Summer is upon us and if you've been living the minimalist lifestyle, then you'll no doubt welcome the opportunity to update your capsule with some exciting new pieces.

I know there have been some items that I've been dying to wear!

How you build your summer capsule wardrobe depends on your lifestyle. What you love. What you need. And what you can't live without.

So, if this is your first time putting together your capsule wardrobe, you might be in for a little shock. But it's nothing too scary, I promise.

I'll guide you through the steps. Let's do this!

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

To put it plainly, a capsule wardrobe is made up of the most practical and versatile clothes you already love wearing.

Everything else either gets stored away for another season, donated or discarded.

I personally subscribe to the Project 333 school of thought, which leaves me with 33 total items in my capsule for each season.

I know, 33 items sounds crazy. But I'll elaborate on exactly what that means later.

Other minimalist experts like Caroline Joy of Un-Fancy advocate for a maximum of 37 items.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to this number but keep the mindset that less is best. Your goal is to find the things that bring you happiness.

At the beginning of each season, you can rebuild your capsule with the other items you stored away.

Or you may replace them with new ones, which you have carefully planned for ahead of time.

What is in a Capsule Wardrobe?

The basics should always come first.

Basics are everyday items you wear no matter the season like t-shirts, leggings and tank tops.

The reason you want to focus on the basics first is that they can be easily combined with your outfits and dressed up or down accordingly. 

If you need a little more clarity on the basics, Signe from Use Less offers some helpful advice in the video below.


Here are the general items that you'll want to include in your capsule wardrobe:

  1. Jackets/Blazers
  2. Pants
  3. Jeans
  4. Shoes
  5. Shirts
  6. T-shirts
  7. Blouses
  8. Knitwear
  9. Dresses
  10. Skirts
  11. Shoes
  12. Jewelry 
  13. Accessories

Of course, you should adjust your final capsule according to seasonality and any potential events you may have coming up.

For your summer capsule wardrobe for instance, you'll definitely want to include some shorts. But we'll get to that later.

Once you’ve figured that out, your next task is to find the pieces that you absolutely love.

To elaborate on the point I made earlier about my capsule only containing 33 items, this does not include essential items like:

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Activewear
  • Or things you might wear around the house, like your sweats

However, this comes with a caveat. If you find that you wear your leggings more often to the grocery store than to the gym, then they become part of your basics.

How to Build Your Capsule Wardrobe

The first step to building your capsule wardrobe is to visualize and sort everything that's in your closet.

Your sorting process should be a take-no-prisoners approach. Don’t think, just go with your gut and put them into the following six piles:

  • Basics I Love: These items make me feel good about myself. They fit me and I wear them often.
  • Basics I’m Not Sure About: We all have those things in our lives that we want to keep. But for the life of us, we just don’t know why.
  • Seasonal/Non-Basics: These are the items you love but can’t reasonably wear right now due to seasonality. This also includes non-essentials like leopard prints or other trend based items.
  • Special Occasion Wear: This is anything you might wear to a party or a special event like a wedding. 
  • Items I Want to Donate: These don’t fit me or my lifestyle anymore.
  • Items Neither I Nor Anyone Else Would Want: Just ew.

    If you think you need a little more guidance on how to sort everything, Signe shares some more useful tips in the video below.

    Now that you’ve gone through the first round of sorting, it’s time for round two!

    Take a closer look at your Basics I Love and Basics I’m Not Sure About piles. Try on the clothes you’re not sure about and ask yourself this:

    1. Would I buy this today if I were in a store?
    2. Am I likely to wear this in the next three to six months?

    If the answer to either question is no, add it to your donate pile.

    Make Your Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

    Borrowing from the general list of items I mentioned earlier, your goal is to narrow things down to the final 33 items.

    Break everything down category by category i.e. clothes, accessories, jewelry

    If you want to see an example of this, you can download the free Arona XO Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe Checklist below.

    When getting your basics sorted, ask yourself What do I wear most often? And What fits my current lifestyle?

    This is where we start to get down to the nitty gritty and find out what's most important to you.

    Do you prefer jackets or blazers?

    Do you prefer monochrome or lots of colors?

    Do you prefer tight or relaxed fits?

    After you do that, it's time to build out your summer capsule wardrobe. Yay!

    Pieces to Include in Your Summer Capsule Wardrobe

    There are a few timeless pieces that should end up in your summer capsule wardrobe year after year. But each season is also an opportunity to try something new.

    If you decide to buy new pieces, make sure you've thought long and hard about them. Every shop from now on needs to be planned and purposeful.

    Whenever you get the urge to buy something new, stop and ask yourself:

    1. How many outfits can I make out of it with the basics in my capsule?
    2. How often am I likely to wear it?

    If you struggle to see yourself wearing it 20 - 30 times, avoid it like the plague!

    Now, let's get into those summer capsule essentials.

    White Dress

    White dress

     Tan Sandals


     Slip Skirt


    Go-With-Everything Sunglasses


    Floral Dress

    Floral dress

     Strappy Sandals


    Basket Bag


     Denim Shorts

    Denim shorts

    T-Shirt Dress

    t-shirt dress

    These are just some of the summer staples but you may find that your tastes or lifestyle requires something a bit different.

    Feel free to build your summer capsule wardrobe to fit you and your lifestyle.

    Need help checking off your capsule wardrobe checklist? Download the Arona XO Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe Checklist for free!

    Related Posts

    21 of the Best Women's Smart Casual Outfit Ideas
    21 of the Best Women's Smart Casual Outfit Ideas
    Whether you work in a creative office, a start-up or you just like to look presentable, combining that elusive combin...
    Read More
    15 of the Best Ways to Wear Neutrals this Fall
    15 of the Best Ways to Wear Neutrals this Fall
    When it comes to fall colors, I'm neutral on the subject. And I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. I th...
    Read More
    21 Fall Street Style Looks You Need to See
    21 Fall Street Style Looks You Need to See
    Fall is one of the most exciting times of the year for street style, where we all get to layer up in our most chic en...
    Read More