Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2021
Happy day, reader dear!
Whew! Another season has whizzed by! Where did it go? I remember my in-laws visiting after son number three was born. We were deep in the sleepless nights season, and their visit was a blessing. My mother-in-law would sit for hours on the couch holding the baby so he would sleep and I could tend to sons one and two and take care of little things… Like hygiene. She looked at me one day and said The days drag, but the years fly by. I certainly couldn’t imagine it, but she was so right.
Some days I look at the grown men that were our babies and at their babies in awe and wonder. I am comforted by the cycles of life, the seasons, the continuity of the yearly markers that give structure to the fast flowing river of time. (Not sure where that all came from, but I’ll leave it for posterity.)
So we begin another season and another summer. Now, I know that summer technically doesn’t begin for another 18 days or so, but capsules aren’t tied to the calendar seasons. You make them work for the seasons as lived in your life, in your part of the world. You change and adjust as the weather and your life demands. A capsule wardrobe isn’t meant to be a sentence or punishment; a capsule wardrobe is supposed to make your life easier and hopefully teach some lessons about yourself and your sartorial preferences along the way. (If it doesn’t, maybe they aren’t for you. Or you just aren’t paying attention.) What did Spring teach me?
Spring Capsule Wardrobe Debrief
What did I learn?
I don’t ever use the word perfect, but this capsule came pretty close! It handled all the vagaries of spring weather not only with ease, but with grace.
I could dress up, dress down, and everything in-between. I wore everything multiple times, except one cardigan that appears to have seen only one wear.
This Spring Capsule’s downside? I’m tired of the green. I’ve been in a green season now for more than a year. It has featured prominently in my OOTD’s. (With a little break last summer.) It’s not you, green. It’s me. I think we should take a break and see other colors for a while… Maybe a fall fling?
Each season when I build a capsule, I follow the same five step process. Imagine, Assess, Evaluate, Eliminate and Refresh. If you take your time on Imagine and get a super clear idea of how you want to show up in the world and how you want to feel, the rest of the steps, which execute that plan, fall pretty much into place! Meanwhile, I need to rework those step names into some sort of cute acronym…
First: What kind of look do I want? I am still all about the melamine tray! If the tray reference whizzed right past you, here’s a quick video explaining… Not just the tray, but the tray with that floral tote thrown in. Do they conflict? Yes, but I see the connection in my mind. Think Parisian Mod rather than British Mod. Not a thing, but I’m inventing my own combination…
If you’ve never given Imagine (You could also call it inspiration or focus.) a moment’s thought, you’re not alone! Most of the clients I work with need to be walked through this step by step for a few seasons. It’s one of the most important things we do together, and is the foundation of wardrobe building and mindful dressing. (Versus random buying of clothes and throwing something on.) It’s also something many of our mothers learned in HomeEc. (Talk about practical life skills!)
Vibe: How do I want to feel? Yes, your wardrobe affects how you feel about yourself! Spring’s Composed still feels good to me, as does cheerful. I think this color combination, though tighter than spring, still plays good cheer with all the reds. (Pinks are all varieties of red.) I expect that green will reappear in the fall!
I want a modern feel. (Modern is part of my Style Cocktail.) This summer feels like a fresh clean start. Lots of white, crisp stripes, blues, and some retro mod touches that wink at the word modern. I’m thinking pop art daisies fill that retro mod slot just so!
If you want to hear my thought process…
Next: What do I have? Now it’s time to shop the wardrobe! Really! I find it easiest to take everything out of the closet, and get the out-of-season items out of the way. Those unwearable out of season pieces can trick you into thinking you have more options than you really do. (Which is helpful for some people but not for others!) While you’re at it, why not ditch the items that don’t fit. Yes, really. It’ll do your heart good.
Of what’s left, what do you have in the colors you feel drawn to for the season? For me, spring’s greens and lilacs will take a vacay… I’ll take another look at them come fall and decide what should stay and should go. (Cue the Clash!) I have tops and bottoms or dresses in my neutrals and my colors. I’ve got to look for a column of color in each. Neutrals may seem backwards for summer dressing, since everyone else is running for color, but that’s my personal quirk. Our summers are super hot and humid, and to me, whites and greys feel cool. Think stone in the shade. I’ll grab some pink and blue tops and accessories. I’ll keep a few red accents. It looks like I have almost all I need already in my closet or my out of season box.
Here are the piles in my colors.
What do you need? What pieces? AND How many?
2020 was pretty simple. I lived in cutoffs and blouses. Dressing up went (mostly) out the window. This year, however, I have some special events to factor in. The Association of Image Consultants International biennial global conference begins today. Yes, it’s virtual, but I’ll be dressed for work, and I need an outfit for the virtual gala Saturday night. That should be a hoot! I am also planning on attending some events at Columbia Fashion Week later in June. Then, there’s the plain old heat and humidity of Georgia to take into account. Tack on a surgery scheduled in July for Mama. Which means lots of pre-op MD visits, a stay at the hospital, (I don’t even know if visitors can stay overnight.), and much driving about for physical therapy and follow-up visits the rest of summer.
All those plans mean I need some sharp and comfortable outfits, an outfit for gala (That will probably come from my Special Occasion Capsule.), and some regular work-from-home clothes.
How many? The past few capsules I’ve built have had right around 30 pieces. With it being summer, I’ll need to up my number of tops, and won’t need as many toppers or sweaters. Since A/C here runs Arctic, I will still need some… Maybe two spiffy and one casual? I’ll be adding shorts since those work for both casual and work-from-home. We’ll see what happens to the numbers when I get into my piles! Note to Self: There are a LOT of dresses on my Pinterest Spring Summer 2021 Inspo board. Dresses are good for the heat and are one-and-done outfits, so if I can wrap my mind around wearing more of them, they’d be a great choice for summer.
What to leave out? Now it’s time to clear the decks. I want to be strategic about what I pull. I could put in all the jeans (because I have a serious thing for denim), but then I’d not have enough tops. On my first pull, I was even-Steven tops to bottoms. Ooops! That’s certainly not going to give me a good wardrobe balance. One dress trouser like I did for spring? Spring’s mantra was Denim more. Dresses less. Maybe it’s time to be re-upping the style quotient a notch.
Finally: What do I feel like I need to add?
The dress was a Mother’s Day present to myself. Cool animal prints are rare. It’s not fabulous quality, but it makes me happy and I can see wearing it a great deal. It’s super easy and breezy. I found a soft white tee type top during the spring and picked that up, too. (I don’t count replacing those basics as part of my French 5.) I need to keep my eyes open for a new pair of sandals, and I’m pondering a pair of white sneakers… WHAT?
So How About You?
Do you change your wardrobe over seasonally? Or do you keep everything at hand all year round? Does your weather vary dramatically from season to season? If you were building a summer wardrobe from scratch, what neutrals would you choose? What accent colors? Do you know if hospitals are allowing overnight company yet? I don’t think Mama has spent a night alone in a hospital since I was born. What kind of feeling do you want for your summer look? Do tell! I love to hear from you…
I too had been looking for sneakers that were casual, but not chunky.
I am also “Sublime”. 😃
Thank you, Julie for sharing the link! I keep buying sneakers and returning them… They all feel too chunky. These Sperry’s are sleek for a sneaker!
Sally in St Paul
Liz, I get SUCH a strong vibe from your inspiration board. I am really looking forward to seeing how that translates into your capsule!
Every summer I start feeling the navy and white, stripes, and florals strongly. This summer I am quite attracted to pink/red and chambray (while last summer I was very into soft green and pink-ish coral). It’s funny, I like florals 365 days a year but for spring, I like more watercolor-ish florals and for summer, I like more cartoon-y florals. I hadn’t noticed that before.
Knowing the florals that appeal is key! I don’t like realistic florals, but very abstract or as you said “cartoon-y” florals. Chambray and red has been one of my favorite combinations for years, I may even have a post about it… Ik know I created 4th of July looks in that combo. I’m not sure how it’s translating yet, either… I’m feeling a bit of shift in how I want to show up in the world and am not sure how that will play out with what I’ve been doing.
Liz, I do plan my clothing seasonally in a ay. At the beginning of Spring I pack aay my Fall/inter clothing and bring out my Sring/Summer clothing. Because it’s basically Summer eather for Spring here this orks really ell for me. Going forard our eather ill be extremely hot. e’ve already been having 102 degree days! In planning a Summer Capsule I ould use hite, khaki and navy as my heutrals and peach to coral, aqua to turquoise, cherry blossom pink to atermelon and yello as my accenrts. Gold and pearl jeelry. This is my Summer Capsule actually!
Sounds like you’ve given it some good thought! We’re getting hot already, too!
I added a pair of Keds leather white mule sneakers. They have been around for ages so not over trendy but fit in the current athleisure thing going on these days. Wore to church with midi skirt and denim jacket. I fit in with the younger set that is wearing sneakers with everything. Lol
Sounds cute, Vickie! I like sneakers with a short tee shirt type dress in the warm months! I’m still trying to wrap my mind around running shoes and floral chiffon dresses…