Curate A Perfect Men’s Summer Capsule Wardrobe With These Top Tips

Summer is here, and it’s time to refresh and update your wardrobe for the new season. But choosing what to wear for warmer weather can feel overwhelming, particularly if you’re someone with a wardrobe bursting at the seams.

Whether you’re looking to update your core wardrobe staples for the new season or trying to pack for a week in the sun, we’re bringing you our top tips on building a summer wardrobe for men at CHO.

With easy-to-curate summer looks for men that will transcend trends and our top tips on which on-trend pieces to add to keep your wardrobe up-to-date, you’ll be stepping out in style with ease this summer season. 

Table of contents: 

How to build a summer wardrobe for men

What is the best summer colour for men?

What are men wearing in summer 2023?

How to build a summer wardrobe for men

Man dressed in shirt, with basket hat and chinos carries a woman on his back

The key to building a successful, stylish and fully functioning wardrobe, irrespective of season, is to curate a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe works on the idea that you have fewer clothes at your disposal but more dressing options because everything in that wardrobe works well together. 

The beauty of building a capsule wardrobe is that you’ll have less clutter, it’ll be easier to get dressed, and your wardrobe will outlast current trends as capsule wardrobes are built around core pieces rather than trends. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment with prints and colours come the summer. It just means you start your wardrobe with some core neutral colours and add seasonal colours and prints to express your personality, effectively building on what is already there. 

The key pieces for building a capsule wardrobe for summer 

A capsule wardrobe also makes summer dressing easy if you’re packing for your next holiday abroad. By focusing your efforts on key pieces that can offer multiple purposes, you’ll travel much lighter and have less laundry on your return!

To create a successful summer capsule wardrobe, shop for classic, versatile pieces that fit you properly. Here’s what we’d recommend: 

1 Shorts

If you have enough of a variety of shorts, they’ll serve you well whether your summers are spent at home or you’re looking for options to take abroad. As a minimum, there are four pairs that we would recommend:

Chino/dress shorts

You want to opt for two pairs of these, as these will be the core staple piece many of your other holiday outfits will be built around. Choose neutral colours such as navy and beige, as these shades will pair with most other colours. Chino shorts look great with espadrilles, loafers, boat shoes and trainers, offering multiple dressing options. 

grey men's Ted Baker chino shorts

Ensure your shorts fit you well and finish an inch above the knee. We recommend Ted Baker chino shorts for stylish summer dressing. 

Swim shorts in a neutral colour 

Choose a classic pair of swim shorts from Hugo that you can pair with a t-shirt and wear when hitting the poolside bar for dual-purpose dressing. Choose a pair with pockets deep enough to carry your essentials (just don’t forget to remove them before jumping in the pool!).

Patterned shorts

These patterned shorts from GANT are a holiday must, but make sure you pair them with neutrals and let the shorts take centre stage. A white t-shirt, an open chambray shirt and plain white trainers would be the ideal pairing for this look.

GANT patterned floral swim shorts

2 Trousers 

When choosing trousers for summer, lightweight chinos are a great capsule wardrobe option. Your chino trousers will work like your chino shorts, perfect for date nights, trips to the pub, or walks at sunset. Again, choose a neutral shade such as navy blue, grey or beige to guarantee multiple outfit options. Cotton or linen are great fabric options that offer breathability for comfort in the heat. 

Man wears Tommy Hilfiger chinos and polo shirt

Tommy Hilfiger Chinos

3 Tops: T-shirts, polo shirts and shirts

Polo shirts and t-shirts

If you’re looking for pieces to round off your holiday packing, then polo shirts and t-shirts are the perfect addition that will help you to complete your stylish summer capsule. Look to bring a handful of good quality polo options that are cut to a slim, flattering fit. The best lengths land slightly below the waist, with sleeves at the mid-bicep. 

If you’re unsure of colour, stick with neutrals, but it’s in your choice of top where you can embrace pattern and colour, so if you’re dressing for the sun, why not celebrate with a pop of holiday colour or a print? Remember to keep the rest of your outfit neutral to make your hero item shine!

Man wears light pink Fred Perry polo shirt

Napapijri t-shirts have that cool summer holiday aesthetic for daytime dressing, then why not choose some iconic Fred Perry or Lacoste polos for those summer evenings out? 


Pack at least three types of shirts to carry you through your holiday away. You can always expand on this area of your wardrobe and add a few options to fill out your wardrobe at home. 

Choose a chambray shirt as a lightweight alternative to denim that looks great in the summer and dresses up easily with chinos, or wear it open with a white t-shirt, chino shorts and boating shoes or espadrilles for a day of exploring or seeing the sights. 

Close up shot of a man in a chambray Barbour shirt

Short-sleeved shirts are also a great summer option for filling your capsule wardrobe. Choose one in a classic, neutral colour and a second in a bolder shade or a fun print. 

4 Shoes 

Your personal style will largely influence the shoes you choose for your summer capsule wardrobe. As a rule of thumb, you want at least a classic pair of shoes or trainers that you can wear for evenings out, then some comfortable and stylish options for daytime summer dressing.

A pair of brown leather Birkenstock sandals

Birkenstock sandals are back in a big way in 2023, so they’re the perfect choice for summer daytime dressing. Versatile enough to pair with several outfits, the hardest part will be narrowing your choice down to just one pair!

Then if espadrilles and boating shoes aren’t really your thing, you can always round your summer wardrobe off with a classic pair of white trainers. A comfortable and stylish choice, they’ll easily pair with all the looks in your capsule wardrobe!

GANT Mc Julien Men’s Trainers

What is the best summer colour for men? 

When shopping for a capsule summer wardrobe, the best colour choices are those which work well together. 

Pairing classic neutrals such as beige, navy, white, black and grey offers many stylish dressing options that are timeless and not dictated by trends. This is the best, most stylish and cost-effective way to make your wardrobe work best for you. 

However, if you’re keen to add a trend-focused piece or colour to your capsule wardrobe, why not add a pop of Viva Magenta, the Pantone Colour Of The Year, 2023. Whether you choose shorts featuring a magenta print to pair with your otherwise neutral outfit, or you go for a bold magenta piece, just remember to balance the colour with an otherwise neutral outfit for best results. 

BOSS GREEN Paule Logo Collar Mens Polo Shirt

What are men wearing in summer 2023?  

Just because you’re focusing on creating a summer capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean you must forgo current trends altogether. The best way to make trend-focused clothing work in your wardrobe is to choose pieces that pair well with your staple items and only choose those that match your style. Here are some trends to watch out for this summer that will make perfect additions to your classic wardrobe:

Classic staples

That’s right! If this wasn’t the perfect sign to streamline your wardrobe, then we don’t know what else would be! Classics are back, and many of them, such as Birkenstock sandals, light linen and chambray shirts, dress shorts and classic trainers already featured in your carefully curated closet. Dressing timelessly has never been more fashionable!

Preppy Ivy League Looks

College-inspired varsity dressing is back this summer, so Ivy League-inspired looks are the perfect addition to your curated summer wardrobe. Think letterman jackets, light rugby shirts and loafers and look to brands like GANT to trend up your otherwise classic look.


A trend born on TikTok, Blokcore is a resurgence in ’90s Football Factory, football fan-inspired dressing. Whilst this may not sound like an appealing trend, core staples such as vintage football shirts and trainers can look particularly suave, especially if you’re hitting a festival or the beach. 

Shop for the perfect men’s summer capsule wardrobe at CHO

Now you know how to curate it, why not upgrade your current wardrobe by shopping for your capsule wardrobe at CHO using the links above? Prepare yourself for effortless style this summer season and beyond! 

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