Seasonal capsule wardrobes were created to make your life easier. Your morning routines will become more efficient once you’ve decluttered your closet and selected your favorite pieces. Those favorites can become part of a capsule wardrobe that you rotate out every season. Basically, all of your out of season clothes are put away and the new season of clothes brought out.
With March creeping up on us, temperatures will start to warm and you’ll find yourself not wearing those heavier sweaters any more. For us here in the Midwest, we have this crazy transitional period where the weather can be below freezing one day and the next it will be eighty degrees and sunny. Other parts of the country (and other countries in general) may wait longer to pull out spring and summer items, but in Oklahoma I start in March.
In this post you will find:
– my ideal capsule wardrobe for spring and summer
– tips on how to transition from winter to spring without the hassle
You won’t find in this post my sleepwear or active wear. Those don’t count in most capsule wardrobes (Project 333) and they don’t count in mine! Think of a capsule wardrobe as all of the things you’ll wear out of the house on a regular basis.
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The Ideal Spring and Summer Capsule Wardrobe
I group spring and summer together due to the weather in the Midwest (either blazing hot or freezing in the spring and always red alert hot in the summer). With unpredictable weather, layering is my best friend. It is an art that I am working to get better at.
I’ve categorized this capsule wardrobe break-down into categories that fit together and that might be together in your closet.
Shoes, Accessories, and Swim
For my spring and summer capsule wardrobe, I have been very careful while selecting which of my shoes accessories to wear. This is also the first year I am not purchasing new swimwear or sandals (read why).
This summer I have chosen ballet flats in a neutral color, white Converse, Chacos, and chambray sneakers. The ballet flats can be worn with any of the outfits that I create and posses the ability to dress up skirts and dresses. Since I’m not leaving out formal shoes, the flats will be my go-to.
My Converse and chambray sneakers are my everyday shoes. The Converse were also in my fall and winter capsule wardrobe. Both pairs match everything and work for on-the-go moms like myself.
Let’s talk about my sandal situation… Every year (literally every year) I purchased new sandals. They ranged in price from $5 at Wal-Mart to $40 at department stores. Not a huge chunk of money but in our quest to purchase less, this is one thing I needed to let go. Not to mention that they only lasted one year. Chaco sandals will be my only sandal this year.
Chacos should be a part of any minimalist’s wardrobe (provided you like wearing sandals). These sandals are meant to be worn anywhere you go. I’ve hiked in these and worn these on vacations, around town, and anywhere else you can think of. They are durable shoes that are meant to last.
I purchased my Chacos in 2011 for $75 on sale. That’s eight years ago and I still love them. Since 2011 I’ve had the webbing re-done because it was starting to wear out. My husband purchased his Chaco sandals in 2010 (nine years ago!) and they are still his favorite shoe.
In an effort to minimize the effect on the environment and keep some cash in your pocket, Chaco offers re-webbing (strap replacement) and sole replacement services. To have part of your Chacos replaced is much cheaper than buying a whole new pair. Dan had the straps and the soles replaced on his pair three years ago and is so glad that he did. The Chacos team called us during the process to let us know the expected cost and if anything else was wrong with the shoe. In the end, it cost about $50 to have the straps and the soles replaced. That’s less than half the cost of a new pair! Bonus – they look brand new!
I love to swim and don’t do it nearly as often as I would like (it’s probably because the pools around my town cost an arm and a leg for a membership!). With my mom-pooch aka my belly that hasn’t gone down after baby, I love the swimsuits with details on the front. They help hide what’s below and give you a more flattering figure.
I’ve always owned two swimsuits or more. In recent years, I have limited it to only two. This way I can have a clean, dry suit ready to go while the other is in the wash or drying out. Unless you swim competitively or are training for a triathlon, I don’t see a reason that I would own more. My husband also only owns two suits as well.
Normally to cover up, I use a large scarf or sarong or I wear one of my dresses over my swim suit. No need to get fancy here!
I used to love costume jewelry. Now? I love my super simple stud earrings and silver necklaces. I haven’t included a necklace here. Instead I’ve added a scarf. If you work in a professional environment you can swap out the two to keep the same amount of items. Because the weather does get weird over the spring, the scarf is versatile in keeping me warm as well as an accessory.
The rest of the accessories include a hat, sunglasses, and a simple black cross-body purse. My real-life purse looks similar – no pockets on the outside but just enough room on the inside to carry my wallet, hand sanitizer, a diaper and wipes, plus a small toy.
Tops and Outerwear
In my spring and summer capsule wardrobe, I have one long sleeves shirt, five t-shirts, and three tank tops. These are more than enough to get me through every week and work for almost every occasion. Since I am a SAHM, I am able to have a fully casual wardrobe – which is great!
With a limited selection of tops, I am able to minimize the time I spend getting ready in the morning. All the tops go with all of the bottoms (keep reading) so there is nothing that won’t match.
For spring and summer, I consider a heavy chambray shirt and a cardigan as outerwear. With both items, I am able to layer as needed during the day. Combined with the scarf, the coverage from both will provide warmth during chillier nights.
Bottoms and Dresses
Summer is basically “no pants season” for me. I loath jeans and shorts sticking to my legs during the warm, damp months of summer. I have one maxi skirt and one pencil skirt that can be styled with almost everything in my capsule wardrobe.
Side note: ladies… if your thighs rub together during the summer when you wear a skirt (y’all know what I’m talking about) then I suggest purchasing what I call “shorties” or under-shorts to protect against that. Don’t want to purchase anything? Use deodorant on your thighs! Just reapply throughout the day.
I do include jeans and jean shorts in my capsule because they are worn mostly in spring and the few weeks of summer it isn’t muggy.
I love dresses! It is why I have included so many of them (five) in my capsule wardrobe. If you don’t love dresses like I do, swap them out for more shorts/skirts or eliminate the items altogether.
Dresses in my wardrobe are so versatile. Most of them I have in my fall/winter capsule wardrobe as well. They are worn with leggings and a cardigan in colder months. When worn with sneakers or Chacos, I can run errands and play with my kiddo. With ballet flats, I can take that same dress on a date night or to a wedding. Dresses are also my go-to when packing for a cruise.
And there you have it! My 33 pieces of clothing in my spring and summer capsule wardrobe. This is the first summer after eliminating over half of my wardrobe but I don’t feel that I am missing anything crucial to surviving the summer months.