How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe For Kids

As a Mom, I know it’s safe to say, I always buy something for my kids before I consider buying something for myself. If all of the facts about the average American woman’s closet that I shared in this post about creating a capsule wardrobe for moms holds true, can you imagine the time, energy and resources we are throwing at shopping for our children?? (If you’re a new Mama-to-be get started on the right foot by reading this post that lists what a Minimalist needs for a baby.)

I can tell you that in the toy department Americans buy 40% of the world’s toys, but yet we only have 3.1% of the world’s children.

Shut. Up.

No wonder we feel so overwhelmed!

Livestrong suggests the number we spend on kids’ clothing is between $28-$44 per month. Honestly, I feel like that’s lowballing it, but even still that’s about $500 a year! As quickly as our kids are growing, it seems kind of silly to be throwing that much money away on clothes that won’t be worn or worn often enough to justify their exorbitant prices. That’s why I love using websites like Schoola.com. Not only do they offer quality clothing for women and kids at up to 70% off retail, but they also donate 40% of proceeds to benefit kids. Use this link and code FIRST50OFF to get 50% off your first order with Schoola today! 

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Unless you have teenagers, (or clothes divas, like I do) your kids don’t dress themselves in the mornings because they’re functioning as tiny zombies after you’ve pulled them out of their beds.

Tiny zombies don’t move very quickly so 9 times out of 10 you’re running late in the mornings and unless you want to put on real pants and sign that baby zombie in at school, you’re gonna have to wrestle him or her into some kind of acceptable outfit for the day.

Make your life a whole lot easier, Mama, and create a capsule wardrobe for your kids!

Wait- What’s A Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is the result of selecting only a few pieces from your main wardrobe, storing or donating the rest, and wearing only those selected pieces for a predetermined amount of time. A typical capsule wardrobe includes about 30-35 pieces that can be worn interchangeably and the pieces are worn for 3 months, or one season, depending on the climate where you live. Some individuals choose to include shoes and accessories into the number, others only count pieces of clothing. Dealers choice!

Sounds fancy.

Why Should I Create a Capsule Wardrobe For A Kid?

There are literally a million reasons that you should create a capsule wardrobe for kids!

  • It’s budget friendly! You won’t be shopping for your child unless an immediate need arises because they will have everything they need and it will all work together. I suggest using ThredUP to further stretch your budget (Sign up using my link and you’ll get $10 to use right away!).
  • You will get your money’s worth out of the clothes you buy. How many pieces of clothing does your kid have hanging in her closet right now that she’s never worn? If you put together a capsule wardrobe, each piece will be worn regularly. I mean, that’s why we buy them clothes, right?
  • It makes getting dressed easy as pie! Your kindergartner can do it. Promise.
  • Not to mention, the real kicker here is that your kid will always look like they walked straight out of a magazine. If you take the time to ensure each piece in his capsule works well together and is something he genuinely likes he will always be looking his best. Then each time someone asks you, “How do you do it?! I can’t even get socks on my kid!” You can smile and say thank you, but in your mind you will know that secretly it’s no work at all now!

How Do I Keep My Kid’s Clothes Looking Clean?

I know what you’re thinking.

This is a great idea in theory. Part of you, Mama, is all about this idea.You know that creating a capsule wardrobe will definitely make things easier for you by cutting the time it takes to get the kids ready and by reducing the amount of laundry you have to do. But the other part of you, the frugal Mama side, is questioning how realistic is it to wear the same clothing pieces over and over without them looking dingy or worn out.

I want to share my capsule wardrobe laundry secret with you.

Before and After Muddy Kids Clothes

Making memories without worry!

When you make the decision to own fewer clothing items, you also must make a conscious effort to take extra special care of the clothing you own.

With kids that’s a bit difficult for me because I hate to be the Mama who’s always saying no.

But then I do things like leave the wet, muddy clothes sitting inside the washer overnight without turning the machine on.

So I need some balance between not having to say no all the time and a way to make the kids’ clothes last. Instead of being Mean Mama, I switched to this laundry detergent about a year ago when we were having trouble getting our cloth diapers as clean as they needed to be. I also added a small scoop (because we’re running low) of this wash booster. That’s all I used to get the result you see in the after picture above. No stain remover, no sprays, no time spent soaking the stains- nothing except laundry soap.

How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe For Kids

Start the day before by washing all of your child’s laundry. This is important to remember because you want to have all of the options laid out before you.

Set aside a chunk of time, about 2 or 3 hours, when your kid will not be home. Aside from the usual distractions your child may provide, you certainly don’t want them flipping the hoarder switch on when they see you going through their things. Don’t hear me wrong here, you should absolutely, 100% ask for their input on which things in their closet they like best. Just don’t do the actual sorting when they’re around.




Finally, before you begin the process of sorting clothes, decide how many sentimental items you will permit yourself to keep. If you are still in the baby stages where everything seems sentimental right now, bring a small box to collect sentimental items in. Once it’s full, that’s the limit.

How Do I Make Everything Go Together?

Earlier this month, I shared a video sneak peek in my blog’s Facebook group of my daughter’s capsule wardrobe for spring. If you join me on Facebook, watching that video may give you some additional inspiration to begin. Today I’m going to show you how you can create two weeks of outfits using less than half of her 31 total pieces (14 pieces).

Color

Choose an item in your home, or use Pinterest to find a print that inspires you that you can use to pull color palette ideas from. It is helpful to stick with a “family” of colors- pastels work well in spring, bold for summer, jewel tones are better for fall and warmer, “cozy” colors are best for winter.

Choose a base color.

Black, brown, navy or gray are good base colors for capsule wardrobes for boys.

The same colors can be used for girls, but will usually be found in stores in a “peppier” shade. For example, instead of gray you may find silver.

Chose two accent colors.

After you’ve selected a neutral base color, choose two colors to work as accent colors. For instance, The Boy’s capsule this winter had a base color of navy. His two accent colors are light gray and black. The Girl sticks to light pink year-round paired with varying shades of blue and a navy base color.

Choose 3 patterns.

For newbies to pattern mixing, I suggest choosing a stripe, polka dot and a floral.

Pattern Mixing Rules

Experiment with mixing and matching different combinations in the store or in your child’s closet until you find combinations you like best.

  • Instead of pairing two solids together, replace one solid with a print of the same color. Example: solid pink top + pink floral skirt
  • Mix two prints that have one color that is the same in both. Example: polka dot blouse + floral skirt
  • If your style is more eclectic, pair 3 patterns happily together by following the info above and adding a third pattern in a neutral tone. Example: polka dot blouse + floral skirt + gingham sweater
  • If you’re following the above rules and still find that a pattern mix just isn’t working for you try checking the scale of the patterns. For instance, a small, tight pattern like a small polka dot pairs easily with a large, loose floral print.

Which Items Do I Include In A Kid’s Capsule Wardrobe?

I’m so glad you asked!

I created this free checklist so that you can create a perfect capsule wardrobe for your kids!

FREE Checklist to Create a Kids Capsule Wardrobe!

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What you’ll want to include in your kid’s capsule wardrobe will need to be based on the climate where you live as well as your child’s personal style. A kid that lives in Key West doesn’t need snow boots.

Tops + Bottoms

Having twice as many tops as bottoms will allow you to layer pieces. Layering clothing items is practical for changes of the season, but layering also adds personality to an otherwise boring top + bottom type of outfit. No matter what your style preferences are, you can layer items to spice things up.

Shoes

Choose shoes with specific purposes. Four pairs is the magic number for a child over 2 (not including sports-related equipment). You’ll need: one pair of tennis shoes for daily running and playing, a pair of rain boots, a pair of dress shoes and a pair of season-specific shoes. Season-specific shoes would be winter snow boots, sandals, water shoes or fall riding boots. Children younger than 2 years old can get by with owning only two pair: comfortable tennis shoes to practice walking in and a pair of season-specific shoes. For a detailed explanation on choosing durable shoes that pair well for a kid’s capsule wardrobe, read this post.



The Girl’s Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Without further ado-

Week One

Kids Capsule Wardrobe Spring Summer

 

Week Two

The red outfit is the oddball, but she requested the red paisley skirt so I tried my best to coordinate the colors. The Girl was wearing her tennis shoes when I went to make photos of her capsule wardrobe for spring so that’s why some of the shoes paired with an outfit may seem a bit silly. Her shoes for spring will be: tennis shoes, Frozen rain boots, and 2 sets of church shoes. I think 4 is the magic number of shoes for us. The Boy still has only one pair of shoes and does just fine with that, but I do plan on purchasing a pair of these for him for his kids capsule wardrobe this spring.

Do you think creating a capsule wardrobe for kids is silly? Do you think it’s brilliant and create a capsule wardrobe for your kids? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

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13 thoughts on “How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe For Kids

  1. This is a great post about children’s capsule wardrobes. I especially like the pictures of the clothes. I am not that great at fashion so it is good to have visual examples of how to make things look good together. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi MamaBear,
    I am on the proces of reducing my daughter wardrobe and like your post very match. But you might like to check your links to Amazon. Likely I used link before showing the idea to my daughter.

    1. Hi, Ida! I checked the 3 Amazon links in this post and they link to the correct items: laundry soap, laundry booster, and rubber boots. If there is something malfunctioning I will be happy to correct it. Cheers to your capsule wardrobe journey! <3

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