Keys to Simple Summer Style

It’s officially summertime in Denver! My winter coats, sweaters and scarves are put away, and sunscreen and sunglasses are now constantly in my bag. Whenever the seasons shift, I always feel excited to transition my wardrobe accordingly. This time of year, I can’t wait to get out my dresses, sandals and shorts. While I assess my summer wardrobe, I take stock of what I have for the season, and see if there are some things that aren’t looking their best. If a few items look like they have seen better days, I like to eliminate those from my wardrobe right then and there, instead of waiting for a few months. That way, I make some space in my closet, and I can see if I have any wardrobe holes that need to be filled before I hit the stores. The great thing about warm weather though is that you don’t need much! Here are my keys to simple summer style so you can wear what you have, not spend a lot of money, get dressed quickly, and look effortlessly stylish!

Check for the Essentials

Make sure you have what you need to put together a summer capsule wardrobe! Below are the items that are must-haves for my closet this season. Anything you’re missing, add to your shopping list! I highly suggest checking what you have before you buy anything new. That way, you won’t buy duplicates, and you will be really clear on what you’re looking for. This will help avoid spending unnecessary money and making impulse purchases.


  • One Stylish Pair – I like a pop of color like red, orange, gold
  • One Comfortable Pair – I like Birkenstocks because I can walk for miles in them for summer trips and park days!


  • Black or Navy Pair – dark colors are easier to dress up if needed and are often more flattering.
  • Casual Pair – This is a good place to try a fun pattern or fabric to wear these to the pool, the park, or just around town.

T-Shirts & Tanks

  • Stock up on the basics – a few tanks and a few T-shirts that you can live in throughout the summer. I like to have some stripes, patterns and colors for variety!

A Swimsuit You Feel Great In

  • Whether it’s a one piece or a bikini, have at least one swimsuit that you feel confident in.

Dress Up/Dress Down Sundresses

  • Dresses are such a great key to simple style because they are one-item outfits! No need to worry about matching multiple pieces, you put it on and you’re set to go. Have a few dresses that fit well, and that you can wear casually with sandals or dress up with heels or wedges.

A Pair of Chunky Heels or Wedges

  • For dressier summer shoes, I like to be comfortable in case I’m walking outside. Choose a chunky heel in a fun color or a wedge that you can pair with anything from shorts and cuffed jeans to dresses and skirts.


  • Protect your eyes and look great! Sunglasses are pretty essential year-round in Colorado, but especially in the summertime. I like to have an extra pair in my car too in case I leave mine at home. Try a fun new shape or stick with a classic style like aviators or Wayfarers.

Summer Workout Gear

  • A Shirt with UPF Sun Protection – be careful of getting too much sun on your skin!
  • Running/Hiking Shoes for hitting the trails – if you like to be active, make sure you have the right footwear to get out there!
  • A Hat – keep that sun off your face! I suggest having a baseball cap as well as a true sun hat.

Organize Your Closet

In order to make getting dressed this summer a breeze, take a few minutes to organize your closet and drawers. Hang all of your items facing the same way, and group by category. Put your winter clothes to the back of the closet, or up on higher shelves, so the things you will be wearing right now are the easiest to see and to reach. If your closet is feeling a little drab, consider buying some colorful baskets or bins to freshen up your storage!

Find Your Favorite Go-To Summer Looks

Now that you have pieced together your summer wardrobe and your closet is tidy, you can start to put together some fun summer outfits! Pick an afternoon, invite over a friend whose opinion you trust, and try some things on! Decide which dresses and skirts look good with which shoes, which need a belt, and which you could add some accessories to. This is also a good time to make sure you have the right undergarments for everything! Nobody wants to put on white shorts, only to realize you only have pink lacy undies to go underneath. Same goes for bras, make sure you have strapless or racer back options if you need them! Pair shirts and shorts that you can mix and match together, and establish some day looks for work and BBQs as well as evening ensembles for dinner parties and weddings.


As your looks for the summer solidify, take pictures so you remember them! You can keep them on your phone in a “look book” album in case you need a little inspiration you can refer back to it at anytime. It may seem silly to plan ahead this much, but taking time to review things you have and play with styling them will ultimately save you time. When you are getting dressed in a rush you can feel confident that you already know what works together. Summer is a time to relax and recharge, and with these steps, your wardrobe will reflect that simple ease! Look and feel your best all season, and enjoy the sunshine in style