Hey friends! If you want help with how to build a summer wardrobe, today’s post is for you! I’ve already created a Summer Capsule Wardrobe (complete with an Outfit Guide that turns the pieces into 70+ outfits), but today I want to offer a different spin on building a summer wardrobe.
When summer hits, you can’t rely as much on layers to make outfits interesting. If you’re like me, it’s extra easy to default to a basic pair of shorts and a basic tee or tank. That’s not bad in and of itself, but it can get old REALLY quick if that’s all I’m wearing everyday. That’s why it’s important to make sure your summer wardrobe has a variety of different types of pieces to mix things up.
Today I’m sharing types of clothes to build a summer wardrobe that will help mix up your outfits all summer.
Free Summer Outfits Cheat Sheet
Also, I’ve got a NEW FREE resource for you. To take today’s list one step further, I’ve created a quick cheat sheet of basic summer outfit formulas you can wear using the types of clothes we’ll talk about today. Check it out and download it at the bottom of this post!
Types of Clothes to Mix Up Your Summer Wardrobe
It’s been helpful for me to break clothes up into several categories so that I’m not constantly buying shorts and plain t-shirts. I can have a one-track mind pretty easily when it comes to summer for some reason.
Below are different types of clothes I’d encourage you to add to your summer wardrobe.
1. Basic T-shirts and Tanks
These are necessary to be the “glue” that pulls together other statement pieces. We don’t want to ignore them completely! I’d recommend having a handful of these, and you can shop some in the widget below:
2. Solid Tops With Details
Having some solid tops with special details will make outfits more visually interesting and elevate your outfits. Whether the details are lace, eyelet, ruffles, asymmetrical draping, peplum, cute buttons, a tie front, knot detail, or simply a fun color, add a few of these to your wardrobe! They don’t have to be “nicer” tops either–you can find these in comfy t-shirt material if you want to keep things casual. See examples in the widget below:
3. Printed Tops (including graphic tees)
Prints are another way to add visual interest and make outfits more exciting without adding more layers. Again, you can find nicer tops OR casual versions. The point is to mix in some prints! Shop some options in the widget below:
4. Denim Shorts (or similar alternative)
Denim shorts are a summer staple, but if you don’t like them, chambray linen shorts are a nice alternative. The point is to have a pair of basic, everyday shorts.
However, if denim shorts ARE a staple for you, I’d mix it up even more with several pairs along the lines of:
- basic medium or light wash
- distressed pair – for more visual interest
- dark wash pair (plain or distressed)
5. Neutral Colored Shorts & Pants
It’s also helpful to have a few other pairs of neutral colored shorts (and/or pants like linen pants), in addition to denim. My favorites are white shorts, olive (which is a pseudo-neutral that I include in my neutrals), and black. Yours could include khaki colored shorts, navy, grey, or any other neutrals you want. You just need some shorts that will go with the different tops we mentioned above.
If you really want to mix it up, go for some shorts and pants in different silhouettes too, like paper bag waist, or soft linen options.
6. Colored or Statement Shorts & Pants
I like to add a few pairs of colored shorts (and/or pants), which liven up those basic tees from #1. You can of course also pair them with tops from categories #2 and #3 as colors allow. My favorite colors to add are yellow (shocker…😜) and coral. Mint, bright blue, pale pink, bright green, red, or any other colors you like work too! Just keep in mind that the more they go with tops from categories 2 & 3, the more you’ll be able to mix and match your wardrobe.
This category also includes printed shorts and pants.
Shop some options in the widget below:
Let’s not forget about skirts! Skirts can feel too dressy sometimes, but for some reason I find that less of a problem in the summer. Perhaps it’s because I love pairing a fun printed or colorful skirts with a basic tee/tank from category #1, and the basic tee/tank dresses down skirts enough. Plus flat sandals dresses keeps them dressed down.
Dresses are a nice change from shorts + a top. You can go for casual ones or slightly dressier ones. For my casual lifestyle, I love those soft dresses (the ones I call “pajama dresses” because they’re so comfy you could sleep in them). In the summer both the t-shirt and sleeveless options come in handy. Again, any type of dresses work, and having just a couple will help mix up your outfits through out the summer!
9. Rompers and Jumpsuits
I’ve come to LOVE rompers and jumpsuits. Yes, they basically require you to get naked when you have to use the bathroom 😂, but the level of comfort they offer outweighs the temporary bathroom inconvenience.
A lot of rompers and jumpsuits come in really stretchy, comfy material, and I find them way less constricting both around the waist and legs compared to with shorts. They’re just EASY to wear! Though there are nicer rompers that you can dress up more, for my casual lifestyle, I get them in the same material as my pajama dresses. One major benefit they have over pajama dresses is that because the bottoms are short, I don’t worry about bending down and sitting on the ground like I might in a dress.
Rounded up several romper and jumpsuit options for you below:
FREE Summer Outfit Formulas Cheat Sheet
I promised you a free summer outfit resource, and here it is! I took all the types of pieces above and compiled them into a cheat sheet of outfit formulas to help you mix and match through out the summer. (Wanna read more about what outfit formulas are and how to use them? See THIS post.)
There are 12 different combos that you can rotate through each day, using different pieces from each category each time to create new combos.
Download the free Summer Outfit Formulas guide HERE or through the form below.