Photo credit: Katie Jameson
Summer is my favorite season — in life and in my closet — and I’m so glad it’s finally here! Bit by bit, my summer wardrobe is taking shape, so how about if I share my progress with you today?
Instead of doing a big planning session and creating a new capsule, I’m letting my spring capsule slowly morph into a summer capsule. No big overhaul, no timelines — just putting the long sleeves back in storage for now, and letting a few new pieces trickle in here and there as it feels right.
So today we’ll chat about my summer mood board + style vision, and I’ll also share the 6 old pieces and 3 new pieces I’ve added to my wardrobe for summer.
Ready? Let’s jump in!
SUMMER MOOD BOARD + STYLE VISION
Summer is a big ol’ reminder to not take things too seriously. So, during these hot months, I take the opportunity to play.
There’s no better time to throw off all the little “shoulds” that have encroached on my style and experiment with some looks I’ve been wanting to try.
This time around, I’m deviating from my usual classic + minimal style and embracing a bit of a different vibe. It’s a little bit vintage (think knotted button downs, high rises, and worn-in denim), a little bit organic (subtle textures, neutral tones, and linen fabric), and a little bit romantic (warm colors, midi skirts, and showing a little skin).
However, this change will mostly happen in styling — air dried hair, minimal makeup, a knotted top here, a pop of color there — so I don’t actually need to buy a bunch of new pieces to pull it off, yay!
What do you think of that coral/terra cotta color up there? It’s my new jam. Actually it’s an old jam that’s come back around. See, my favorite shirt in high school was that color — it also had glittery flowers on it, but we won’t revisit that part. :) Anyway, I’m so happy to get a bit more color into my neutral wardrobe with each passing season.
Now that we’re in the heat of summer, the cool-weather clothes from the beginning of spring are tucked away in storage, and I’m slowly adding some hot-weather clothes to the mix. So far, I’ve added 6 old pieces (pulled from storage) and purchased 3 new pieces. Have a look:
O L D P I E C E S
WHITE BUTTON DOWN (old by Anthropologie) / similar (made responsibly) / similar
CHAMBRAY BUTTON DOWN (old by Madewell) / similar / similar (under $35)
BLACK DRESS (old by Ann Taylor) / similar / similar (under $30)
PRINTED DRESS (old by Bridge and Burn) / similar / similar / similar (with sleeves)
LINEN DRESS (old by Ann Taylor) / similar / similar / similar (in a jumpsuit)
N E W P I E C E S
SLIDES by Nordstrom Rack (under $50) / I’d been searching for a good pair of minimalist-looking slides for months, but of course, the pairs I liked were mega expensive. But then I found this pair online for under $50, took a gamble on ’em, and they are even better than I could have hoped! Padded footbed, check. Soft, comfortable suede straps, check. Not-too-wide, not-too-narrow width, check. I’m thrilled!
LINEN TUNIC by Anthropologie / Here’s that beautiful color I was talking about! I can wear this guy so many different ways — tucked in, tied in a knot and cropped, as a swimsuit coverup, or tied around my waist. It’s definitely outside of my norm, what with the color and the statement sleeves, but you wouldn’t believe how “at home” I feel in it. A little shake up is a good thing.
CROP TANK by Aritzia / I’ve been loving the Outdoor Voices crop tank for yoga and workouts lately, and this white crop tank is like it’s everyday, non-workout cousin. It might seem super plain, but it’s a pretty bold move for me, since it’s quite fitted and actually shows some midriff. But the tone is all in the styling — when paired with a high waisted midi skirt or pair of mom jeans, it feels demure.
• • •
And there you have it!
How about you? How’s your summer wardrobe shaping up? Are you doing a planning session or slowly filtering pieces in and out as it feels right? What are you most excited about wearing/trying this summer?
Next week, I’m teaming up with my girl Lee of Style Bee to kick off the summer 10×10 challenge! Here’s a look back at my past 10×10 challenges, in case you want a refresher course on the concept. We’re sharing our 10 pieces next Friday, July 7th and starting our outfits on Monday, July 10th. Mark your calendars and start picking your 10 pieces — we’d love for you to join us!
See you next Friday for the summer 10×10 kick off! :)
I’m curious how you deal with linen and extreme wrinkling. I love the feel of it for summer but struggle with ironing right out of the wash and as the dat goes on. And love the terra cotta color!
I buy linen pieces that can go in the dryer on low. I take them out right away and hang them up and then I usually don’t need to iron them except maybe the hem.
Mid-weight linen also has less of a wrinkling problem, though still definitely wrinkles. A lot of linen shirts are a lighter weight (handkerchief, lawn, or holland) and therefore wrinkle more and are more transparent. You can also embrace the wrinkly-ness by “broomsticking” the item while wet and letting it get mostly dry that way (more details here: https://unefemme.net/2017/06/linen-clothing.html). Or, buy a linen blend.
Because Summer also means heat where I live, I will often take my linen tops and dresses and give it a fine mist spritzing with water and then gently tug. This frees up any major wrinkles and helps it lay on me better. One of the things I like about linen is that it often isn’t as structured and it’s okay if it doesn’t look too crisp. The mist is fine enough that it dries quickly.
I do the same but with the Laundress’ Crease Release spray — smells soooo good!
Ah, linen, nothing beats it for summer comfort! I think, with linen, you just have to love it for what it is, and not worry about wrinkles. I sure don’t! So many fabrics out there are “wrinkled” on purpose. Those are the ones I stay away from. That said, the more you wash and dry linen (in the dryer) the softer and less wrinkle-prone it gets! You do have to be careful on the first wash and dry, though, as some linen shrinks and may become too small. I was heartbroken last year when that happened to a shirt I love. Fortunately, I was able to buy another one and don’t put it in the dryer!
Did you look for sustainably/ethically made versions of the new items? I’ve been interested in what you’ve posted on that subject and was hoping your new pieces would be in that vein.
Same! I don’t buy non-ethically-made stuff anymore, so your recommendations weren’t super helpful to me.
Hey ladies, totally understandable, and I appreciate the feedback! I do always keep a lookout for responsibly made items, but I do have to keep a balance with affordability as well.
It begs the question of whether shopping responsibly is an all or nothing commitment? For me personally — it’s not. It’s a work in progress. (Just as many other areas of life.) I will continue to be mindful of my purchases and find things that work for the long haul and I will buy responsibly when I can.
That being said, I find it exciting that so many people are trying to find ethically sourced items. It will eventually lead to a larger shift in the marketplace and make those items more accessible! :)
Thanks for your comments!
Caroline, I love your attitude and personally find what you said relatable, so thank you for your comment. While I love the idea of shopping responsibly, I am put off sometimes by how it feels like only the financially privileged can fully embrace it (not referring to secondhand shopping of course, but the pricey responsibly-made brands that have become so popular). What shopping responsibly looks like to me in this season of my life is: buying quality pieces that I am going to enjoy for multiple seasons, refusing to shop in particular stores, and only filling the “holes” in my closet – results being having less, but loving what I have more. I hope to be able to do even more as time goes on. :)
Meg O. says
If you’re looking for more ethically-made slides/sandals that don’t break the bank, I highly recommend Everlane’s new Form Slide (the “comfort” leather ones, both the normal slides and the cross slides). They’re not a dupe for Carolyn’s (leather vs suede and no brown option), but they’re awesome, and made ethically in Italy of Italian leather. I’ve seen some not-so-stellar reviews for them (comfort-wise), but I do find them more comfortable than Birks on my feet, and they’re holding up great. It probably depends on foot shape, but I have a pretty high arch and wide toe area, and these don’t pinch, rub, or blister. I walk my dog in them about four times a day. I’m a true size 7, and 7 is perfect (but those in between really will want to size up – my feet just fit). If you want tan, their new Bridge Sandals have a tan option (and look super cute), but I haven’t worn and can’t vouch for those yet!
Thanks for sharing, Meg. Great suggestion! :)
Same here. Dont find the linked products useful.
It looks great, Caroline. What are you putting away from your Spring capsule? I replaced three of my summer dresses with midi-length dresses; two in rayon (black and an ivory/indigo tie-dye print) and one in white linen. They all have pockets. I’m also replacing two tees that have stains; a white V-neck and an indigo multi-textured tee.
basically, forced to declutter due to an upcoming move, … I am more & more becoming a fan of minimalistic lifestyle.
Your fashion ideas are of particular help.
I have packed my autumn/winter clothes already and have a couple of summer items in my wardrobe – inspired by your capsule idea, I am planning to limit the set down to:
– favourite 5 summer dresses
– favourite 2 pairs of summer shoes
– 3 blouses
– 3 trousers (one jeans, one beige, one black pair of pants)
– 1 elegant set just in case I need to attend some special event before the move
My running clothes are not included here. Neither are my running shoes.
Until my move mid-July, I would like to live wearing only the set mentioned above (underwear left out, socks, too!).
It’s funny how consciously spending time to think about it – already, feels like progress.
I agree, Caecilia! Just being mindful is the first and most important step. :)
Paula Burr says
Yes I like the filtering idea and have been doing this as the seasons are not always clear cut. 3 pieces I’m excited about because they’re versatile, go with the rest of my wardrobe and add touch of girlishness to a fairly classic set of clothes are a blue striped and embroidered Indian flippy skirt from Fat Face, a stylish white sleeveless polo shirt from Crew and an Oasis Khaki jacket
Love your easy, relaxed style, especially the color of the linen top. It is a nice color that goes with just about anything.
Michael @ Mile in My Glasses says
Thanks for the wonderful post! I absolutely love your picks, summer is a great season for fashion!
I hope you have a great Thursday,
Bonnie Rae says
I do the exact same from spring to summer, I take it slow and see what will stay and what doesn’t fit the weather. Then I fill in the small gaps, I’m also slowly working to find pieces that I can wear both now (4 months pregnant) and after little one arrives- a fun new challenge, thank goodness for Madewell!
My summer wardrobe needs so much help!
I could live in black and grey year-round, but we’re packing for a quick getaway to Boston for the Fourth, and I am really struggling to find outfits that feel “festive.” Because I have rosacea, there’s not an ounce of red in my closet. I’m fighting the urge to just go buy a cheap top that will fit this occasion, because I know I’ll only wear it once a year.
What do you do when you feel like your outfits don’t match your environment?
I actually think blue jeans and a white tee scream summer and fourth of July and those are items most people own. I’m thinking a cute handkerchief/bandana with a fun print or bright color pop might by more versatile and be more ethical than a cheap top you might not want to wear again. It could be tied around the neck, worn around the rim of a hat, as a headband, a belt, etc. You can always repurpose the scarf/bandana as a wrap for a gift.
You can also treat yourself to a festive manicure and not impact your wardrobe at all. :)
Hey Krystal, I agree with Laura’s comments above! Great suggestions. Nothing more Americana than blue jeans and a white tee. :)
Wear neutral clothes and a red lip!
Hi Caroline, I have used your capsule planner for my summer wardrobe for the first time. This was very helpful, thanks.
My favorite piece is a top with dots. I also love wearing sandals. I am looking forward to your 10×10 challenge!
All wonderful comments to this post! For me, wardrobe and home decor get a lot more lazy in a good way in the summer. Even tho we live in Fl, we still have a summer and it’s a noticeable change in attitude for sure. We where a lot of white with the basics and have found the short, square scarfs can add the color need to make it more festive and add color. I tie them around my neck, in a belt loop, in my short hair, on a hand or beach bag or just tucked into a small purse. The beauty of this…these tiny scarfs take up very little space the closet! The same concept works wonders in our homes with seasonal area rug and pillow change outs. Via la summer!-Laurel
Leah Wise says
I think I might try to participate in the 10×10 this time around! I always forget, but I’m going to make a note of this.
The best thing about adding a bit of vintage is that vintage clothes are truly one of the most sustainable ways to shop.
Yes, so true Bronwyn! :)
I love your mood board! It totally screams all-things summer!
I’m looking forward to the 10 x 10 challenge because I really miss your posts! I understand that you needed to scale back for a bit, but please know that you are missed!
Love that linen tunic, and that color suits you so well! I also like that you are also bringing back old favorites from last year and the year before, because that’s what clothes should be like: long-lasting old friends, shaken up by a few new pieces. Can’t wait to see outfit posts of your summer wardrobe.
That’s exactly what I’m looking for in my summer wardrobe. Thank you for encouraging me to shop less and choose well.
10×10 time again? I might be in this time!
Yay! Join us, Tina! :)
I love those new items and recommendations for similar pieces of the old clothes. I can’t exactly afford most “ethical” clothes, so I really appreciate the more affordable options.
I love returning to favorite colors I used to wear all the time. I used to have a pale yellow tee in college that I wore til it literally fell apart, and since then I never really wore the color again. This season I purchased a new pale yellow tee and it feels so nice and nostalgic, in a way.
Madeline Mudd says
Love this, Caroline! I’ve been mixing in some color recently, too (oddly enough!) and am loving it!
Katie @ 24 Carrot Life says
I’m dying to know how you do those amazing collages of the individual clothing pieces. It’s so clean and straightforward!
Hey Katie, it can be very time consuming, but it’s just good ol’ photoshop. I find the images online and then arrange them onto a white backdrop. :)
I feel the same way about summer! So at home in my wardrobe and the laid back vibe in general :) I’ve recently started wearing a ton of crop tops with high waist midi or maxi skirts and high waist floaty pants and am loving it! Who would’ve thought I’d start rocking the crop top at age 30? Ha can’t wait to see your outfits!
Love it. Sounds so cute, Kate! :)
Love these summer colors. Where is that mythical high waisted midi skirt you mention?
Love your style.
Colour and print are, for me, the 2 things missing from most minimal wardrobes so its lovely to see some here,
I’m wanting to add some yellow shoes to my wardrobe but the ones I fell for are OOS.
That’s always such a bummer! Good luck finding some that you like. :)
I just love everything about summer! And like you I really enjoy dressing for this season. My style and colour palette is quite different from yours ( I love me some pastel in summer! ) , but I think it suits you so well :) Loved reading about your style journey!
I love that Aritzia crop tank too, I got it in blue and can’t believe how much I have been wearing it. That reposa fabric is just so soft and dreamy and strangely not sweaty in this heat! Time for one (ok or five) more of those… :P
I love that you go a little more bohemian in the summer; I tend to lean more sporty, or alternatively preppy/feminine sundress. I think it’s because I know those technical fabrics are so much less likely to show sweat or wrinkle. This summer is adding an interesting wrinkle (ha ha) for me though — I’m starting a new job and will no longer be commuting by bicycle. Back to cars for me! It’s also a little more put together of an office so I need to dress up more… without dying of sweat! Ack.
Good call, Elyse. Sounds so comfortable! :)
I’ve been stocking up on basic tanks for the weekends, so they’re easy to mix and match with either black or cognac accessories. For work I’ve gotten several looser short-sleeve tops (we can’t do sleeveless) for when it’s too hot for a cardi or blazer. But with the a/c blasting all the time, I just have to brave the heat walking to and from my car! ;) I’m loving everything in Bridge and Burn’s shop, thanks for linking!! They might get me wearing more dresses.
irene \ hint of grey says
Summer is indeed my favorite season! The warmth, laid back vibe.. It doesn’t get too hot in Vancouver so I am always lusting over the heat down south!
Hint of Grey | http://www.hintofgrey.com
Angelica l. says
What an awesome summer plan you have! I’ve been reading through a lot of your posts and love the idea of season capsules. It is something that never occurred to me before, but is such a simple yet genius idea. For me it has been a slow process of taking a step back and being realistic about what works/fits/I like. That being said, I’ve probably donated half of my wardrobe over the last few month. It amazed me the items I’ve horded and kept over the years that just hang there taking up space. It is freeing to look in my closet and see all clothes that I want to wear. I’ve found that even though I love dresses I tend to not wear them. My summer plan is to wear more dresses. They make me feel pretty. :)
Hi! I love your blog. I have lost some weight, enough that I will be needing to buy a whole new wardrobe! Where do you suggest for me to start?
Hey Laura! I would definitely start with filling out the capsule planner. It will help you in the long run to have some goals in mind as you’re building your wardrobe. I would make notes as you try things on, to see what you’re drawn to and what direction you want to go. Depending on your budget, you can hit up thrift stores or consignment shops first for inexpensive basics. Then whatever you can’t find there can be filled in seasonally. Sometimes things that you need will become clear as you go. Good luck! Happy hunting. :)
I love these slides, and have also been on the hunt for a pair, but these don’t go up to size 11. What other pairs did you find during your search? Thanks!
Hey Marian, here’s what I found in size 11 with another quick search this morning:
These are a little more expensive but look great: http://bit.ly/2tkQ8a7
Similar style in a different color: http://bit.ly/2tkMw84
These are closer in color, but a cute criss-cross strap: http://bit.ly/2utTdmF
One more for good measure: http://bit.ly/2tkxsHk
Good luck on the hunt! :)
Everything looks light and comfy! I’m on the hunt for a good linen shirt too, but sticking to goodwill leaves my options limited as yet. I’ll get there eventually!
I love how your style is ever evolving and you keep things constantly so down to earth. Also your summer board gives me all the heart eyes – how beautiful is that terra cotta color?! Looking forward to seeing your summer vibe in full swing :)