Capsule Wardrobing

Summer Capsule 2019: Planning

Happy June, dear reader!

Summer is fully upon those of us in the southern part of the northern hemisphere. (That sounds incredibly contorted. Oh, well. Such is life on planet Earth.) Last weekend was the unofficial start of summer, and since our temps were hovering around 100 degrees all week long, I broke out some of my summer capsule items a bit early. Other items had already shifted in (and others out) as the weather warmed. Some people are very containerized aobut their capsules, but I work more of a “rolling capsule” concept. I definitely check what needs to be in and out seasonally, but as each season progresses, there is a flow to accommodate the gradual change. (If summer is now a fond memory and you want some information about a winter capsule, check out last year’s winter capsule post.)

1. What Kind of Look Do I Want? (Imagine)

I want this summer’s capsule to be a continuation of my spring capsule because I really loved, loved, LOVED the color palette.

NOT tired of these colors yet! But I expect to be by September…

I prefer neutrals during the summer; they “feel cooler” to me than brights. This puts me in conflict with much of the rest of the world that embraces color all summer long, and dives back into neutrals in the fall. Since my color contrast is N+1C, I need to wear a color to avoid looking washed out. I’ve chosen the blush and blue as accents because they “feel cool” to me. Last summer I wore mint and turquoise, but those aren’t calling to me this year. I kept a few pieces and will leave them in storage in case I fall in love again next year.

The One and Done vibe from spring is still resonating with me, and I’m crushing on hats and straw. I’d love a straw tote, but haven’t found one that makes we want to pull out my wallet. That’s probably a good thing! I have a vintage straw lunchbox; it’s too small for a tote and awkward to carry. It decorates our spare room. I’ll probably pull it out for some pink looks…

If feeling like sparkly crystals and pearls are due for a comeback, but only if they have a bold simple drama. That may mean a shift in thinking about accessories for me. I’m not sure how that will play with the current straw obsession. No problem. I have time. This is a learning experience, not a punishment!

2. What Do I Have? (Assess)

Shopping My Closet/Storage Box:

I have most everything I need in my closet and out of season box. (I ALWAYS start with what I already own. I’m not interested in building from scratch!) I am still crushing on the blush tones I started wearing last year, and will continue to run with them and the pinks that I have already! My suede sandals in (a sort of) Princess Blue, are getting more wear now that the weather has warmed up. They’ll go with anything, especially if I toss this scarf around my neck! (It was the jumping off point for the spring capsule.) My blush slingbacks have been getting a lot of wear, and I expect they will continue to do so through summer. I pulled my grey and pink sandals out of storage; they are my regular go-to’s. They give me a few inches and are ridiculously comfortable!

First day of summer capsule look!
Pink sandals, old blue shorts, blue linen top and scarf.

I had a blue pintuck casual jacket in my box, too, and am hoping to get a lot of wear from it this season. It finally feels right: not too dressy, not too casual. I wasn’t in the right place before, but so loved the color that I kept it in my box. I’m glad I did! I think my white jean jacket is due to make a comeback, and so is my white and navy striped tee shirt dress.

3. What Do I Need? (Evaluate)

What do I need?

I still reeeeeeeally need a new white tee. Our springs and summers here are hot and sticky, so a white tee usually only makes it through one round of S/S before it’s time to downgrade it to working-in-the-yard wear. If I want to recreate the grey trouser look on my inspo board, I would need a sleeveless white top, but am struggling to find one I like. I had two, but they both had become too dingy to save and were disposed of at the end of last year. I’ll keep my eyes open at the consignment and thrift stores.

This is no more than a draft… There’s still work to be done to finalize it!

In spring, I said that a new pair of flat shoes would rock my spring/summer world because I have plenty of heels but am sorely lacking in flat/low sandals that work with my chosen color palette. I could use another pair of flat/low neutral sandals. Maybe my old snakeskin sandals will work. I’ll give them a test drive for a week or so to see how I like them. I think they’d be darling with the wide legged jeans and the straw hat! (But I’m not sure how I will like them with the blush and/or princess blue.)

I’m focusing again on keeping a good balance between work and play clothes. Downtime is a priority this summer. (Days off and vacation are on my Summer Bucket List!) I shouldn’t be lacking for workwear. Summers here skew quite casual, and I have enough grown-up dresses to cover me for workshops or speaking events. I find dresses more comfortable in the heat than trousers… Better air circulation, and no waistband make for a much cooler me!

How much do I need?

In my spring planning I wrote myself these reminders. They are both still as true today at then.

Note to Self 1: I don’t need as many “dressy clothes” as I imagine; my life doesn’t go there. And I have a small Special Occasion Capsule I can dip into if needed. Get over including clothes for dressing up!

Summer Response: I’m including more tees than usual, and more casual shorts and dresses.

Note to Self 2: Only things that fit comfortably right now deserve a place in my capsule. I can swap out later if needed!

Summer Response: My grey shorts are staying in storage; some other summer pieces that are just too snug are headed for consignment. If I loose these five extra pounds I’ve acquired since last fall, everything here (but the blue shorts) will still fit, and I’ll add the grey back in. I don’t need “skinny clothes” shaming me every time I open my closet door.

4. What Will I Buy? (Eliminate Options)

Like I mentioned above, I am jonesing for a straw tote. But this little Princess Blue crossbody is calling my name as well. Sigh. So many bags, so little time. I know I don’t need any more bags. Repeat ad infinitum…

I picked up a logo tee in Chicago, but still need a plain white tee. It’s on order from Lands’ End, as are a few other pieces to replace some worn and stained summer basics. I did some other strategic shopping when in Chicago for my conference, adding a blush skirt and pink tote that will carry into this season, and the tee I mentioned above. I also ordered that silly silver bucket hat… Two of my style goals are to wear a hat (and a brooch) at least once a week. Help me stay honest, friends!

How about you? What season are you barreling into? Do you think in color palettes? What colors and/or neutrals do you want more of this coming season? Is there anything you are just “done with” and simply cannot bear to see anymore? Let me know in the comments below… I do so love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,


  • Erika Alvarez

    I don’t normally think in palettes; it’s just these are my summer clothes (“hello, old friend!”) when I pull them out of storage. But I can see how whittling down to a few strategic pieces like you have done prevents the dreaded “what the heck shall I wear today?” It would be a good excuse to dig through my masses of scarves and start wearing the ones I really love. Thanks for the post.

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for the visit, Erika! Glad to have been of help! Some people need lots of options, and some of us get overwhelmed by too many. It’s important to know where you are on the scale… Hope to see you again!

  • Juhli

    You inspired me to finish my own although our weather isn’t ready for it yet! I posted on my blog about it but not as thoroughly as you have. Thanks for continuing to inspire!

    • closetplayadmin

      It has been chilly out on your coast, hasn’t it? I saw photos from a friend playing in the snow on Memorial Day weekend. Granted, she was in the mountains, but even there is usually less chilly than that! I can’t wait to see what you pull together for summer.

  • jodie filogomo

    I can’t ask what I need…ha ha!! Because my strange brain thinks I need everything! Especially when I tell it I can’t have it.

    • closetplayadmin

      I understand that! Some people just need more options than others… I’ve discovered I have less stress with fewer options and less in my closet. I take pictures of things I want but know I will never buy, and save them in a file on my phone. Then I’ve collected them, but without the expense or stress!

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