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Your 15 Piece Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Your 15-piece summer capsule wardrobe… If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I like to do a capsule wardrobe post every season. If I’m honest, the general list doesn’t really change that much year on year, and if you think I stick to just these 15 items, then you clearly don’t know me very well. But it’s always good to have a grasp of the basics. 

You can also check out the capsule spring wardrobe from back in April as lots of the items from that one will work right though summer, but there are a few extra things that 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 like linen, cotton and cheesecloth (love cheesecloth). Ideally, try to steer clear of man-made fibres. 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 to 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. I haven’t included hats, sunglasses or bags, but will pop a few in here that I like. So, strap yourselves in as it’s a long one…

YOUR 15 PIECE SUMMER CAPSULE WARDROBE LIST

1. Shorts: See this post for all the shorts styles you have to pick from but, for the purposes of the tape (blog), I’m going with these denim ones from Mango. I bought them last year and they are the ones I’m still wearing more than any others. Size up one size. 

2. Loose-fitting blouse: Something cotton, maybe with a bit of detail. I love this one from Oasis.

3. Denim jacket: I know, it can feel a bit done-to-death, but the classic denim jacket will never go away and is SO useful in the summer. I love my old old old vintage Wrangler one as it’s so soft. Check ebay for similar.

4. Sundress: As we mentioned last week, it’s ok to have bare arms even over 40, so a casual, simple sundress would be a great addition to the capsule wardrobe. My top pick would be this navy one from ME+EM or this cotton tie-strap one from New Look that comes in five colours. 

5. Linen or cotton shirt: Something slightly oversized and breezy. I’d go for blue or white. H&M always do some good, light linen shirts.

6. Tan leather sandals: It’s all about the colour here rather than the style. Pick your favourite style, but tan just goes so well with whites and denims and feels a bit more ‘summery’ than black. I like these expensive ones from See by Chloé, but equally as stylish are these much more affordable ones from Amazon. 

7. Comfortable trainers: For comfort, always go for trainers that are made by actual sports brands rather than fashion brands. I’m favouring the Nike Blazer Low and the New Balance CT300.

8. Lightweight sweater or sweatshirt: Colour optional of course, but I’m going for a pale pink this time as it goes so well with khaki and denim, plus I really like this Pangaia sweatshirt.

9. Printed dress: Have a look at smaller brands for something more individual. Pink City Prints and Albaray do some great ones. 

10. Cotton/linen trousers: Personally, I favour khaki linen ones as they go with so many other colours. I love these that I have from Free People and this pair from Toast (who do GREAT trousers).

11. Lightweight jacket: I like khaki again for this one; not to wear with your khaki trousers, but it works a treat with shorts, dresses and jeans. This one from White Stuff is a perfect boxy shape (ignore the one review, it’s actually very good and true to size). 

12. Good pair of jeans: At this point, you probably all have your favourites. Mine are these from M&S, these from Albaray and these from Whistles. 

13. Short-sleeved top or shirt: Monki do some great short-sleeved shirts in various colours and patterns. I also love this one from Oasis.

14. Swimming costume: I still love my Santorini from Boden but I have found a slightly more comfortable costume from & Other Stories. It doesn’t give you the same support (so stick with Boden if you want to be more contained) but I do really like this one. I’ve been wearing it under shorts and an open shirt on hot days. 

15. Plain T-shirt: I know, I know, there’s no way you can live with just one, but we are being ‘capsule’ so let’s just run with it. Some of the best plain T-shirts are from Uniqlo, Cos and & Other Stories.

Now that we’ve got our 15 pieces, let’s put them all together and see what we can make of them…

OUTFIT 1.

Starting off with the shorts, worn with the swimming costume, trainers and linen shirt. Perfect if you’re heading to the beach, or indeed just your own back garden, but you also need to collect the kids from school/pop to Lidl for ‘pretend holiday snacks’ and don’t want to get changed. Sunbathing instantly transformed into an everyday look just by adding the shirt.

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. & Other Stories textured bow tie swimsuit 

2. H&M Linen blend shirt 

3. Mango leather strap basket bag 

4. Mango mom fit denim shorts 

5. New Balance CT300 trainers 

OUTFIT 2.

Easy sundress and khaki jacket, both casual and semi-smart at the same time. Add a straw hat if you have a regular-sized head. I do not, and have to resort to the men’s department for a fitting titfer.

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. & Other Stories woven straw hat 

2. ME + EM sleeveless tiered maxi dress 

3. White Stuff khaki utility jacket 

4. Free People Leslie brown leather tote bag 

5. Dune tan leather espadrille sandals 

OUTFIT 3.

Layer up your white T-shirt with your short-sleeved shirt over the top. Either done up or undone, the choice is yours.

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. Mango classic denim jacket 

2. Oasis embroidered short sleeve shirt (use code WMM15 for extra 15% off) 

3. & Other Stories wide sleeve crew neck T Shirt 

4. Toast soft cotton linen trousers 

5. Nike Blazer low jumbo 77 trainers 

OUTFIT 4.

A semi-seventies vibe if you go for the high-waisted, wide-legs-style jeans. Wear your nice blouse either tucked in or untucked. Add a structured handbag and oversized sunglasses for the full look.

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. Oasis embroidered square neck top (use code WMM15 for extra 15% off)

2. Celine blushpoink D Frame sunglasses 

3. Coach pillow Tabby shoulder bag (use code KATE15 for extra 15% off) 

4. Per Una high waisted wide leg jeans 

5. White Stuff khaki utility jacket 

6. Amazon Essentials tan leather strappy sandals 

OUTFIT 5.

Keep your patterned-dress look really simple with just the denim jacket and the tan sandals. You don’t need to overdo the accessories when you’ve got such a pretty dress.

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. Ray-Ban tortoiseshell frame sunglasses 

2. Pink City Prints Puglia mix folk dress 

3. Whistles acid wash classic denim jacket 

4. La Redoute leather flat strappy sandals 

OUTFIT 6.

I love those days when it’s warm enough for shorts but also cool enough to wear a sweatshirt. Also helps if it doesn’t rain, but I might pop a small brolly in my bag along with the sunglasses.

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. Pangaia 365 pink sweatshirt 

2. Mango acetate white frame sunglasses

3. Liberty Poppy recycled polyester tote bag 

4. Mango mom fit denim shorts 

5. & Other stories wide sleeve t shirt 

6. New balance CT300 trainers 

OUTFIT 7.

Wearing your swimming costume like a ‘body’: admittedly, there are no poppers for peeing, but you can do the pull-aside with this costume as it’s nice and stretchy. Obvs that won’t work for a number 2, but let’s not get into that here.

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. & Other Stories textured bow tie swimsuit 

2. Oasis embroidered short sleeve shirt (use code WMM15 for extra 15% off) 

3. Per Una high waisted wide leg jeans 

4. H&M crochet style fabric handbag 

5. Nike Blazer low jumbo 77 trainers 

OUTFIT 8.

Sundress and shirt. Wear the shirt unbuttoned but tied up at the front, and roll the sleeves up too

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. ME + EM sleeveless tiered maxi dress 

2. Mango classic denim jacket 

3. H&M Linen blend shirt 

4. Nike Blazer low jumbo 77 trainers 

5. Coach Tabby leather colour-block handbag 

OUTFIT 9.

Khaki and baby pink. I don’t know why it works so well, it just does.

15 piece summer capsule wardrobe

1. Pangaia 365 pink sweatshirt 

2. Oasis embroidered square neck top (use code WMM15 for extra 15% off)

3. Isabel Marant Darwen printed canvas tote bag 

4. Toast soft cotton linen trousers 

5. Amazon Essentials tan leather strappy sandals 

Phew, that was a LOT. I really hope this helps. It’s actually quite fun – if a little tricky – trying to find 15 things that will all work perfectly together to make a multitude of outfits. Could you stick to it? What have I missed that you would consider an essential? I realise there is a lack of stripes here… must try harder. 

K x