Building a Capsule Wardrobe for Your Littles

My name is Hafsa and I am a former hoarder. I changed my life around a few years ago, and it has never felt so good. Removing clutter from my life (a la Marie Kondo, but pre-Netflix show) has sparked so much joy in my life and made it SO much easier.

One of the things I decided to do when I removed all the extras, was to build capsule wardrobes for me and my kids. A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of essentials and timeless pieces that can be augmented by seasonal pieces. There are many pros to this – one of them being less laundry – and it’s also good for the wallet and environment.

My version of a capsule wardrobe is a closet filled with a small number of bottoms, tops, sweaters that can be mixed and matched to create a small variety of outfits. I own 5-6 bottoms, 5-7 tops, 2-3 sweaters/blazers, a handful of dresses – and that’s IT. I mix and match my tops and bottoms (I pretty much only wear neutral colours) and then will buy an on-trend item here and there (like a leopard print blouse).

For kids – it’s a little harder. They grow SO fast, so it only makes sense that they don’t need 25 different outfits. I have a boy and a girl, so though my daughter does wear a lot of her brother’s hand-me-downs, they also were born in opposite seasons (one in the summer, and one in the winter) so there’s not a lot of crossover yet. I made them each their own little capsule wardrobe to simplify MY life, but also to teach them the art of living minimally.

There are many pros to building a capsule wardrobe for your kids:

  1. You don’t need a lot of closet/drawer space. Both my kids have a small 3-drawer chest, and a closet that barely has anything in it because almost everything can be folded.
  2. Less laundry to put away.
  3. It’s easier for them to pick out their clothes when they’re a little older. My son is 3 and picks out his clothes daily.
  4. Less laundry to put away.
  5. Did I mention – less laundry to put away?

Here’s a master list for toddlers – you can pretty much use this list for kids of all ages, but maybe swap in a few more jeans. I love leggings and joggers for kids (and for myself) so it’s what my kids live in. I also don’t buy TOO many high-quality items for them yet, because they really do grow super fast, and they also destroy a lot of their clothing. *shrug*

  • 8 shirts/tops
  • 8 onesies/undershirts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 swimsuit (if they’re taking swimming classes)
  • 5 pajamas
  • 2 dresses for girls
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of dress shoes (which I don’t usually get unless I know I need them – we have gone entire seasons without a pair!)
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of rain boots/snow boots
  • 10 pairs of underwear
  • 3 hoodies/sweatshirts
  • 1 jacket (at any given season – so we have a fall jacket, and a winter jacket)

That’s IT. When the season ends (hi, I live in Canada), swap in shorts/tanks for some pants/long sleeved shirts.

I also keep plenty of other items like mittens, scarves, hats, snow pants, and so forth in a basket near the front door.

Like adults, the key to building a good capsule wardrobe is to buy things that are timeless (even if it’s just a season as they’re kids and grow fast) and avoid too many on-trend items.  I buy a lot of solid coloured items – or a lot of solid coloured neutral bottoms, and more fun patterned tops – so it’s easier to mix and match. I stick to this list and just replace as needed. At the end of the season or when they outgrow things – I simply donate, store and throw out things and then go through the list to see what we need.

Tip: It’s okay to splurge on cute brand-name sneakers or a fun tutu for your girl’s first birthday, I’m all for it. The key to doing this for us is always buying slightly-more expensive items in a neutral so that we can hand it down to the next kid in the family. 

Want more tips on organizing your kids’ rooms or closets? Let us know below!

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