.
By letting the way you feel influence your choice of what to wear, not only will you be satisfied with the outcome, but you’ll also know the outfit is cohesive since the pieces were all a part of your capsule collection. Ready to put together your own capsule wardrobe? Get started to begin updating your wardrobe.