(A guest post by I Dream of Simple)
INSIDE: Learn the steps to easily develop a capsule wardrobe for your kids. PLUS download a FREE ebook to quickly start seeing the benefits of your kids dressing with fewer clothes.
I’m excited to share with you with another guest post…this time from Tara over at I Dream of Simple. On a journey to discover what life means with less, Tara’s blog has some pretty awesome posts on how to succeed in leading a simpler way of life. And today I’m honoured to share with you her top tips on how to create a capsule wardrobe for your kids.
So many clothes…
I don’t know about you but I feel like my kids have way too many clothes – especially my youngest! His wardrobe is full to the rafters but I can never find anything for him to wear. With my washing bin overflowing with everything he’s made grubby, I could really do with reducing the number of clothes he has. And now, thanks to Tara, I know exactly how to go about it! If your kids’ wardrobes are overflowing too and you find yourself wishing you didn’t have quite so much washing to do, why not give setting up a capsule wardrobe for your kids a go?
Let’s hear from Tara on how to get started…
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A capsule wardrobe for your kids…
When I had my first child I felt like I had to have all the things, including clothes. I received clothes as generous shower gifts, hand-me-downs and from our amazing parents. It’s so hard to pass up cute baby clothes!! And I was incredibly grateful.
On top of that, I purchased clothes that I saw at the store or online and figured one more outfit won’t matter. Right? Boy, was I wrong!
Because I had so many clothes for one tiny baby, the three-drawer dresser was jam-packed. I could barely even close the drawers! And I lived this way for years.
It wasn’t until I started to learn about simple living and capsule wardrobes for myself that I thought, why can’t I do that for my kids too?
This realization changed the game for my kids’ clothes (and my sanity)!
While we are still not perfect, we are learning and getting better at it each season. This post will walk you through what a capsule wardrobe is and the many benefits, as well as the basic steps to develop your own capsule wardrobe for your kids. Let’s jump right in!
Capsule wardrobe basics
First things first…what is a capsule wardrobe? While the term is not new, it’s been around since the 1970’s, the application of a capsule wardrobe has increased in popularity in recent years.
A capsule wardrobe is defined as a collection of a few essential items of clothing that won’t go out of fashion and can then be augmented with seasonal pieces or accessories (source).
If you search on social media, you’ll notice there are several different types of capsule wardrobes. Many restrict the number of pieces. For example, 10 items, 33 items, or even 50 items. But I think it’s more important to think about functionality and your specific needs than to worry about sticking to a set number.
Who is this post for?
This post is for the mums that are overwhelmed with tons of laundry, are sick of your kids’ high maintenance clothes that don’t match and want to stop spending so much money on kid clothes every season.
If any of the above apply to you, this post is perfect for you!
While I think it is possible to create a capsule wardrobe for anyone, including kids, I do think infants and older kids have some unique challenges to take into consideration.
For example, infants usually have several outfit changes in one day (hello blowouts and spit-ups!). For infants, you’ll need to keep this in mind if you don’t plan to do laundry every single day. On the other hand, older children have a lot more say (or at least an opinion!) about what they want to wear. For older kids, you’ll need to get a lot more involvement if you decide to create a capsule wardrobe for them. (See the extra notes below to help address these special considerations for infants and older children).
The benefits of a capsule wardrobe for your kids
There are several benefits to creating a capsule wardrobe for your kids. Once you create your first capsule and start using it, you will likely experience the following:
1. A smoother morning routine
Since there are not as many options, it will be easier for kids to get dressed in the morning. Older kids can even pick out their outfit on their own and it should match pretty well.
2. You’ll save money
Once you start buying clothes intentionally and you have your capsule wardrobe established you are more likely to skip mindless shopping or buying things just because they are on sale.
3. A simpler laundry routine
Depending on how often you do laundry, there should be much less of it! This should also cut down on the amount of time it takes to do laundry and put clothes away. For example, I do 1-2 loads of laundry for my kids’ clothes per week (1 in the summer and 2 in the winter because long pants take up more room in the washer!). Since the clothes all more or less match with each other, there is no need to match up outfits, which equals more saved time for mum!
4. Easier to pack for a trip
Now when I pack my kids for a trip I usually just pack most of what they have in the drawer (depending on the length of the trip) and I know it will mostly all mix and match. And when we get home from a trip it will all go in the laundry and we will be ready for the next week!
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty on how to actually create a capsule wardrobe for your own kids!
How to create a capsule wardrobe for your kids
Determine how often you want to do laundry. I start with this because this will give you a good idea of how many outfits you will need at a bare minimum. For example, like I mentioned above, I do my kids’ laundry once a week. That means I need at least 7 outfits, assuming one outfit per day.
I could possibly get by with fewer if I planned for my kids to re-wear some of the pieces but let’s be real. If your kids are anything like mine, their clothes are pretty dirty by the end of the day. Kids play hard! I swear mine come home from nursery just covered in dirt most days. At least they are having a good time!
Since I know and plan for my kids to get dirty I like to add in 2-3 extra outfits into the capsule so I don’t have to do laundry more than once per week on most weeks. If you do laundry more than once per week, you could get by with fewer clothes.
Note: If you are planning for an infant you’ll likely need more clothes because of the multiple outfit changes each day.
- Take action: Determine the number of pieces you will aim for. Keep in mind this number can change and should match up with your own needs.
Decide on a general colour palette. The idea is to have everything mix and match with almost everything else. I don’t worry too much about this since I feel that most kid’s clothes look cute even if they’re not perfectly matching. Don’t worry about buying sets because if you stick to a general colour palette, you can usually mix and match the sets.
I usually try to pick 2-3 neutral colors like black, navy or grey and then 2-3 accent colours.
Tip: Only buy from 2-3 clothing lines like Carters, Gap, or Target since they tend to keep their line in a similar colour scheme so you know the clothes mix and match well.
Note: This is where you’ll likely need to get more involvement from older children. What do they like to wear? Do they have any favorite colours or styles?
- Take action: Decide on a general colour palette.
Determine what types of clothes you need for the season and upcoming 3-6 months. For example, do you need snow pants? A winter coat? A swimsuit? Winter boots? Sandals? Or a dressy outfit? These won’t necessarily match with everything but they are things to think about and include.
- Take action: Do you have any special occasions or requirements coming in the next 3-6 months?
Evaluate and take an inventory of what you already have. This is probably the most crucial step! It’s so much easier to develop a capsule wardrobe if you declutter what you already have. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does it fit?
- Does it fit in with the chosen colour scheme?
- Is it comfortable?
- Do you and your kid like it?
If you need more help decluttering, this is a great post to get started.
- Take action: Declutter those clothes and determine any gaps you may have.
Determine what you may want to fill in the gaps with. Shop intentionally or have a list to give to relatives for birthday and holiday gifts. And then stop shopping! Don’t buy any more than you need.
- Take action: Make a shopping list and stick to the list!
Give yourself so much grace and allow yourself to be flexible! If you find that you need more clothes to meet your laundry needs, add more! If you find that a shirt never gets worn because your kid hates it, swap it with something else. A capsule wardrobe shouldn’t give you or your kid stress! It should be fun and allow your kid to wear clothes you both love!
Additional tips for success
- Keep a basket in the room for outgrown clothes. This’ll make it easy to pack up clothes for the next child to wear or to box up for the donation centre.
- Shop consignment or swap with friends to save money.
- Like I mentioned above, don’t be afraid to remove things as your kids start to wear their capsule. Add other items based on changes in weather or if they aren’t comfortable.
The great thing about capsule wardrobes is that they aren’t set in stone! They’re meant to give you more freedom and flexibility, not to restrict you. So I hope you enjoy this process and start seeing the benefits of developing a capsule wardrobe for your kids!
About the Author…
Tara Dubiel is a wife and mum to two beautiful and active kids. A woman after my own heart, she writes at I Dream of Simple about her family’s journey to declutter their space, time and mind with the hope of learning to cultivate a life with enough.
That’s it for this post!
- An overview of the steps discussed in this post.
- A worksheet to take action, and
- A checklist with a sample wardrobe you can use as a starting point
Did you like this post? Do you have a capsule wardrobe for your kids? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…
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