Since I last wrote about putting together a minimalist wardrobe, capsule wardrobes have become “a thing” on pinterest. And for good reason! I love the idea of a wardrobe that is tiny yet beautiful. I personally have the tiny part down (maybe not the beautiful part until my kids are older!). So why not a capsule wardrobe for kids right?
But for many of us, we’re trying to put together wardrobes for our littles with hand me downs, gifts, and consignment store finds. Doing it this way can definitely cause some wardrobe mismatch, so what’s a mama to do? Here are the tips I use to come up with a capsule wardrobe for each of my kids (currently 2 and 5 years old).
Why a capsule wardrobe for kids?
Capsule wardrobes are all the rage right now but some of us have been aiming to have minimalist wardrobes for a long time coming. I’m glad it caught on with the mainstream.
With the incredible waste that fast fashion creates, and the amount of clothes that go unworn in the back of so many closets, it makes sense to par down and get back to basics with fashion.
So why a capsule wardrobe for kids? Well, I remember getting very frustrated when trying to dress OG because all of her clothes were part of an “outfit” and could not be mixed and matched very well.
Kids need a lot of extra clothes because they get dirty, spill food, and have accidents. But with clothes that don’t mix and match it’s even harder to keep the clothes from overflowing.
So, I have to admit that I’m not the best at making sure my kids’ clothes are matching (or that they are even wearing clothes) so this doesn’t come from a place of needing perfection.
It’s simply that I don’t have time, money, or energy to keep up with a huge kids wardrobe. here’s why I love a capsule wardrobe for kids.
Easier to pick clothes out
It’s simple. You already know what clothes are available. You probably know what things are clean. And all of the items (or most) go together. Easy peasy.
Easier to switch out one piece of the outfit
If someone spills on their shirt, you don’t have to change their pants too just to keep them looking somewhat put together. (I know seasoned parents hardly do this but it’s still nice to know our kids don’t look like ragamuffins even if they need to change a shirt.)
Less storage space needed
With fewer items of clothing you can get away with just a couple of drawers per child.
Ok, I know that you still have to wash the clothes they wear so it’s not really less laundry but It feels more manageable to put things away and pick out clothes. Besides, with a ton of clothes laying around, not fitting into drawers etc, you are bound to end up rewashing a perfectly clean shirt or 7. I know you’ve done this too.
Easier for them to dress themselves
For very particular littles, having things that easily match makes life easier. Some littles are determined to pick out their own clothes but choice overload and lots of things that don’t match is a recipe for disaster.
How to build a capsule wardrobe for kids
Now that you’re on board and know its gonna be great, how can you do it?
Choose a color pallet
Luckily you don’t have to be too strict here because kids clothes are often brightly colored and you aren’t likely to get stuck with an all neutral capsule wardrobe for kids. However, it’s good to have an idea of what you’re looking for when shopping. Start with their favorite color and build from there.
Add in a neutral to make the wardrobe cohesive. Black, khaki, grey, or navy are great neutrals to start with. Again, kids clothes are often very brightly colored and you can get away with pairing colors in a more energetic way, so just pick colors you and your child like.
What are your kids most comfortable in?
Jeans are just impractical for infants, toddlers, and even some preschoolers. That doesn’t mean you can’t have them, just be aware of how comfy they are and what your kid might prefer. There’s no point in buying clothes that won’t be worn. I find leggings to be a staple for my girls.
What are their wardrobe needs?
Do your kids go to school or daycare, or do they stay home with you all day? Do you go to church every Sunday or do you rarely dress up? Do you live on a farm (or suburban farm) and need lots of work/play clothes?
Whatever your needs, just be honest. Don’t waste money on cute clothes that your kiddo will never wear.
Stick with simple pieces
If you only remember one tip make it this one. Stick with simple pieces that are solid or have a pattern but don’t have tons of extra decorations like bows, rhinestones, etc. If you have solid pants and patterned tops you can almost always mix and match.
Make sure you have a few solid neutrals in both tops and bottoms. Garanimals and Primary are two brands that make mixing and matching super easy. Another advantage of Primary is that the clothes don’t have slogans, sequins, or logos either.
What it looks like
It’s hard to tell, but in this photo the pants are black leggings (the photo below is dark purple pants). I put together these two mini capsules in a few minuted going through the clean laundry basket (that’s right, they have been sitting there for a week).
In this image you can see that the three tops (the two on the right are dresses) have similar colors so they can easily be switched.
In this image you can see that the shirts are all light or bright and the pants are dark. I labored over whether to buy the pants because of those buttons.
They clearly went in an outfit and the buttons don’t match easily but I decided they didn’t make a big enough statement to warrant not buying them. I think they still mix and match pretty easily.
When you go shopping for a capsule wardrobe for kids it’s easy to get off course and end up with the wrong stuff. Here are some tips to stay on track. First Make a list. Write down what’s missing from you capsule. What size? What colors will work? Alternatives?
When you go shopping ask these questions:
- Will this get worn?
- Does it go with at least 3 other items?
- Is it good quality and in good condition?
- Does the capsule need this or do I just like it? (sometime this is ok, use your judgement)
A capsule wardrobe for kids will probably contain more clothes than an adults and that’s ok. The point here is to be mindful of what you buy so that it “goes” with as many other items as possible.
Maybe you can male two mini capsules, one for warm coors and one for cool colors. Maybe you can make a school one and a play one. Go with what works for you and your family.
Have you tried a capsule wardrobe for kids? How do you do it?