Let’s talk wardrobe capsules for a second. You may have heard of this popular way of simplifying your closet each season.
You decide on a color scheme and buy a few key staples that you can easily mix and match so you don’t shop aimlessly and overspend.
Everyone seems to have their own spin on wardrobe capsules and their own tips, but truly I never really thought about doing one for myself.
I mean… lets be honest for a second. I’m a mom of two littles under 4 AND I work from home. Aint nobody care what I wear these days. Including myself!
But you know who people are looking at? My girls! If you’re a parent, you know exactly what I mean. And if you’re not, think about the last time you saw a cute kid — do you remember what their parent was wearing? Yeah, I didn’t think so!
Anyways… my 3 year old is starting preschool this fall (cue all the tears and anxiety from this mama), and while she’s so excited, she also tends to be a little anxious and cares a LOT about what she wears.
Like, try on 3 different outfits and still feels the need to change throughout the day cares. It wears on both of us to say the least.
So when I was cleaning her closet out a few weeks ago, I realized that creating a seasonal wardrobe capsule for her may just be the way to go.
Now, if you follow along with me on Instagram or see any of my DIYs, you’ve probably gathered that I tend to put my own spin on things to simplify them. Some may say it’s the lazy way out… I say I’m resourceful!
So needless to say, I’m being resourceful with this capsule too and putting my own easy-to-implement spin on it. Because ultimately my goal here is to make the school mornings super easy and painless for all involved.
So here’s how I pulled together my 3-year-old approved wardrobe capsule with ease in just a few hours and how I think it’ll save us way more time than that!
HOW TO CREATE WARDROBE CAPSULES FOR KIDS TO EASE THE SCHOOL MORNINGS (AND YOUR LAUNDRY LOAD)
When I started cleaning out my dauther’s closet a few weeks ago, I began to take a mental note of the things she’d outgrown and what we’d need to find for the fall.
She’s pretty petite and luckily can wear clothes for multiple seasons, so we don’t have the clothing overturn like a lot of families do. But it sure does seem like she outgrows her clothes fast!
And with a closet full of clothing she can still wear, I wasn’t about to go buy her an all new wardrobe!
Knowing I wanted to put together easy mix and match outfits, I took note of the clothing she had and what she needed and made a small list. Then I began to pull out some staples — jeans, leggings, favorite dresses, etc.
I took note of what colors were already in her closet and what she had that would be able to make the transition to fall.
I will almost always have her add leggings and sweaters to dresses to transition them from summer to fall to winter. I’m a huge fan of layering and cross-seasonal clothing. Especially down here in the South where we have two main seasons – summer and January.
TAKE NOTE OF THE WARDROBE GAPS & MAKE YOUR CHECKLIST
Once I had my lists, I took note of where the gaps were and what I thought she needed to pull her outfit options together for the fall.
That’s when I created my checklist. Here’s what mine looked like:
Fall Toddler Wardrobe Capsule Checklist:
- Key focus colors: Burgundy and mustard
- Dresses: 3
- Short sleeved shirts: 2
- Long sleeved shirts: 3
- Jeans: 2
- Leggings: 4
Your checklist can and should look differently than this. My daughter lives in dresses and rarely wears shorts. Your outline should center around what your child wears regularly!
I also didn’t include shoes or jackets here as she already has some neutrals that I can easily pull in. Feel free to include these categories if you’d like! I’d suggest two pairs of shoes, a light sweater, and a jacket, but that will vary depending on what the weather is like where you live!
SHOP SMART TO FILL IN THE GAPS
Knowing what we had to pull from and what we needed, I went to the one and only Target to grab some super affordable staples. My daughter had outgrown a lot of her pants and leggings, and you can’t beat Target’s high quality $5 leggings!
Not to mention, they had a some great options in the color palette I was going for, which made things even easier. Gotta love one stop shopping!
I also tried to follow a half and half rule – I wanted at least half of the capsule to come from clothes we already had.
Before I purchased, I made sure that each item was in my color palette or a basic neutral staple (like jeans) that would go with just about everything. Making sure all the colors work together is key.
Here’s what we purchased from Target:
- Dark jean leggings
- Light jean leggings
- Gray leggings
- Floral dress
- Mustard sweater
- Hunter green rainbow leggings (Couldn’t find the exact leggings, but linking gray version here!)
After all, a capsule’s purpose is to create a variety of mix and match outfits with just a handful of pieces!
Sticking to options within your color palette is key for this reason!
LAY OUT ALL THE ITEMS TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE IN YOUR COLOR PALETTE
Once I had everything picked out, I laid it out so I could make sure all the items in the capsule (for the most part) could mix and match to make multiple outfits.
I should also say that I made sure my daughter was super involved in the whole process. Having her take ownership of the choices we laid out (even if the decisions were swayed a bit) will have a direct impact on how well choosing from these outfits will go over come school time.
I made sure to show my excitement about the color choices and give my daughter lots of dresses, pinks, and flowers (her current favorites), plus a ‘tutu dress’ for safe measure.
Having your child on board is key!
THE FINISHED 14 PIECE CAPSULE
What we ended up going with was a 14 piece capsule:
- 1 solid burgundy dress
- 2 floral dresses
- 1 mustard sweater
- 1 floral sweatshirt
- 2 short sleeved t-shirts
- 1 long sleeved t-shirt
- 2 pairs of jeggings/jeans, one light and one dark
- 2 pairs of colorful leggings, pink and purple (the purple throw things off, but it was my daugher’s choice, and I had to let her have that one!)
- 1 pair of neutral leggings, gray
- 1 pair of patterned leggings, hunger gray with rainbows (because she’s 3 and I wish I could get away with wearing them)
Again, this can and should look different for you depending on your needs, but this works well for us!
I chose 14 pieces as it will be an easy way to get my daugther to mix and match outfits for the week, and it will be easy for me to do a weekly load of laundry with these staples to make she she has fresh options come Monday.
REMEMBER – THIS IS A STARTING POINT!
I want to also note that this capsule is a starting point and a way to make choices and purchasing for the season easier. My daughter has other outfits she can and will wear outside of this capsule, and I will likely create other mini weekly capsules as she goes thoughout the fall and winter based around what she already has.
But planning it out this way makes sure you don’t aimlessly purchase clothing items for your kids that don’t necessarily work with what you have or what they wear.
Bonus tip: I carved out a special place in my daughter’s closet to hold these items together. That way she can choose a top and bottom from the section and they will (for the most part) match, which will shorten our morning routine and get us out the door on time!
So what do you think? Do you already do wardrobe capsules for your kids? Think you’ll give this mini capsule a try this fall? Let me know in the comments!
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