Summer outfits are intended to be easy—you don’t want to spend lots of time going through your closet on a bright, sunny day. Instead, make your outfit choice easy by creating a men’s summer capsule wardrobe with just a few go-to items to wear all throughout the warm-weather months. Here are some items to purchase to create a men’s summer capsule wardrobe that will fit any occasion this summer. And remember, opt for pieces that fit the same color scheme so you can easily mix and match your tops and pants.
No one wants to be caught in too-warm pants on a hot summer day. The first step in creating a men’s summer capsule wardrobe is picking out a pair of men’s shorts that are casual enough for a day spent with friends yet dressy enough for date night. A good, versatile option is a pair of chino shorts in an all-occasion color like navy or khaki.
As far as length, a good rule of thumb is your shorts should fall right above your knee. They’ll look sloppy and too long if they’re below the knee, which restricts the number of places you can wear these shorts (longer shorts are generally saved for working out or errands). Once you have a just-above-the-knee pair of chinos, you can pair them with a multitude of shirts, depending on the vibe you're going for.
A classic white button-down shirt looks good on everyone and fits nearly any occasion—from the office to church. A long-sleeved white button-down shirt is breezy enough for a summer day, and the sleeves can easily be rolled up to create even more airflow (and a more casual look). Find a fitted, white button-down shirt that you can tuck into a pair of chino shorts, a pair of men’s dress pants, or a pair of dark-wash jeans.
In the summer, a pair of chino shorts and a white button-down top can easily be worn with a pair of boat shoes for a casual, but not too casual, look. The button-down shirt can be dressed up with dress pants and dress shoes for a day at work, or tucked into a pair of linen pants for an outdoor party.
T-shirts are a summer staple that can be worn underneath men’s button-down shirts or on their own with your trusty chinos or a pair of workout shorts. When shopping for
men’s t-shirts, be sure to get t-shirts that fit (so, not too baggy), and a few color options.
A white t-shirt is always a good item to have in your closet, and the same goes for black, grey and navy t-shirts. You can even add something unexpected to your wardrobe and get a printed t-shirt—stripes are always a classic look. When creating your capsule wardrobe, it’s important to get a few unexpected items, too, that can punch up an outfit: jeans and a striped t-shirt are a much different look than jeans and a black t-shirt. Get both so you can have outfit options.
While men’s jeans may be considered a fall or winter item, jeans are an all-year item in reality. Jeans are great for breezy summer nights or an outdoor date with your partner. For the summer months, buy a pair of light-colored jeans—and keep in mind that light colors are always the preferable look when creating a summer capsule wardrobe.
You can wear your light-colored jeans with your white button-down top, a polo, or your favorite plain t-shirt. Sneakers and boat shoes are both good shoe options for a pair of summer jeans. Remember: just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t wear a well-fitting pair of jeans.
Eye protection is important all year round, but especially in the summer months. Cap off your summer capsule wardrobe with a pair of sunglasses that you can wear all summer long. When browsing for a pair, make sure to try a few on to see what kind of frame fits your face best. A pair of sunglasses in black is the best option for a capsule wardrobe.
Why? Well, a pair of black sunglasses go with every outfit on this list.
When creating a capsule wardrobe, you’ll want to make sure your clothes properly fit since you’ll be wearing these staple items so often. If your shirts feel a little baggy or your pants feel too long, don’t be afraid to get them tailored. You’ll be happy to have items that fit you perfectly as you rock a perfect summer capsule wardrobe.
With just a few closet staples, you can have yourself an entire summer wardrobe that you can mix and match for all of your summer obligations.