Summer Capsule Wardrobe Checklist + Outfit Ideas

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summer capsule wardrobe

Building a seasonal capsule wardrobe like a summer capsule wardrobe really helps you to get dressed for the day. If you struggle to put together outfits because you feel like you do not have anything to wear, creating a summer capsule wardrobe is the solution.

Have you ever felt like you have a lot of clothes but you still feel underwhelmed with your options? Even though you still have a new shopping bag filled with new clothes with the price tag on? The reason might be you shop trendy clothes that come and go every week. 

Summer capsule wardrobe helps you stay grounded and guide you to buy only what you need and suits your own lifestyle and preference. In this post I will share how to build a timeless summer capsule wardrobe, a summer capsule wardrobe checklist, summer essentials and outfit inspirations. 

If you need a smaller summer capsule wardrobe or a travel capsule wardrobe for summer, head on to my mini summer capsule wardrobe for some tips!

Read on if you want to change the way you shop and minimize your time getting dressed for the day!

What is a capsule wardrobe?

capsule wardrobe for summer season

First, you have to understand what a capsule wardrobe is. Capsule wardrobe is a collection of staple and versatile pieces that can be paired with one another to create a variety of outfits for different occasions. It is all about wearing more and buying less.

Capsule wardrobe focused on quality rather than quantity. High quality clothes last longer, hence it is actually an investment as it can save you tons of money down the road. Curating your own capsule wardrobe may take a while but when you find the right one for you, there is no looking back!

How to build a summer capsule wardrobe?

Summer capsule wardrobe should contain cooling, breezy and comfortable staple pieces that are suitable for the warm weather. Vibrant and bright colors are always associated with the summer season and that is for a reason. Bright colors can repel heat and give a cooling effect on the body. If you are wondering how do you start a summer capsule wardrobe, here are tips to create a summer capsule wardrobe:

Choose bright and lighter colors

It’s just science, lighter colors repel heat. Keep that in mind when getting clothes for your breezy summer capsule wardrobe! Bright and vibrant colors like yellow, beige, and white are cooling because they do not absorb heat as well as dull and dark colors like black or even navy blue. 

Pick lightweight fabric

Lightweight materials like cotton, linen and chiffon are great during the summer season. They are breathable and allow air to go through the clothes. It keeps your body cool and comfortable throughout the day. 

Reduce layering 

Keep it simple and minimalist during the summer season. Wear a maximum of three pieces of clothing items at one time to stay cool. Sweats are normal during the warm season and you would want to stay comfortable in your clothes. Avoid or reduce layering during the warm season.

Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials

Summer is all about wearing comfortable, breezy and cooling clothes. If you are wondering what are the summer essentials you need to stay cool, I have got your back! Here I listed all the summer capsule wardrobe essentials that will make you stay breezy and cool throughout the warm season. 

Keep in mind all the tips I shared above when building a summer capsule wardrobe. You would want to wear the pieces in this capsule wardrobe every time it’s the summer season. Focus on quality to keep the clothes last longer after each wear and care. 

White button down shirts

A white button down shirt is a classic. It is the most important staple piece in any capsule wardrobe. You can style them on its own or wear it as a layering piece. Pair it with linen shorts or jeans and sandals on a casual sunny day. It can be dressed up and dressed down.

Beige linen shirts

Linen shirts are one of the must-haves in the summer capsule wardrobe. Get a versatile color like beige linen shirts. It can be styled with anything. Wear it on its own or make it as a layering piece. Pair them with trousers or jeans.

Cotton t-shirts

T-shirts are one of the key pieces in any outfit. It is classic and a great layering piece as well. Cotton t-shirts are a must during the summer season. Opt for solid colors cotton t-shirts for your summer capsule wardrobe like white or beige. 

Linen t-shirts

Linen t-shirts are amazing during the summer season. It is cooling and breezy. Linen feels comfortable on the skin and it is breathable. Linen t-shirts are classic and chic looking. Pair it with shorts or midi skirts to elevate the whole look. 

Tank tops

Tank tops are another great base for any outfit. It looks great on its own and even better as a layering piece. Always choose solid colors for a timeless summer capsule wardrobe as it is easier to style and the colors are evergreen. 

Summer dresses

It is not summer without the dresses! It is elegant, comfortable and gorgeous. You can never go wrong with summer dresses. Style it up or style it down, everybody looks great in summer dresses. Choose timeless solid colors like white and timeless patterns like small floral patterns. 


Jumpsuits are easy to style and easy to wear. You can style it in many ways. Dressed up or dressed down, you can never go wrong with jumpsuits! Wear it under a light knit cardigan or sweater, wear it over a t-shirt or wear it on its own. It is versatile and suitable for any occasions. 

Linen cardigan

Linen cardigan is a great layering piece during the summer season. If you want to cover up a little bit when it gets windy, linen cardigan is a good outerwear. Opt for neutral colors like beige as it is evergreen and can match with any outfits. 


Jeans are one of the must-haves in any capsule wardrobe. It is never out of trend and you can wear it any season all year round. Invest in good quality jeans that can last you a long time. Opt for straight leg jeans because the cutting suits any body shapes and it looks classic.


Trousers can elevate and smarten any outfit. If you want to look all put together, just pair your favorite trousers with any top. Black trousers match with pretty much everything and it is a classic color. If you don’t prefer black, you can choose neutral colors like beige or earthy tones like dark green. 

Midi skirts

Midi skirts are versatile and easy to style. You can dress it up or dress it down. Opt for timeless and evergreen designs like chiffon pleated midi skirts or satin midi skirts. They are flowy and breezy, great to wear during the warm season. Style them with a tank top or button down shirts. 

Beach cardigan

Beach cardigan is great during a beach day out. It gives a little warmth during windy and chilly weather at the beach. Beach cardigan is also a great addition to your overall beach outfit. Choose solid colored cardigan or boho patterns, depending on your preference. 


Swimwear is definitely a staple piece in a summer capsule wardrobe. There are many swimwears you can choose from, from a two piece bikini to a one piece swimsuit. Choose evergreen design and solid colors. Get a swimwear that you are most comfortable in and confident wearing. 

Straw tote bag

Straw tote bag is a great summer bag. You can use it at the beach or to brunch. It is versatile and can match with any outfit. Tote bag is also very spacious and you can put a lot of stuff into it. It is very practical and stylish at the same time. 


Summer is the best time for sandals! It is easy to wear and easy to style. Sandals are the go-to shoes during the summer season. You can wear it with any outfit and still look fashionable. Opt for thin strap sandals in neutral colors. They are evergreen and match with almost everything. 


Sun is out most of the days during summer! It is good to protect your eyes from the sunlight with good quality sunglasses. It is also the perfect accessory during the summer season. Get one that suits your face shape in evergreen color. 

summer capsule wardrobe essentials

Summer Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

This is a guide on how many pieces you would need in your summer capsule wardrobe. However there are no rules for you to get everything in this summer capsule wardrobe checklist. You may add or remove some of the items if they don’t suit your lifestyle and needs. 

  • White button down shirts x 2
  • Beige linen shirts x 2
  • Cotton t-shirts x 3
  • Linen t-shirts x 3
  • Tank tops x 3
  • Summer dresses x 2
  • Jumpsuits x 2
  • Linen cardigan x 1
  • Jeans x 2
  • Trousers x 2
  • Midi skirts x 2
  • Beach cardigan x 1
  • Swimwear x 2
  • Straw tote bag x 1
  • Sandals x 1
  • Sunglasses x 1
summer capsule wardrobe checklist

Summer Capsule Wardrobe Outfit Ideas

I made a visual guide for you to get inspired during the summer season! There are many outfits that can be created using 30 pieces in this summer capsule wardrobe. I mix and match some of it to create a few outfits for your inspiration.

Stay cool and stylish during the summer season!

summer outfit ideas

How many pieces are in a summer capsule wardrobe?

Generally there are 25 to 50 pieces in a capsule wardrobe. However, there are no set numbers on how many pieces you need in a summer capsule wardrobe. It all depends on your lifestyle, needs and preferences. 

The main focus for a capsule wardrobe is to have a quality staple pieces collection that can create a variety of outfits for different occasions. You may create your own capsule wardrobe checklist based on the guides in this blog. 

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