Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Stay-At-Home-Mom 2017 Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Summer capsule wardrobe - 2017 stay at home mom summer capsule wardrobe

I’m back with another look inside my capsule wardrobe, sharing my summer capsule wardrobe.

I find it easier to dress with less during the summer. The warmer weather calls for fewer layers and a lot of simple, basic clothes. Shorts and a simple t-shirt can be effortless and stylish on a beautiful summer day.

Summer Capsule Wardrobe - 2017 stay at home mom summer capsule wardrobe

You can check out my previous capsule wardrobes here: Spring capsule wardrobe, Winter capsule wardrobe

My Capsule Wardrobe “Rules”

It’s important to remember that my “rules” for my capsule wardrobes are very flexible and loose. For me, capsule wardrobes are not about following a strict set of rules or seeing how little I can have in my wardrobe.

My version of a capsule wardrobe is all about experimenting and challenging myself to live with less clothing in order to give myself more freedom and less stress.

I try to keep the focus less on the number of items I have, and more on being intentional with my wardrobe. I want to make it a challenging, but fun experience. And my end goal of creating a capsule wardrobe is to make my life simpler.

So I try to stay relaxed and flexible with my “rules”. Putting together a small, simple and carefully curated wardrobe that will work for my life and make getting dressed simpler.

Inspiration to Create Your Personal Capsule Wardrobe

I always find it interesting, encouraging and inspiring to see what other people include in their capsule wardrobes. This is why I’m sharing a detailed look at my summer capsule wardrobe.

It’s less about providing a shopping guide for you to replicate my summer capsule wardrobe. And more about showing you what works for me in order to inspire and encourage you to create a capsule wardrobe that works for you.

About My Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Summer capsule wardrobe - 2017 stay at home mom summer capsule wardrobe

Before I show you a detailed look at my summer capsule wardrobe, here is some background information about me and my lifestyle to give you some context for my summer capsule wardrobe.

What’s Included

I stuck with my flexible 40 item limit for my summer capsule wardrobe. Within my 40 item limit, I include:

  • Tops & dresses
  • Bottoms
  • Outerwear
  • Shoes

As I’ve learned in my previous capsule wardrobes (spring and winter), 40 items are more than enough to give me a complete capsule wardrobe with plenty of variety.

I felt comfortable and confident with these parameters because I’ve been living with less than 40 items of clothing since February and it’s been great. In fact, having fewer clothes has made my life so much simpler I almost can’t believe what a difference it’s made!

I ended up with 34 items in total for my summer capsule wardrobe. Our summer season is relatively short, so I don’t have a huge selection of summer clothes to begin with. This made it easy to create a small summer capsule wardrobe with my favourite pieces.

What’s Not Included

As with my spring capsule wardrobe, there are a few categories I chose not to count toward my flexible 40 item limit for my summer capsule wardrobe. The categories I did not include are:

  • Accessories – jewelry and purses/bags
  • Workout clothes and shoes – clothes I only wear for yoga, exercise or other active activities like hikes or long walks.
  • House clothes – a few items I wear for yard work or just lounging around the house.
  • Swim wear
  • Pajamas and undergarments – pajamas, bras, underwear, socks and camisoles/tanks I only wear under something else, never on their own
  • Formal wear and dressy clothes

A note about formal and dressy clothes: I try to keep my capsule wardrobe limited to my everyday clothes. I’ve decided not to include items I may only wear once or twice during the season. I keep a small selection of formal and dressy clothes (6 dresses, 4 skirts, 1 pair of dress pants, 2 suit jackets) for occasions where I need more formal attire. However, because in my current season of life I wear these items so infrequently, I don’t think it’s important to make them part of my capsule wardrobe.

Lifestyle

I am a full time stay-at-home mom to 2 young children. We spend the majority of our time together at home or outside. During the summer we spend a lot of time outside, either in our yard, at playgrounds or the splash park.

I need my clothes to be comfortable and functional for an active life with 2 young kids. I spend the majority of my time in casual clothes.

Although comfort and function are very important to me, I also want to look presentable and put together. I am very much the kind of person who feels better when I look better. So wearing clothes I look and feel good in is important to me. All while still being able to comfortably do things like housework, playing with the kids, biking to the playground, meeting up with friends, running errands, etc.

Climate

We live in central Alberta, Canada. Our summers aren’t particularly long, but they are hot and dry.

In the spring, winter and fall, I often prefer to wear layers, such as a tank or t-shirt with a cardigan or sweater over top. However, in the summer I rarely wear layers. Usually just wearing a tank or a t-shirt on its own.

Although we still have some cooler days and evenings during the summer months, I need fewer layering pieces. As a result I ended up including a few less items in my summer capsule wardrobe.

Shop my Summer Capsule Wardrobe

In case you’re interested in any of the items in my summer capsule wardrobe, I’ve included links under the images below. Many of my items were purchased a few seasons ago and are no longer available. If that’s the case, I’ve linked to a similar product that’s still available. I hope this will make it easier to find the items if you’re looking for something similar.

**This post contains affiliate links. That means if you see something you like and purchase it through my link, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps cover the costs of running Simple Lionheart Life. Thank you for your support! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.**

2017 Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Summer Capsule Wardrobe - 2017 stay at home mom summer capsule wardrobe

You’ll notice some of the pieces in my summer capsule wardrobe were also in my winter and spring capsule wardrobes. I don’t have the budget or desire to have a brand-new set of clothes each season. I try to buy pieces that will work for multiple seasons, as layers during colder months or on their own as it warms up.

Buying versatile pieces that work for more than one season is a great way to stretch your budget and get more wear out of your clothes.

Tops & Dresses

I prefer longer, loose-fitting tops, that work with jeans, shorts or leggings, and keep me cool and comfortable during the warmer days of summer. Although I do occasionally wear a sweater or cardigan on cooler days, I usually wear the tops in my summer capsule wardrobe on their own.

I also included a casual dress in my summer capsule wardrobe. I used to wear dresses and skirts often before having kids. But I haven’t worn dresses or skirts much since having kids. I personally find them not as practical for an active life with small kids. But I found a comfortable dress I really love, so I’m going to give it a try for my summer capsule wardrobe.

My preferred color palette is usually dark neutrals like black and grey, and darker jewel tones. However, you can see the overall color palette of my summer capsule wardrobe is a bit lighter. The majority of my clothes are still quite neutral in color and mostly darker colors. But there are a few lighter colored pieces in my summer capsule wardrobe.

Summer capsule wardrobe - 2017 stay at home mom summer capsule wardrobe (tops)

  1. Black tunic tank – similar
  2. Burgundy tunic tank – similar
  3. White lightweight woven tank – similar
  4. Aqua tunic tank – similar
  5. Aqua embroidered tunic tank – similar
  6. Blue pattered v-neck tank – similar
  7. Orange and blue paisley tank – similar
  8. Purple crocheted trim tank – similar
  9. Black v-neck tank – similar
  10. Grey twisted back tank
  11. Green space dyed racer back tank – similar
  12. Blue ruffle front tank – similar
  13. Grey striped t-shirt – similar
  14. Black round neck t-shirt – similar
  15. Grey round neck t-shirt – similar
  16. Burgundy tunic t-shirt – similar
  17. Black tunic t-shirt – similar
  18. Navy boyfriend cardigan – similar
  19. Teal cocoon wrap cardigan – similar
  20. Grey cocoon wrap cardigan – similar
  21. Aqua lightweight hoodie – similar
  22. Black smocked waist dress

Bottoms

Cropped jeans, leggings and denim shorts are my go-to pieces for my summer capsule wardrobe.

I prefer skinny cropped jeans with lots of stretch for ease of movement, usually in darker rinses. For my cropped jeans, I actually buy jeans in a short inseam and cuff them. This works great for my height (I’m 5’9″). I buy jeans I already know fit well and I like the cut of them. Then buying them in a short inseam and cuffing them, makes them the perfect length for me.

I prefer shorts with a 5” inseam, as I feel most comfortable in that length.

For leggings, I buy thicker compression leggings to make sure they aren’t see-through. My favourites are from Old Navy. I really like the quality and thickness of their leggings. And you can’t beat the price, especially as they always seem to have a sale going on.

I didn’t include any full-length pants in my summer capsule wardrobe, as I don’t usually wear them during the summer. However, because I try to stay flexible with my capsule wardrobes, if we have a particularly cold day or do an activity like camping where I want full-length pants, I will get them out of storage. But again, because they wouldn’t be part of my everyday wardrobe, I didn’t include full length pants in my summer capsule wardrobe.

My capsule wardrobes are not supposed to make my life difficult or make me have to go without something I need. I made my capsule wardrobe rules to be flexible and work for my lifestyle. The intention behind my capsule wardrobe is to simplify life by limiting the number of choices I have to make in order to get dressed.

Summer capsule wardrobe - 2017 stay at home mom summer capsule wardrobe (bottoms)

  1. Dark wash cropped jeans
  2. Medium wash cropped jeans
  3. Black cropped leggings
  4. Spaced dyed cropped leggings
  5. Cuffed denim shorts
  6. Frayed edge cuffed denim shorts – similar

Shoes & Outer Wear

Our summers are usually casual and relaxed. We spend a lot of our time outside playing and having fun, and my shoe choices reflect that.

My go-to shoes during the summer are the black and white flip flops. They have a thicker, more supportive sole, which is great for playing outside, running errands and general wear in the summer.

I have a pair of running shoes and walking sandals I wear for long walks or hikes. But I decided not to include them in my official summer capsule wardrobe because I only wear them for those specific activities.

Again, when making your own capsule wardrobe, you can make your own rules to suit your lifestyle. I don’t consider my running shoes or walking sandals everyday shoes. Instead, I consider them activity specific shoes. So, I didn’t include them in my summer capsule wardrobe.

Although our summers are mostly hot and dry, we do get a few rainy days. I included my black wind and water-resistant jacket for those days. And my denim jacket is a great layering piece for slightly cooler days and evenings.

Summer capsule wardrobe - 2017 stay at home mom summer capsule wardrobe (shoes & outer wear)

  1. Black elastic Bobs – very similiar
  2. Grey converse shoes
  3. Black flat flip flops – similar
  4. Black and white flip flops – similar
  5. Denim jacket
  6. Black wind and water resistant hooded jacket – similar

Accessories

My accessory choices for my summer capsule wardrobe are the same as I included in my spring capsule wardrobe. They are still my favourite and go-to pieces that I enjoy wearing most often.

I have included pictures of the accessories I plan on wearing with my summer capsule wardrobe for interest’s sake and to give a more complete picture of my wardrobe.

Jewelry

I like having some variety in my jewelry to finish and change the look of an outfit. Because of this, I decided not to limit the number of accessories I would wear this season simply for the sake of staying under my 40-item limit.

I am intentional about the accessories I own, and don’t have an excessive amount. But I wanted to keep my options open and not put a limit on my accessory choices.

However, I am being selective about the accessories I keep accessible for this season. As I’m learning with my capsule wardrobes (and minimalism in general), fewer choices often makes things easier. The simple act of having fewer pieces out in my jewelry dishes and putting the rest away in my jewelry drawer, makes decisions easier.

Purses & Bags

As far as purses and bags go, I use the same functional cross-body purse everyday.

Although I definitely don’t consider my trusty, old diaper bag an “accessory”, I do use it a lot to carry all the snacks, drinks, spare clothes, and other essentials required when out for more than a few hours with little kids. It has been super functional throughout the last 6+ years!

Summer capsule wardrobe - 2017 stay at home mom summer capsule wardrobe (accessories)

  1. Wood and gemstone mala necklace (made by me!) – similar
  2. Feather silver necklace – similar
  3. Pyrrha lion silver necklace
  4. Bird silver necklace – similar
  5. Gold amethyst earrings – similar
  6. Silver crystal earrings – similar
  7. Color by Amber bracelets
  8. Brown leather cross body bag
  9. Black canvas diaper bag – similar

And that’s my summer capsule wardrobe!

There you have it, a detailed look inside my summer capsule wardrobe. I will be wearing my summer capsule wardrobe from around mid-June until mid-September. Because we live in a place with 4 very distinct seasons, I change my capsule wardrobes out following the seasons. So far I’ve enjoyed dressing from each capsule for 3-ish months. It’s short enough that I don’t feel completely bored with the clothes in my capsule. But long enough that I don’t feel like I’m constantly changing out my clothes. It seems to be working, so I’ll keep going with that system for now!

I’d love to hear what you think of my summer capsule wardrobe. And if you’ve created your own capsule wardrobe, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Leave a comment below and let’s chat!

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14 Comments

  1. I am working on having a capsule wardrobe for each season. Yours is very helpful even though, to me, even 21 tops are too many. After all, that’s a different one for every 21 days. I don’t think I will keep that many. I also have 3 or 4 dressier tops that can be worn with jeans or khakis. Love your blog! Especially decluttering ideas.

    1. I’m glad you found it helpful to see inside my capsule wardrobe Judy. Yes, I agree that 21 tops are more than I actually “need” and I could reduce the number of tops if I wanted to minimize further. However, at the moment I feel comfortable with this size of a wardrobe. It still gives me a lot of choices, but they are all items I love wearing. And it is significantly less than I used to have in my wardrobe, so I find it much less overwhelming to decide what to wear. The most important part of making a capsule wardrobe in my opinion is figuring out what works for you and your lifestyle and going with that. If having fewer tops would work better for you, that’s great! It really is all about creating a wardrobe that makes your life simpler, however that ends up looking for each of us. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog! Take care!

  2. I keep hearing about “capsule wardrobes,” and I’ve read a post or two, but I have to say that yours is my favorite. I loved your explanation about what your capsule wardrobe is and is not, and your lifestyle and style are very similar to my own! I really admired how comprehensive this post was, rather than just being a list of links. I haven’t really considered a capsule wardrobe before, but now I think I will! I will be sure to check out some of your links if I do. 🙂

    1. Wow, what an amazing compliment, thank you so much. I’m so glad to hear that you have found my posts helpful! My goal is to show you how capsule wardrobes (and minimalism in general) are accessible for everyone, and not overly complicated or intimidating. I’m so happy to hear you could relate to my posts and are interested in the idea of a capsule wardrobe now. That’s amazing! Thank you so much for reading and sharing your kind and encouraging words. Please let me know if there’s anything you would like to know more about, I’d love to help in any way I can. Thanks again and take care!

  3. Hi Melissa,
    I can’t even remember how I stumbled upon your blog about a week ago but I immediately felt a connection and have to say thank you for the writing you do! I feel that what you’re doing in your life with decluttering and letting go of things is what I’m moving toward right now as well so I have found your posts very helpful! Your capsule wardrobe system inspired me to overhaul my closet, and although I wasn’t able to let go of all my ‘maybe’ items just yet, it really made me consider which pieces I had and which I loved the most. I’m in a bit of a tough spot right now, at ten months postpartum I don’t quite fit back into all my pre-pregnancy clothes so I don’t feel ready to give them away only have to replace them later, but having them out of my main site helps me to focus more on the options that I do have. Also, as a stay at home mom for now I wear mostly casual clothes so the capsule I’m currently working on will reflect that, but I will be returning to work in the fall so I will need to keep in mind my professional clothes as well, some of which (the dressier tops and crop pants) I still wear on weekends or out with friends. Do you have suggestions on including essentially two wardrobes in one? I’m thinking of maybe creating two smaller capsules, one for work and one for weekends? I also LOVE that you work with what you have, I was researching capsules a bit and came across one that suggested creating a capsule and knowing what you needed to buy to make it work, suggesting buying three or four new items each season. I feel like if I did that I would end up back in the same place I was pre-capsule planning very quickly. I plan to use what I have and if I noticed gaps, make calculated purchases and only replace items as they wear out.

    1. Thanks so much Krista! I’m so glad to hear that my posts have been helpful and inspiring to you. It makes me so happy to know that after reading my blog you were inspired to work on your own capsule wardrobe. I just love that. I agree that clothes can be a challenge when you’re in the season of pregnancy/postpartum/breast feeding. Our bodies go through so many different sizes during that time, you really do need more clothes to accommodate them all. But I think what you are doing is great, only keeping the clothes that currently fit and you love in your closet and putting the rest away for now. Just removing that extra visual clutter alone makes deciding what to wear so much easier.

      I think the idea of creating two smaller capsule wardrobes, a work and casual capsule, is a great idea for when you go back to work. That’s what I would do when or if I ever start working outside of the home again.

      I agree with you about not buying more clothes to make a capsule wardrobe. Most of us are interested in a capsule wardrobe to begin with because we have too many clothes and it makes it overwhelming to decide what to wear. I like to use my capsule wardrobes to weed out the things I don’t love so I’m only left with the pieces I love wearing. And that’s exactly right about intentionally replacing or adding pieces as needed. My whole mindset about clothes shopping has changed since starting to make capsule wardrobes. I now shop very carefully looking for pieces to fill a specific gap in my wardrobe, rather than just shopping for something new.

      Thank you so much for reading and for you comment. I’m so glad to hear from you! Please keep in touch as you continue on your simplifying journey, I’d love to hear how things are going. Take care!

  4. I love how thoroughly you explained your capsule wardrobe setup and the reasons why you picked the items you did. I’ve wanted to create a capsule wardrobe as a step in the decluttering journey. I’ve been able to unload a lot of items, but have not yet been intentional about it. This was inspiring!

    1. That’s wonderful Leah, I’m so glad you found my post helpful for putting together your own capsule wardrobe! If you have any questions, let me know, I’d be happy to help if I can. Thanks for reading and good luck putting your capsule together!

  5. I just had my first capsule for spring and I loved it! I didn’t know if having a capsule wardrobe would be for me, but I found it actually easier to put together outfits than normal.

    1. That’s awesome Sheila! I wasn’t sure how I would like a capsule wardrobe either, but I have been absolutely loving it. You’re right, it makes getting dressed so quick and easy! Thanks for reading and commenting, I love hearing from other capsule wardrobe converts 🙂

  6. This is great! I’ve been culling my clothing herd for a while now but you’ve motivated me to take it a step further. I’m glad to read that you don’t count layering pieces…that would have taken up a good chunk of my 40 (or whatever number I pick)!

    Question: What do you do with your off-season pieces? I know some get replicated through all the seasons but where do you store your strictly fall/winter stuff so it isn’t adding visual clutter to your closet or space in your drawers?

    1. That’s so great that you felt inspired to purge your clothing even more. Yay! I figured I needed to make my wardrobe work for me and including layering pieces didn’t work for me. The most important thing is to forget anyone else’s rules or what you think you’re “supposed to do” and make your wardrobe work for you!

      As far as my out of season clothes, I store them in our spare bedroom closet (thanks to minimizing it was mostly empty anyways) and 1 or 2 drawers of my dresser. I prefer to have less visual clutter in my closet, so it makes more sense for me to store out of season clothing elsewhere. Everytime I put together a new capsule, I’m working to really assess and declutter my stored clothing even further if I can. But that’s the system that’s working for me right now! If you have more questions, just let me know!!

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