Setting Up a Capsule Wardrobe for The Littles

I’ve been asked on more than one occasion if I have also set up a capsule wardrobe for my daughter, and if so, how I decided what was essential for a toddler.

Well, I have! My little duck has had her own capsule wardrobe for almost a year now, which incidentally just happened to coincide with her growing out of all her baby-gifted-clothes. I have found it fairly simple to set up, cost effective, and easy to keep up with what she is growing out of and what she is in need of.

A child doesn’t need alot. My daughter is two, and though her wardrobe is slightly larger than mine, she gets her clothes dirtier faster. Ergo, almost everything is washed weekly. Frequent washes DO wear clothes out faster, but the beauty at this stage is that they grow out of things fairly quickly as well. (I find hanging her clothes up to dry when possible helps slow this down also.)

I generally start out by writing a list of needs (and a few wants, I mean, COME ON!) and determining where I’m going to start looking for them.

Right now that looks like:

6-8 short sleeved t-shirts
4 long sleeved t-shirts
2 zip-up hoodies
2 cardigans
1 pullover
4 pairs of jeans (one black, two dark wash, one grey)
3 pairs of tights (two black, one print)
2 skirts (one denim, one colour)
5 dresses (three long sleeved, two short sleeved)
3 pairs of pajamas 
12 pairs of socks
6 onesies
1 pair of slippers
1 pair of running shoes
1 pair of rubber boots
2 pairs of dress shoes (one was a gifted pair that I forgot we had, so now we have two.)

And a few other odds and ends that I can’t remember right now. Plus jackets.

So, that might seem like a lot, or not quite enough, depending on who you are. I personally think we could get away with a few less items, but then things happen, like getting a tummy bug, and she ends up wearing almost everything twice in a period of about 4 days. So maybe it’s just fine the way it is.

When I made her spring list, several pieces carried over from the winter yet. All four long sleeves, one short sleeve, all her pajamas and socks and onesies, her dress shoes and slippers, all her jeans and hoodies, two pairs of tights, and her skirts and two dresses. That made my shopping list rather small, at 11 clothing items and 2 pairs of shoes.

I used to always start looking at Target Canada, but alas alack! It is no more… and so to children’s consignment shops I go. These are AH-MAZING for deals as you can find many clothes that were barely or never worn for a fraction of the cost of regular retail. I have found more than a few pairs of brand new shoes and also clothes with the tags still on them. Be sure to the check each item over to ensure that there are no stains, pulls, pilling or holes, because obviously.

There are a few things that I prefer to purchase new, and maybe that’s because of the germaphobe in me but whatever. Items I prefer to buy new are bathing suits, socks, hats and (we’re not there yet but when we are…) underwear!

When it was all said and done, I think I spent around $90. Not bad for an entire season!

Keep in mind that depending on the age of your child, you made need less or more clothes. Feel free to experiment! But once your list is made, try to stick to it. You can always go out again later if you discover a ‘hole’ in your capsule! The best way to find true balance, I find, is by starting out with less as opposed to more.

Are there any more questions you have about kids capsule wardrobes? Please, I’d love to hear from you!

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