Last season I wrote a post on how to create a minimalist mom wardrobe capsule. It was a success. Many readers got great ideas for their wardrobes and one client told me she bought all the pieces from the capsule for her own wardrobe. Since writing that post, I also got a lot of requests to do a summer version of this capsule.
You don’t have to be a mom to benefit from this wardrobe capsule. Essentially, it is a good casual grouping that is easy to dress up or down through the use of accessories and mixing and matching. Let’s take a look at the capsule pieces, how I built it, how you can modify it, and all the outfits I put together.
Minimalist Mom Summer Wardrobe Capsule
These are the pieces I decided to use for my summer wardrobe capsule. These are just examples. There are lots of ways you can change it up to your liking. However, there are some things to keep in mind when building your own that I used when creating mine.
Keep your color palette tight
As you can see above, I kept my color palette tight using olive, navy, orange, white and yellow. I chose two neutral colors (navy and olive) as my base neutrals and selected accent shades that work together and with these two neutral bases.
What is also important is that your base neutrals work together. For example, it wouldn’t be helpful to create a capsule using black and navy as your base neutrals because they don’t work well together. Instead, black and grey or black and camel, would be better combinations because they can easily be paired together.
Build off of a print
A very easy way to create a capsule is to build it from the colors found in a print. For example, I used the printed top to set the direction of the other colors in my capsule. You don’t have to use a printed top, you can choose a scarf, dress or skirt. If you don’t like prints you can still build a capsule without them. Prints are just like little cheat sheets to make it easier.
Have a variety of shoes and jewelry
What is critical when building a successful wardrobe capsule is having a variety of shoes and accessories. These are the pieces that can change up your outfits from more casual to dressier. You will get more with less and will also be able to change your the look of your outfit without changing the whole thing; a particularly helpful thing when you are a busy mom.
Before I get into the outfits I created from this minimalist mom summer wardrobe capsule is how to modify pieces.
Don’t like shorts?
Shorts are either a love or hate. I used them in this capsule because I think they can be practical for moms, even if they are just something to wear when in the backyard with the kids. However, if you hate them you can easily swap them out for another pair of pants, a skirt or a skort.
I get it, jumpsuits aren’t practical for everyone. After suggesting them for moms on this blog I received a comment that they are the last thing a mom can wear with very small children. This reader told me that trying to use a public bathroom while wearing a jumpsuit and a baby on a hip is a nightmare. So if jumpsuits are a no you can definitely swap it out for another dress or something else you prefer.
Okay, let’s get tot he look because I created over 20 of them using just the summer wardrobe capsule pieces above.
Let’s start here with something incredibly basic. This outfit isn’t winning any major style awards, but when it is hot and sticky and your kid doesn’t want to go inside it can be easy. I styled this J. Crew t-shirt with denim shorts and Birkenstock sandals.
Next, I took the same t-shirt and paired it with a pair of white cropped jeans, a pair of slip on sneakers from Frye, orange summer weight scarf and leather bracelet. Still super casual, but just a bit more elevated. Don’t like to wear pants around kids? Try another pair of pants that work with the color palette of your capsule.
I created this outfit using this printed top from The Gap, a pair of cropped drawstring summer pants, the Birkentstock sandals, orange scarf and navy tassel earrings.
Same Gap top and white cropped pants. In this outfit, I elevated it slightly with a pair of wedge sandals and soft blue earrings. This outfit is still casual but can be great for meeting other moms, going on a playdate or heading over to your child’s school.
In this next outfit I took the top that I dressed slightly and styled it with the shorts to make it more causal. I finished the outfit with the slip on sneakers and blue tassel earrings.
Using this yellow tank from J. Crew, I was able to add a fresh new color to the summer wardrobe capsule without having to add a lot. What is important when adding another color is to make sure it works with your base neutrals and accessorizing pieces. I styled the tank with the green cropped summer pants, navy casual cardigan from Athleta, long orange Y necklace and Birkenstock sandals.
In this outfit I just swapped out the pants for the white pair, added dressier sandals and the tassel earrings to complete the look.
And other look with just a few tweaks. I changed the shoes for these Frye slip on sneakers, added the printed blouse that I layered under the Athleta cardigan and added the tassel earrings.
Here I created another super casual outfit using the yellow tank, denim shorts and Birkenstock sandals.
Using a basic white t-shirt and olive pants, I added a pop of orange using these slides from Hinge and Y necklace. I finished the look with the navy tassel earrings.
Another casual look using the denim shorts, white t-shirt, Birkenstocks, orange Y necklace and casual cardigan.
I made these cropped green pants a bit dressier by adding these wedge sandals from Lucky Brand, used the basic white t-shirt and finished the outfit with color using the orange scarf and navy tassel earrings.
Another elevated look using the white t-shirt and green cropped pants. I added the orange slides, a summer cardigan from Banana Republic, orange leather bracelet and multi-strand necklace from Karine Sultan.
Using this jumpsuit from The Gap I am going to create a variety of outfits. While I mentioned that jumpsuits can be tricky for some moms, if you have that run around a lot, you may find the ease of a piece like this easier than a dress.
I styled this look using the Frye slip on sneakers and long Y necklace.
I elevated the jumpsuit just slightly by adding these orange slides, the summer cardigan and soft blue earrings.
In this look I added the comfortable Birkenstock sandals, navy tassel earrings and summer cardigan to the jumpsuit to change up this piece once again.
The reasons I like pieces like this jumpsuit is because they are easy to dress up and down. You can wear it casually with the kids but with a few tweaks this can be a great piece for a dinner out, get together with friends, and more.
To create this outfit, I added the Lucky Brand wedge sandals, an orange scarf, multi-strand necklace from Karine Sultan and orange leather bracelet.
It was important to include a casual summer dress like this. I think every summer wardrobe capsule needs one. I rely on my styles heavily in warm weather for casual and also dress them up with ease. They’re typically easy to care for and look smart without a lot of effort.
Using this one from Boden, I styled it for casual days with the slip on sneakers and tassel earrings.
I created the next look using this dress with the Birkenstock sandals, orange scarf, soft blue earrings and orange bracelet.
I styled this slightly dressier look using this dress by adding these orange slides, the summer cardigan and multi-strand necklace.
This last look shows how a simple, cotton summer dress can be dressed up if you have the right pieces in your capsule. I added the wedge sandals, the orange scarf, multi-strand necklace and navy tassel earrings.
If you follow these tips and outfit examples you’ll be able to create your own minimalist mom wardrobe capsule yourself.
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Thank you, Bridgette! I am one of those who absolutely loved your fall/winter minimalist mom capsule and I am so thrilled to see a summer one! This is exactly what I needed to pull my summer wardrobe together – you are a genius!
Hi Melissa! Thanks so much!!! I am glad you found this helpful. These capsule posts are always my favorite to do.
As you suggest, I’d personalize this capsule for me. I’d use navy and tan as my base and need to check thru my t shirts to pick out my accent colors. And for me, a striped top is always a must. Interesting to see how many looks you get just changing one element and or accessories…
It’s always so surprising. Shoes really do make a huge difference in terms of getting more with less. The key is to make sure you have pairs that cover all the different parts of your life.
I live in Texas, so this is exactly what I’ve been needing to get me through October – thank you! I have a baby who loves to yank on earrings and necklaces, so I will look for nonbreakable bracelets and stud earrings.
I am glad you found it helpful, Erica! I have a few clients in Texas and am always reminded how hot it stays by you. Is your baby teething? One of my clients loved those chewable teething necklaces that you can find on Etsy. They look super stylish but your baby can chew on them. Here are some you can check out. http://rstyle.me/n/cni8rm8d2e
Thank you for this piece- it’s great! Your blog has helped me a lot with work attire and casual wear- when you get a chance, I’d love to see your thoughts on date night attire, or what to wear to dinner at a trendy restaurant in NY, etc. and if there is a good way to tie that to the capsule.
I will try. Date nights and trendy restaurants rarely happen to me. I’m usually binging Netflix over take out with my husband of nearly 10 years. Ha. But I will see what I can do.
You are brilliant and inspiring! I just scored so many of these pieces and cannot wait to try them all with the classics I already love ❤ Thank you!
You are welcome but if you keep going on like this my husband will definitely need to butter my head to get it through the front door. 😀
The Madewell cropped pants – gorgeous! I had never shopped Madewell before and picked up several tops and a handbag as well. LOVE the Frye “sneakers”. In quotes because so much more versatile than sneakers. Leather is like butter. I need soft shoes because of a bunion and these have the right amount of give. My daughter has bunions worse than mine so I picked her up a pair as well. Thanks, as always, for the great ideas. You’re the best!
Those Frye sneakers are amazing! Yes, sneakers in this case should be used lightly. So many of my clients have bought them. One of my clients with bunions really likes Tieks for the same reason. I’d love to see how the Madewell pants work out for you!