Play it Cool. Think Natural.
When it comes to fabric, I’m a fan of naturals: cotton, linen, and bamboo. Whether you’re shopping new or secondhand, reading composition labels is a must. I probably don’t need to point out that as the temperatures outside increase, so does our tendency to sweat. Synthetic fabrics not only trap heat against the body, but they also hold on to odours and prevent fresh air from getting to your skin. Who wants to feel gross when they’re on vacation? Not this girl!
Another important reason that I focus on natural fibers is that they fit into a capsule wardrobe easily. Cotton, linen, and bamboo-blend fabrics can be worn several times, depending on your activities while wearing them, before you truly need to wash them. Think oversized cotton shirts, cropped boxy cut t-shirts, and summer-ready A-line dresses. And make sure you look to natural fibers for your athletic wear too! Most ”high-performance” fabrics used in modern athletic wear contain micro-plastics and may have other chemical treatments to prevent creasing. Spoiler: there are two organic cotton activewear brands that I adore towards the end of this article.
By far the most worn top in my spring/summer wardrobe is this billowy cotton button down by Outerknown.
Good airflow is key to looking and feeling breezy! That’s why I can’t get enough of the open-weave, gauzy organic cotton fabric. It’s so soft and nothing else drapes quite like it. I tend to wear it partially open with the sleeves rolled up. Though it can transform into something a little more sultry by knotting the ends and showing off your waist. It also doubles as a cover up at the pool or beach. I could go on…
Sadly they don’t make this design anymore. But there are lots of other great choices out there.
Today I’ll walk you through how I go about selecting new items for my capsule-focused wardrobe and what I recommend to look for. I treat my closet like a curated collection. (Each hanger is valuable space!) When considering a new addition, I look for classic pieces that will prove useful time and time again. If I can wear it multiple ways, even better!
The Perfect Summer Pick
If you need ONE piece this summer, it’s a something made from lightweight and breathable natural fibers. Whether that’s an oversized button down or a tiered maxi dress, go for something that won’t stick to your skin or make you sweat. Pick a design that you know you’ll feel great in and that suits your style.
I’ve collected a few of my ethically-made spring and summer favourites down below.
CAPSULE WARDROBE TIP: If you need help choosing clothing designs that flatter your body best, then I suggest reading my guide to creating a capsule wardrobe based on your Kibbe Body ID, ideal colour palette and style essence.
Reversible Boxy Shirts by VETTA
made in the USA
If you’re planning a capsule based spring/summer wardrobe, you should checkout VETTA. They basically make the process of putting together a seasonal capsule wardrobe a no-brainer by offering coordinated capsules with mix-and-match pieces. Of course, each item can be purchased separately too. I am partial to their reversible midi-length satin skirt, which you’ve seen me wear countless times already.
If you’re looking for hot weather appropriate clothes that can be worn multiple ways, check out their Tuscan capsule or their new Utility capsule.
Shop my VETTA Favourites
Linen Dresses by Slate Wearables
Made in Canada
I can think of no better sustainable focused brand that does linen better than Vancouver-based Slate Wearables. The work with a luxurious yet durable linen that is sure to last you summer after summer. But their latest dress design has me swooning! I can’t think of anything more fitting for a sweltering hot day than waltzing around in a lightweight A-line dress. The tiered detail along the hemline adds just enough weight that you won’t need to worry about sudden bursts of wind. And the natural linen fabric comes in timeless neutral colours that act as the perfect canvas for whatever accessories you choose.
Shop My Slate Wearables Favourites
Oversized Shirts by Encircled
Made in Canada
For the most casual of days when I’m striving for pure comfort, my go-to is Encircled. This made-in-Toronto brand ethically makes their easy breezy designs with natural fiber fabrics that have plenty of stretch. What I really appreciate about Encircled is that they seamlessly blend elevated details into their loose-fitting designs. This makes them a great brand for those of us who work at an office or just want to look polished while remaining sublimely comfortable.
Please note that Encircled fits a touch larger than the other brands here. I’m typically a size Small in tops but usually go for size XS with this brand.
Shop My Encircled Favourites
Crop Tops and Leggings by Province of Canada
Made in Canada
Province of Canada
Province of Canada makes the absolute best everyday basic cotton pieces. I tried many ethically made brands of t-shirts and leggings over the years and I can attest to these being simply in a league of their own. On days when it’s too hot to even think about layering, I reach for my Province of Canada pieces. (Though they are excellent for layering too.) As someone who’s on the petite side (5’2”), their cropped pieces fit like a dream. (Ditto their leggings.) I already own the Monday Crop Top t-shirt and Everyday Leggings. But I do have my eye on the Tuesday Tank Crop Top and the Everyday Bike Shorts for once I’ve completed my buy nothing new challenge.
Shop My Province of Canada Favourites
Sports Bras and Bike Shorts by MATE
Made in the USA
MATE The Label
I like to think of MATE as the American equivalent of Province of Canada. They are an ethical producer of casual and athletic wear. What I particularly love about this brand is that they use natural and non-toxic dyes. I can’t get enough of their retro drawstring shorts! I live in them all summer. Their tees are top-notch too, though they are made with a thinner cotton fabric than the P.O.C. ones. If you are on the taller side, their sweatpants and leggings may be right up your alley! (I find them a little too long on my petite frame.)