Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Old school style bloggers and old school style blog readers,
I’m throwing it back to 2008-ish and doing a summer 30 for 30. Or, for newer blog enthusiasts, a summer capsule wardrobe.

Remember when style blogs were fun? Before they were editorial catalogues filled with perfect photography and all the designer things? When we mixed high and low, celebrated secondhand scores, restyled our favorite pieces a dozen ways, swapped clothes cross-country, made our boyfriends and husbands take our photos every day, and posted outfits we actually wore in real life? 

Man I miss those days.

That good ol’ nostalgia —  and an email newsletter from ThredUp about summer capsule wardrobes — inspired me to pop open a Summer Shandy after work Wednesday night, go through my closet, and pull out my 30 favorite pieces to remix into at least 30 summer outfits for work and play.

If you’re new to the concepts of the 30 for 30 challenge and capsule wardrobes, the idea is to whittle your wardrobe down to 25-30 versatile pieces that you can mix and match into lots of great outfits for stress-free dressing. The best capsule wardrobes are built around quality pieces you love, reflect your unique personal style, and work for your lifestyle.

My goal here is two-fold: to re-spark my style creativity, and soothe the shopping itch that creeps up at the start of every season. I don’t need a bunch of new summer stuff; I need a fresh perspective on all the great pieces I already have. I hope this gives you some inspiration for remixing your favorite basics, too!

Casual Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2016

My summer capsule wardrobe includes 10 tops, 3 completer pieces, 3 dresses, 7 bottoms, and 7 pairs of shoes. I went heavy on casual neutral pieces for work and the weekend, and threw in a printed wrap skirt, a pair of versatile black cropped pants, and nude stilettos for occasions that may require a little more polish.

I gave myself a few guidelines for this challenge:

Use what you have. I didn’t purchase anything for my summer capsule. A lot of capsule wardrobe “pros” tell you to run out and buy a new mini-wardrobe for each season, but that seemed to defeat the purpose of assuaging my summer shopping craving. I resisted the urge to pop into TJMaxx for a few last-minute cute tops or dresses, and selected pieces that were already in my closet.

No new stuff. Speaking of shopping, there won’t be any. Like the 30 for 30s of yore, this challenge includes a shopping fast until at least 30 outfits are posted on the blog.

Get creative with accessories. Bags and accessories aren’t included in my capsule; I can shop my closet for these extras to spice up my outfits.

Most important, this summer capsule is for fun! There are no hard and fast rules here; it’s not about unrealistic restrictions or pressure for perfection. I loved these challenges in the early days of my blog, and I hope this will reignite my passion for sharing real-life style on a real-life budget.

For more helpful info on capsules and building a perfect wardrobe, check out the blog Into Mind.

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What do you think?

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  1. 3.10.17

    Great post! I agree, there doesn’t have to be a hard and fast number or rule around a capsule wardrobe. Also, I really like the exposed brick wall behind your wardrobe :)

  2. 9.21.16
    Anonymous said:

    I love shopping my own closet! When you’re looking at it like a store and not your same old stuff, everything suddenly takes on new life. Great post!

  3. 9.21.16
    ashleighmclean said:

    I love shopping my own closet! When you’re looking at it like a store and not your same old stuff, everything suddenly takes on new life. Great post!

  4. 9.14.16

    Great Post! I’m Taking Notes!

  5. 7.27.16
    Linda said:

    I love that you’re doing this! The blogger that got me into fashion blogs in the first place now wears outfits/accessories that average $1,500 a day or more. I miss the the more affordable fashion and using what you have. Do you every read Penny Pincher Fashion? I love her style and affordable finds.

  6. 7.13.16
    Anonymous said:

    I TOTALLY remember these! I wish more bloggers did them, and more often. Capsule wardrobes just don’t have the same vibe.

  7. 7.12.16

    Right on, girl! Love this. I’ve kind of been dressing in combinations of just a few pieces for the last couple of months. Now you’ve got me thinking…. Hrm.

  8. 7.6.16
    Brown Eyed Quail said:

    Love this so much! I too am so tired of seeing every blogger perfectly dressed in their designer digs and perfectly photographed. Thank you for being real and kickin it old school (aka like the rest of us).

  9. 7.5.16

    I love this! I’ve been reading your blog since 2010 and I’ve always loved how real you are. I finally started my own blog about a year ago and it’s such an intimidating blog world out there now. I try to keep it as real as possible because I’m just a normal person who works a full-time job and then blogs for fun. I think when bloggers switch to blogging full time it can become less genuine. I’m glad to see that you haven’t decided to stop blogging like some of my other favorites.

    • 7.5.16

      Thank you, Emily! Keep on being yourself and honor the fun. :) I sincerely appreciate you following along for so long.

  10. 7.5.16

    Yay for throwing it back to a 30 for 30. I can’t wait to see how you style your pieces. I should jump on your shopping diet bandwagon…I think I’m all set for Summer.

    • 7.5.16

      I’m excited! Want to jump into this 30 for 30 business with me? ;)

  11. 7.5.16
    Anonymous said:

    I’m so glad you are doing a 30×30. It’s what I really enjoyed when I started reading fashion blogs. I’ve always loved your blog and your casual Florida style. Honestly, I miss the days when Kendi Everyday used to do them. I actually found A Pretty Penny through her blog years ago.

  12. 7.2.16
    Anonymous said:

    Great idea! I’ve always wanted to do a 30×30 challenge, but never put myself up to it. I’m excited to see what outfits you come up with! :)


  13. 7.2.16

    I very much appreciate what you said about the real-life style in blogs. Many bloggers present a life-style that is not realistic. I also love to mix and match the items I have in my wardrobe. I´m planning a post with one skirt-multiple looks.
    I´m looking foreward to your upcoming posts.
    Have a nice weekend!
    xoxo Reni

    • 7.2.16

      Thank you, Reni! I hope we get back to that as a blogging community. Thanks for following along!

  14. 7.2.16

    Very into personal, relatable imitable styles. That’s basically my blog! Can’t wait to see what you pull together. I always love your look.

    • 7.2.16

      Thank you! Glad you’re keeping it real on your blog, too!

  15. 7.1.16
    Donna S. said:

    I love this so much!! This is so inspiring and really makes me think about what I already have in my closet and not what I want to buy next. <3

  16. 7.1.16
    Sandra said:

    I agree with you and everyone about how blogs have changed. They use to be fun to read and I use to think that I could recreate a particular outfit I loved. Now a lot blogs are just about designer pieces and the current “it” bag of the moment. I have unsubscribed from many blogs because they were magazine/model wannabe shoots.

    I really looking forward to your 30 for 30 challenge. Can’t wait to see what outfits you come up with. Thank you for keeping things relatable to the rest of us.

    • 7.2.16

      Thank you for following along, Sandra! I think it will be fun to get back to basics. :)

  17. 7.1.16
    Alexandra said:

    Great post! I love capsule wardrobes! I’m currently planning on revamping my wardrobe for the minimalistic capsules!

  18. 7.1.16
    mariel said:


  19. 7.1.16

    I was just thinking about doing the 30 day Closet challenge from Into Mind – great timing on the post!

    • 7.1.16

      Summer seems like the perfect time to try it! You don’t have to worry about variables in weather, and everything is a little more laid back and easy style-wise. Do it!! ;)

  20. 7.1.16
    Julie said:

    I love this! Thank you for bringing it back and being a style blogger that real girls can actually imitate. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • 7.1.16

      This comment means a lot to me, Julie. Thank you!! :)

  21. 7.1.16

    I love this idea! I’ve been creating a capsule wardrobe that works for both seasons, and I admit, I have bought a few things (although not having a LBD is a crime). I really enjoy your perspective on this though, especially because I’m dedicated to only showing affordable outfits on my blog – it can be hard to feel like my posts ‘measure up’ when really, being like everyone else was never my intent in the first place. Long ramble over: It’s encouraging to see bloggers I look up to ‘shopping their closet,’ and remember to be content with what I have!

    • 7.1.16

      I think it’s totally okay to fill in the gaps with new purchases! It’s easier to see what “essentials” are missing when you experiment with a capsule, which is one of the things I love about them.

      Keep up the real-life style on your blog, sister! I have a hope that one day we’ll circle back to that as a blogging community. :)

  22. 7.1.16
    Emily said:

    I love this. I remember the 30 for 30 challenges of yesteryear when, like you said, blogs were fun and showed how to mix and match pieces instead of being a walking advertisement for designer clothes I could never afford. Instead, this forces you to utilize and be creative with what you already have. I need to do this just to curb my shopping cravings. I can’t wait to see what outfits you put together!

    • 7.1.16
      Kayla said:

      I completely agree with what Emily said. There are plenty of bloggers who post pretty outfits but often I think…..who can afford this? Whose daily life is this outfit practical for? How do you remix this? Will you wear this more than once?

      I can’t wait to see what you put together. THIS IS GOING TO BE SO FUN!!!!

      • 7.1.16

        I’m so excited that you’re excited, Kayla! This totally made my day.

        So many of my favorite “girl next door” style blogs have become completely unrelatable to me. I wish we could all get back to sharing the fun stuff. Thanks for following along!

    • 7.1.16

      Let me know if you try it! I’m excited to “get back to basics” and get inspired to blog about real-life style again. Thanks for following along!

  23. 7.1.16

    So much love for this post! Way to go!!