the daily june: june thirteenth | introducing summer, the hardest season to capsule

It feels odd to be writing a post about my summer capsule when it is, in fact, pouring rain outside – we have a full-on storm overhead, complete with lightning and those cracking, rolling hits of thunder that do make me wonder if our little house is sturdy enough to handle this kind of weather. Such is, however, summer on the prairies, and I can’t say I’m at all upset about it. A good prairie summer storm is just what the soul needs, some days, and my soul is certainly pleased.

I’m late to the capsule wardrobe-ing game for the summer season because it took a hot – or rather, a cold – minute for Alberta to catch up to what season it was supposed to be. It didn’t feel right trying to plan outfits with shorts when it was still a chilly three degrees in the morning. We’ve officially hit mid-twenties weather (in Celcius, to be clear!), though, and my summer capsule is itching for a little structure. My shorts have landed amongst my spring and autumn items (often interchangeable in my wardrobe) and my closet is looking like a seasonally-confused disaster.

Unfortunately, this is not a new issue: my summer wardrobe is always somewhat confused-looking. If there’s any season I struggle with style-wise, it’s summer. I can never seem to get a good handle on what my style looks like for the warm months – is it floaty, pretty dresses? Straw hats? Oversized tees? Baseball caps? Will I wear shorts, or skirts? Will I wear sneakers, or sandals? The answer is “all of the above,” but every year, without fail, I have a summer-induced style crisis because I have a real time of it trying to find a way to make my summer pieces work together.

I am, as such, in the late stages of planning my summer capsule – an official post with my final choices will go up soon! – because summer, of all capsules, requires a little extra love and strategy.

Today, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. I don’t often go to Pinterest, as I find it can prompt a strange combination of “I need more clothing! I need everything!” urges right alongside “Why are literally all of these posts ten years out of season?” frustration (not to mention the amount of times I’ve gotten insanely frustrated with the lack of crediting for artists and what have you – terrible!). I’ve already done most of my summer shopping, though, so I really want to avoid the first feeling – and I want to avoid the second, for obvious reasons. My usual source of social media style inspiration is Instagram, but Pinterest is a useful last-resort for one specific reason: rather than purely bombarding myself with new-season pieces, as Instagram is wont to do, I can search for items I already own and see how they’re styled.

Of course, the Pinterest step required me to first take a good, hard look at my closet and sort out, with brutal honesty, which clothing items I had gone and purchased in anticipation of the summer I thought I was going to have (a summer working in retail) and how many of them can feasibly transfer into the summer I’ve actually ended up with (a summer working from home). I asked myself three questions to determine if they should stay in my summer wardrobe:

  1. Is this item of clothing comfortable to sit in?
  2. Will I wear this clothing outside of work hours?
  3. Is this item summer-event (a hopeful category, if there ever was one) specific?

If my answer was yes to any of these questions, good news – it stayed! If the answer was no, I set it aside for further, future deliberation (this also means that if I end up missing a certain piece, I can pull it back in – no harm, no foul, no re-purchasing required because I didn’t get too donation-happy). What I’m left with in my wardrobe post-sort looks pretty good – a little directionless still, maybe, but better.

My Pinterest dive yielded some useful results: I have a better sense of my summer energy (official guiding phrases coming soon in a blog post near you!) and styling direction for some unexpected combinations of items that I was convinced weren’t going to work together. Here are a couple of my favourite search results:

Here are the big takeaways, the “look at all the things you’ve learned!” epiphanies for me to consider as I make my final summer capsule decisions in the next few days:

  1. I rely on summer basics. White tee with a pair of light jeans, a solid tank with a pair of denim shorts. When I’m confused, that’s my go-to: something casual and classic.
  2. I’m obviously having a moment with neutrals – as evidenced above – but something else that popped up consistently in my board (and in my closet) is that I do like to have a little more fun in my summer wardrobe. My autumn and spring wardrobes – arguably my favourite seasons to style – tend to the more serious, the more academic, but my summer wardrobe wants to let loose occasionally. Give me ruffles. Give me pastels. Give me prints.
  3. I like to play with proportion combinations. I like a wide-legged pant with a fitted tank, an oversized tee with high-waisted denim shorts or a straight leg jean, an oversized-everything vibe.
  4. I’m not ready to let go of jeans, but I do need to switch up jean-styles – a straight or wide-legged fit is more warm-weather (and sitting-down-for-hours, working-at-home) friendly.
  5. I’ve got a thing for textures these days. Linen, corduroy, knits, ribbing – I want it all.

Wishing you wonderful, soul-filling weather, whatever that means for you, and the most satisfying cup of iced tea you’ve ever had, to be enjoyed with only your favourite people,

Kate

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