My mom passed down a little leather backpack to me when I graduated high school. That backpack represents something that I'll always associate with summer: tossing a couple of outfits in and taking off somewhere. While I don't really partake in capsule wardrobes, I unintentionally end up wearing the same things over and over in the summer. I'm going from campsites to cities to parks on a regular basis and more often than not living out of a backpack.
The idea behind this post isn't so much about getting your wardrobe down to X amount of items for X amount of time; but rather to encapsulate the spirit of summer simplicity. This is very easily a summer vacation packing list depending on the location. If you are taking a summer vacation in the South, I highly recommend these items. Furthermore, I intentionally chose items that most of you already own or could very easily find secondhand.
If these items aren't a perfect fit for you, there are a few different ways you can come up with your own collection. I made a collage of the first items that came to mind without even looking at my closet, a good sign that they are my personal wardrobe essentials. You can also figure out what those are for you by making a board on Pinterest and writing down the most common elements. Another good place to start is by either turning hangers, setting certain clothing aside in your closet, or moving pieces you wear to a certain drawer. After a week or two of doing that, it will become very apparent which items you wear the most.
Of course, if you do happen to find out that one of these items is a wardrobe hole, there are several options for you to shop as well as outfit ideas below!
Madewell White Cotton Courier Shirt
Black Silk Camisole (mine is J. Crew)
Button Front Denim Mini
Wide Legged Olive Pants
Levi's Wedgie Jeans
Madewell High-Rise Denim Shorts
Low Black Heels*
Nisolo Serena Sandals (use the referral link for $25 off!)
*The heels in the collage are the exact pair that I own, but unfortunately American Apparel no longer makes them.
If the specific items don't exactly match your needs, here are several more options to try out:
STAND OUT PIECES
I am such a believer in the black silk tank. Whether you go for something with wider straps or decide to keep it slinky with a camisole , this piece is such an easy building block for summer. I have already worn mine several times in the warm weather. It's also the perfect layering piece for a little extra warmth under sweaters in the winter months.
I'm pretty sure I have mentioned my love of white button downs to just about everyone I know. I used to hoard them until I finally purchased my white cotton Courier shirt from Madewell. I have tried just about every variety of this item imaginable, so hopefully you trust my recommendation when I say this shirt will ease any white button up woes you have this summer. If you live in a slightly cooler climate, I recommend this oxford from Tradlands or this low cut number from Cloth & Stone.
If a pair of pants makes me feel like I'm on safari wearing matching outfits with Katherine Hepburn, then I probably love them. These are no exception. I found them at Local Honey in Nashville some time last year. However, I realize a very high-waisted, pleated, hip-emphasizing pair of vintage pants is not everyone's cup of tea. Fortunately, there about a million versions of olive pants out there that are just as much of a neutral.