We’ve extolled the benefits of a capsule wardrobe here at TZR, but anyone who’s tried to pare down their closet to six essential pieces knows it’s much easier said than done. Not only does it take a sharp eye to edit your closet down to a highlight reel, but also a solid amount of discipline to keep outfits feeling fresh with a limited amount of options. Still, I know it’ll save me time and energy to cut back to a handful of styles to focus on every morning, so in the spirit of spring cleaning, I put together my dream summer capsule wardrobe: a 12-piece closet full of seasonally appropriate must-haves that are perfect for mixing and matching.
Of course, I’m not packing away the rest of my wardrobe any time soon, but these are the items that’ll take up prime real estate in my closet and enjoy heavy rotation, especially on the days that I don’t have time to plan my outfit in advance.
As should be the case with all capsule wardrobes, its items toe the time between trendy and timeless. Ahead, the 12 summertime mainstays I fall back on time and time again, plus how to style them.
Romantic midi dresses, like the ones I saw at Erdem, Self Portrait, and Jonathan Simkhai, feel particularly fresh for spring. This Doen iteration is deceivingly breezy, despite the high collar, and looks just a fresh on its own as it does with a pair of Bermuda shorts, like the Tibi ones I highlight below.
Easy Slip Dress
The slip dress is a classic mainstay in any summer wardrobe. Wear it on its own for brunch, or layered below a blazer with heels for a night out.
Side-Slit Midi Skirt
I consider a midi skirt, especially one with a side slit, my secret style weapon for summer days. It offers enough ventilation to keep you cool, but couldn’t be easier to dress up or down depending on your plans. On truly horrid summer days, pair yours with a square-neck bathing suit top, like the one below.
Flowy White Top
This white puff-sleeve top from Mr. Larkin is just begging to be paired with everything from white jeans to bike shorts this summer.
While a tie-dye tee would be *very* of-the-moment, this printed white T-shirt pairs just as nicely with the lavender slip dress as it does with the midi skirt.
Modern Shorts Suit
Swap out last year’s shorts suit: This season, the freshest take on the menswear trend features Bermuda shorts instead. As a bonus, these Tibi separates totally pull their own weight separately, too.
Throw-And-Go Mini Bag
If you’re paring down your wardrobe, you might as well pare down your handbag too, right? This mini iteration from Loewe is super on-trend for 2019, but feels timeless enough to invest in for the next decade. (And, if paring down *this* much scares you, know the bag comes in a medium size as well.)
When the weather heats up, I incorporate bathing suits into my wardrobe the way I would a barely there top; not only does this Reina Olga suit offer a bit more air flow than a tee, but it also looks totally at home under a shorts suit.
No summer wardrobe is complete without some rigid white denim. I like to wear mine with chunky sandals and a flowy top, like the Mr. Larkin style above, and pray that I don't spill my coffee all over myself.
A “naked” sandal in a neutral tone ups the ante on any simple summer outfit. The thong silhouette feels *very* 2019.
Chunky Sport Sandal
Aesthetically, these leather sandals from The Row are a great entry point into the chunky sport sandal trend. Dress them up with a midi skirt and a flowy top, or down with a pair of bike shorts.