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Clothes for specific weather

The perfect summer capsule wardrobe

The perfect summer capsule wardrobe


A capsule wardrobe is the solution to many of life’s more annoying problems. If you’re ever unsure what to wear, or can’t decide if a new purchase will have much mileage, then a capsule wardrobe will see you right. “It’s a wardrobe of essentials,” says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. “Everything works together, which means you don’t have to make tough decisions. You can pull out clothes almost at random and they’ll look good.”

Honing a summer capsule wardrobe will also help you manage some of the season’s trickier style issues. “In summer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by colours and patterns,” says Luke. “Your style also needs to react to the weather. With a capsule wardrobe, you’re ready for anything and you can rely on pieces that you know work together.” It’s also cost-effective, as this year’s wardrobe will be ready to go once the sun comes back next year. “It means you’re always prepared and will never be blindsided by an unexpectedly hot day.”

Because a capsule wardrobe is all about versatility, there’s some crossover with the clothes you wear in winter. “But it’s about updating the colours and the fabrics to make them more suitable,” says Luke. “Paler shades, lighter materials. You want to be cool, comfortable and stylish.” Pick up these items and you’re guaranteed all three.

Chinos x 3

These are classics, but for summer, go for a washed-out colour like stone,” says Luke. “Stick to neutrals for trousers as you’ll wear with them with different coloured shirts and t-shirts.”


Jeans x 1

“Mid-wash or light jeans are nice as they work well with the brighter light. In summer, you also need a lighter fabrics. Between eight and 10oz will be most comfortable, but still hold its shape.”


Denim jacket x 1

“It’s a perfect layer when you don’t need anything heavy. It’s light enough to be summery and it works with pretty much anything because it’s so classic. Everything in a capsule should be classic.”


Lightweight knit x 1

“It gets chillier in the evenings, so you’ll occasionally need a packable, easy-to-wear layer. Cotton is good for summer, but also thin merino. Again, pale neutrals are versatile, but still good for warm weather.”


Printed shirts x 2

“Something simple like gingham or fine stripes gives a nod to summer, but they’re still very wearable. Pick a lightweight fabric like poplin or seersucker and make sure at least one is long-sleeved. It’s smarter, but you can always roll them up.”


Plain Oxford shirt x 1

“It’s the easiest way to dress up. Pale blue works with everything and looks good all year, but especially in summer when it’s not going to be covered up.”


T-shirts x 5

“You’ll wear them a lot – especially by themselves – so it’s nice to have something with a bit more life. But that doesn’t have to mean loud; a Breton stripe or just a brighter, jewel tone is nice to have in the mix. That way you can wear them by themselves, or layer over them.”


Polo shirts x 2

“They’re made for summer and are always very comfortable because they’re breathable. The collar shows you’ve made a bit more effort, but it’s still very relaxed. Stick to block colours, one bright, one neutral.”


Shorts x 2

“They should be slim, above the knee and in dark colours. That’s the most versatile and they’ll work with anything.”


White trainers x 1

“White stays cleaner longer in the summer and it’s just a very summery. They’re also really comfortable when you’re out and about and your feet are hot.”


Suede boots x 1

“Suede’s breathable but because it’s a boot it feels a bit dressier. You can wear them with jeans, chinos or shorts and they’ll elevate your look, but still be comfortable.”


Sandals x 1

“Flip-flops are for the beach and the gym shower. Sandals are great for holiday because you can walk around all day. Just make sure they’re supportive and have some structure. Also, make sure your feet are in good nick first.”


Or lightweight slip-ons x 1

“If you don’t like having your feet exposed, the shoes in something breathable, like canvas, are just as comfortable. But things like espadrilles, boat shoes or slip-on trainers are that little bit smarter.”