A Sustainable Capsule Wardrobe for Summer 2024

June 20, 2023 (updated January 26, 2024) — Written by

Interested in a simple way to stay chic all summer long? Enter the sustainable summer capsule wardrobe. Intentionally choosing your wardrobe pieces helps ensure not only that they’re mix and matchable, but also that you’re reducing your fashion waste and consuming responsibly. Let’s chat about my top picks for a summer capsule wardrobe.

A collection of four outfit combinations from a capsule wardrobe.

By: Lisa Fennessy

IN THIS POST:


I LOVE capsule wardrobe posts. I get so much inspo from them like, What qualifies as a basic piece? Neutrals can actually be colors? And especially outfit combos and styling choices like, I never thought of wearing a scarf THAT WAY, but I am now! 

The one thing that’s been missing in all of my capsule wardrobe searches however is the “ethical fashion” capsule wardrobe. If you have someone who you follow along with who does this, please drop a comment and let me know because I am on a need-to-know basis. 

So with that being said, we made our own! I do own some (or similar) of these pieces, but many of them are wishlist items that I’m coveting this summer. Gone are the days where ethical clothing choices = Eileen Fisher or bust. We found so many fun pieces like overly ripped white jean shorts, a bathing suit that is giving old-school Baywatch vibes and a transitional leopard print cami that oozes ahhhoooga! vibes. Safe to say there is no “giving up looking cute” if you want to opt for ethical pieces.

RELATED: How to shop for sustainable fashion.


Why is this capsule wardrobe different from others?

Short answer: it’s not really. Hahaha. Kidding—you know TNK always has a unique spin!  

Long answer: we try not to always shop fast fashion at TNK. An emphasis on fashion brands that are thoughtful and considerate about their environmental impact, as well as paying their makers a fair wage and using eco-friendly materials is a linchpin in our recommendations. So that’s how this capsule wardrobe stands out—you won’t see recs from Abercrombie & Fitch here (I still can’t believe they’re making a comeback and do respect their attempts at more size inclusivity). 

ALSO. The entire point of a capsule wardrobe is to reduce your consumption. Yeah, it’s become a handy way for brands and editorial sites to get you to buy more stuff every season, but that’s NOT what we’re here for. Repurpose pieces you didn’t know could work in multiple ways, make getting dressed easier and reduce your personal footprint by only buying what you need = the best way to do a capsule wardrobe.


How to put together a summer capsule wardrobe

The truth is that there are absolutely no rules for putting together your summer capsule wardrobe, but these are some of the things you might want to consider:

  • Invest in pieces that can be worn across seasons 
  • Invest in pieces that are classic and timeless 
  • Invest in pieces you love and that make you feel good 

Regardless of how thoughtful you put your wardrobe together, there will be items you will need to replace more regularly like white t-shirts and bras, for example (if anyone has any tips for avoiding yellowing armpits, we’re all ears).

And use this as inspo. You might already have many similar pieces, but if you are looking to fill in a few holes this summer with something cute and sustainable, we’ve got your back. 

RELATED: The best sustainable white t-shirts.


Sustainable, ethical summer capsule wardrobe ideas

Don’t let the number of pieces in this list overwhelm you—you likely have some of these classic pieces already in your wardrobe. It’s up to you to figure out where your wardrobe holes are and fill them in as needed. Also, you could easily pare this down to a total of 12-15 items and be G2G for the summer (and some of the fall/spring). Use this as a guide, not a rule

A selection of 27 clothing items to create over 250 outfits.

1. Playa Pocket Blouse | $158 2. Nightie Tank | $145 3. Adriano Top | $100 4. Edith Upcycled Eyelet Blouse | $130 5. Sydney Boyfriend Shirt | $128 6. Patti Short Sleeve Tee | $52 7. Cool Stretch Tank | $20 8. V-Neck Midi Dress | $98 9. Inez Bubble Sleeve Dress Black Jersey | $78 10. Poplin Tiered Dress | $228 11. Linen Wide Leg Pant in Wheat | $188 12. Riley High Rise Straight Crop | $188 13. Emilie Short High Rise Vintage 6.5″ | $149 14. The Angel Like Crazy Shorts | $128 15. S.E.A. Suit Shortall | $148 16. Remi Reconstructed Jacket | $198 17. Shelter Cotton Cardigan Birch | $236 18. ‘Sconset SeaWell™ Sweater | $128 19. The Malibu One Piece | $98 20. Cannes Straw Bucket Hat | $99 21. Perfect Hoops in Gold | $88 22. Sunski Camina Sunglasses | $58 23. Soto Belt Bag | $198 24. Italian Leather Circle Crossbody Bag | $89.90 25. All-Day Cross Strap Sandal | $138 26. Mariana Sandal | $68 27. Veja Esplar Logo Sneaker | $150


Summer capsule wardrobe: 10 days of outfits

With these pieces, you can make more than 250 outfits, no problem. (Yep, we called back to our high school algebra days and did a complicated permutation calculation to figure that out. *Pats self on back.*) Here are just TEN that we cooked up for a chic, timeless summer wardrobe.

A green romper paired with a cream cardigan as part of a capsule wardrobe outfit.

Shelter Cotton Cardigan Birch | S.E.A. Suit Shortall | Perfect Hoops in Gold | Sunski Camina Sunglasses | Soto Belt Bag | All-Day Cross Strap Sandal


An outfit from a capsule wardrobe featuring a white long dress and black denim jacket.

Poplin Tiered Dress | Remi Reconstructed Jacket | Cannes Straw Bucket Hat | Perfect Hoops in Gold, Sunski Camina Sunglasses | Italian Leather Circle Crossbody Bag | Mariana Sandal


An outfit from a capsule wardrobe featuring a white button down shirt and denim jeans.

Sydney Boyfriend Shirt | Riley High Rise Straight Crop | Perfect Hoops in Gold | Sunski Camina Sunglasses | Soto Belt Bag | Veja Esplar Logo Sneaker


An outfit from a capsule wardrobe featuring a striped sweater and linen pants.

Cool Stretch Tank | Linen Wide Leg Pant in Wheat | ‘Sconset SeaWell™ Sweater | Perfect Hoops in Gold, Sunski Camina Sunglasses | Italian Leather Circle Crossbody Bag | All-Day Cross Strap Sandal


An outfit from a capsule wardrobe featuring a gray t-shirt dress.

V-Neck Midi Dress | Cannes Straw Bucket Hat | 2″ Perfect Hoops in Gold | Sunski Camina Sunglasses, Soto Belt Bag | Veja Esplar Logo Sneaker


A capsule wardrobe outfit featuring a cami, denim jacket and white denim shorts.

Adriano Top | Remi Reconstructed Jacket | Emilie Short High Rise Vintage | Perfect Hoops in Gold | Sunski Camina Sunglasses | Italian Leather Circle Crossbody Bag, | Mariana Sandal | Veja Esplar Logo Sneaker


An outfit from a capsule wardrobe featuring a pair of shorts and a gingham shirt.

Playa Pocket Blouse | The Angel Like Crazy Shorts | Perfect Hoops in Gold | Sunski Camina Sunglasses, Soto Belt Bag | Veja Esplar Logo Sneaker


A capsule wardrobe outfit with a black dress, black sandals and mix and match purses.

Inez Bubble Sleeve Dress Black Jersey | Perfect Hoops in Gold | Sunski Camina Sunglasses, | Soto Belt Bag | Italian Leather Circle Crossbody Bag | Mariana Sandal


A capsule wardrobe outfit with a red swimsuit and white button up shirt.

Sydney Boyfriend Shirt | The Angel Like Crazy Shorts, | The Malibu One Piece | Cannes Straw Bucket Hat | Soto Belt Bag | Veja Esplar Logo Sneaker


An outfit from a capsule wardrobe featuring denim jeans and a black shirt.

Edith Upcycled Eyelet Blouse | Riley High Rise Straight Crop | Perfect Hoops in Gold | Italian Leather Circle Crossbody Bag | All-Day Cross Strap Sandal


You, after organizing your sustainable capsule wardrobe

A woman in a sequined flapper dress dances across a living room.

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What pieces are catching your eye?

xo, lisa in cursive

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.


Sustainable summer capsule wardrobe FAQ

What are the rules to a capsule wardrobe?

The truth is that there are absolutely no rules for putting together your summer capsule wardrobe, but these are some of the things you might want to consider: Invest in pieces that can be worn across seasons, invest in pieces that are classic and timeless and invest in pieces you love and that make you feel good. Ideas on what to include here.

What is the point of a capsule wardrobe?

The point of a capsule wardrobe is to reduce your consumption. Yeah, it’s become a handy way for brands and editorial sites to get you to buy more stuff every season, but that’s NOT what we’re here for. Repurpose pieces you didn’t know could work in multiple ways, make getting dressed easier and reduce your personal footprint by only buying what you need = the best way to do a capsule wardrobe. View outfit ideas here.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Erin Maloney

    Check out foxandbloom.co / @daniella.siebert on insta
    She does capsule wardrobes and focuses on sustainable/ethical pieces from places like Everlane, Quince, Nisolo, etc.!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Running! Thanks for the lead!

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