Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer is unofficially here. The real start of summer doesn’t arrive until the 20th of June but hot temperatures and long sunny days don’t wait for a date. Here in California’s Wine Country, temps are well into the 80s – in fact it’s supposed to be 91 today.
Dressing both stylishly and comfortably in summer weather can be a challenge. At 48, I choose not to show a lot of skin like I did in my younger days. Short, sleeveless sundresses and miniskirts aren’t really my thing anymore – though you may catch me in denim shorts once in a blue moon. Instead I lean towards light, flowing fabrics and lightweight layers to keep me comfortable when the temps rise and fall, as they are known to do around here.
Employing the same overall idea of getting as much wear as possible out of my favorite pieces, I came up with a summer capsule wardrobe using just 10 clothing items from my summer wardrobe. And it all – even the shoes, jewelry and one handbag – fits into one tote bag so it’s an ideal capsule for a 9-day trip!
Creating the capsule took a bit of time. First, I chose a color combination I wanted to work with. I love white for summer so that was a no-brainer. Rather than pick my go-to shade – black – I decided to mix things up a little and selected brown as my complimentary shade.
Next I went about selecting the pieces that would work well together. After a lot of experimenting, here is what I came up with for my 10 pieces:
Then I chose my footwear:
Next up, accessories:
Lastly, I chose my jewelry:
3 necklaces and a bracelet (long beaded/chain necklace with a geode pendant by Janet Harrer, a leather choker from a boutique in Sonoma, a white flower necklace from Kelley Hollis Jewelry and a druzy bracelet from Kay and Star)
Time for the outfits!
Breezy white pants with a white camisole underneath make up the foundation of this outfit. I added a lightweight knit sweater and wore chunky-heeled white sandals. I carried my bone-colored handbag.
I kept the jewelry to a minimum and wore the white druzy bracelet.
Same pants, same shoes and same handbag as in Look #1. I changed my camisole to the Stone color to add contrast but still keep the neutrals light.
I added a layer to my look with a long white cardigan and wore a soft leather choker that matches the color of my camisole.
Same pants, same shoes and bag as looks #1 and #2.
I switched out the camisole/sweater combinations and wore a white button-up blouse.
A white flower statement necklace is all I needed as far as jewelry goes.
This time I wore white capri leggings, a great alternative to shorts and summer skirts.
I wore a long camisole in brown with a sweater in the same col0r. I kept the flower necklace and the white shoes and carried my Louis Vuitton clutch.
Another capri legging look with a long tunic over the same camisole I wore in look #4.
I changed into gladiator sandals for a more casual look, carried my small clutch and wore the druzy bracelet again.
Time for some denim!
I wore girlfriend jeans with the white long cardigan and white camisole.
I added my long geode necklace, white sandals and carried my bone-colored handbag.
Here is a casual look with jeans and the brown sweater with matching camisole.
I wore the same necklace as in Look #6 with gladiator sandals and bone handbag.
This tunic can always be worn without a camisole underneath.
I wore it alone with jeans, gladiator sandals, a choker and carried the bone handbag.
For my final look, I wore the white blouse with jeans and the druzy bracelet. I carried the bone handbag.
Every other item in this post is inside my monogrammed tote bag (from Toss Designs), with the exception of my undergarments.
Here is the bag with everything in it – including the jeans, white sandals and white blouse in Look #9.
The only thing it isn’t holding is my bone handbag!
I was able to wear each of the 10 pieces in at least two outfits, in most cases more!
You can follow a similar formula to create your own capsule wardrobe. Whether it’s to make dressing day in and day out easier, save money on clothes, minimize your wardrobe or pack your suitcase, it’s a handy way to make the most of your summer wardrobe.
Don’t like brown? Prefer not to wear wear white on vacation? Simply choose a different color combination – blue and gray or beige and black, for example. And if you don’t wear heels, substitute them for flats.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. It was fun to put together. And I learned a lot about capsule wardrobe creation through this process. The only downside is now my husband will expect me to pack for vacation in one little tote bag!
If you’re in the Bay Area and want more summer style inspiration, register to attend the Stella Carakasi Summer Style Event this Friday, June 3rd, in Berkeley. My stepdaughter, Tori, and I will be walking the runway in the latest Stella Carakasi fashions. I would love to see you there!
Reminder: How I Wear My submissions are due by the end of the day on June 6, 2016. Send a photo of you in your “Vacation or Resort Look” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to tell us a bit about your outfit. The post will go live June 8th!
Make it a rich day!
Disclosure: I was given the Smoky Quartz long tunic, long white cardigan, and the Stone and Smoky Quartz camisoles by Stella Carakasi. The druzy bracelet was a gift from Kay and Star. Everything else I paid for. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.