Warm weather is here, and today’s post is all about how to stock your closet with the essentials that will see you through the next 5-6 months.
Today I’ll share all my staples, and then throughout the spring and summer you can follow my “daily wear” posts to see how I mix and match them for my real-life, everyday style.
Twice a year, I edit my clothes and stow away off-season clothes in an under-bed box. I keep a fairly lean closet, working with the space I have in our 1920s home (aka, not much). Every inch counts, so I can’t afford to hang on to clothes that don’t work for me. Plus, it’s much easier to get dressed when you don’t have to weed through wrong sizes, shapes, and colors.
If you would like to create your own seasonal closet, read all about it here.
I live in Indiana, so from May to October, I’m planning for wild temperature swings in the spring and hot, humid days in the summer.
I stay home with my kids, so my closet needs to be at least 80% casual for days at parks, the zoo, the pool and hanging out in our backyard. I still dress up for church and date nights. In the past I have fallen into the trap of spending most of my clothing budget on a fantasy Saturday night instead of a Tuesday afternoon. A few years ago, my closet was a wreck of fancy pieces that didn’t coordinate. Focusing on basics like a great cotton tank top, high quality denim shorts, and easy slide sandals means getting dressed is a breeze instead of a headache.
So, here we go!
As much as I love a uniform, this collection of tops must be pretty diverse to handle the heat of July and the cool mornings of September. I have enough tank tops for summer time and t-shirts for chilly spring mornings when I need a sweater layered on top. The robe jacket is something I was excited to purchase after seeing how a sweater blazer improved my cold weather capsule 1000%. A third piece can add so much interest to a pretty basic outfit.
05 / STRIPE TANK, Madewell, sold out | similar
10/ RINGER TEE, ABLE (c/o) | size up
12 / STRIPE CENTRAL SHIRT, Madewell | size down
13 / LONG SLEEVE CHAMBRAY, Madewell, old | similar
16 / SWEATSHIRT, Everlane
DRESSES + OUTER LAYERS
I don’t wear dresses in the winter, so it’s exciting to pull out my collection each spring. They are simple to throw on and go. I have several I wear to church or on dates, but these three are my essentials for everyday life with my kids.
For years I went without an anorak, and it’s one of the best wardrobe purchases I’ve made for rainy days that pop up often in the Midwest.
Denim sees me through this whole season. It’s durable and classic. 4 pairs of jeans and 4 pairs of shorts. Adding in my dresses, I know I can make plenty of outfits. In truth, I will tuck away my skinny jeans + sweaters once summer arrives, but for spring I still wear them often. The silk shorts are new, and I’m excited to use them separately and to make a faux romper with the silk tank.
22 / DARK SKINNIES, Grana
24 / BOY JEAN, Everlane | size down for higher rise
25 / WHITE BOY JEAN, Everlane | size down for higher rise
Shoes are my favorite way to elevate a simple outfit. I’ve learned it can really pay off to invest in higher quality materials and construction for both function and style. Each pair on my list is comfortable (yes, even those heels!) without sacrificing any style. The sandals and sneakers will be on standby by my front door to slip on and go, while the heels and d’Orsay oxfords are perfect for dates and church.
33 / COGNAC SANDALS, ABLE (c/o) | size up
There you have it!
To be honest, compiling this post took quite a bit of time and intention. But seeing everything laid out has already been surprisingly helpful. It saved me from buying unnecessary pieces, and I can already see outfit combinations that jump off the page.
If you are hoping to refine and streamline your own closet, take a few minutes to list the pieces you have in each of these categories – tops, bottoms, dresses + outerwear, and shoes. It’s easier to weed out outliers and shop for gaps when you take a minute to notice the basics you love and wear often.
Remember, I’ll be styling all of these pieces during the next few months in my weekly outfit posts called, daily wear. I’d love for you to follow along!