A Summer Capsule Wardrobe For The Body Conscious

Author: Becky Sappor

How do you dress for summer when you’re conscious of well, everything? We’ve had a reader request from Hannah to see if we can put together a capsule wardrobe of lovely summer pieces that can make even the most body conscious lady feel a little more confident.

I’ve called on the team to help me with this after all we all have different hang ups and our own tips and tricks for feeling more self-assured. Let’s be clear here, this is not about covering up our so-called imperfections, it’s about giving a bit of a boost to body confidence which doesn’t half lift your mood.

A Summer Staple

Our first stop is dresses. From having issues with knees, ‘uncooked baguette like’ legs (we do see some funny things in ourselves don’t we!)  to short stumpy ones, a floaty dress is going to cover up a multitude of confidence woes. If you’re happier with your top half than you are your bottom, then why not show off those shoulders in a strappy maxi dress like this from Lipsy. It might be summer but black still works so well – think of all the ways you can accessorise it.

Upper Body Confidence

If you’re less confident about your upper body as well as your lower. Perhaps you don’t like your arms – Team Rock My are big fans of teaming the simple maxi dress with a loser fitting tee, tied losely at the lower waist or something like this knot linen top would be perfect. You can always roll the sleeves for to allow a little more flesh to be on show.

Cinch In The Waist

If you’re less into wearing a dress that doesn’t have any waist element to it there are a couple of styles out there that we love to help make more of your waist. We love a shirred, bardot dress and this spotty number from Next It’s going to sort out any upper arm woes and is a lovely flattering length for all heights leaving you feeling light and airy whilst being confident that you have a great silhouette. We’re also really into this floral number from ASOS – picture it teamed with a lovely tan leather belt to cinch in your waist and add shape. Another simple way of giving yourself more shape whilst being able to keep your legs covered somewhat is a midi length wrap dress. I really like the elongating stripes of this wrap dress from Zara. It would be perfect with a denim jacket which is another firm summer favourite of the team.

Another way to make the most of your waist line is to go for two pieces rather than one dress. A long line skirt (pleats are flattering and will add height) teamed with a cute tee or cami makes the perfect combo.

Flattering Shorts

One summer staple we haven’t touched on… The short. I know quite a few people who simply won’t wear them. I love a pair of demin shorts – they are so versatile and can go with everything. You’ll find me in them day or night. But the key… Size up. They can come up fairly tightly around the old thigh area, which largely we want in a pair of jeans but not so much in a pair of shorts. I really like the length of these from Fat Face. If you’re not keen on denim but still want something that is a decent length (why are so many shorts SO short!?) and a lovely fabric then these linen cotton blend ones from Boden are gorgeous.

On Your Feet

And finally just to touch on footwear. I have it on good authority that if you’re on the shorter side and conscious of short legs it’s best to probably avoid anything with a leg tie or a ankle strap that gives the appearance of cutting you off making legs appear shorter. For me, I’m quite tall and have big, long feet that I am always conscious of and I find that having a sandal with more straps or a wider strap is the way forward to tricking people into thinking they are much more dainty than they are. You can see some examples of these on my sliders post from last week.

I’ve put together this pin to round up the essentials for your body conscious summer wardrobe. I hope it’s helpful and please, as always, share what you wear to make you feel your very best in the summer months.


summer capsule wardrobe

Author: Becky Sappor
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20 thoughts on “A Summer Capsule Wardrobe For The Body Conscious

  1. Some lovely clothes here, shame that there is a complete and utter lack of diversity in the size/shape of the models wearing the clothes (not the fault of RMS although it is possible to find brands who represent all shapes & sizes!).
    My top tip would be, just wear comfortable things that *you* like and not give two hoots about what other people think of your body! I promise you will have a much more enjoyable summer 🙂

  2. I love you RMS, I really do. But this has missed the mark. It does not help the body conscious shop for holiday clothes, rather it is written for someone who is a normal size (and by small I mean up to a UK16) figure out how to cover an extra few pounds on holiday. This is not written for someone who genuinely needs to figure out how to cover all the bits that are normally in long black items all year round, even during a UK heatwave.

    1. Many thanks for your honest feedback Charlotte. The post was written from the perspective that no matter your size, height or the perception that others have of you, everyone has their hangups. It wasn’t set up with the premise to cover a particular type of body shape or size though the reader request did come in from a lady usually wearing a size 10-14.
      When you mention covering up in black all year around – that’s me. I’m a size 8 I live in a black maxi and denim jacket in the summer as I’m not body confident and hate revealing my body. I realise I’m not a size associated with having hang-ups but I have huge amounts of them stemming back to my teenage years.

      1. Would be really nice to see an article on celebrating your body and getting over those hang-ups, rather than disguising them. Yes the article says “this is not about covering up our so-called imperfections” but then proceeds to list clothes which cover up parts of the body and suggests shoes which “trick” people into thinking your feet look different to how they actually are. Although having said that, maybe RMS isn’t the place I would expect to embrace body positivity! Feel free to prove me wrong though.

        1. RMS is the place to embrace body positivity, however I’m not sure one article would relieve me of my deep-rooted insecurities I have about my body. This post was a direct response to a reader query asking for a summer capsule wardrobe for the non-body-confident

    2. No one /needs/ to cover up in long black all year round. If you feel like that then clothes aren’t the answer, confidence is. I agree with Sophie I want to see a post of women of all sizes, ages and colours looking fabulous in all sorts of clothes not just the thin, young, white women who predominantly feature in this space.

  3. I have a pair of trousers from hush (last year – similar to these: https://www.hush-uk.com/summer_beach/summer_collection/summer_trousers/cropped_relaxed_printed_trousers_ornate_print_midnight.htm ) which are perfect for the warm weather, as they are nice and lightweight. I’ve just spotted that they have them in a few plain colours this year as well, for those that don’t like a bold print.

    I was going to go in to more detail about my personal hang ups, and how I work around them, but I was starting to ramble. It basically amounts to: thighs that rub together + big boobs with some fairly sizeable bras to support them = dressing for summer is a pain in the arse.

    Especially so when you’re off on holiday with your in-laws, and would rather not be flashing them.

    1. Rebecca I love Hush! All of their pieces scream out to me and I love these. I think that print is fab and love it with the vest 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation xx

  4. I felt like I needed to comment on this following the negative reaction from a couple of people. It quite clearly states that this is a reader request and regardless of how confident we try to be in our skin we all have hangups about certain parts of our body I’m sure and when you need to start exposing those parts in the heat of summer then some tricks and tips on how to feel more confident wearing clothes through the summer months is a thumbs up from me! 👍🏻
    Thanks RMS 😘

    1. I don’t think there was much negativity from this Faye, just some feedback from the readership. I may be wrong, but I would think the RMS team would want comments from both a positive and, as you say, negative aside. Otherwise how can they ever improve on anything for the next article? I thought it missed the mark, and said so, but I am back today for the next article with no hard feelings. I am glad it suited you as there may be a post in the future I like and you don’t. 🙂

  5. Personally I really appreciated this post – thanks ladies! I’m 100% absolutely all for promoting body confidence, but the reality is that there are some times when I just don’t feel it myself – however much I want to! And so for me, these pieces are spot on. On days I’m feeling bleugh, a slightly longer skirt length or a top with sleeves has given me far more confidence than if I’d gone without, and lets me relax and properly enjoy whatever I’m doing… instead of aekwardly hoiking down my skirt every 10seconds or whatever.

    So thanks again, this has helped me heaps!

  6. I enjoyed this post too – on a similar (ish!) theme, please could we have a post on summer dressing post baby, ideally to feed in?

    I’m due in a couple of weeks (eek!) and have realised I have no summer clothes that are gently forgiving on the tummy area and allow easy access to feed! I’ve always been a cotton shift dress (no access to boobs!) or long wafty skirt and crop top (not going to work on a post partum tum!) kinda girl, so I’m in a panic, and any recommendations would be most welcome!

    1. Oh yes Kate! Thanks for your comment and request. Will see if we can get one in the schedule for you 🙂 Good luck with baby x

    2. Hey, I’m struggling with this too! Have found shirt dresses can work ok, so maybe you could substitute them for your usual shift dresses. Most days though it’s jeans and a top over a vest top. Lift the top one up and pull the vest down while keeping the tummy covered. Only problem with this is, I’m sooo warm – light weight fabrics definitely required! Babies make great hot water bottles!

    3. I’m keen for this too! My little girl is six weeks and I have a wedding at the end of May. I need something I can feed in and don’t want to expose the ugly nursing bra straps! Also something that is long and flowing rather than tighter whilst I still work to get back to normal.

  7. I really liked this post! I’m 7 weeks post partum and yes I definitely have a few hangups with my body (s you would expect 7 weeks post partum so I’m not complaining!) I really liked a few of these clothes and absolutely agree on this: Why are shorts so damn short??? ☺

  8. Thank you so much RMS for responding to my desperate cry of the less-summery-inclined! This absolutely is not about shaming or covering up people who are larger sizes, but helping people, like myself, who regardless of their size/shape suffer from confidence problems but don’t want to drop dead from overheating. Much as I’d love to flip the switch in my brain that makes me feel like everyone is staring at me if I wear shorts or anything short sleeved, I just can’t do it so the clothes listed here hit the mark pretty well! Love the knot t-shirt and maxi skirts in particular. Body confidence is a wonderful philosophy, if only someone could convince the negative voice in my head. Much appreciated x

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