How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

summer capsule wardrobe

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Say goodbye to the stress of summer dressing with the ultimate summer capsule wardrobe!

It’s finally hot and shiny out there — nothing beats the summertime, after all. Nature shimmers in every corner under the glorious sunshine and the sweet summer wind. 

And like the sun, I’m back to do a capsule wardrobe blog for you to sort out your summer wear. 

Be it a night date on the beach, a family vacation, a business event, or a short trip to the grocery store. I’ve curated the ultimate summer capsule wardrobe that will stand up to all occasions mesmerizingly.

Have these base elements in your wardrobe and you won’t need to spend a bomb on dresses for last-minute functions this season!

Top 18 Summer Capsule Wardrobe essentials In 2023

1. Black & White Tanks

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

I’m sure even if I don’t mention tank tops, you’re gonna include them anyway. After all, they’re the holy grail of summer!

Perfect for casual outings, they keep you cool and relaxed. 

Go for a slouchy tank top if the heat is unbearable in your city. Otherwise, normal-fitting tanks work well, as well. 

Play with prints and colors to see what matches your style. Black and white tones are immortal — they can serve multi-purposes, so be sure to stock them up!

2. Oversized/Boxy Tee

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Bees and Tees are summer’s favorites. 

While there’s no hard and fast rule you have to go for loose-fitting clothes, I’d personally prefer oversized or boxy tees for a breezy and well-ventilated outfit. 

There are zillions of catchy, head-turning graphic tees available online and offline. If you’re part of a fandom, you can buy a merch tee to add to your summer capsule wardrobe. Or get one customized according to your interests!

3. High-waisted Blue Jeans

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Skinnies are undoubtedly nice, but they can irritate your skin badly in hot weather. 

I know you’re going to have go-to jeans anyway in your closet (who wouldn’t, they’re lifesavers!). Rather than sticking with your skinny jeans, wear a comfortable pair that goes well with your tanks and tees.

I personally like dark wash jeans more, because one, they give a slimming effect and two, they go really well with the neutral color theme of summer (as well as bright too).

It can be a classic blue straight-leg or a bootcut — whatever fits your mood. Just ensure you have the correct rise and jeans that accentuate your body shape, and you’re all set to go!

4. Wide-Legs/ Baggy Trousers

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

The recent Hallyu wave has revolutionized fashion globally. And if you wish to stay on top of the game, baggy trousers are a must!

There are numerous variations available — classic wide-legs, flowy pants, Korean baggy pants, and flared jeans. Depending upon your body shape, you can choose either and be the showstopper.

Plus, baggy trousers can be paired easily with tank tops, cute tees, button-downs, and even blazers for a relaxed, chic outfit. So, that’s that!

I would usually pick it up in black color first and then probably something in a neutral tan tone to add that summer X factor!

5. White Sneakers

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!


White sneakers are literally my most worshiped pair of footwear. I mean, from skirts to midi/maxi dresses to jeans, they fit every single outfit. PEAK VERSATILITY BEHAVIOR.

Not to forget, the white color adds a very breezy and playful touch to your attire. Thus, you can easily balance off heavily patterned dresses or tops with them.

Again, countless styles are available here, girl. There’s no compulsion that you have to settle for the classic pair. Go funky and select fashion sneakers embellished with floral designs, pearls, and so on.

6. A Midi/Maxi Dress

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

The reason why I love summer so much, despite the scorching sun and all the cons it has, is you get to flaunt your curves in gorgeous dresses.

Ruffled floral dresses have my heart. White midis with lace work that give off strong feminine energy are also treasured pieces. 

Picking a neutral color like beige can prove to be a wise decision, given that we’re building a summer capsule wardrobe here. You can wear it to a formal business event, a wedding, or even a simple housewarming party!

But I would go ahead and add some fun colors to it as well if the budget allows. I mean, it is summer, after all!

7. Denim Shorts, of course!

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Another jewel in the crown is the effortless denim shorts, which you can pair with tanks and tees. Beat the heat without compromising on fashion!

Slouchy pleated shorts are a must-have for academia lovers this summer. Patched denim shorts can also spice up your capsule wardrobe without costing much.

8. Sandals & Flats

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Strap sandals are a preferable footwear choice given the comfort and breeziness they offer. You can easily match them with your midi/maxi dress, skirts, and flowy trousers. 

Some of these include the much-loved gladiators, thong sandals, boho sandals, T-straps, wedges, and flip-flops. 

However, strappy sandals aren’t absolutely necessary. Ballet flats can also do wonders when matched correctly. Thus, it’s best to stick with the middle ground and select neutral colors like beige, nude, etc.

9. Bodysuits

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

A bodysuit is a one-piece clothing quite similar to a swimsuit but different in function. You can’t wear a bodysuit to a pool. But here’s the upside — you can style it for almost every other occasion!

Pair it with your favorite wide-leg jeans or pants, denim shorts, or even a skirt. You can add layers if the nighttime’s a bit chilly.

The seamless look of bodysuits remains unbeatable and is best to show off your curves and edges. They SCREAM elegance and are utterly comfortable to wear.

10. Linen Shirts

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

If you’re a fan of button-downs and formal wear, keep a couple of linen shirts handy. The fabric is perfect for this season — it’s cool and airy and thus easily absorbs moisture. 

You can go for solid colors (but light in tone), striped patterns as well as casual printed linen shirts. Dark-colored checkered shirts can also be worn as a layer over a contrasting midi dress.

11. Denim Dress

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

When I say denim dresses, it’s not limited to shirt dresses. There are a plethora of options for you to explore — pinafore, baby doll, bodycon, buttoned dress, and so on.

Moreover, there’s no fixation that denim dresses have to be the iconic blue. Unless and until the fabric is authentic, you can try out different colors and patterns in denim dresses to live your dreamy summer look.

12. Ruffled Blouses

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Wearing anything ruffled and flared is a BIG YES this season. Frills give off an elegant and breezy vibe and help mimic a chic boho attire.

There are literally countless styles and designs available in ruffled blouses. You can have tops with ruffled sleeves or a statement ruffled collar. 

An off-shoulder ruffled top along with a cowboy hat and denim shorts, is a sought-after look.

13. Cargo Pants

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Another bottom wear to liven up your summer capsule wardrobe is cargo pants. Sporty, rough yet comfortable, they can be super crisp and fashionable when styled correctly.

Bodysuits and tank tops go well with cargo pants, creating a flattering minimal and casual ensemble. 

Mustard and maroon-colored cargo pants are all the rage today. But again, buy something that goes with your capsule wardrobe collection. If you need yellow cargo, go for it! 

Also, baggy and parachute cargo pants are more impressive than straight-leg ones.

14. midi Skirts

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Preparing a summer capsule wardrobe without midi skirts must be declared a sin because they’re toooo good to be left out.

There are numerous modern designs are available in the market today. You have split midi skirts, pleated, front ruched, thigh-high asymmetrical splits, etc. All these can be a good choice for running errands, going out for brunch, or even clubbing in the summer. 

But if you’re looking for a more refined and graceful option, I’d suggest adding the silk/satin skirt to your list.

And if you don’t have a clue on what to wear with midi skirts, guess who has a bomb post on that?!

15. Crochet, Babyyyy!

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Crochet tops and dresses have made a jaw-dropping comeback in the last decade. Girlish, clean, effortless, and glamorous, it seems like this ‘70s trend is here to stay forever!

You can crochet a top/dress by yourself. Or go online and buy some adorableeee heart throbbers!

Loose-fitting crochet cropped tops can be easily paired with baggy/flowy pants over a contrasting bra. You can also match them with mini Grecian skirts and chunky sneakers for a 70s-inspired modern style.

16. Swim Cover-Ups

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

You’ve got to have swimsuit cover-ups if you’re planning to enter a pool or take a swim on the beach anytime soon.

An extra layer guarantees more protection against the sun, especially when partaking in outdoor water activities. 

Plus, some women might not be comfortable with exposing skin for a longer duration — say you’re still at a beach, getting a good tan after swimming. In such cases, it’s better to carry a swim cover-up for comfort.

In addition to this, some swim covers can also be worn during swimming. Ideal for people insecure about their body shape and imperfections (which we love, btw!).

17. Cotton Shorts

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Cotton shorts are the staple of any summer capsule wardrobe, no matter how different our preferences are. You can’t keep cool unless you have your favorite pair of daily-wear shorts to stay in for Netflix and chill.

To top it off,  get super-comfy and cute designer cotton shorts for hitting the beach or a day out with friends. These are much more appealing and decorous than your at-home shorts but with the same relaxation and flexibility in movement.

18. Statement Accessories

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Will Take You from Beach to Barbecue!

Now that we’re done with clothing, time to zoom out and shift our focus to the garnishing.

Sorting out your accessories for summer can be a tough nut to crack, given you want to use every single ornament (we’re all guilty of that). 

But our aim is to minimize our wardrobe and stick to some basic items which can be cross-matched with anything and everything. So, here are my top accessory picks for the next 2-3 months:

  • A summer scarf
  • Cowboy & Floppy Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Graphic Totes
  • Handbags
  • Color-pop jewelry

Tips For Building Your Own Summer Capsule Wardrobe!

1. What’s Your Summer Vibe?

summer capsule wardrobe vibe

Before anything else, ask yourself — how do you want to embrace this summer? Are you planning to go for an English aesthetic cottage-core vibe, VSCO girl, baddie, or contemporary casual?

Research, queen. 


See what’s out there — stalk some fashion influencers on TikTok and IG. Understand your options thoroughly, converse with your friends to get more ideas, and then settle for something that reflects your personality well. Find your personal style.

Or maybe, try something entirely new!

2. Pay Attention To The Fabric

summer capsule wardrobe fabrics

Do not miss this step.

You’ve got to find out which fabric suits your skin and doesn’t irritate in the hot and humid weather. Look for lightweight, breathable, and soft cloth materials that won’t suffocate and are comfortable to wear.

Cotton is the mother of all fabrics when it comes to having an enjoyable summer. Linen and light denim are also some options.

But, in case of sensitive skin, avoid wearing synthetic at all costs. You don’t want to end up covered in a bad rash at the last moment!

3. Decide On Your Color Palette

summer capsule wardrobe color palette

Summer is the season of colors. At no other time can you splash your wardrobe with color pop as right now?

Given below are some of these really charming color palettes you must try this summer:

  • Yellow, mustard, and peach
  • Ivory, khaki, dusty rose, and latte
  • Orange, green, peach, and sky blue
  • Green, purple, and cyan

However, you can also go neutral to include more versatility in your wardrobe. 

Colors like beige, nude, white, cream, brown and black are timeless and can be paired with almost every other piece of clothing. Thus, they can be styled in different ways and easily be rotated.

This way, you can truly cherish the concept of a capsule wardrobe without spending or thinking much!

Final Words on the summer capsule wardrobe

Building a summer capsule wardrobe is no big deal once you have clarity of your needs. 

Ask yourself why you’re building a capsule wardrobe. Do you have budget restraints or do you simply want to declutter and minimize your wardrobe?

If the first is a big yes, it’s crucial to decide where you’ll be shopping for your summer capsule collection — online or offline. Depending on what fits your budget, move on to deciding your summer vibe, fabric, and color palette.

The list curated above is just to provide you with a macro-level insight into the base elements selling like hotcakes this summer. Plus, they are versatile and can easily be styled with other clothes in your wardrobe. 

From tanks and tees to linen shirts to Grecian skirts and baggy Korean trousers, I’m sure your summer capsule wardrobe 2023 is gonna be a massive hit! 

So, ensure you gear it up well this season and set fire to the stage!

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summer capsule wardrobe

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