Now that it’s starting to cool down here in North Texas, I finally got around to buying both boys some fall clothes.
Honestly, most of the time we’re at home, the boys are just in diapers (at most) so we don’t have a big need for large amounts of clothes. That, on top of the fact that we’ll be in an airstream in the next few months, means we need to keep their clothes to a minimum.
WHY HAVE A SEASONAL CAPSULE WARDROBE?
When it comes to kids and their clothes, the idea of a capsule wardrobe seems silly at first. It sounds like such a fancy, adult term that only those who can buy the best of the best should really participate in.
In my opinion, kids are the ones who really need a capsule wardrobe. They grow so quickly that by the next season, they need a whole new set of clothing.
Traditionally, a capsule wardrobe is meant to last long term. It’s meant to have high quality items that could potentially last a lifetime. For a kid’s capsule wardrobe, I think of it as challenging yourself to buy as little as possible because you know they’ll outgrow it by next year.
When you think in terms of “capsule wardrobes,” you’re already in the mindset of less. You can put on some critical goggles when deciding what your children really need in their wardrobe.
HOW TO BUILD A CAPSULE WARDROBE FOR KIDS
I think everyone has different needs for their wardrobes. Numbers really can’t be suggested because what works for us may not work for you. Kids have so many variables that effect how many clothes they need.
So rather than tell you a number or give you a list of “essentials,” I’m just going to give you some things to think about as you plan their seasonal wardrobes.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
ARE THEY MESSY EATERS (or messy in general)? | I basically undress my kids for every meal we eat at home. They just can’t help but get food on their clothes and I don’t want to stress the whole meal about how clean or messy they’re getting. I just want to hand them some food and let them figure out how to get it from the plate to their mouths - sauce dripping down their stomachs and all.
If you have messy kids (lets face it, who doesn’t?) and you don’t always have the desire/ability to dress or undress them, they’ll probably need more clothes for changes throughout the day. Really, they’ll probably need some clothes that aren’t super nice so you don’t have to stress about how much their shirt cost when they walk through the door covered in mud.
IT’S OKAY IF THEY WEAR THE SAME THING ALL THE TIME | I think variety is something that’s easy to stress about. If people see your kids in the same clothes all the time, will they think you’re lazy? Will they wonder if you’re poor? Will they worry you’re not providing your kids with the best you can?
Honestly, anyone who would think that based on how often your kid wears a shirt was probably going to think that no matter what. Most likely though, I’m sure there are very few people who really notice what your kid is wearing. The important thing is, do your kids like their clothes?
SIZE UP | Something I know about babies (which is my youngest) is that they grow ridiculously fast. I feel like he’s a new size every month and it’s hard for me to justify buying him nice clothes that he’s only going to wear for a little while. So I sized up his clothes! By the time the weather is really cold and his fall clothes become essential layers, they should fit nice and snug. If he has to look like Harry Potter under the stairwell for a bit, so be it!
KEEP IT COMFY | Of course, this is totally based on your own activities and taste, but for me personally, I like to give my kids comfy clothes. I tried the whole stiff jeans and button up shirts thing with Ollie when he was little and he just seemed stuck. He couldn’t climb the way he wanted to or move as effectively. He just seemed uncomfortable. Now, I try to buy him mostly knit wear. Loose, breathable stuff. He seems so much more confident in his movements and he looks more comfortable in general.
PLANNING THE WARDROBE
The actual planning of a wardrobe is what gets overwhelming for me. There are so many choices out there and I right before I pull the trigger on a purchase, I worry if I’ve actually considered all my option or that maybe something cuter will come around soon.
So I simplified this by getting practical. There are a few things you can think about when deciding what your kids really need in their wardrobe. Thinking through these things can help narrow your options and help to simplify your decision making.
THINK ABOUT YOUR WEEK | Do your kids go to school? Do they play sports? Do they run around naked all the time like mine? What kind of outings do they need to dress for? Kids who have activities to go to will probably need more than kids who stay home. This is also helpful in determining what kind of clothes they’ll need. A sports kid will probably need more athletic wear than a kid who does art classes.
Besides just thinking about there personal style, their weekly activities effect the type and amount of clothes they’ll need.
THINK ABOUT THE WEATHER | Obviously, weather is a key player. Right now, we don’t really need coats, just sweaters and good layers. Other places, you may just need one pair of pants and a bunch of shorts year round.
Think about your climate, when the weather will actually start to change, how drastically it will change, any trips you may take, any activities you’ll do, and plan accordingly.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU WANT TO DO LAUNDRY | Along with that whole messy thing, they will go through lots of laundry. Personally, I don’t mind doing laundry often so I only need enough clothes to get us through about 2 days.
Think about your laundry routine and make sure you’re taking into account how often an amount of clothes will need to be laundered.
STICK TO A COLOR PALETTE | I like having my boys wear colors. It’s just fun. I’ve seen others who don’t let any pigment into their wardrobe and that looks great too. Whatever you do, make sure everything goes with everything. If you have multiple kids, why not give them the same color palette to work with? They will always look like they go together!
When considering a color palette, I like to pick three colors that all look good together and pick out items that all fit in that range.
Blue is a personal favorite because it feels like a neutral that’s still fun. It basically goes with everything.
To keep all of these thoughts in one place, I’ve made a free printable for you to hide you through the planning!
OUR KID’S WARDROBE
We have two capsules: one for the toddler and one for the baby. Though, I did make them fairly similar because I’m obsessed with aesthetics and gotta keep the gram feed consistent.
When putting together their wardrobes, I knew I wanted actual colors (blue, yellow, pink*ish/red) and I knew I wanted everything to be comfy. Our weather is a bit all over the place so I needed clothing that could keep them warm but also cool at the same time, so layers.
I also thought through what clothing we go through the fastest in a week. Shirts were definitely something we needed more of because, well, they just don’t wear pants all that often and when they do they don’t get too dirty.
I wound up getting them both clothes that were one size bigger than what they are currently wearing. Yes, they look a little Harry Potter under the staircase right now, but I’m thinking when we get the real cold weather here, their clothes will fit perfect!
I’m also able to combine their summer capsules with their fall capsules which basically means very fitted shorts with loose long sleeves. I don’t look like a TOTAL Petunia Dursley quite yet. (Now I’m in the mood for a Harry Potter binge)
My strategy here is, buy them a new, minimal wardrobe and if they wind up with gaps or they grow out of something, it will be thrifted until next season. This way, I can have some really nice items for them that I can make sure we all love, but I don’t have to break the bank or stress too much about making sure they have EVERYTHING on the front end.
For Ollie’s wardrobe, we already had shorts, t-shirts, shoes, and a jacket, so my main focus were pants and long sleeves. We will probably put away the shorts and t-shirts soon which will leave him with just what you see here to get through fall.
For Charlie, we had a few t-shirt and jacket hand-me-downs from Ollie, but I don’t want him to get the classic little brother curse of having ONLY hand-me-downs, so he got some of his own stuff!
For the most part, this is all he’ll be wearing this fall and then I’ll probably grab him some shoes when he starts crawling and a heavier coat when the temperatures drop.