Imagine you’re on a shopping trip and you try on a pair of jeans. They look fantastic on you. They’re just right in every way AND they’ll go with so many items in your wardrobe. Would you only buy one pair? Girl, I hope not! I know that if I find such a pair of jeans – you bet I’m buying more than one pair – at least 1 dark wash pair and 1 lighter pair!
Why not do this with our kids’ clothes?
Why a Kids Capsule Wardrobe?
When your kids are babies and young toddlers, they will wear whatever you put them in. Once kids begin to learn how to dress themselves (as they should) they desire, and need, more independence.
It’s a sweet time to see them experience milestones. They can go potty all by themselves, dress themselves, and of course, become increasingly picky about what clothes they’d like to wear.
Which means – you guessed it – their outfits can become, well, somewhat random.
Enter the capsule wardrobe for kids.
It will save your sanity by limiting their options – in a good way. Consider the kinds of colors, fabrics, and textures your kid likes. A capsule wardrobe for kids should consist of these items. It will give kids clothes they like in mix and match options.
It’s like us buying a pair of fabulous jeans that fit well and that we know we’ll reach for when getting dressed.
How to Create a Simple Kids Capsule Wardrobe
Ready to create a capsule wardrobe for your kid? Let’s dive in!
STEP 1 | PURGE
Take out ALL of your child’s clothes. Create 3 piles: Donate, Hand-Me-Down, and Keep. Purge the clothes that don’t fit. Declutter the clothes that they rarely wear because of the fit, color, or other reasons. Keep any clothes that might need to be hand-me-downs for younger siblings.
STEP 2 | KEEP THE FAVORITES
As you purge, set aside the clothes your child likes to wear repeatedly. These go in the Keep pile.
Your child most likely has particular colors, textures, or types of clothing that they continually gravitate towards.
Take note of these clothing items in your child’s wardrobe and declutter the rest. The goal is to create a kids capsule wardrobe made up of only these items.
For example, if your daughter mainly prefers to wear dresses, then her capsule wardrobe could consist of 70% of dresses.
Is your son really into dinosaurs or superheroes and always wears a favorite dino or superhero shirt? Then simply purchase a few more dino or superhero shirts for more variety that’s still within his favorite category.
STEP 3 | TAKE STOCK
Are all the favorites in the “Keep” pile? The next step is to sort through the pile and look for gaps in their wardrobe. Take stock of how many shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, etc. Are there enough of each item of clothing to get your child through the week?
If not, decide if you’d like to fill in the gaps now or wait until they outgrow their current size. Once they’re wearing the next size up, you can start fresh with a new capsule wardrobe full of their favorites.
You’re the best judge on how many pairs of each article of clothing are enough for your child. It depends on the child.
Some kids may only need 5 pairs of pants, while others may need 8 pairs to make their capsule wardrobe complete. Boys that are hard on their pants may need more pairs if the knees constantly get holes in them. Some girls may want more dresses or skirts, which means not as many pants or shorts will be needed to fill out a girls capsule wardrobe.
Also, if you’re a stay-at-home mom versus full-time working mom, your child will have different clothing needs. This can be the same for shoes. 2-3 pairs of shoes may be fine for one child, but another may need 4-5 pairs.
Consider how many pairs of each item are sufficient to get your child through their week, including childcare and activities.
In order to keep the laundry load manageable, cap the number of each item in your child’s wardrobe.
Lastly, take stock of the “Keep” pile again to make sure that the colors mix and match together well.
STEP 4 | PLAN FOR SEASONS
Depending on what the climate is like where you live, a capsule wardrobe for each season will vary. There is no snow where we live so I never have to plan for heavy winter jackets, gloves, or snowsuits.
That said, many people do live in a climate that has 4 distinct seasons. One tip is to choose clothes for summer that are easy to layer or add a jacket with for fall. For example, a girl’s summer dress can be layered with leggings, cute boots, and a jacket for the fall.
This way, you don’t need to create a completely separate capsule wardrobe for each distinct season. Choose clothes that can be peeled off or layered. It’s a safe and simple way to approach seasonality.
Any large cold winter items can simply be stored in a tote in the garage, basement, attic, or closet and reused as hand-me-downs.
Become a Capsule Wardrobe Rockstar!
Once you’ve created your kid’s capsule wardrobe, revisit and tweak your system. Write down the exact number of each clothing item that you purchased. This will help you to have a reference as to what you purchased and whether or not it worked. For example:
7 pairs of shorts
2 pairs of sandals (1 dressy, 1 athletic)
1 pair of flip-flops
2 bathing suits
A pair of sunglasses
*Needed less shorts and more skirts.
*Should have bought swim shoes for the beach.
Reassess each season to see what worked and what didn’t. Look back on the previous year’s clothing log when the time comes to purchase that year’s clothing items. Then, over time you’ll become a capsule wardrobe rockstar!