How to Plan Your Spring & Summer Capsule Wardrobe

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Rachel Stone

Planning a Spring & Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Hello everyone! What an exciting moment! As I retrieve the canvas bins from storage and peek inside it feels as if I’ve been shopping! Before me are bright, cheerful colors, freeing short sleeves, lightweight fabrics, and airy lace. I’m glad to be sharing this journey with you and look forward to hearing your progress along the way. There are a few simple questions to ask yourself when planning a spring/summer capsule wardrobe. These questions can be applied to whatever season you are planning. Let’s jump right in!

How to plan a spring and summer capsule wardrobe:

  • How is your style evolving? At the start of each season I evaluate what I loved from the previous season, what I didn’t like so well, and what the “new” options are. If there is a new style that I like then I do a little research through Pinterest and fashion bloggers to see if the style will suit my body type and existing wardrobe. If so, I will plan to include it into my wardrobe for the coming season. It’s good to move slowly in this area and try a new style gradually to see if it’s really “you”. Again, I suggest using Pinterest to develop your style – it’s free to pin! As you collect pins with the new elements of style you’re considering, try to picture yourself actually wearing them. Ask yourself: “where would I wear this? If this were hanging in my closet right now, would I reach for it?” What would I wear it with? Include the shoes and accessories that would complete the outfit. A good rule of thumb is to picture at least four or five outfits before adding a new piece to your wardrobe.
  • What are your base colors? Your accent colors? Base colors are the building blocks, the foundation of your wardrobe. I find it handy to have two or three base colors in my wardrobe for simplicity, this is another “less is more” case. More colors generally means more headaches. By keeping the same base colors every season and alternating the accent colors I’m able to purchase quality “basics” to enjoy year round. For example: my base colors are navy, camel, and ivory. Any “basic” garment in these colors, like my ivory denim skirt, ivory layering tops, camel & navy pencil skirts, I’m able to enjoy all year. What are your accent colors? Accent colors are the spice that adds personality to your wardrobe and creates distinction between seasons. Accent colors help to freshen your look inexpensively. Usually a couple accent colors is enough, and you won’t need much of it to make a statement. My accent colors are pink, sky blue, and spring green.
  • What is your lifestyle? Consider the common activities you will be doing in a “normal” two week span of time. Do you work full time? Part time? Work from home? Run a day care? Host gatherings? Travel often for work? Considering these sections of your day/week will give you clues into what kind and how much clothing to keep in your closet. These activities and amount of time spent on them should be reflected in your closet. If you were to create a pie chart of these activities, how would you break up the activities of your week into percentages? So maybe you work in an office all week, attend church, exercise daily, and date your husband once per week. You’d need a larger percentage of office and workout clothing and a smaller percentage of date night and church outfits. By evaluating these sections it will help you to find the balance in deciding what to keep and how to shop. This really helped me in putting together my closet as I tend to over-purchase for dressy activities, and under-purchase for casual and workout needs.
  • What is your wash cycle? This idea was an “Aha” moment for me! Instead of getting zeroed in on a certain number of garments, you create a logical plan for how many tops/bottoms etc you’ll need between laundry days. Going with the example above, (and assuming your washing cycle is every two weeks) you’d need enough office outfits for ten days. Hopefully, your wardrobe mixes easily so you can enjoy repeating several pieces throughout the week. You’d also need four church outfits and two date night ensembles – these also could double depending on how dressy your church is or where your husband is taking you.

Now that you have an idea of the style touches you want to add, your color palette, lifestyle needs, and wash cycle you can begin shopping! Well, shopping your closet that is… By checking with your closet first you may see plenty of bottoms for work, but not enough tops. Or, maybe you’re lacking “completer” pieces like cardigans and blazers. Besides noting where the gaps are in your wardrobe, you may also find you already have a color palette. I’m always surprised with how much of what I pin on an inspiration board is already in my closet, and come away with fresh ideas on how to use what I already have.

To Recap:

  • Evaluate you style
  • Identify you base and accent colors – consider getting paint swatches from a home improvement store to carry in your purse when shopping
  • Evaluate your lifestyle and activities
  • Note (or create) a regular laundry cycle for your schedule

Keep a list in your phone for each season to remind you of which pieces you need to fill gaps.

My challenges: For this season’s capsule I began with taking stock of what I have to work with. As I suspected there are lots of floral prints… (my favorite!). In fact, most everything is printed or textured in some way… As much as I love floral prints I remember this being quite a challenge when trying to put outfits together. Even though I have a fairly cohesive color palette the sheer busyness of all the patterns made it difficult to mix and match. So… I will need to evaluate which pieces to keep and what solid colored pieces to go with them.  Besides, this I seem to have overlooked buying shoes for a few years… So, these notes will be the beginning of my shopping list.

I’d love to know: What are your style goals for this season? What are your wardrobe gaps? Do you have a distinct color palette? What are your challenges for this season?

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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.

6 thoughts on “How to Plan Your Spring & Summer Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. Oh my goodness I was just so excited to read this post!!!! I love all of your outfit posts and find them so incredibly helpful with improving my clothes and working through my wardrobe. I am especially excited about planning outfits for spring and summer! You have such beautiful colors in your closet!! Can’t wait for your next post on your spring/summer capsule wardrobe!!!

    • Good morning, friend!
      So happy this post was helpful to you, it was a fun one to put together! Specifically what was most helpful about this post? What would you like to see in another S/S Capsule post? I’d love to see how you plan your Spring/Summer outfits!

  2. After looking at all the beautiful Spring colors you have in your closet and then looking at mine, it is pretty clear that I need to do some reevaluation of my own Spring wardrobe!

    • Hello, Miss Ilene! So glad you’ve found inspiration from this post! Let me know what you come up with! Thanks for stopping by.:)

  3. This is so helpful!! I was wondering if you recommend shopping for an item at a time (to fill in gaps) or an outfit at a time (to make sure you have everything that corresponds together). Any advice? 😊

    • Hello Jennifer! I’m thrilled you found this post helpful! I suggest knowing your colors and best silhouettes. Everything bought within these guidelines will go together so I’d shop item by item. Try making notes on your phone to note any “gaps” when getting ready. You could tally mark an item to be sure it’s in high demand. I’d make exceptions for special occasions, say a wedding or musical performance. Anything fairly specific and probably seldom worn. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions! 🙂

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