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Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Summer Capsule Wardrobe

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If you find yourself running to the mall anytime you need something new, getting stressed out when picking out your outfit, or feel stuck wearing your pieces the same way – your summer wardrobe needs the basic pieces so you can easily mix, match and transition your clothes through different occasions and events. Start by creating a summer capsule wardrobe.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a smaller, pared down wardrobe of only items you absolutely love and are preferably versatile, timeless, and of high quality. Having a wardrobe containing only items you adore means you don’t have clothing around that don’t fit you well, don’t flatter your body shape, or simply don’t fit your personal style.

Step 1. De-Clutter

Separate your clothing into two piles: One for the clothing you wear all the time and one for everything else. The key to perfecting this process is to assess the feelings each clothing gives you. Remember to use your heart not your brain. Once you’re done separating, donate pile two to your favorite organization or give them to someone you love.

Step 2: Assess what’s left over

After removing the clutter, assess the clothing you have left. Pick up each item and decide what you specifically love about it. Maybe it’s the color or perhaps the fit. Make a mental note of all the reasons you love each and every item. Eventually you’ll start to see a pattern. For example you may find that you gravitate toward looser material items rather than body-con materials. Use that information later when it comes time to purchase new items for your capsule. This can also help you define your personal style going forward. When finished, pull the items from the pile that are applicable to your wardrobe this season (the next three months) and set the rest aside to be used for a later capsule. Whatever is left over can be considered the base of your capsule.

Step 3: Create your wardrobe vision

Now you have the base of your capsule, but how do you take this and turn it into your own personal style? How do you create an image that is reflective of your personality? The answer: Pinterest! (Isn’t that always the answer? Just kidding!)

Pinterest is awesome because it allows you to separate your ideas into groups. Utilize this tool to Pin images and outfits that are inspiring to you in terms of color, fabric, silhouettes, and patterns. Once you’re finished take a look at what you see. Write down any recurring themes, just like you did when assessing your clothing. Also, be sure to note any particular color or pattern themes—you’ll use these as a guide when purchasing new items to complete your wardrobe. This ensures you’ll build a wardrobe with endless mix and match possibilities!

Be sure to include:
  • Your Favorite Neutral Colors
  • Your Main Colors
  • Your Accent Colors
Step 4: Examine your Lifestyle

Ensure every item in your wardrobe fits your lifestyle and includes only the items you NEED. Take note of your daily activities such as work, school, workout, dinner dates, girls night, church, and so on. Then write down the frequency of each activity (5x a week or 2x a week). Now, record the types of items you need for each activity: T-shirts, jeans, blazer, flat sandals, closed-toe pumps, whatever items you need to get through your day-to-day for the next three months. Be as specific as possible! Repeat this process until you’ve listed every activity in your life and the appropriate clothing for each.

Step 5: Complete your Capsule

You should now only have the clothing you love in front of you along with the list of clothing you need to wear for daily living. Now go through your existing pile and take stock of what you have. Already have a easy romper? Check it off! (Important: Do NOT reach back into the “things I don’t love” pile in order to check something off the list!)

When you’re finished you should now have a clear idea of what to buy to complete your capsule. Remember the colors we reviewed earlier and use that as your guide to add in new items. The goal is to be able to mix and match to maximize the interchangeability of your clothing.

You’ve just completed your first Capsule Wardrobe! Below is a list of 40 summer essentials I chose to include in my capsule.

TOPS: White Tee, Camisole, Button Down, Graphic Tee, Striped Tee, Cotton Tank, Silk Top, Sweatshirt, Chambray Shirt, Navy Blazer, Sweater, Tunic Dress, Utility Jacket, Trench, Shirtdress, Wrap Sweater, Leather Jacket

BOTTOMS: Denim Shorts, Nice Shorts, Midi Skirt, Dressy Joggers, Skinny Jeans, Boyfriend Jeans, White Jeans

ACCESORIES: Clutch, Crossbody, Silk Scarf, Leather Tote

SHOES: Black Heels, Nude Heels, Chelsea Booties, Tennis Shoes, Loafers, Lace-Up Flats, Flat Sandals, White Sneakers



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