Summer Capsule Wardrobe: A Week at the Shore

Old Navy Blue Dot Print Shirt ($24). Old Navy Teal Floral Shirt (similar)($19). Old Navy Red Orange Striped Shirt (similar)($25). NIKE SB Team Classic ($65). Zhuanglin Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes ($40). Birkenstock Mayari Sandals ($100). Levi’s Web Belt ($15 for 3). Navy & White Canvas Woven belt (similar)($12). Dockers Slim Fit Original Khaki All Seasons Tech Pants D1 ($58). Chubbies Shorts The Neon Lights ($65). Goodthreads 5″ Inseam Lightweight Comfort Stretch Oxford Short Gunmetal Gray ($24). Goodthreads 5″ Inseam Flat-Front Comfort Stretch Chino Navy Short ($25). Chubbies Shorts The Staples 5.5″ (Stretch)($50). Topo Designs Quick Pack ($69). LOYALLOOK Bracelets ($12). LUENX Aviator Sunglasses ($18). Invicta Dive Watch ($40). Outplay Flatsea Swim Tank ($55). Abercrombie & Fitch Linen Shirt (Pink) ($23). Abercrombie & Fitch Icon Linen Shirt ($29).

Many of us are headed for a vacation at the beach this summer.  I almost always over pack when heading on long trips because I want to have options with my outfits.  This year, I decided to create a capsule wardrobe that would help me to focus on bringing the right clothes (you know, instead of bringing ALL the clothes).

Capsule wardrobes are simply a way of collecting a small number of individual items that you can mix and match in a lot of different ways.  This means you can create multiple outfits using just a dozen or so individual items by using mixing the pieces in different ways for different looks.  

This summer capsule wardrobe has 16 items which I’ve turned into 9 outfits that cover scenarios from a beach day to a nice dinner out to playing yard games with the nieces and nephews to a long travel day.  As you can see, because these items are versatile, I could create a ton more outfits by swapping out a single piece of any one single outfit for another piece.

The goal with a capsule wardrobe is not to have infinite variety and to wear something new every day. Instead, we use most of the items more than once in order to maximize our wardrobe with a small number of items. We want to look good every day, not entirely different every day.

Even when we add in a few optional accessories for variety, we have clothes enough for 9 days with less than 20 total items!

Let’s break down how to create outfits from our capsule using the week of Independence Day as our vacation.

_______ Saturday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: Travel Day

Summer butch style, men's summer style

A long day traveling in the car calls for comfort first. A long sleeve shirt makes it easy to keep a comfortable temperature by rolling the sleeves up or down and you can kick off the sandals for full relaxation if you’re playing the co-pilot/DJ role.

Ivan E. Coyote – Missed Her. Klean Kanteen water bottle. Nato band.

_______ Sunday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: Exploring town

For a day exploring town, we keep things simple. The water sneakers will go from morning coffee shop to afternoon surrey biking to a sunset beach walk.

Nato band.

_______ Monday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: playing with the boys (& girls)

A full day with all 9 (!) of my nieces and nephews. The sneakers are comfortable enough for miles of walking and playing and the dark shirt minimizes the crisis level of those inevitable spills of food/drink/ice cream from little hands onto my front. The bag has to be light enough to carry all day, but hold all of the gear to handle a variety of situations. My EDC Dopp Kit easily fits in the Topo Designs Quick Pack which can be carried like a fanny pack, messenger bag, briefcase, or sling backpack. I love giving my old rugged/tough camera to the kids to play with – I don’t worry about them breaking it, and they take incredible pictures showing the secret life of kids that I could never capture.

Camera. Nato band.

_______ Tuesday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: Family cookout

With a cookout on the menu, the closed toe sneakers are a must for me. My clumsy self is all too prone to dropping things, and I never want to risk an errant coal ending up in my sandals. The Oxford cloth shorts are the lightest, coolest shorts I’ve ever worn and are perfect for a day out in the sun. This is the time to have stashes of wipes in your pockets. It’s inevitable a mess will be made. Be prepared with Shout Wipe & Go wipes and Handzies so you can save the day (or at least someone’s shirt).

Cornhole Boards. Nato band.

_______ Wednesday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: day trip into the city

Midweek, the wife and I will treat ourselves with a day trip into the city. We will spend all day walking, so again I want my comfiest shoes. The long sleeve shirt can be rolled up or down to account for the huge range of temperatures from chilly museums to the swelter of urban canyons. The navy shorts are the slimmest and most tailored of our options and keep our outfit on the nicer side of casual. If you’re a bigger body, throw some Megababe Thigh Rescue in your bag to ward off the dreaded chub rub. And take some Oar + Alps Cooling Wipes along – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how refreshed you will feel after using these for a quick pick me up.

Nato band.

_______ Thursday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: independence day – July 4th

Avoid the urge to show your patriotism by wearing our flag as your clothing. Stars and stripes are great and can be fun as shorts or a shirt or a swimsuit. But a more subtle approach carries a bit more maturity and gives our “red, white & blue” a more polished sheen. Be the cool aunt/uncle at the fireworks by bringing along some glow stick necklaces for the kids.

_______ Friday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: Picnic and exploration

I love a floral shirt and again our go everywhere water sneakers will take us from marsh trails to the beach to exploring old ruins. A day of exploring nearby parks is a great chance for some photography. Simplify your gear and leave all the extra lenses behind with this Lumix long zoom camera.

Summer Capsule Beach Style: Bonus outfit – Casual Dinner Out

Dinner out in a beach town is admittedly a very casual affair. We can still take the outfit up one tiny notch by wearing khakis instead of shorts. Once the sun goes down, things cool off quickly, making this Isle Bay Linens linen bomber jacket the perfect light layer for the walk home along the beach.

Nato band.

_______ Saturday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: beach day

A long day at the beach gives us a chance to show off with loud swim trunks. No oversize t-shirt and baggy saggy boardshorts for us when there are so many dapper options for butch swimwear. Taking along one of our shirts makes it easy to transition our swimsuit from the beach to the boardwalk or for a run to our favorite local coffee shop.

The Propeller Dune Tote Bag from Bespoke Post is literally made for the beach; its mesh bottom allows sand to fall out keeping your gear clean. Beach time is prime reading time whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, or a magazine. Put some 80’s tunes on your waterproof bluetooth speaker and let the ocean breeze blow your cares away.

_______ Sunday _______

Summer Capsule Beach Style: homeward

A long week ends with a long drive home. Keep things comfortable with a layered outfit. Keep your mind occupied with a great audiobook: I love Thunderball and the tropical setting will help keep the vacation feeling alive on the drive home.

Goodfellow & Co Lyndale V-Neck T-Shirt ($6).