This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you make a purchase using one of these links.
Creating a kid’s capsule wardrobe is fantastic because you have fewer pieces of clothing but more versatile options to mix and match. It means you might do laundry a little more often, but there are fewer clothes and piles to deal with! Your weather will determine how your capsule changes from season to season, but overall, the basic design is the same.
1. Pick Your Seasonal Focus
While there are four seasons in each year, not every location experiences drastic differences, so you will decide how many capsules you want to create each year–all season, twice a year or four times a year.
I live in California where we mainly have three types of weather: hot (25% of the year), warm to cool (50% of the year) and cold (25% of the year). This means my daughter needs a distinct summer capsule and winter capsule, but spring and fall have a lot of overlap. We change things up based on weather extremes, but the rest stays pretty basic with the essentials.
Think about your main clothing categories before you start putting your capsule together. Both girls and boys need shirts, pants, jackets, socks, shoes, and pajamas.
For girls you may wish to have the addition of dresses, skirts, and tights and boys may have dress clothes as well, depending on your lifestyle needs. Think about what your child does: play, school, church, special occasions, etc., and how often they do it.
3. Address the Laundry
Be real with yourself here–how often do you do laundry? Do you use the dryer or line dry your clothes? Simplicity at our house means I wash our clothes once a week and line dry them.
I also hand wash delicate clothes as needed. Because clothes take longer to line dry (though we do own a dryer, we just choose not to use it regularly), I am okay with having a few extra pieces of clothing to last through the week.
Your child’s age is important to take into account. Younger children often have spills and accidents requiring clothes changes. There may be potty training accidents to think about. They may take part in activities that involve messy outdoor play. All of these tend to require a few extra clothes!
4. Try it Out
Ultimately, there is no “finite number” that a capsule wardrobe should have, so you get to try what you’re comfortable with and make changes as you see fit. This is about simplifying YOUR life, not meeting other’s expectations!
My Preschooler’s Fall & Winter Capsule Wardrobe
This year I created a Fall/Winter Capsule for my three-year-old daughter who is growing out of 3T and into 4T. I’ve compiled clothes that still work for the warmer October days and the chilly January days by incorporating pieces from her winter wardrobe last year that still fit (as of now), some hand-me-downs from friends and a couple basic new pieces.
I’m also impressed that I was able to keep this one a bit smaller than her toddler capsule, so we’re making progress in simplifying our life!
If I could buy a whole new capsule, it would be more focused on mixing and matching, but I’ve made do with what we had and only purchased what she absolutely needed.
When it comes to numbers of clothing, I don’t follow any rules. My daughter still changes her clothes often between outside sands, mud, food stains and potty training, so I feel better having just a few extra, as well as plenty to layer with on cold days.
In creating your capsule–go with what you feel comfortable with! Here’s a peek at her capsule wardrobe:
6 pairs of neutral pants: 3 black sweatpants, 1 black legging, 1 gray yoga pant, 1 blue jegging
6 long sleeve shirts, 4 short sleeve shirts
4 thicker sweaters/sweatshirts
3 dresses, 1 skort, 1 cardigan sweater
7 pairs of socks (2 were in the laundry), 1 pair of white tights, 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of rainboots. She also had black dress shoes, but recently wore through the toes, so it is undecided when those will be replaced.
Not pictured are her pajamas (she usually has 2-3 of these) and a small handful of play clothes that are used for messy art and Tinkergarten days.
Not everyone likes the concept of keeping extra play clothes, and really, it just depends how rough and tumble your kids are! My daughter put holes in 3 pairs of pants last week…so…we keep special play clothes on hand!
Have you ever made a capsule wardrobe for your child? What did you learn through the process?
WANT TO REMEMBER THIS? SAVE CREATING A KID’S CAPSULE WARDROBE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!