Summer Capsule Wardrobe
Summer Wardrobe Update! YES!
Welp it’s just about time for summer and I can’t quite believe it. Between work and the marketplace and trying to buy a house (!) this hot weather just crept up out of nowhere. And it is HOT. We’ve already gone way past my comfort zone (95 degrees max) several times and it isn’t even technically summer yet. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of my summer season. However I have a few fashion (and other) tricks up my sleeve to keep me cool on my off days and warm-ish in my frigid air conditioned office on work days, whilst not breaking the bank.
I’ve been sewing!
I recently finished reading a book called overdressed (click here for link) which discusses the transition of the USA’s garment industry overseas and how making and fixing clothes is coming back into fashion among slow fashionistas who are fed up with lack of options and high prices. (This book came out several years ago and the slow fashion world has changed a bit since then but I still learned a lot about shopping habits in the USA and fashion work overseas. Definitely recommend if you want a little history and perspective on the fashion industry.)
So considering that I have almost no free time sewing is an… interesting choice. However, I saw an Instagram video of a Brazilian girl wearing/making what I call ‘Infinity Pants’ and I just had to have some. So I bought some fabric and sewed them up in time for my tropical vacation. I’m not going to lie they weren’t super easy to make (probably because of my poor choice of fabric) but they are a dream to wear. So breezy and sexy but still not showing too much skin and so versatile!
With the leftover fabric from that project, I have been working on making a matching top for a jumpsuit/ fancy look when worn with the pants and double as summer time work top (which is a category where I am severely lacking). This has resulted in some serious trial and error. I have no pattern and zero stretch fabric, so I have been undoing and redoing quite a bit. I haven’t given up yet and have gained so much respect for garment workers.
2. Cardigans to battle air conditioning
Cardigans help to make my wardrobe more versatile. They help me to turn clothes, like tank tops and pants that hug a little too much, into 100% work appropriate outfits. Cardigans are the work horses of my wardrobe, meaning that they are included in almost every outfit all year long and are rarely packed away. If it isn’t cashmere than it isn’t going away for the summer season. My thin, yet warm, cardigans are crucial to my summer comfort in air conditioned buildings. Does this happen to everyone? I have to plan my outfits for 70 weather indoors and 95 degree weather outdoors, it’s quite tricky but layers (i.e. cardigans) make anything possible.
3. Actual purchases
While I would like to think that I have the time/talent to sew everything I need for this summer season, I realize that that is not the case. I also realize that soon wearing jeans or leggings outside will be downright unbearable no matter the time of day.
I have many summer dresses, so many that I cannot justify getting anymore this year despite my longing for all things floral. I’m going to try to wear these in new ways this year, mixing it up with new shoes (2nd hand clogs, new huaraches, etc) and maybe some different jewelry and hats. This should help me to get more use out of the clothes that I already have that are feeling a bit tired.
One area where my wardrobe is really lacking is in the shorts department. I have zero shorts that I like wearing but I have a pretty good idea of what I want. I need shorts that cover my rear but that I also don’t hate putting on, wearing, and taking off…hmmmm. I have some ideas about what will work: I’ve seen people wearing things that resemble gym shorts and pjs and jeans all at the same time. Like chambray gym shorts. I think that’s what they are and I have found them on Madewell. I’m still (yes still) investigating their ‘ethical’ ‘sustainable’ practices but am slightly doubtful because they are owned by JCrew… so until I feel more confident about that, I’m going to try to find a nice dupe elsewhere, maybe 2nd hand and maybe linen… I’m loving breathable linen right now.
I’m still, always, searching for a short sleeve button up and Everlane has some beauties (of course they do) their colors are limited and I wear black pants to work every day so black is not ideal and I’m not loving any other colors from there so … BOLO.
I still "need" several things from my spring capsule wishlist but as a reluctant shopper I am proud at the progress that I have made.
I buckled down and got a few things that I desperately needed: Everlane's the modern boyfriend jeans and the modern point flats, I am immensely happy with both. The shoes took a while to wear in but it’s done and I love them now.
4. Staying cool, Unrelated to clothing
It was over 105 this week which is downright unpleasant but there are some ways that I attempt to keep my cool even when it is scorching outside. When I know that it is going to be crazy hot, I avoid putting anything in, or on, my body that is even slightly warm. This means being prepared. Brew coffee at night and put it in the refrigerator so it’s cold in the morning. Make smoothies on Sunday, freeze them and have them for breakfast all week! YUM! Salads or sandwiches for lunch, yes can get boring but mix it up! There are some great salad recipes on the web that can be downright delightful. And wine for dinner! no not really. Usually a light dinner like pasta dishes that can be served cold and maybe I'm crazy but I love spicy curry when it's hot outside. So there is still some experimentation going on there.
I don’t use my oven from May to October (yes that is how long summer is where I live, it’s insane) and if I absolutely have to have a frozen pizza then I wait until it’s late at night so I can open up the house and let the heat out.
After work when I get back to my cave (all the windows are blocked to keep out the heat) I immediately change into a breezy dress thing that is so much lighter and more comfortable than real clothes.
However when is so hot that the chocolate chips have melted together (yes this happened last year) and I really JUST.CANT.DEAL I take a nice luxurious bath! A COLD bath! I throw in some herbs from my garden (lavender, rosemary, flowers) and I relax for as long as I can stand the cold. 30 minutes is my record. It is strangely wonderful and kind of romantic. Who needs a pool? Not me.
Do you have any summer fashion secrets? Any hot weather tricks to keep you going? Share below!