I really enjoyed thinking about the Capsule Spring Wardrobe back in April, so I thought I’d do a 15 Piece Summer Capsule Wardrobe now the weather has told us that summer has actually arrived. Of course, lots of the items from the spring one will work right though summer, but there are extra things you can add for the warmer weather. I’ve tried to come up with a range that could see you through holidays, everyday life and being at home. The main factors here are fabric choice and comfort.
In the summer I can’t be doing with anything tight or things made from a fabric that are going to make me sweat. A clinging, damp armpit ensemble is never a good look. Opt for lightweight breathable fabrics, ideally not man-made fibres, but there are some exceptions to that rule, lyocell and rayon being two of them. Both are man-made but derived from wood pulp so are still breathable, unlike polyester or nylon. Try and steer clear of those in the sun. I know this. I have two teenage boys who favour vintage football shirts that really can only be worn once before the stink sets in. That doesn’t stop them wearing them for days on end though.
Anyway, let’s get off the subject of teenage body odour and get into the 15 items I have picked to make up my Summer Capsule Wardrobe. I will give you some alternatives to my own personal list, but these are the things I will be wearing. I have based this list on things I have (or similar) in my wardrobe already.
2. Loose-Fitting Top — Go for floaty and lightweight for high summer days when you don’t want anything close fitting. I have this one from Mango and it’s perfect.
3. Denim Jacket — So many to choose from, but let’s go with this twist on the classic from Hush. I love the washed-out denim colour of this.
4. White Sundress — We might not be heading to Ibiza this year, but I think any summer deserves a white dress. This one from Monsoon is a classic, easy style.
5. Short-Sleeve Shirt — A resort shirt? A cabana shirt? A short-sleeve shirt to wear to the beach at Cromer? Call it what you like, it’s a summer staple for me. This one from Monki is a nice loose boxy fit and comes in a range of prints.
6. Sandals Suitable For Walking — I still love my Arizona Love Trekky sandals from 2019. Can walk for miles without a sniff of a blister. See also Teva. But I will add some more dainty ones for those who can’t get onboard with the hiking style!
7. Comfortable Trainers — These could be whatever brand you find the most easy to wear for summer walks sans socks (or avec secret socks). For me at the moment it’s my New Balance 237s.
8. Cardigan - Basically anything from & Other Stories; they do the best cardigans, but for summer, this boxy cotton one is ideal.
10. Cotton/Lightweight Fabric Trousers — Going with Hush here and these linen/lyocell blend cropped trousers. Also come in black if you can’t do cream.
11. Lightweight Jacket — Mango again with this – dare I say it – shacket. I know, I know, but that’s what it is. Lovely shape and comes in two great summer colours.
13. Basket Bag — Etsy has a fine selection. I don’t think you need to spend too much. This one is my favourite because… monogram.
14. Swimming Costume — There has always been, and will maybe always be, only one I truly recommend and that’s the Santorini from Boden. Surprisingly flattering and comes in two body lengths.
15. Printed T‑shirt — Let’s go for something from Anine Bing. Pricey but classic and well made.
For me, nothing says ‘summer’ quite like a white cotton dress. Of course I’d rather be wearing it exploring the streets of Florence or the markets of La Rochelle, but instead I shall dig out last year’s Monsoon dress and wear it to sit on a bench by the river in Richmond or stroll around Kew Gardens. That membership has been invaluable to me over the past year. It’s a peaceful, calming oasis to escape Covid. Plus the toilets are always open. A must. Pair your white sundress with a denim jacket, sandals and a basket bag.
The short-sleeve shirt. Nice and loose, works perfectly with your jeans, shorts or lightweight trousers. You can wear it open with your T‑shirt underneath and, if you get to a beach, you can use it as a cover-up too. I favour a nice bold print with my short-sleeve shirts. If you decide to go for a pair of super-comfortable Teva sandals this summer, then I suggest you go up a size as they tend to come up small.
Talking of beaches, this is what I plan to wear if we get some sunny days down in Norfolk or up in Northumberland this summer. My two holidays of choice this year. Like I mentioned earlier, the Boden Santorini swimming costume is the only one I can truly recommend. I have it in navy and early last year I bought the stripe version in preparation for our exotic holiday to the Caribbean. Needless to say, that one still has the plastic strip attached to the gusset. But one day it will have its day in the sun. Probably not the Caribbean sun, maybe Cromer.
If I had a pound for every floral dress I own I would have, well, I’d have 14 pounds. I just counted them. That’s after thinning them out a bit. I’m selling some via The Second Row this week to raise funds for my vintage jewellery obsession. I went to Sunbury Antiques Market this week. A must visit if you’re into anything vintage. Huge, huge selection of all kinds of things that you didn’t know you needed. There were a lot of great jewellery stalls, at prices that are better than in shops or online, but I resisted this time as I spent my budget on a Mona Lisa painting with the head cut out. Don’t ask.
The floaty summer top. Another favourite of mine. Ideally slightly cropped and wide at the hem so I can wear with my high-waist jeans or shorts. This one from Mango is really lovely. I bought it last week and am wearing it as I type right now. Hides a multitude of sins and keeps you cool and breezy. Sezane also does a great selection of this kind of thing if your budget is a little higher.
I have realised that I didn’t add any skirts in either this list or the spring list. I will rectify this next week I think with a full skirt blog.