The Complete Capsule: 11 Summer Essentials to Carry You Through Till Fall

The weather in this country might be as confusing as the politics this week, but we're happily distracting ourselves by contemplating the mechanics of our summer wardrobes. We don't need to list off the items that belong in a seasonal capsule. In every beach-bound suitcase, you'll find dresses, sandals, and swimsuits. However, there are certain versions that will prove the most versatile and really see you through the next six weeks—and perhaps even six years.


(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

The ideal 2022 summer capsule wardrobe includes classics we revisit every year, including tan leather sandals, white dresses, basket bags, and simple swimwear. There are some new additions to the list this year, however, including fun hair accessories, strappy sandals, and vest tops. Keep scrolling to shop 11 editor-approved essentials that will see you through this summer, a sudden heat wave, and beyond.

1. White Dress


(Image credit: @michellemdriscoll)

No summer wardrobe is complete without a breezy and effortless white dress. Whether you go for a relaxed linen dress or voluminous cotton frock, it will be your go-to versatile piece you lean on time and again.

2. Milkmaid Top


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

Milkmaid tops are the perfect items for weekends in the park. Thankfully, Topshop, ASOS, H&M, and more have all created pretty prairie-style tops with lace-up detailing, shirred bodices, square necklines, and bows.

3. Tan Sandals


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

Tan leather slides have long been associated with luxury thanks to Hermès's iconic Oran sandals and Saint Laurent's Nu Pieds. High-street versions can look just as elegant. 

4. Featherlight Skirt


(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

When it's just too hot to wear white jeans and unthinkable to even consider anything as complicated as a jumpsuit, a slip skirt will continue to be your best pal well into the warmer months. Pair it with a nostalgic tee and sandals, and opt for a bucket hat if you'd like to shade your visage in style.

5. Go-With-Anything Sunglasses


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

Sunglasses are often a key part of any summer wardrobe, and below are three pairs that will go with any outfit.

6. Tank Top


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When it comes to T-shirts, the tank top is quickly regaining popularity. If you want to expose maximum shoulder, opt for a racer-style or strappy, buckled tank. Ribbed tanks with wider straps feel like a smarter option you can wear in casual professional settings, too.

7. Floral Dress


(Image credit: Lucy Williams)

In summer, you just can't go wrong with a throw-it-on floral dress. Brands know that, so you won't have to look for long to find a dress that will work as a morning pick-me-up this summer.

8. Strappy Sandals


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

The most widespread trend so far from the summer collections is strappy sandals (also known as "naked" or "floss" heels). The straps are tiny and contort across the foot in all kinds of crisscrossing patterns. However, in the heat, you're going to want something that reflects this trend but doesn't kill your feet. Cue strappy, sporty sandals.

9. Basket Bag


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

The basket bag has been a summer staple for several years now and is an enduring fashion import from French style icons. 

10. Hair Accessories


(Image credit: The Style Stalker)

A hair tie is one of those things you permanently need on your wrist in summer, but this year, prepare to upgrade your ponytails with colorful scrunchies, hair scarves, clips, and headbands. Pulling your hair off your face has never looked so chic or felt so liberating.

11. Simple Swimwear


(Image credit: @raeannlangas)

There are so many exciting swimwear trends around this year, but in a capsule summer wardrobe, it pays to have a simple bikini or one-piece that goes with everything.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK and has since been updated. Up next, 30 Chic Summer Items You Can Wear Over and Over Without Anyone Noticing 

Emma Spedding