I have gone through about about 69 different ethical & eco-friendly (not all are fully sustainable) clothing brands, and have conjured up the perfect summer capsule wardrobe.
So, this capsule collection has 19 pieces in total (20 if you count the top & bottom of a bikini separately). Now, I have chosen the pieces which for me personally are staples in a summer wardrobe, but I do think it is still important to find a few ‘trend’ pieces that you can bring out each year to add in.
Now I would also like to add, that whilst this is based off of a summer capsule wardrobe, a lot of the items can be used within all seasons as well, and for the pieces you can’t bring into autumn/winter, it’s best to either give them to a new home, or keep them safe for the next year!
Last thing before I jump into it, obviously whilst I have tried to find only sustainable brands, there are some which are focused more on the ethical side, or the environmental side, but I will share what materials are used in each garment.
Actually, one last final thing (I promise). Whilst this is a wishlist, I probably won’t be purchasing much (if any ,considering these circumstances), but I think it’s always nice to keep a positive mindset that maybe we will get at least a slither of summer outside (I am mostly doubtful though).
Now to begin!
First we have jeans. I am a massive denim lover (the proper denim, that’s uncomfortable to wear, not this stretchy rubbish), but obviously denim is generally horrible for the environment. However, these beauties are not!
These are made from 40% post-consumer recycled cotton, and 60% organic cotton and are non-stretch (hurray). I think a pair of blue jeans is a must in anyone’s wardrobe, and the fit of these looks absolutely beautiful. These can easily be worn during the day, but also dressed up for the evening too, with either some heels or boots. I mean, who doesn’t love jeans and a nice top?!
Next is yes, another pair of jeans. For me (a.k.a a massive lover of jeans, did i say that already?) black jeans is also something needed. They are just so versatile in any wardrobe.
A little more expensive, however, I really do believe that investing in some staple pieces really is the best way to go. Similarly to the previous pair, these are 70% organic cotton, and 30% GRS certified recycled cotton. I think what really drew these to me is not only the style, but also the unfinished hem, as I have been on the hunt (unsuccessfully) for a pair like that for a very long time. Who knows, maybe I will finally have another pair of black jeans in my wardrobe for the summer…
Also, I do realise that maybe heavy jeans are not ideal for everyone’s summer wardrobes, but we do need to keep in mind that I am in England, and whilst we have lovely weather at the moment, there is no doubt that as soon as lockdown is over the weather will go back to its usual miserable ways.
To bring the summer back to the wishlist, we have a lovely pair of denim shorts. Now, whilst in my younger days (I say at the ripe age of 22…) I was a massive fan of shorts, I just can’t find myself enjoying wearing them, but I do have to say, whilst on holiday or at the beach, it is needed to have some isn’t it.
So, it turns out I am a massive fan of Boyish jeans… however, when it comes to shorts, I do have to say, whilst I’ve grown out of the ripped jeans phase of my life, ripped shorts is still a go-to in the summer. These are also 70% organic cotton, and 30% GRS certified recycled cotton.
Now, I’ve had enough of shorts, so let’s go back to trousers. Something a little bit lighter than denim though I think. Some lovely lightweight trousers for you to breeze through the summer months with.
Now, these trousers are absolutely beautiful. Some wide leg trousers can’t go amiss in the summer as your legs don’t get all sweaty (at least not quite as much). Now, whilst I will admit, the materials used are not the most sustainable (69% polyester, as well as 30% viscose and 1% elastane) however as a brand they are making steps towards being ‘more’ sustainable, as they have their supply chain available for each garment. So it is important to recognise that they are making steps in the right direction.
Onto now my favourite part of the summer wardrobe – dresses. I absolutely love a beautiful dress, and I have to admit, it was a hell of a task to not chose about 20 different dresses to put on the wishlist… I may actually do a whole post about dresses at some point, as they are a massive mood for my summer wardrobe right now.
Anyhow, I do digress (as usual). Firstly is a dress that I would categorise as a ‘sundress’. Whether you would do the same, maybe not?
Okay, let’s talk about this dress for a minute. I for one, have never and I mean never been a person who’s into dropped waistlines. However, this dress just spoke to me on another level. I may sound dramatic, but I am obsessed. I love the print, I love the shape, I love everything about it. It is made from 100% Micro Tencel, which is made from wood pulp. It also has adjustable straps, which can I just say a lot of dresses really do miss out on that aspect.
Next is, wait for it, you’ll never guess the kind of dress… a… denim dress! Yes of course, I absolutely love denim dresses, and this one is even better than your usual, because it is an absolutely stunning colour.
Okay, tell me that isn’t the most summer-y summer denim dress that you have seen?! I have never been drawn to yellow until this year, and I think it’s because I’ve finally realised Alex.. you have red hair… yellow and red go nicely together… maybe try it. I think to be quite honest, I’ve always been afraid of colour because of how bright my hair is (especially when the sun is out), but I think I just need to stop being a woss, ad wear some colour! This, just like the other jeans, is 70% organic cotton, 30% GRS certified recycled cotton.
Now, I see this as a two-in-one dress really. Think little black dress, but also slip dress. As one. Mind-blowing I know. I’ve always liked the slip dresses that are at a midi-length, but I think for me, I much prefer a mini dress.
Now, this isn’t just an average black slip dress. It does actually have a lovely black moon embroidery pattern on it as well. Now, the slip dress is definitely one of the most versatile. Nightdress. Going out dress. Under a jumper dress. As a top dress. The opportunities are endless with this. It’s made with cupro, which is basically the waste from cotton plants.
Final dress is a kind-of ‘shirt’ dress. I say it like that because it has a collar, but it’s not an actual button up shirt kind of dress… It is lovely though.
Again, don’t hate me, it does use Polyester… I really wish it didn’t. But as I did mention at the beginning, not all of these brands are fully sustainable, but they are taking steps to becoming more sustainable. Now, this has 8% polyester, 17% polyamide, and 75% viscose, which I suppose is a little better than the trousers. However of course, having the multi-fibres in the garment do make it harder to recycle. So it definitely would be very important to care for this properly so that it lasts a long time.Apart from the negatives, it is a beautiful colour, and I love this cloudy blue colour a lot in all seasons.
Next is the tees. Classic wardrobe staples. Essential summer must-haves.
First off in the list is the class white tee. Can’t go wrong with it really. Can be worn with anything, and just a classic piece.
Now typically, I like to go for a shorter sleeve, but I thought really a longer sleeve for a plain white tee actually makes more sense to me. You can wear it like that, or roll up the sleeves to a desired length, so you get the best of all the worlds in this case! It is made from 67% viscose (derived from bamboo), 28% certified organic cotton, and 5% spandex jersey. I mean, I suppose really I should have looked better at this, as really with a plain white tee there is no need to not be 100% bamboo (or whatever material you use). However, let’s just go with the cut on this piece, instead of the literal piece…
Now, alongside a white tee, there should always be a striped tee.
Now this is 100% organic cotton, which is what we like to hear. A beautiful striped tee gives me such Parisian vibes (anyone else?). They’re just so timeless, and can be worn in and out every season. It is tops like this that make me wish I could pull of a beret… but I think I’m going a bit too stereotypical (although I am massively jealous of those who suit a beret). Anywho, as mentioned, so versatile, can be worn with dungarees, jeans, shorts, skirts, anything you fancy really.
Now a polo top is my next item. I think this is an item quite like marmite for me. I either love them or I hate them. This one though, I think I love.
This is definitely very tennis vibes for me. I think this is something that maybe not everyone would say was an essential for a summer wardrobe, but of course, it does really depend on the individuals own style. I do like crop tops, but mainly because I do love high waisted things as well, so they do go nicely together. I think this is a beautiful edition. It is 76% viscose, 24% PBT and is described as a cotton blend, so I will assume the viscose is derived from cotton.
Then we of course have to add in a cami top. I think these again are such versatile pieces, as can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
This has such a luxurious look (and price tag lets be real here), but I can already imagine numerous outfits and looks that this can be worn with, not to mention places to wear it to. I think it would look great in the garden with a homemade cocktail (so funny I know). It is 100% silk charmeuse, apparently using certified silk, which should be more environmentally friendly.
Another must-have in the summer is an oversized shirt. These are perfect with shorts, jeans, on it’s own at home, over a swimsuit on holiday, wear it however you please really.
This again is silk, 100%. Now, I did have a look on the website, and it mentioned about using silk not from silk worms, however I do not want to say it definitely is, as it isn’t too clear if I’m quite honest. However, a lovely light-weight shirt for the summer is definitely a must-have. I love the cut of this one, and the colour as well. I do love a good pastel colour in the summer months.
Now, I have a couple of pieces more for the evenings when it gets a bit chilly out.
Firstly is a cardigan. It’s definitely more of a summer cardi than a ‘normal’ one, and in my opinion could be worn on its own as well as with a little cami underneath.
The pearl buttons were what really got me with this, I think it’s just such an elegant touch to finish off a beautiful cardigan. I really enjoy the ribbing of it as well, as it just adds some extra texture (I love my texture). It’s made from 60% cotton, 40% viscose (will go out on a whim and assume its derived from cotton, but do not quote me on that). Honestly this would be perfect over a slip dress, with some shorts, even some jeans. I think as well when it comes to more ‘outerwear’ pieces, I tend to go towards more neutral colours as they pair with a lot more ‘under’ pieces.
Next is another summer layering piece, which is a jumper. I always find myself getting so cold in the summer evenings because I always forget a jumper, so I really do see it as an essential.
I would firstly like to say I don’t know why the image is such bad quality, but hopefully you get the point of what it looks like. Made from 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, what is there not to like? Now I know, I just said my outerwear pieces I prefer in neutral tones, however I would like to point out, is that not the most beautiful blue?! I think it’s a bit different with jumpers because you’re not going to see whats underneath, and considering i’ll either be wearing blue or black jeans, or shorts, I think this would be worn a lot by myself. It also has some adorable ties at the wrists which is just the perfect finishing touch really.
Now for the good old hoodie. You can’t go wrong with a hoodie really. They are perfect for slouching around, for keeping warm in, and they’re just so cosy.
Saw it. Want it. Obsessed. I love the watercolour, I love the cut, I love the colours. It’s stunning. It is 50% cotton and 50% polyester, which I mean, could always be better. However they do have on their website a sentence saying that sustainability is a journey, so I would like to image that they are taking steps to using more sustainable materials. Now, some people may think it’s not necessary for a hoodie and a jumper, but for me, I probably wear hoodies and jumpers the most no matter what season, so if that’s not, obviously pick your preferred.
Now before we move to the real outerwear. I do have a ‘blazer’ jacket. I think really having a nice blazer is essential, but a lighter one for the summer months to wear out in the evenings is definitely needed.
The thing that stood out to me (apart from the jacket) was Beulah’s mission statement. They provide employment for women, and also donate 10% of profits back to those communities. This is also such an elegant jacket, and perfect for dressing up in the evenings. They do have matching trousers too, however I’m really seeing this with some blue jeans, boots, and a white cami underneath. It’s just that kind of jacket that makes you look as if you have your shit together, even if you don’t.
We then move back to the denim… I know, you forgot about denim didn’t you? Well this time it’s in the form of a jacket. I think denim jackets are great to just throw on over what you’re wearing for the evening, and the only jacket I really see personally as an essential for the summer months.
E.L.V uses discarded denim for their pieces, and this jacket is made from two vintage jackets, so each jacket is unique. I think that’s a great idea, and definitely one of the most sustainable out of everything. It really is also one of those jackets that just works, double denim it (or triple denim really), over a summer dress, however you want.
Last but not least, we have a bikini. I thought I should add this in, as whilst I do enjoy some nice patterns when it comes to swimwear, and swimwear tends to last with me because I just don’t really swim a lot, a basic bikini is always a good place to start.
Picture is red, because it had the bikini as a set, but the colour I love is the ivory. Of course, if you are a fan of red, it does look absolutely stunning. I just love the look of the top, and of course a high waisted bottom you really can’t go wrong with. It’s such a stylish yet timeless two-piece in my eyes, and I would definitely wear this year after year (the one time a year I go to a beach). They are both made from ECONYL, which is regenerated nylon.
Those are all the items in my dream summer capsule wardrobe/wishlist for 2020.
I hope you enjoyed, and maybe gave you some inspiration for your own wardrobe, or some sustainable brands to have a look at.
If there’s any pieces that you would put in your capsule wardrobe for the summer, let me know in the comments.
Alexandra Grace XxXx