There’s a lot of uncertainty for everyone this summer. But, no matter whether you’re able to travel this year, to dine al fresco or socialize with friends in the way you want to, there is at least some certainty when it comes to summer style. There are certain summer essentials that you can be sure are an investment you can wear for year upon year.
Summer classics like the perfect pair of white jeans, a great t-shirt, a lightweight jacket and a pair of low-heeled sandals will never date. In this article, I’ve teamed with Nordstrom to create a summer wardrobe made up only of Nordstrom exclusive brands.
What to think about when choosing your summer essentials
Your lifestyle and summer plans
Think about your summer essentials in terms of what you will be doing this summer, and tailor your choices accordingly. If you’re likely to be spending time at home, or walking, for example, rather than at parties, you will want more casual options.
Will it last for a number of seasons?
Not even the Duchess of Cambridge wears her clothes only once. If you’re opting to make a purchases this summer, you’ll want to be able to wear it next summer, and the one after that. Look out for brands which create timeless styles. We like Nordstrom’s own brand such as Halogen, Zella, Treasure & Bond, and Chelsea28. which are affordable yet have a high quality.
What colors will you choose?
If you opt for a palette of colors in your summer essentials, this will make it easier to put plenty of outfits together. Opt for three or four colors.
How about your fabric choices?
If you’re anything like me, you will prefer to wear natural fabrics during the summer. Look for items in linen to keep you cool.
26 summer essentials
Below are the clothes and accessories which should see you through many summers to come. You’ll find 26 items – including shoes and accessories that you can create countless outfits from.
I’ve concentrated on more tops and pants than other pieces in this capsule to give you more versatility when it comes to mixing and matching your separates.
1. A flattering t-shirt
Every wardrobe needs a great t-shirt. And this t-shirt (below) from the Caslon brand is a little bit different thanks to the ruching, but it will go with just as many outfits as a “plain” t-shirt would.
2. A draped blouse
3. V-neck top
Another flattering option is a V-neck top. By choosing a V-neck, you can create long, lean lines to elongate your figure. You can always alter exactly where you tie the belt to get the most flattering effect for you.
4. Striped tunic
My final top choice in this Nordstrom summer capsule is this long striped shirt, which would be fabulous worn over leggings. To change the styling, you could always cinch the waist with a belt, or wear a shorter jacket or cropped sweater over the top.
5. Summer blazer
No matter where you live, you’re likely to need outerwear even if it is summer. This Caslon lightweight blazer (below) is perfect for warmer months as it is made from breathable linen.
It would look great worn with other neutrals, or to make your little black dress or jumpsuit look more summer friendly.
What could be more perfect for keeping the chill at bay on cooler evenings than a cozy cardigan. Ideal for nights at home, or for casual days, worn with white jeans.
7. Denim jacket
You can wear over your summer dresses for a little extra warmth.
8. Longline vest
Layering is often key to creating flattering looks. You can use layers to hide a belly, for example, or to look taller than you really are.
One way to layer in the summer without adding a lot of extra bulk is to opt for a sleeveless vest. You could either wear this vest (below) from Chelsea28 tied at the waist, or you could leave it open. Sleeveless vests look best worn over other sleeveless tops or dresses, or with long sleeves underneath.
9. White pants
Now onto the pants in this Nordstrom Made capsule! A pair of white pants or jeans is a summer classic that you can guarantee won’t date. If you want to create the illusion of longer legs, a high-waisted pair such as the pants style (below) from Halogen is a great option.
10. Flattering shorts
Depending on the weather where you are, or if you manage to head somewhere warmer this summer, you’re likely to want to add a pair of shorts to your summer closet.
11. Wide leg pants
12. Bright pants
Neutrals are fabulous, and tend to form the base of any capsule wardrobe so that you can mix and match plenty of different ways.
But you could also think about adding a pop of color, such as red to your summer capsule.
13 . Versatile leggings
A pair of leggings are perfect for casual days. Wear with longer tunics for the most flattering effect.
A jumpsuit is a perfect item to add to your summer capsule as it’s a full outfit in one. This Chelsea28 black jumpsuit (below) is ideal as you can wear casually with sneakers and a denim jacket, pair with sandals for warmer days, or add heels and a clutch bag for more formal evenings.
15. Tie front dress
Even if you are usually a jeans and pants kind of person, you probably want at least one dress in your summer closet.
This Chelsea28 tie-front dress (below) is versatile and flattering. You could pair with sandals and a rattan bag for daytime, or with black heels and a clutch for evening. If you want to cover your arms or need extra warmth, you could wear with the denim jacket or blazer.
16. Asymmetrical skirt
I love asymmetry in any outfit, so I couldn’t resist including at least one asymmetrical option in this capsule. This Chelsea28 skirt below could be worn for summer with sandals. But you could also pair it with a sweater, moto jacket and booties for fall.
17. Classic pumps
A pair of classic pumps are a style staple for any closet. Choosing a paler color helps to keep your capsule looking summery and fresh.
One pair of shoes that every summer capsule absolutely needs is a great pair of sandals. If you choose a neutral or metallic pair, they will go with everything in your closet.
A pair of sneakers is another good shoe choice to keep in your summer capsule. Sneakers have never been so on trend, and you can wear with everything from your jeans to your dresses.
20. Classic tote
No matter what you are doing this summer, you’ll need a bag to carry your day-to-day essentials in. This Nordstrom tote is totally timeless.
21. Crossbody bag
If you’re looking for a travel bag, or just a day-to-day bag, this Nordstrom nylon crossbody (below) is perfect.
22. Pendant necklace
23. Drop earrings
Do you tend to wear earrings everyday, or just for special occasions? Either way, these Halogen teardrop earrings (below) will go with pretty much everything in your closet.
24. Summer scarf
A scarf looks just as stylish for summer as for the winter months. Simply choose a lightweight material and you can drape around your neck for a nonchalant look, or use as a wrap around your shoulders.
Some accessories are both cool and practical. Sunglasses are one of them! You’ll want to make sure that your eyes are protected from the suns rays while adding some extra style to your outfits.
Catseye sunglasses are particularly on trend right now, and can be great for women over 40 as they turn up at the corners, drawing the eye upwards.
26. Summer hat
A summer hat is also vital for protection from the sun, and can definitely add the “cool” factor to your outfits.
Now let’s put the summer essentials from above together into a capsule.
A capsule of summer essentials from Nordstrom
Shop all items:
Will you create a new capsule wardrobe for summer this year? What kind of items are you looking for?
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This article was sponsored by Nordstrom
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