New Budget Friendly Additions to My Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Last week we had a new Marks and Spencer store open in the next town. We had a small branch here in Wokingham with a food hall and minimal clothing but as both Wokingham and Bracknell have regeneration schemes, the larger and more impressive of which is Bracknell, Marks and Spencer decided to close down our branch and open bigger and better one in Bracknell.

As you would expect, I went over there to check it out. I was really impressed with the women’s clothing, in fact I think M&S have done brilliantly this year. I have used a lot of their pieces both in the seasonal capsules and client’s individual capsules. The new, large and bright changing rooms were a pleasure to use and were pretty quiet despite it being only their second day open.

I tried on mainly tops and dresses as I wanted a few light weight items for my upcoming week away. Rather than struggling to find anything I liked, I actually had to narrow it down to items I knew I would get plenty of cost per wear from.

Starting with T-shirts. I rarely buy T-shirts from M&S, or in fact from anywhere else because I don’t like a tight fit and if they are a looser style they tend to make me look bigger. However, I found some brilliant items. A cobalt blue and a red T-shirt which had a lovely silky feel to it and a relaxed but not voluminous fit and an absolute bargain at £7.50 each!

capsule wardrobe essentials

T-shirt // Scarf // Trousers // Bag // Shoes //

Red works well in my summer capsule with pieces I already have, as does the cobalt blue, so these were both great additions to my wardrobe to expand the number of outfits I can create. They will work very casually with my shorts on holiday but look good with smart casual pieces too.

summer capsule wardrobe

T-shirt // Necklace bought on holiday // Trousers (!) // Shoes //

I also wanted a pair of very lightweight cotton trousers as we are expecting extreme heat on our week away. After trying on several pairs I spied the pair above but not in the trouser section, they are actually pyjama bottoms! But they are a lovely fine cotton and they will work perfectly as trousers on very hot days, and at £16 they are cheaper than any of the other trousers I saw. (So I may be one of those women who go to the supermarket in their nightwear!)

I also found another casual top made a bit more interesting with lace panels on the sleeve and round the hem, this time in Navy and though more expensive than the other too, still very good value at £15.

summer capsule wardrobe essentials

Scarf // Top // Trousers // Bag // Sunglasses // Sandals – old //

It works perfectly with my teal trousers from the Spring Capsule and my two new accessories from CapsuleAccessories, the scarf and bag.

This colour combination is a favourite and I had picked up the earrings below in Dallas, but you can buy them online here.

summer capsule wardrobe essentials

Scarf // Top // Earrings //

Finally one more item I couldn’t resist which unfortunately has now sold out. This gorgeous bright print which they did in a blouse and a dress. I thought the blouse would be more useful because I could wear it with a pair of trousers or more casually with jeans.

summer capsule wardrobe

Blouse – sold out // Trousers // Bag // Shoes //

It has such lovely detailing on the sleeves and will go into Autumn too. But there are plenty more fabulous tops so I have included some more I liked below 🙂


  1. Chrissie
    August 3, 2017 / 11:28 am

    On things related to M&S, it appears that the Indigo Collection is being discontinued which is very bad news for me and my wardrobe. It was great to be able to find Isabel Marant rip offs of good quality. I liked the jewellery and footwear too. I could have done with longer skirts as 20″ long doesn’t work for me at 54!

    OK there’s still Falmers at Matalan and Gap but Gap’s quality is alarmingly hit and miss at times, their stuff used to last forever and the sizing is still crazy…..

    M&S skirt lengths are my bete noir, only can find stuff that’s 27″ long in the Classic Collection which thankfully exists as I’ve had a couple of brilliant finds there, the fit, details and quality are excellent, it is a ridiculously overlooked range for those of us who are just a bit too tall for the Petite Range but get drowned by M&S Collection sizes. I think that the reviews by die hard mature customers help to keep standards up in that range!

    M&S Indigo will be deeply missed by this Soft Natural, Soft Summer old bird x

    • Maria
      August 8, 2017 / 7:26 am

      Hi Chrissie thank you for your comment. Keep an eye on the blog for more posts on dressing to suit your colouring, I will be hunting out items for the new season.. M&S have a range called Collection I wonder if that is what is replacing Indigo Collection. I found a few items there I liked 🙂

  2. Maggie Pain
    August 4, 2017 / 11:41 am

    I enjoy your posts but for me ( Petite 66 years poll and fashion conscious) Marks and Spencer is so disappointing. I dislike polyester and find it in so many of their garments. Their Petite range is poor I think, the exception sometimes being coats and jackets. I’m lucky enough to have a reasonable amount to spend on clothes and would love to buy more from M and S. I’d happily pay for better quality and fit and am sure I’m not alone in this.

    Overall I think petite women of my age are badly catered for in the UK. Much better choice in the US and I buy quite a few things from the Eileen Fisher Petite range which is expensive but feels so good to wear.

    • Maria
      August 8, 2017 / 7:32 am

      Hi Maggie, I do agree about the fabrics at M&S and will always look for cotton, linen and viscose first and if you have been a reader for a while you will know that Eileen Fisher is one of my favourite brands. I always buy it when I’m in the US. You are right in the US petite women are better catered for as is the size 16+ market. I find it some much easier when I am choosing items for US clients as they have such variety in sizes and budgets.

  3. Georgina
    August 6, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    Maria, thanks for a great post about good old M & S. The blouses look so pretty that I feel like going to my nearest branch and trying on a few.

    • Maria
      August 8, 2017 / 7:35 am

      Hi Georgina, M&S have done some really pretty prints this season. Let’s hope they keep it up for the Autumn as well 🙂