A Summer Wardrobe in 12 Items or Less

A long time ago, I read an article in the New York Times- 6 items or less. It's about a wardrobe "diet", where people select six items of clothing and only wear those clothes for a month. It was an interesting enough challenge that I decided to try it. So for an entire month, during my junior year of high school, I only wore six items of clothing. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Apparently, a person really can be happy with less.

Small wardrobes, also known as capsule wardrobes, may seem confining, but when you have a closet filled with only things you love, it's so much easier to decide what to wear every morning. 
The hardest thing about a capsule wardrobe is the limited options. Everything has to match with everything else, or you'll run out of combinations really fast. And you still need clothes for every occasion. It can take some trial and error to achieve the perfect mix. Here's the capsule wardrobe I've come up with for summer. It's double the six items limit, but I've also included shoes and this wardrobe can be used for more than a month, so I figured it's justified. 

Here's the list! 


White cutout blouse- Forever 21
Yankee tee- Target
Blush pink top- Aeropostale
Black athletic tee- H&M

A variety of colors is the key to getting by with only four tops. Most of them are very simple, so they can be converted into lots of styles and match anything. Neutral colors, pattern free are best. One of the blouses is a little fancier, so it works great for occasions and when I need to look more presentable. 


Khaki pants- Modcloth
Washed out jeans- Gap
Light grey pencil skirt- Downeast

I know it seems kind of crazy to only have two pairs of pants (and only one pair of jeans!) but it's really enough. Since summer is a more casual time of the year, I kept both pants pretty casual. Jeans are an absolute must because they go with everything, and the khaki pants are great because I've been loving the utility look lately. A lighter toned pencil skirt is summer-y, but also could be professional, so it works great for church and work. 


Black swing dress- Roolee
White embroidered dress- The Stock Place

I love dresses in summertime, which is why I've included two. If you're not a big dress person, I'd only include one, or none at all. I have a light and a dark dress, which gives me both ends of the color spectrum. Both dresses could be dressed up or down, so I could wear them any day of the week. 


Leather jacket- Thrift store 

Not a lot needed in this category, since the weather is mostly warm. A leather jacket is great for making a jeans and tee shirt outfit more pulled together, or dressing down a dress or skirt. 


Red vans- Vans 
Brown sandals- Modcloth

I only really need two types of shoes- close toed and open toed. Both pairs of shoes will go with anything. And the sandals are nice enough that they can be used for the fancier occasions. 

Of course, this list is just a suggestion. Each person's wardrobe should reflect her personal preferences and lifestyle. How many items go in each category will depend on what types of clothes you spend the most time in. That's the other great thing small wardrobes do- they really help you understand your own personal style. It's the "what would you save if your house was on fire" scenario. Being forced to choose means being forced to decide what you actually love. So this process is great if you want to understand how to define your personal style.

Stay tuned later in the week, I'll be putting together five summer outfits with only the pieces on this list to give you a better idea of how a small wardrobe can be used to fit any situation. 

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