My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe

June 20, 2016

My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe- Blue Dress with Wedges

Hello!  I have what I think is a really fun post for you today (I had fun anyways).  I really enjoyed my experiment with a Spring 10 Item Wardrobe, and in the name of further refining my style (and saving my budget) I’ve put together a Summer wardrobe as well.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t spend money on this wardrobe (as you soon will see), but it does mean that I had a limit, both on dollars spent and number of items purchased.  You can read more about the 10 Item Wardrobe concept, but the basic guidelines are to put together a wardrobe consisting of 10 core pieces (not 10 items total) that can be mixed and matched to create a lot of different outfits.  Today, I am going to walk you through step by step how I put together my 10 Item Summer Wardrobe.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission when you make a purchase using one of my links.  This does not affect the price that you pay!  Thank you for supporting the running of this blog.

Step 1 – Purge Closet
I have been really good over the last year or so about purging my closet.  That has not always been the case, but especially since reading Lessons from Madame Chic and the Kon Mari Method, I have done so much better.  But I still had a few things that weren’t in good condition, didn’t fit, or I just didn’t like.  I immediately put them into sell/donate/trash piles and got them out of my bedroom, taking them to their respective destinations as soon as I could that week.
Step 2 – Assess What Was Lacking
Next I laid out everything that I was keeping on my bed.  It wasn’t much.  I had 2 skirts, 3 pairs of shorts, 7 tanks/t-shirts, 2 pairs of sneakers and 1 pair of espadrille pumps.  15 items isn’t a lot work with for 3 months.  Not only did I not have a lot of options to work with, I also had a lot of items that didn’t pair well with each other.  In the past I haven’t had much of a strategy when it came to shopping for clothes.  If it was on sale and I liked it, I got it, regardless of whether I could wear it with a lot of things I already owned.  I had a few colorful pairs of shorts, so I knew I needed some neutral tops to pair with them.  I also had some colorful or patterned tops, so I needed more than one pair of denim shorts to pair with those.  So, after assessing what was missing from my wardrobe, it was time to take a look at my wish list.
Step 3 – Consult Wish List
Grey Converse*
Chambray Button Up*
Trench Coat (probably wait until Fall)
Wedge Sandals*
flat gladiator sandals
white Tee shirt*
extra layering tanks*
black maxi dress*
blue dress*
grey dress*
pool flip flops
pool cover up
Long sleeve black and white striped tee
I put this wish list together while I was creating my 10 Item Wardrobe for Spring.  They are all items that more than once I wished that I had to really complete my outfit.  I compared this list to the mental list I made of what was missing in my wardrobe.  Logically, a lot of those items were the same.  The items with astericks are items that I already had specific items in my mind (or in my shopping cart) and all I needed to do was purchase them.  I follow several fashion blogs and get really great ideas and recommendations from them on a regular basis.  That really cut my shopping time down a lot, there are only 5 items on that list that I had to browse the internet for.  Which leads me to the next step…
Step 4 – Go Shopping
This step will look different for everyone, depending on your style, your budget, your location, or your willingness to shop online.  I almost exclusively shopped online because I have two small children and it’s my worst nightmare taking them into dressing rooms.  Some stores have free shipping (both ways), some have free shipping after you spend a certain amount, and some have a reasonable flat shipping rate.  Below is a list of stores that I shopped for this wardrobe update, I’ll let you know the shipping policy of each of these stores.
J Crew Factory – spend $100 = free shipping, flat rate of $5 for less than $100
J Crew – spend $150 = free shipping, flat rate of $5 for less than $150
Nordstrom – free shipping, no minimums, free exchanges and returns
Evereve – spend $50 = free shipping, flat rate of $5 for less than $50
She In – free shipping, no minimum
Nickel and Suede – spend $50 = free shipping, less than $50 starts around $2.50
Amazon – free shipping and returns for prime members
Everlane – free shipping on 2 or more items, free returns when you choose store credit
Step 5 – Make Any Necessary Exchanges or Returns
More than half of the items I ordered online to try on just didn’t work for me.  And my husband was so happy.  But seriously, I overbought knowing that not everything would fit, I might not like some of the fabrics, the cut would be off.  What I didn’t want happening was to only order 3-5 things that I intended on keeping, none of them work out and then I was discouraged and naked.  So, I bought about 15 items and sent most of them back.  A few items were surprising in the fit or size that I needed, which I will let you know below in the outfit photos.
Step 6 – Plan a Week of Outfits (or more!)
Then came the really fun part.  Once I had all my new purchases in the correct sizes, I pulled everything together to plan some outfits for the next week or so.  Here are the tops and shorts that I will be wearing this summer;
My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe Tops
(most of these shirts are old)
 My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe ShortsStriped Chambray | Blue Linen (old) | Orange Linen (old) | Chambray (out of stock) | Blue Chino | Denim, Stitch Fix
The following clothing items I’m sharing are all items that I purchased new this season with sizing info and links to sources.
I feel like I hit the jackpot with dresses this year.  Isn’t that a great feeling to have about your wardrobe?  And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  These dresses are so versatile, so affordable, and so so comfortable.  I found this striped dress at Evereve, it was my first time to go in that store, but it won’t be my last.  They have toys in the dressing room and a container of Goldfish crackers just waiting to entertain my kids while I try on clothes.  And they have this dress…  I’ve already worn it to church, to dinner, and out shopping.  It’s so soft, and the slightly lower hem in the back keeps me from feeling self conscious when I bend over to pick something up.  I purchased my normal size, size small.
My Summer 10 Item Wardrobe Striped Dress
Striped Dress | Gladiator Sandals (on sale!) | Wedge Sandals | Converse | Tan Earrings | Linen Earrings (out of stock)  | Chevron Necklace | Pink Necklace, Stitch Fix
I planned on purchasing a black maxi dress for this summer, but then I came across this midi dress and I just had to try it.  I LOVE it.  It is so soft and comfortable I seriously feel like I must be wearing pajamas.  But I also feel sleek and sophisticated, and the midi length makes it feel like a new fresh take on a classic black dress.  I purchased my normal size.  Unfortunately, it looks like they sold out of black, but the pink version is on sale!
My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe Black Midi Dress
Midi Dress | Tan Hat, old | Fedora | Orchid Earrings |
It’s really hard for me to choose a favorite dress, but this might be it.  It’s just so fun.  The color is so vibrant (it comes in 8 other colors), it’s light weight and comfortable, and I can wear it to the pool as a cover up or with heels to a nice-ish dinner.  Also an Evereve find, and I’m so tempted to go buy 3 more of them.  I purchased my normal size.
My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe- Blue Dress with Wedges
My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe Blue Dress with Converse
Mint Earrings
I found this striped tee through one of my favorite bloggers, Jones Design Company.  Without her recommendation, I first of all would never have stumbled across it, and second of all probably wouldn’t have taken the risk of purchasing it.  I don’t usually purchase from online retailers that I haven’t been in their brick and mortar, but with free shipping and a sale price of $13, I felt like it wasn’t really that much of a risk.  I LOVE this top.  Another reason I might not have purchased it was that it is a one size fits all item, which I didn’t really understand until I got it.  It’s very stretchy and very long.  More of a tunic on my smaller frame.  But I love that for fall, and right now with a little strategic tucking into my shorts, it’s great for summer too.  And it’s THIRTEEN DOLLARS.  The shorts are a size small and are a little roomy, a size x-small (which I purchased in the striped version) has a slimmer fit on me.
My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe Stripes and Chambray
Striped Tee | Black Leather Earrings | Chambray Shorts (went out of stock, but striped version is available)
These chino shorts from J Crew Factory were a surprising fit for me.  I had to size up 2 sizes, so be prepared for your normal size not to fit.
My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe Stripes and Blue Chino Shorts
Blue Chino Shorts
I’ve talked about my love of Everlane before, so of course they were my first stop for T shirts for summer.  This boxy cut Tee is a nice change from my normal V Neck.  I purchased my normal size small.  And the chambray was a little bit of a splurge for me (even though I used a coupon), but I really love it and it’s much better quality than what I usually buy.  I sized up 1 size (a 4 instead of a 2) because it was a little too snug in the shoulders for me.
My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe White Tee and Blue Shorts
White Tee | Chambray Shirt
You’ve seen all of these shoes already, but I wanted to point out that I purchased 3 new pairs of shoes for this season.  I hadn’t updated my summer shoes in several years, so mine were shot.  I am in love with all three pairs.  Both pairs of sandals were comfortable from the first moment I put them on and gave me no blisters.  The gladiators have some cushion in the sole, which seems to be more important to me the older I get.  The converse were a little stiff, but are great now, and how have I lived so long without owning any of these?  I wore my normal size in all but the wedge sandals, I sized up a half size based on a recommendation from a friend, just due to the ankle part of the shoe.
My 10 Item Summer Wardrobe 3 Favorite Shoes
Wedge Sandal | Converse | Gladiator Sandal (on sale!)
Step 7 – Enjoy Summer!
While I have a lot of fun playing with clothing and coming up with new outfits to wear, part of the goal of the 10 Item Wardrobe is to not have to think about your clothes as much.  It feels so good to walk into your closet, to love everything that you own, and have clothing you can combine in so many different ways.  While I know that I will still be tempted to go shopping (because it’s fun for me), I am confident that I have what I need and that I love what I have.  I can focus on other things this summer, and feel like myself while doing it.
Thanks for sticking through to the end of this incredibly long post, I hope that the steps that I shared were helpful.  If you are considering a 10 Item Wardrobe let me know about it in the comments!  If you have any questions that I didn’t cover here, don’t hesitate to ask, I love hearing from you!

Join the newsletter

Decorating on a budget worksheet 1

Subscribe to get our latest content by email and a FREE Decorating on a Budget Worksheet.

Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Reply

    Sarah S.

    Seriously cute outfits!!! Come to my closet and put together a few??

    1. Reply


      Sarah I would seriously do that in a heart beat! Just tell me when and where. 🙂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge