Most Americans have too many clothing options in their closets — including many fast fashion pieces they no longer actually wear. This can add to confusion and frustration when it’s time to pick an outfit each day. Accordingly, many consumers are instead embracing a minimalist wardrobe by cutting out the fast fashion and keeping 15-20 pieces that are timeless, sustainably-made, and versatile. By having fewer items to choose between and prioritizing high-quality pieces, getting ready each day becomes easier. And, for many transitioning to a more minimalist wardrobe, buying items that are sustainably made is also a high priority. The following are some of the best sustainable summer staples that would make great additions to any wardrobe — minimalist or otherwise.
The Coastal Daily Short and Tank by Pact, $58 and $54
The Coastal Daily Short and Tank by Pact come in six color options that are great for mixing and matching. Made from 100% GOTS Certified organic cotton, the fabric is lightweight and airy — making it perfect for summer heat. Paired together, the tank tucks nicely into the shorts for a romper-inspired look without the hassle of a one-piece garment. And, the tank can also be worn loose for a carefree, flowy look that works well over a pair of bike shorts or yoga pants. Perhaps best of all, both wear well at home or on-the-go without sacrificing any comfort.
Leighton Dress by Outerknown, $228
While most minimalist wardrobe pieces should be simple to promote versatility, a statement summer sundress is also key for everything from graduations to weddings and other outdoor gatherings. This Leighton Dress by Outerknown would work for any summer occasion as it’s both dressy and casual depending on how it’s pulled together with shoes, accessories, etc. Made from organic cotton, silk, and hemp, the fabric is high quality and feels soft and light to the skin, making it perfect for any summer climate. It also drapes beautifully for a luxurious look. The bows on the shoulders and the pretty floral print add to the uniqueness of the dress. Outerknown is committed to sustainability by using regenerative and recycled materials as well as championing fair labor practices.
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Revive Layered Tank by Pact, $54
Every minimalist summer wardrobe needs a black tank top and this Revive Layered Tank by Pact has a built-in shelf bra and a gorgeous wide scoop neck with a low back for an elegant touch. Made from organic cotton and recycled polyester, the blend is soft enough to wear on cozy days at home but also wears nicely out of the house. The tank has two layers with a base layer camisole, which helps to make it feel pulled together enough to wear around company without compromising comfort. Pact uses organic cotton to reduce water use and eliminate the need for pesticides, and also offsets carbon emissions and produces clothing in fair trade factories.
Revive Beach Short by Pact, $48
A pair of high-waist black shorts is also a necessary staple for any minimalist summer wardrobe. These Revive Beach Shorts by Pact are equivalent to a good pair of joggers or yoga pants — they can be worn anywhere but don’t compromise comfort. Whether dressed up with a tucked-in blouse or dressed down with a cotton tank for around the house, these shorts are versatile, timeless, and high-quality. They’re made from a blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester, offering a sustainable and also durable wardrobe option.
Pointed-Toe Knot Mules by VIVAIA, $95
One of the secrets to dressing up a cotton pair of shorts is the right shoes. These Pointed-Toe Knot Mules by VIVAIA come in three color options and would dress up any outfit — especially cute high-waisted shorts. Each pair is made from 6 recycled water bottles and the 3D knit is made with zero waste. Biomaterials are also used in the insoles. The minimal height on the shoes helps to provide comfort for extended wear, making these the perfect summer shoes for everywhere from the office to the farmers market. And, VIVAIA’s commitment to sustainability has resulted in the recycling of more than 2.5 million plastic bottles so far.
100% European Linen Pants by Quince, $39.90
Speaking of sweatpants, linen pants are the perfect alternative for summer and transition from home to the office or grocery store more easily than a pair of joggers. Made from European flax — which saves water and requires fewer pesticides than conventional cotton — these 100% European Linen Pants by Quince are OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified to be free from harmful substances. They’re also so lightweight and airy that they’ll stand up to hot summer climates and provide the comfort we all demand from our apparel in 2022. Quince follows ethical factory practices and upholds a high commitment to sustainability while keeping prices affordable by selling directly to consumers.
Washable Stretch Silk Tank by Quince, $39.90
Adding a silk tank top to the minimalist wardrobe lineup is perfect for wearing to the office or out for a date because it dresses up any look without much effort. This Washable Stretch Silk Tank by Quince is made from premium silk that can be washed at home instead of dry cleaned. Available in eight colors, the tank is versatile and lightweight — making it perfect for summertime. It’s also comfy enough to sneak into your at-home lineup and can be worn loose or tucked in for variety.
Lola Artesano Slides by Sanuk, $50
A durable pair of slides are also a must for summer. These Lola Artesano Slides by Sanuk are made from a combination of recycled and natural materials. The biomaterials are all responsibly sourced, including leather certified by the Leather Working Group and sustainably harvested cotton and jute. Made for all-day comfort, these sandals slide on and off without effort at the beach, pool, or simply at the end of a long day around town. The soft top foam provides the comfort expected from a pair of Sanuk sandals. And, they pack easily for vacation, which is always a win.