How to Create a Summer Capsule Wardrobe with 7 Pieces

By on June 1, 2012

By Jeannine Byers –

Do you remember when the month of May meant that summer, and three months of freedom, were almost here? I homeschool my son and he still gets me to play “School’s Out for Summer,” by Alice Cooper, when our homeschooling year comes to an end.

My summer no longer means building forts in the backyard, but I still look forward to it. I’ll confess that part of the reason for that is buying new clothes.

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But have you found, like me, that the kinds of clothes you wear have changed? As I have gotten older, my own list of summer possibilities has gotten shorter. Shorts? Not anymore. Tank tops? Probably not. It would have to be pretty darn hot!

So what can we wear to beat the heat that will still look flattering and not break the bank?

As always, you want to keep your coloring and your body type in mind, so that what you wear makes you look your very best.

(1) It might be best to wear shirts that hit your arm right at your elbow.

(2) It might be best to make sure shorts, skirts and dresses fall to mid-knee or just underneath.

(3) Maxi dresses forgive a multitude of sins but if they are sleeveless, a short-sleeved cardigan in a matching color might be your best accessory.

To minimize the impact on your budget, always start with what you have. Plan to create a summer capsule wardrobe with two or three colors that mix and match and honor your coloring. And your best bet is to choose at least one color that you already have and can find at least 2 or 3 pieces in to start your capsule.

I suggest a 7-piece model for a basic summer capsule wardrobe…

  • Two short-sleeved tops or blouses
  • Two short-sleeved cardigans or jackets
  • Two pairs of pants or skirts
  • One fabulous maxi dress

Can you buy more than that if you find a really good sale? Of course, you can. And even if you do start small with 7 items, you can add on to it each month if you find other shirts or pants that would be perfect for it. And ideally, this will be a summer capsule you can use next year, and maybe add a third or fourth matching color.

What’s great about sticking with a core wardrobe limited to a few matching colors is that it saves you money on accessories. Everything you buy will match everything you wear.

About Jeanine Byers Hoag

Jeanine Byers Hoag is a personal style blogger and the author of The Capsule Wardrobe Book: Signature Style Essentials for Plus Size Fashionistas. For more information, go to

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How to Create a Summer Capsule Wardrobe with 7 Pieces