The summer capsule wardrobe is here! With this capsule, my main goal was to provide options that let you feel feminine and put together while beating the summer heat. I also focus on more laid back and affordable items, since most of us will be spending more time at home this year. Don’t worry, it still includes options for travel, date night, and weekend activities.
There are a few things that aren’t on this summer fashion list because they’re included in other capsules. If you’re looking for something specific, you’ll probably find it in a capsule previous post (i.e. the denim jacket in my spring capsule).
Note: This capsule was originally created in 2020 but has been updated for summer 2021. My recommendations for what to buy for summer are the same, but the exact pieces linked have been updated to include in-stock items throughout the post! Enjoy!
Here’s what you’ll find below. Click to jump to the section.
Click any image to shop products directly.
Capsule Wardrobe Summer 2020 Pieces
Tops and Basic Tees
2 / White T-Shirt — Soft and minimalist, this v-neck cotton tee is also under $100. If you prefer crew neck, I highly recommend the ATM Schoolboy Tee. It’s an investment, but trust me, it is worth it. It’s a year-round closet staple that won’t shrink and easily transitions to fall with a layer.
7 / Mini Dress — In the heat of summer, unleashing as much skin as possible while remaining modest feels so good. This utility shirt dress comes in black as well. For something a little longer, try this knot-front dress.
Shorts and Bottoms
10 / Light Wash Jeans — Trust me when I say these jeans are perfect for summer. They hit above the ankle, will go with any top, and look cute with sneakers, sandals, and heels. Size up if in between sizes. More sizes here if sold out.
11 / White Jeans — I ultimately went with a straight leg for this capsule because they’re “in” yet have a classic look and are a little forgiving. If skinny jeans are more your vibe, here’s a pair I recommend under $100.
12 / Denim Shorts — My go-to pair of cutoffs, these actually cover your tush (I’m 5’9″) and look amazing on. Size up one! More sizes here. If you want something longer or have curves, I also own and love these.
13 / Non-Denim Shorts — I try to keep a pair of shorts I can dress up within reach throughout summer. This black pair is a little dressier than denim. If you like chinos or want more color options, here’s a pair I recommend.
14 / Linen Pants — Linen is a special fabric because it keeps you cool when you’re hot and warm when you’re cold. I couldn’t pass this pair up for the price. Also love this tie-waist, track-style pair.
17 / Black Sandals — I like to keep a black pair around just in case my outfit calls for a truly black shoe, like a white tee with black shorts.
Summer Bags & Accessories
5 Summer Outfit Ideas Featuring the Capsule
Click any image to shop the look.
Shop the Capsule
Summer Wardrobe Checklist
I recommend pinning or saving the checklist below to keep track of what you already have and where you can fill in the gaps to create easy summer outfits.
Summer Capsule FAQ
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule collection includes essentials that can be worn interchangeably for work, travel, or fun. A classic summer capsule closet provides a template of clothes you can mix and match for various occasions. To download my summer capsule checklist, click here.
What should I wear for summer 2020?
The fashion trends for summer 2020 include many things I’m already drawn to like puff sleeves, pleats, pistachio tones, utility styles, and more. When creating this summer weather capsule wardrobe, I tried to combine the timeless with the trendy to ensure you can wear these pieces come next summer, too.
How do I build a summer capsule wardrobe?
The truth is that putting together a summer capsule wardrobe requires planning. This summer especially, I recommend considering where you’ll be going, what you’ll be doing most often, and what your favorite pieces are for long, hot days. Once you’ve reviewed, make a list of essentials.
Maybe you’re not headed to the beach or anywhere with chilly evenings, so outerwear and swimsuits aren’t key. In my opinion, short sleeve tops, dresses, bottoms, shoes, and accessories should always make the list for a classic summer capsule wardrobe. That being said, tailor it to your needs, especially this year when our summer season is a little unusual.
No matter what, summer is bound to bring some joy—whether by simply opening up the windows as we work from home, going on long walks with close friends, or (safely) scoping out the best ice cream shop in town. I hope these summer capsule pieces take you from home to errands, brunch, takeout dinners on the patio, and more!
* I make a small commission off of items purchased through this blog post.