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Everything You Need for the Perfect Summer Capsule Wardrobe

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Do you have trouble picking out an outfit to wear every morning? Do you feel like you have difficulty styling the clothing you currently own? Do you feel pressure to keep up with trends, only to purge them from your closet months later?

If any of the above questions sound relatable, you aren’t alone. So many of us feel pressure to buy new clothes each season in an effort to stay current with ever-evolving trends. Yet, we’ve learned by now that this “out with the old, in with the new” mentality just isn’t practical or effective. Capsule wardrobes are an easy and sustainable solution to these issues by combining sustainability with functionality. They are comprised of a personally curated collection of clothing items that can be interchanged to fit with as many outfits as possible. The focus of a capsule closet is on functionality, rather than excessive purchasing, by minimizing the number of items in your wardrobe to a collection of complementary pieces.

After you’ve cleared out the clothing you don’t want from your closet, the first step in creating a capsule wardrobe is to assess what you already have. Scope out the clothing and accessory items that you wear on a regular basis and think about what makes them work so well as staple items in your closet. Maybe it’s the fit, the colors, or even the basic nature of the pieces. Set those items aside to add to your capsule wardrobe and keep in mind the characteristics of your favorite items as you search for more options.

capsule wardrobe items:


Look for neutral-colored (black, white, grey) t-shirts, tank tops, or blouses that you could see matching with a variety of outfits. These can be paired with any number of bottoms to create a cute and unique look! If you like dressing in patterns or bright colors, also invest in pieces that you love and will want to wear over and over again.


Bottoms can include shorts, shirts, jeans, pants, or any form of bottoms that you prefer. Due to the warm weather during the summer months, keep in mind breathability and comfort as you’re picking out pieces. Plus, having an assortment of different types of bottoms, both in basic colors and with a mix of prints and patterns, can expand your outfit choices.

Formal Wear

Summer is a popular time for parties, weddings, and any number of celebratory events. Adding formal wear to your capsule wardrobe can include dresses, dress pants, dress shirts, blazers, and other clothing items that you prefer wearing to formal gatherings. Including multiple formal outfits in your capsule wardrobe will help you feel prepared and confident to rock any occasion!


When choosing shoes for a capsule closet, think about their functionality as well as style. Comfort, fit, and versatility are all factors that affect the sustainability of shoes in your closet, and will make everyday wear more comfortable. Sandals, flats, heels, and sneakers are perfect shoes for summer, and having at least one of each in a capsule wardrobe will expand your footwear options throughout the season.


Accessories are a great way to add prints, patterns, textures, and fun to any outfit! Consider investing in hats, belts, or jewelry that you love and will want to wear frequently. For the warmer months, sunglasses are also a useful and stylish addition!

While creating a capsule wardrobe, remember that there’s no need to rigorously follow these suggestions. The goal of a capsule wardrobe isn’t to restrict yourself- it’s to feel confident that you love the clothes you own and will get as much use out of them as you desire.

Sol Knapstad

Washington '23

Sol is a third year student studying Creative Writing and Law, Societies & Justice at the University of Washington. She is a published author of 5 years and loves reading, baking, hiking, and traveling in her free time.
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