Creating a Capsule Wardrobe for Kids

Creating a Capsule Wardrobe for Kids

Are you overwhelmed by piles of laundry? Do you fight with your toddler over what graphic t-shirt he’s going to wear every day? Do you dread having to switch out your kids’ clothes every season?

If so, we have the answer to your problems: creating a capsule wardrobe for your kids. It’s a simple way to reduce your mental load and all those loads of laundry!

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe describes a small number of versatile clothes that you can mix and match together to create several different outfits for a season. Each season, you’re supposed to reevaluate your capsule wardrobe. Pieces like kids’ jeans and tennis shoes can be worn year-round, but items like winter coats and shorts you should either get rid of or store away until next season.

To some people, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of 50 or fewer pieces of clothing, shoes and accessories. To others, you should only have 30-40 items. Kids can get by with even fewer, though, like say 15-20 clothing items.

Why do my kids need a capsule wardrobe?

Kids grow out of their clothes fast. Every season, and sometimes sooner, you have to buy new clothes and shoes to replace the ones they’ve outgrown as well as the ones they’ve put holes in. So from a financial standpoint, buying less clothes saves you more. It also makes it easier for you to dress your child, or for them to dress themselves, every day. When your 4-year-old has fewer choices and everything matches, she can choose her own outfit. This way, you don’t have to worry about her heading to school wearing pink polka dot kids’ leggings with a bright orange shirt that has cats on it.

What to include in a kid’s capsule wardrobe

Your lifestyle and children’s ages will ultimately determine what their capsule wardrobe will look like, but here’s a typical capsule wardrobe example you can base yours on:

  • 5-6 shirts
  • 3-4 pairs of pants
  • 3-4 pairs of shorts
  • 1-2 nice outfits (i.e., skirts or dresses for girls, a button-down shirt and boys black dress pants
  • 2-3 pairs of pajamas
  • 5 pairs of shoes (tennis shoes, boots, sandals, play shoes and dress shoes)
  • 6-7 pairs of socks
  • 7-8 pairs of underwear
  • 1 coat or jacket
  • 1 swimsuit

Tips for creating a capsule wardrobe

Tip 1: Do it when your kids need new clothes.

You can go ahead and declutter your kids’ closets now but hold off buying any new clothes if you can. The best time to create a capsule wardrobe is when the season is changing or when your kids are ready to go up a size in clothes.

Tip 2: Choose a theme that works for you and your child. 

Some minimalist mamas stick to a basic color scheme, like only dressing their kids in neutral colors so all of their kids’ shirts match all of their pants. But we understand that kids have their favorite colors or a beloved kids’ T-shirt that they’d wear every day if you’d let them. That’s why we suggest choosing their favorite color, or 2-3 colors, and work off that to create their capsule wardrobe.

Tip 3: Be intentional about what you purchase.

When buying clothes for your kids, remember to buy sustainable clothes that are comfortable. Buying second hand items or accepting hand-me-downs will save you money, however, they don’t always last very long and they may not match your color scheme. It’s OK to spend a little more on some higher-quality items, such as dresses for girls and kids’ winter coats. This is especially true if your child can wear them for more than one season or if they have a younger sibling who can wear them in the future. Also, choose tops and bottoms that are soft and flexible. Kids run, jump, climb, dance and everything else. They need clothes they can comfortably move in.

Tip 4: Choose a couple of clothing brands within your budget.

Kids’ clothing varies widely by size and style. Your kid may wear 2T clothing in one brand but fit into a size 3T in another. You don’t have time to order clothing from five different stores, force your child to try on everything and then send back what doesn’t fit – season after season. Find 1-3 brands that fit your style, have good quality clothes and are within your price range, and then buy all your kids’ clothes from them. That way you know the sizing and styles will be consistent, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time shopping.

We hope that creating a capsule wardrobe for your kids leads to less stressful shopping trips, fewer loads of laundry and no more morning meltdowns getting them dressed. Happy simplifying!

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