Style Bee - Summer Closet Recap

Summer Capsule Recap


Style Bee - Summer Closet Recap

I always have the best intentions of collecting my thoughts and doing a thorough recap right after each capsule but then I just can’t seem to pull it together. I think once these projects finally culminate I just need to zone out and let the experience simmer in my mind before I can really iron out my thoughts. But the ironing is all done and it’s time to talk pros and cons, do agains and never agains and what’s next on the list for this lean closet mission I’m on!

First let’s just take a look back at all the items I included in my 20 piece summer foundation closet. As you may recall there was a lot of white, black, denim and few injections of stripes and pattern. The items ranged from super casual (black t-shirt and chucks) to pretty dressy (long dresses, flowy skirts and gorgeous shoes) with lots of options in between. So without further adieu here they are:


Style Bee - Summer Closet Recap

Now we’ll take a peek at all 20 summer looks that I put together from these pieces. I managed to use everything at least 2 times by pushing myself to be a little creative and pair things I might not have otherwise worn together. It was a ton of fun and turned out to be easily my best summer for style and closet contentment! See all the looks in more detail via the new Outfits page.


Style Bee - Summer Closet Recap






Last time I did a capsule recap (after my Spring 10 x 10 challenge) I asked myself some questions about it and that seemed to be a great way to assess the success of the experiment. So here goes:

What were the 5 biggest takeaways?

  1. 20 items could easily be an entire Summer wardrobe.
  2. It’s really satisfying to decide on all the pieces you’ll be wearing at the start of a season. Then you can get excited about each one and not worry about ‘what else’ is out there. It used to intimidate me or make me feel as though I was limiting myself. Now I find it’s just the opposite.
  3. I really like wearing items a lot of times. It makes everything seem more useful and valuable.
  4. Considering the silhouettes that I feel good in (ie: flowy tops and high waists or long skirts and dresses) makes a big difference in my closet satisfaction. If I don’t feel comfortable in an outfit it won’t make it out the door.
  5. I don’t miss colour. A little green and some warm tones via accessories are all I need.

What were the best things about it?

I found the exact same positive take aways as my last capsule and it was great to see how consistent the experience was.

  • I loved knowing what I was going to wear in the morning. Not having to hum and haw over my options was really liberating and actually made for more productive and positive starts to the day.
  • I felt like I was actually ‘wearing’ all my clothes. Everything help up well to washing and lots of use so I felt like every investment I made in quality pieces was well worth it.
  • It was really great from a blogging standpoint too. I had a much better idea of what I was going to post throughout the summer and my concern with what other bloggers and fashion trend setters were doing was basically non-existent.
  • The positive response from readers made it so fun and anytime I was doubting myself you guys set me straight!
  • I saved a lot of money because I wasn’t shopping, which means I can splurge on a few great Fall pieces without feeling strapped or guilty.

What would you do differently?

  • Overall I’m really happy with my choices but we did have an unexpectedly hot summer so I could have gone without one of the two jackets I included and had an additional sleeveless option instead.
  • I would have loved to have a pair of wide-legged linen pants and another summery dress on hand as well.
  • Footwear was great but I might have exchanged the chucks for Birks or something open.
  • While it gave the blog a lot of direction it was a little stressful to complete all 20 looks within two months.
  • It’s important to really like wearing everything in the capsule. A couple pieces were fun to style but not something I was dying to wear all the time. So I would want to be careful about that next time.

Could you live with a capsule closet for a whole season?

I definitely could live out of a capsule wardrobe. The more I embrace living with less the better I feel! Although I do feel that 20 pieces might be too few for 3 months. Maybe that’s just the North American consumer ingrained in my head but I would be reluctant to commit to one so small at this moment though.

Do you want to?

So here’s the thing, I really like the idea of pulling together all my pieces at the start of the season and working my way through them without adding too much or muddling the overall style and vision I have. Plus, I’m also fairly sure that if I eliminated everything I haven’t worn in the last 3-4 months from my closet I would essentially have a summer capsule closet. So what’s stopping me from committing 100%? I think I’ve yet to find that perfect ratio of wardrobe contentment to style satisfaction but I know I’m SUPER close to achieving that. Maybe it’s a matter of setting a limit on what I can add (ie: 1 piece a month) or there is a one in one out policy that could work. I’m still working that equation out though.

What were your favourites?

It was really tough but I forced myself to name my top 4 favourite looks from the capsule. Truth is I had only a couple looks that I probably wouldn’t wear again so I think that’s a really good indication of how well a capsule can work!


Style Bee - Summer Closet Recap

So what’s next?

While doing a capsule of 20 pieces and 20 looks within 2 months was a fabulous exercise and super fun, it was also an insane amount of work. I felt like I was always behind in shooting looks and while it’s good to maintain momentum I did feel rushed and a little stressed about completing it in good time (ie: before everyone stopped caring about summer style). But I’m still riding the capsule closet train in a big way and the next stop is FALL! For my Fall Foundation Closet I’m going to stick closer to 10 pieces (many of which are slowly but surely getting checked off my Fall Wishlist). Autumn is typically my most unstable shopping season, meaning I tend to go a little overboard. But I’m trying my best to stick to my list and budget! Here’s a little peek at what might be in the next capsule:


Style Bee - Summer Closet Recap

Striped tee old J.Crew (similar here, here and here) | Madewell Flares | Rachel Comey Boots | Madewell Leather Jacket (similar here, here and here)

So there it is! My Summer Foundation Closet Recap! Thanks for joining me and piping in on all my wardrobe endeavours. You guys are such great motivators and I hope you know how much I appreciate it! I’m going to take the rest of September to pull together my Fall pieces and start shooting. Until then there will be a few great collaborations and more Closet Mission posts so definitely stay tuned! xo

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Sam says:

    Hi! Love this and although it’s years later I’m curious if you could share the brand and style of those wide legged blue jeans? Thanks’

  2. carlyn greer says:

    SO excited that I found your blog by randomly stumbling upon your profile on Instagram. Love your style and closet mind set, it is right along with mine! It makes me really happy when I find great Canadian blogs so close to home (I teach in Guelph and live in Waterloo!)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say Hi 🙂 I look forward to following your site!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hi Carlyn, You are so sweet! I’m so glad you found your way here 🙂 Always great to discover like-minded bloggers from Canada! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. xoxo

  3. Mun says:

    A useful recap. I like the idea of capsule wardrobe and I’m definitely for recycling fashion and low cost per wear but I also have to admit that I’m not game enough to do it, yet!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks Mun! It definitely requires the right mindset or you’ll feel too constrained. I’m not sure if I’ll ever go full-time capsule but establishing a great foundation within my closet that I can add to or interchange has been such a positive experience. xo

  4. amanda says:

    I love, love, LOVE all your pieces and the outfits you created from them. I wish I had done a bonafide capsule wardrobe this summer; I wore a lot of the same pieces over and over again (I’m breastfeeding a snacky infant, so my dress/ top options are limited), but I would have felt so much better about it had I sat down and planned it all out. A lot of my clothes are still in boxes from when I moved house at 6-months’ pregnant, but once I’ve weaned the babe I need to sit down and do a big purge to update my new SAHM-ish lifestyle 😉
    I guess it isn’t too late for me to do a fall capsule, as it’s still fairly summery in Ottawa. It’s my favourite season and I’ve already maxed out my budget, mostly on 2 coats 😛
    Can’t wait to see your full fall capsule. Have a great weekend!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      So great to hear that you enjoyed the Summer Capsule! It’s definitely tough to find time to plan it all out (not to mention when you have a baby!) but in the end totally worth it. A big purge will feel so good once you have a chance and you’ll be surprised how quickly your closet starts to come together once you get rid of what you’re not using. Definitely give it a go for Fall!
      Thanks so much for reading Amanda! xoxo

  5. Kat says:

    I really really love this post! I did a 10 x 10 this summer (finally finished with the last outfit this week) inspired by your 10 x 10 earlier in the year. I just wrote up a recap post too that’s being published this Saturday. I’m still thinking about what to do for autumn – I’ve just done a year of capsule wardrobes and I’m thinking it may be time to move on. I’m considering the French – 5 new additions per season – but I just got a job at a fashion company so I’m not sure I’ll be able to play by the rules! In the end, I’m thinking that I won’t restrict myself with any guidelines and see what happens. I’ll just try to shop only for things I really need. It’s so strange, I feel like I’m growing out of my style so fast, even some of the things I wore last year I wouldn’t wear again.. A long way to go till closet contentment!
    Can’t wait for your fall foundation, absolutely love your style and the outfits you put together. My fave 20 x 20 outfits of yours are the “art teacher dress” and cloggs, but also the 3rd outfit in top row – it shows a slightly different, more casual side of you 🙂
    xo Kat

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks so much Kat! You’re so sweet 🙂
      I’m so excited to read about your 10 x 10 challenge experience. I think it’s a great way to reinvest in your existing pieces. I have been hearing from several experienced ‘capsule closeters’ that they’re ready for a change. I do think there’s a way to fit the concept into an evolving wardrobe though. Just need to figure that out!
      I love the French approach of 5 new pieces a season. Very manageable but it does mean you need to choose super carefully.
      I definitely know that feeling when it comes to unsettled personal style. Try not to rush into any new purchases and consider trying this Defining Style workbook out. I’ve had lots of positive feedback on it. You already have great style so it won’t be long until you get there! xoxo

  6. Jodie says:

    What a great recap!
    Fall is my favorite season and I tend to go overboard with shopping too! Definitely that consumerism culture at work!
    Are you still doing the no shopping months?
    I have really worked on minimalism this year and NOT shopping is my hardest thing… Still.
    I think on my able to shop months I’am going to limit myself to only 2 items. Maybe one accessory every other month.
    This month is my first one doing it and I got rid of about half my closet last weekend! Again! I am getting another Everlane sweater in gray and a Madewell scarf.
    Love seeing all your progress Lee.
    Best wishes!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks Jodie! Fall fashion is just the best! Great colours, the best textures and more practical styles.

      I did a bit of a hybrid no shopping during July and August where I only bought 3 things so I didn’t do a hard ‘fast’ but I was super conscious about buying only a couple things. I think in the end that’s the sanest approach for me. Maybe two no shopping months a year and the rest of the time it’s just 1-3 items or a set budget. I’m going to write more about it in the next Closet Mission post. I want to just regroup and articulate where I’m at.

      Good for you for cleaning out your closet! I have a box and a wrack of things that I want to sell. Just deciding whether to go with an Insta sale or take it all to the consignment shop.

      Thanks for your continued support and for sharing your progress. It helps me SO much! Can’t go wrong with Everlane sweaters (I’m excited for their new stripes to arrive!) and scarf weather approaches!

      Have a great weekend Jodie! xox