A 12 Piece Minimalist Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2024

A white background with 12 clothing items plus shoes and accessories for A 12 Piece Minimalist Summer capsule wardrobe. In the middle is a black box with white text that reads, "A 12 Piece Minimalist Summer Capsule Wardrobe."

Each season the minimalist capsule wardrobes continue to be my most popular posts. The minimalist aesthetic tends to draw a lot of interest because it is a classic and easy to wear style, which is usually why I make them first.

Then I realized that while I have done a couple of minimalist capsule variations for summer already, I haven’t focused on the straight-up minimalist aesthetic.

I would say that I am circling back to it now, but I hate that phrase.

This version of the minimalist wardrobe really focuses on the pared-down summer wardrobe with simplicity and without the extras that come when I mix it with other style aesthetics.

What is the History of Minimalism in Women’s Fashion?

In 1920s and 30s the modernist movements in art and architecture advocated for simplicity and functionality, which echoed in the fashion world through designers like Coco Chanel.

She revolutionized women’s fashion by introducing simple, comfortable designs such as the little black dress, moving away from the complex, corseted styles of the past.


Can you imagine how awful wearing a corset and those layers were in the heat without air conditioning?

In the post-war era of the 1950s and 60s, fashion saw a movement towards simplicity again as a response to the excesses of previous decades.

Designers like Hubert de Givenchy and André Courrèges introduced styles that emphasized clean lines and simple forms.

Look at the 1960s mod fashion, with its straight cuts and monochrome palettes, that showcased minimalist tendencies.

But ultimately its rise came in the 1990s which is often considered the golden age of minimalist fashion.

This era was characterized by a pared-down aesthetic that stood in stark contrast to the flamboyant and extravagant styles of the 1980s.

Designers such as Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, and Helmut Lang became synonymous with this movement.

They focused on monochrome colour schemes, simple silhouettes, and high-quality fabrics, stripping away unnecessary details and decorations to focus on the purity of form.

In current times, minimalism continues to be a significant influence in fashion, adapting to new trends and technologies while maintaining its core principles.

Designers like Phoebe Philo for Céline and brands like The Row have emphasized a luxurious, understated aesthetic that appeals to modern sensibilities about sustainability and ethical production practices, aligning minimalism with a lifestyle choice as well as a fashion statement.

Albeit those two are out of my price range, often even in the secondhand market, but they are easy aesthetics to adopt through all price ranges.

Which brings us to…

A 12 Piece Minimalist Summer Capsule Wardrobe

A white background with 12 outfits for A 12 Piece Minimalist Summer Capsule Wardrobe.

White Vest | Jeans | Burgundy Flats | Camel Handbag | Dress | Blazer | Earrings | Mary Janes | Blue Handbag | Skirt | Shorts | Black Short Sleeve | Necklace | Sneakers | Striped Sweater | Light Cardigan | Sandals | Blue Button Up | Tank Top | Kitten Heels | Sunglasses | Black Handbag | Black Culottes

I have put together a collection of 12 items of clothes which are the premise of these posts. The shoes and accessories are items that you use to give the wardrobe your personality changing them out for different looks.

Some people like 12 pairs of shoes, some only alternate between two or three, it is up to you. I like to give a small variety that covers what you might need within that particular season.

Since I have been putting together a lot of warm palette wardrobes lately, or warm leading, I wanted to have this one lean towards a cool palette with a sprinkle of warmth in some brown accents.

I just can’t pass up a good brown and grey combo. It has been a favourite of mine since the 90s, as reflected in my 90s Minimalist Summer Capsule Wardrobe.

I also included quite a few black pieces, and I was actually leaning towards an all-black capsule wardrobe but ultimately decided that may be too much for some since a lot of people think that they need to avoid wearing black in the summer.

So the question is…

Can You Wear Black in the Summer?

Short answer? Yes.

Detailed answer? Yes.

Black is a go-to colour for many people because it is easy.

It makes you feel chic, it doesn’t show dirt or sweat as much, and it usually makes fabrics that are less expensive look higher quality.

The wearing black in summer versus wearing white debate has been ongoing.

There is even scientific research from 1980 Why do Bedouins wear black robes in hot deserts? which showed that the amount of heat the skin is exposed to from the clothes is the same across different colours.

And that while black clothes actually did absorb more heat, this was lost before it reached the skin.

So yes you can wear black clothes in the summer. But while they have that research, people still like to disagree, so this comes down to personal preference.

It also comes down to the fabric.

If you stick with summery fabrics you will be fine regardless of the colour.

A polyester dress of any colour is going to feel gross, while a cotton, linen or silk dress will feel airy and breathable.

Also keep in mind the fit of the pieces.

Flowy, loose-fitting clothing in black can be more comfortable in the heat as it allows for better air circulation than something fitted.

The goal is to allow the air to pass through which happens when the clothing has a looser fit on the body.

No one wants tight sleeves with sweat stains in the summer.

So don’t be afraid of wearing your favourite black wardrobe pieces in the summer. You have permission to carry your favourite black, weather appropriate pieces over to your summer capsule wardrobe.

The temperature change doesn’t mean you need to switch from wearing black to wearing white, although many choose to.

I personally have a lot of trouble keeping my white clothes from looking dirty or dingy, which is why I tend to avoid them. And honestly, I like easy to care for items.

Anything that takes extra time and effort I often avoid wearing them. This means the bulk of my wardrobe leans towards darker colours like black rather than lighter.

I also appreciate navy blue as an alternative to black, and it works just as well when used as a neutral.

Since we have this covered, I would like to take a minute to share a major fashion tip which I have shared before, but honestly this is something that can’t be talked about enough.

Wardrobe Style Tip: One of the most important aspects when putting together a wardrobe is having a bra that is your correct size.

It is a gamechanger.

It affects the way you feel, and the way that clothes fall on your form.

It is such a simple thing to figure out even though we have all been led to believe that your bra size needs to fall within the range that a store offers, and if it isn’t available they will suggest the “sister size”.

Don’t fall for it. You will end up with riding bands, straps that fall down, and cups that just don’t do what they are supposed to.

Years ago, and by years I think about 13 or so, in the early days of my online mom group for my second child, a friend directed us to a Reddit forum called A Bra That Fits.

On this page there was a detailed breakdown of how to properly fit and measure yourself for a bra, and it was so successful it is the go-to page for this information.

The sizing calculator with measuring details can be found here.

I wore 34C for years thinking that was the closest fit I was going to get, and it was not a good fit, but I didn’t know better.

I just figured that was something you had to live with if you were going to wear a bra.

Then I tried their measuring method and was shocked that it recommended me to try a 28 DD/DDD.

I didn’t even know that size existed, but I took a gamble and ordered one online because of course you can’t find obscure sizes anywhere but online, especially in those days.

When it arrived and I tried it on, I shit you not, the clouds opened up and angels started singing Hallelujah.

It was a life-changing moment in my life of fashion.

I like to measure again every year or so to see if I should make a change and because I know I have had some weight and body shifts lately I recently remeasured.

It seems that I was correct in my intuition and my current size recommendation is a 30F/FF in UK sizing or 30G/H in US.

They suggest using the UK sizing since US brands can often have inconsistent cup letters over DD.

So yeah, that is my next big purchase because bra prices are no joke, and I am definitely in the market for a new one.

My current is very obviously the wrong size and I can tell by the way it feels and how I look in clothes.

So that is my style tip for this post. If you are going to buy yourself anything new this summer, make it a bra in your correct size because it will change the way you see yourself and feel in your already existing wardrobe.

And this my friends, is a good thing.

Minimalist Summer Outfit Ideas for Women

A white background with 12 outfits for The 12 Piece Minimalist Summer Capsule Wardrobe.

A white background with 12 outfits for The 12 Piece Minimalist Summer Capsule Wardrobe.

White Vest | Jeans | Burgundy Flats | Camel Handbag | Dress | Blazer | Earrings | Mary Janes | Blue Handbag | Skirt | Shorts | Black Short Sleeve | Necklace | Sneakers | Striped Sweater | Light Cardigan | Sandals | Blue Button Up | Tank Top | Kitten Heels | Sunglasses | Black Handbag | Black Culottes

You might also like:
The 12 Piece Ultimate Summer Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Edgy Minimalist Summer Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Transitional Spring Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Retro 70s Spring Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Edgy Minimalist Spring Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Spring Capsule Wardrobe for Women Over 40


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Sara is the founder and creative behind livelovesara. A George Brown College Fashion Styling Graduate, she provides advice on finding your personal style regardless of age and budget. She is always on the hunt for the perfect wardrobe piece and is a vintage and thrifting enthusiast who can't wait to share her newest finds. She is also trying to learn French.


  1. I’ve lost some weight recently, not intentionally (a fun combination of stress and multiple viruses in a row earlier in the year). I quite like how I look actually, but am pretty hesitant to say so to people in real life because I don’t want to hear people tell me they wish they lost weight when they get sick when I lost eight in an incredible unhealthy way.
    Anyway, I didn’t even realize how much I had lost until I decided to treat myself to a new bra and realised my old size was no longer accurate. Not as dramatic as yours, I just went from a 36C to a 34D. I’d just been wearing bralettes and sprts bras for years so getting a real bra, and one that fit properly, made me realize just how big my old wardrobe had gotten. I’ve also started working out with a kettlebell, so I can keep it and do it the right way from now. It’s only been a couple of weeks but today I could actually feel my bicep muscles! Yes!

    Unrelated, I for one think an all black summer wardrobe would be so cool!

    • Yay for muscles and feeling better about yourself! I won’t say congratulations because stress and sickness is not a fun way to lose weight but I’m glad that you like the way you look. That bra change is actually pretty dramatic and is going to make a huge difference in how you look as well. I need to get back on the exercise bandwagon. My husband has been unemployed for the last year and it’s really stressing me the fuck out and him being home has disrupted any exercise routine I’ve had. He should be back to work at the end of this month though so maybe I can make it a summer goal.

      I think an all black summer wardrobe would be cool too with all kinds of fabrics and textures, so maybe I’ll throw it in the mix.

  2. You influenced me to go buy that blue suede bag from the real real. Thank you! I really love your style guides.

    • I hope you love it! It’s a stunning colour and will add so much visual interest to your outfits.

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