A Peek at My Summer Capsule Wardrobe

A few weeks ago, I shared my efforts to streamline my life and minimize my closet. The biggest step was creating a capsule wardrobe of about 40 essential pieces to wear throughout summer. Everything else was either donated or packed away in our guest bedroom, available “just in case.”

My first week of wearing only items from my capsule wardrobe, I was nervous. I was anxious about not having the appropriate outfit for an event or that I’d be tempted to dip into my back-up closet in the guest bedroom. But by the end of the week, I realized that I hadn’t missed a single thing and was loving the new system. Getting dressed in the morning was so much easier. I could quickly scan all of my options and was wasting way less time waffling between outfit choices. When you have four dresses to choose from, what to wear is a pretty easy decision!

What’s interesting is that not only did I not miss anything extra from my original wardrobe, out of my 40 capsule pieces, I wear maybe 20 on a consistent basis (don’t worry, I’m not including underwear in the count). I honestly think I could get rid of 5-10 more items and would barely miss them. It’s amazing how little clothing you need. I thought it’d be fun to share some of the core pieces I’ve been wearing this summer – my summer essentials.

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White tank

As I mentioned last week, stripes are a staple of my summer wardrobe, so they’ve been in heavy rotation this summer. I’ve also been loving my chambray shirt, which I’ve been wearing instead of a jean jacket over dresses. It’s a slightly more updated look. 

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jean shorts

Summer is all about the effortless dress. I kept the number of skirts and shorts in my capsule to a minimum, and instead went with a larger number of dresses. Throw one on and you’re done. I made sure to choose dresses that could be easily dressed up or down depending on the occasion. 

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Comfy black sandals (1)

With shoes, I kept things pretty basic. Out of everything, I’ve been wearing my black sandals the most. They are almost as comfortable as my Keens without making me look too “granola.” After all, Birkenstocks are on-trend this season.

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Overall, my only concern is whether or not I’m successfully walking the line between boring versus simple and chic. I’m hoping that my little pops of color and stripes keep me from completely blending into the background. Thoughts? What would you include in your summer capsule wardrobe?

XOXO,
Jules

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Finding Joy in the Everyday

A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law sent me The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. No, it wasn’t a hint to start doing a better job of cleaning her son’s house – or at least I don’t think it was… Liz recently decided to take early retirement, so she and her husband have been going through decades of possessions, trying to downsize their life. She loved the book so much that she thought I needed to have my very own copy.

Not only did I also love the book, weeks later I’m still thinking about it. More than just a step-by-step guide to cleaning your house, the book shares more of a philosophy of life: only keep things in your life that spark joy. Of course the focus is on decluttering and getting rid of possessions, but it’s also applicable across relationships, jobs, etc. For me, it was a new approach to cleaning, and for some reason it resonated with me beyond just clearing out our closets or bookshelves.

It’s had me thinking about what simple parts of my everyday life give me little moments of happiness. I’ve been specifically paying attention to the positive moments that often just slip on by:
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Doggies

Coming downstairs to these happy faces every morning

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nick

Moments of silliness with this goofy guy

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bed

Lazy Sunday mornings in bed dinking around on my computer

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coke

When my husband surprises me with a Diet Coke, nectar of the gods

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Above all else though, it has me thinking about what in my wardrobe brings me joy when I slip it on. When I really think about it, there actually aren’t too many items in my closet that fit the bill.
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socks

My cozy wool hiking socks – worn all year long, even in summer

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chambray

My chambray shirt that always needs to be ironed – I wear it and wash it so often

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scarf

My neon tie dye scarf that just makes me feel cool when I wear it

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After a few weeks of reflecting and slowly shedding old jeans and other possessions from my closet, I’ve reached a point where I want to really pare things down. One of the points from the book that’s really stuck with me is that if you only have what you absolutely need and love, you should never have to tidy. Everything should just have it’s own space. Not tidying would be the dream, especially the bedroom, where I’m prone to strewing my clothes about.

So, I’ve decided to try pulling together a capsule wardrobe. Picking a minimum number of pieces to wear for a few months, with the rest of my wardrobe moving into boxes in storage. After those few months, if I don’t miss anything, I’ll know that I can live without it.

I’m slowly trying to think through flexible outfits for both the office and summer weekends. How many pants and skirts I need, how many shoes I actually wear, etc. This capsule wardrobe planner has been so helpful. Hopefully I’ll be ready to share my picks in a week or two. I’m pretty nervous about choosing “the right” pieces, so I’ll need your feedback!

Have you ever thought about creating a capsule wardrobe? What must-have items would you add to yours? Would you keep the color scheme neutral or add pops of color?

XOXO,
Jules

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