As usual, I am much too late to be posting a summer capsule wardrobe. Part of my forever lateness stems from my surroundings. San Francisco’s one-note weather has me forgetting what day it is, let alone which season. Fun fact: June, July, and August are the chilliest months in San Francisco. I won’t say cold, because the weather hovers between (in Celsius) 17 to 21 daily, all year long. Needless to say — as I sit here, writing this in long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and warm socks — I’m not jumping for my swimsuit just yet. And it’s mid-July.
But secondly, as everyone no matter their location and weather can admit, this summer is not like all the others. Summer 2020 will constitute a lot of sitting indoors, for all of us. And while, yes, I did get away for a cheeky trip recently — this won’t be the year for that Dream Summer Trip.
The summer of getting in-tune with who we are; what we want; and which products (and outfits) bring us joy.
Instead, I’d like to think this can be the Summer of Reflection. The summer of getting in-tune with who we are; what we want; and, in the case of my blog, which products (and outfits) bring us joy. For once in our ever-busy lives, for many of us, time is on our side. And with time, we can really hone in on, among the important things, what we truly want to wear. Do you know what I’ve learned about myself, this summer, in this time of reflection? That I just bloody hate sleeveless dresses. Sure, I love them on virtually everyone else. But me? I hate them. So — why do I own 2 sleeveless dresses?
This is not the first summer I’ve reflected on my wardrobe — indeed, you can chart my Journey to Capsule through old posts here — so I feel (nearly) confident in my personal style and knowing what fits me. But, as always, I am ever evolving. And with that, defining what is my ideal sustainable summer capsule wardrobe.
You’ll notice that a number of these items appear in my most recent Spring Capsule Wardrobe. That’s because A. I can’t afford to have that many wardrobe pieces B. Being sustainable/capsule means limiting items and C. See San Francisco weather description, above. If you’re a reader here, you care about sustainability, too. And what’s more sustainable than rewearing everything you own, as much as you can?
An intro and a half! I’d love to hear what you’ve been reflecting on this Summer — both in terms of your personal style and beyond. Any items I’m missing from my Summer Capsule Wardrobe? Would you whittle this down even more?
SUMMER CAPSULE WARDROBE: INSPIRATION
THE (MOSTLY) SUSTAINABLE SUMMER CAPSULE WARDROBE
ROW ONE: DRESSES & BOTTOMS //
PUFF SLEEVE DRESS // EVERLANE* — (Sustainable) Beyond being the Year of the Mask, 2020 is also the Year of the Puff Sleeve. Blame this return to romantic dressing on movies like Emma and the fact that everyone can use a little whimsy this year. This dress from Everlane is the perfect toasted hue in a throw-on-and-go style.
MAXI SHIRT DRESS // ARITZIA — Ever since I saw Lucy Williams in this red dress, I knew I needed a maxi shirt dress in my wardrobe. While I’ve been on the hunt for a good silk one, this one by Aritzia is the perfect cut, effortlessly loose while looking polished.
WHITE LINEN MINI DRESS // & OTHER STORIES* — A repeat from the Spring Capsule Wardrobe, but airy linen, crisp white mini dress that shows your legs for days is the perfect summer staple. Now that I know it comes in a romper (playsuit) style as well*, I think I’m almost regretting having it in a dress form!
DENIM SHORTS // AGOLDE* — (Sustainable) AGOLDE make the best-fitting jeans, period. These shorts are no exception, with a cut-off length that’s appropriate for the over-30 crowd. I’ll be pairing mine with a white linen shirt, straw hat, and nude sandals for my favorite summer look year after year.
BLACK LINEN SHORTS // WHIMSY & ROW VALENTINA SHORTS — (Sustainable) I am not much of a short person, so when I decide on a pair of shorts, they better be good. Whimsy & Row is one of my favorite affordable sustainable brands. These shorts are elasticated in the back, making them super comfy on the waist. The font is pleated and sleek, making them the most versatile dressy shorts in your closet.
LINEN TROUSERS // MANGO* — (Sustainable) I don’t often feature Mango on here, because they aren’t the most sustainable, and I find their stuff over-priced. However, these linen trousers are from their Committed line, meaning they are made with sustainable fibers and processes. These 100% linen trousers in the perfect beige hue make these a vital summer staple.
LIGHT DENIM // PAIGE NOELLA STRAIGHT* — I featured these on my most recent Packing List, because they are the perfect summer jean. Effortlessly baggy and cool, high-waisted, a vintage feel, and yet comfy enough to sit around all day in.
ROW TWO: TOPS //
DENIM JACKET // LEVIS EX-BOYFRIEND* — (Sustainable) I’ve had this jacket for years — literally, since I started W&S. It’s still the only denim jacket I own, and I have no need to get another. An oversized denim jacket is the most versatile throw-over-dresses outwear piece for Summer style.
WHITE LINEN SHIRT // MANGO* — (Sustainable) Again with featuring Mango, but honestly? I’ve had my Mango linen shirt for 3 years now, and it’s still in great condition and fits like a dream. It’s currently on sale, and I’ll be ordering a second replacement for when this inevitably gets stained.
SILK CAMI // CUYANA* — (Sustainable) As you may know by now, I’m not one for showing my arms (yes, this is sarcasm, as I’ve mentioned this 4,503 times). But a great fitting, black silk cami is my one exception — ideal under blazers, sweaters, jackets, and somehow looking polished and sexy simultaneously.
GRAPHIC TEE // H&M x DESMOND & DEMPSEY* — (Sustainable) Fun fact: as an avid fan of Desmond & Dempsey from when they first started out, I actually met the owners at their studio, way back in the day. Needless to say, I want to relish in their success from this H&M collaboration. Plus, the fun, yellow print on this graphic tee is ideal for something fun for summer, but still subtle.
SHORT-SLEEVE BUTTON UP // EVERLANE* — (Sustainable) Another brought over from my Spring Capsule Wardrobe, this light-weight, silky-feel shirt looks great tucked into a pair of jeans, or even with lounge pants.
ROMANTIC WHITE BLOUSE // ARITZIA (SIMILAR*, SIMILAR*) — I’m pretty sure every one of my capsule wardrobes will have ‘romantic white blouse’ on it. As I talked about in my Spring Capsule Wardrobe post, I am drawn to whimsical shapes and styles, but with a sense of practicality, which makes a beautiful blouse the perfect item. I also recently ordered this top from Kara Thoms, which fits a similar vibe for this Capsule Wardrobe.
ROW THREE: SHOES & ACCESSORIES //
STRAW HAT // JANESSA LEONE SIMONE PACKABLE HAT* — (Sustainable) Can one love a hat? Well, I love this one. Designed to be packed, this is the perfect summer hat for any trips — staycation or beyond — that you choose. I brought this one to Wyoming, and it was great to days by the lake. This finally replaced my old Gap one, and honestly? This one looks so much better.
SILK SCARF // TWO DAYS OFF AGNES SILK SCARF — (Sustainable / Black-Owned Business) This silk scarf is, quite literally, the perfect silk scarf. Tie this on your bag, around your wrist, or around your ponytail on a hot summer day.
ACCESSORIES // MISSOMA NECKLACE*, SUNSKI SUNGLASSES*, ISABEL MARANT SHELL NECKLACE* — Summer is the best time to have fun with your accessories, without straying too far into trendy. I wear Missoma Roman Arc Coin necklace almost everyday, and the strong gold color looks great with a tan. Sunski is my favorite sustainable sunglass maker, and this peach-hue, cat-eye frame matches everything on this list. And finally, bring the beach to you, wherever you are, with a pukka shell necklace in a gold tone.
SUMMER BAG // ELLEME BAOZI BAG* — I kid you not, this is a Wonder Bag, bridging that thin line between aesthetics and practicality that I so wish for. Not only is this bag so very expensive looking, but it’s big enough to fit all the essentials (including my camera!) and is so light to carry. Plus, it goes with everything, from sweats to dresses — including all outfits on this capsule wardrobe.
SLIDES // BIRKENSTOCK ARIZONA* — (Sustainable) Much to my mother’s happiness/annoyance (she’s worn nothing but Birks since the 70s), Birkenstocks are still in. I love my black Arizona styles so much, adding a touch of casual to any dress or to any outfit.
STRAPPY SANDALS // LOQ ARA SANDALS* — (Sustainable) While they take a little to break in, they pair perfectly with dresses and jeans, having just a smidge of a heel.
LOAFERS // M.GEMI FELIZ SUEDE* — (Sustainable) While I’ve been lusting after a pair of Tod’s Loafers for quite some time, I always balk at the cost. M. Gemi make nearly identical driving shoes at a fraction of the price, with just as high quality material. The soft suede is a more summer-friendly version of a leather loafer to pair with floaty dresses.
WHITE SNEAKERS // VEJA* — (Sustainable) Veja’s are, hands down, the best sneakers you can get on the market. Comfy right out of the box, sustainable, and versatile, looking as great with the dresses on this Summer Capsule Wardrobe as with the pants and loungewear.
ROW FOUR: LOUNGEWEAR //
LOUNGE JUMPSUIT // RACHEL PALLY* — (Sustainable) During the summer, I live in jumpsuits. A black one is timeless, a versatile piece you can wear as easily on the beach with sandals and a straw hat as working from home or out to dinner (back when we used to do that).
COMFY SWEATSHIRT // RE:DONE* — (Sustainable) A light-colored sweatshirt is your Summer 2020 staple. Worn over swimsuit + shorts for when the sun sets at the beach; with joggers for working from home; or on top of a dress with sneakers for a stroll around the neighborhood. Re:Done’s light beige version is better than stark white, and the fact that it’s 100% cotton and from a company that reuses fabric is a great bonus.
WAFFLE ROBE // PARACHUTE* — (Sustainable) This may seem like a strange choice for a capsule, but it’s 2020, and we’re all stuck at home more than ever before. In a light heather-beige shade, Parachute’s waffle robe* matches everything, and is the perfect weight to throw on in chilly mornings and evenings with a glass of wine. I got mine in a size Small, and it fits perfectly.
PRINTED SHORT SET // PIYAMA* — Piyama make the best, most affordable and made with natural materials pajamas and loungewear around. The tropical palms on this set have me lusting for a vacation, anywhere.
SILK SHORT SET // LUNYA* — (Sustainable) I’d be remiss if I didn’t include at least one Lunya item on a capsule. They really are the best pajamas / loungewear around, as evidenced by my loungewear post. The silk sets are by far the best ones they offer. While a little skimpy to wear working from home, I’ll be wearing my set every weekend when the weather is too hot for anything else.
LOUNGE PANTS // LULULEMON ON THE FLY PANTS* — I hope to find a sustainable equivalent of these one day, because they really are just the best pants on the planet. In fact, I am wearing them as I write this. I’ve worn them for hiking, for work, for lounging, for dinner, and for every plane ride recently. I love them so much, I got them in the jogger form, which is better for pairing with athletic sneakers.
ROW FIVE: HIKING & BEACH //
CASUAL TEE // BLM TEE VIA ETSY* — Yes, I could have put any cool graphic tee here. But, it’s 2020, black lives absolutely matter, and if you’re going to have a slogan on your tee, make it something that counts.
HIKING SANDALS // TEVA ORIGINALS* — (Sustainable) Some may say ‘ugly,’ I say ‘super comfy, lightweight, and looks cool.’ I ended up throwing these into my carry-on for our recent Wyoming trip, and boy let me tell you. I am so glad I brought them. I have hiked, walked, and gone out to dinner in these guys. For the price and quality, you can’t beat Tevas.
BASKET BAG // NIPOMO MERCADO COLLECTION AT MADE TRADE — (Sustainable) It’s nigh impossible to have a Summer Capsule Wardrobe list without having a basket bag. In fact, I’m pretty sure I only tolerate summer for 1. Ice cream 2. Basket Bags. This one, sold on my favorite sustainable retailer Made Trade, is big enough for beach gear but dressy enough for dinner and work.
BIKE SHORTS // LULULEMON* — Yes, I caved, to both Lululemon and to the bike short trend. However, I tried on multiple brands of bike shorts, and these really were the most comfortable and flattering. I recently hiked Grand Teton National Park in these shorts, and I said multiple times how happy I was to be wearing them. Bonus: they’re cute and comfy enough to lounge at home in, too.
BEACH COVER UPS // PIYAMA (WHITE)* & MATTEAU (BEIGE)* — (Sustainable) You may think it excessive to have two beach cover-ups, but I stand by this choice. They double up as dresses; each pairs perfectly with a different suit; and for a vacation, they pack down to practically nothing. Plus, I just couldn’t decide.
PRINTED TWO-PIECE // MADEWELL* — (Sustainable) For one who shies from color, I love the look of a pop of yellow in my capsule wardrobe. Less sunshine, more goldenrod, it ties into the earthy browns and looks perfect paired against the Tesalate Towel. This one from Madewell is made entirely from recycled materials.
FLIP-FLOPS // TKEES GEMMA SANDAL* — (Sustainable) Not technically a flip-flop, I realize, but you can get the flip-flop equivalent if you prefer. The Gemma is the ultimate barely-there sandal, ideal for throwing in your basket bag and whisking off to the beach. I love everything by Tkees, including their loungewear, but the sandals seem so comfortable.
BLACK SWIMSUIT // HUNZA G* — (Sustainable) The most flattering swimsuit, simultaneously sexy and modest. You could even wear it like a body suit, with jean shorts, a basket bag, and oversized sunglasses.
TRAVEL BEACH TOWEL // TESALATE (GIFTED) — The creme-de-la-creme of my Summer Capsule Wardrobe, if you will. Honestly, this beach towel has become my most recommended item by far. I actually have the XL version (designed for 2), and it packs so small that Nick and I were able to bring it with us on our recent trip to Wyoming. It was a lifesaver for spontaneous stops at a lake, or sitting out on the grass for lunch, particularly as it’s made to repel sand. I KNOW. If you are in need of a travel beach (or really, anything) towel for summer, look no further.
*Links indicate affiliate links. This means, if you choose to purchase the product linked here, at no additional cost to you I will make a small commission. Considering this post took me close to 20 hours to put together, it is very, very appreciated. Thank you for supporting sustainable brands, and thank you for supporting this blog!
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