Capsule wardrobes are a great way to reduce stress when it comes to picking outfits. I’m sharing tips on how I created a simple wardrobe for my son on a budget.
I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Having less clothes means I need less storage space and I’ll have to do less laundry. Both of those sound like heaven to me since my laundry and I are not the best of friends. Capsule wardrobes also take away the stress of having to pick out matching clothes because everything already coordinates, which is perfect because I don’t have to think when getting my son dressed. A capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be complicated or require a bunch of money. I’m going to list all my steps in creating my sons wardrobe and at the end, I’ll have a free printable guide to help you out too.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
Simply put, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of versatile clothes that all coordinate. Each piece of clothing serves a purpose and coordinates with at least two to three other pieces. The size of a capsule depends on which website you read, but the overall purpose is to have LESS and have each piece work together.
I live in the South, and sometimes, it feels like we go from hot to hotter, but we do have seasons. Instead of creating a wardrobe for the entire year, I decided to split my son’s wardrobe into two categories: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. I’ve read several articles that split the wardrobes up into three month blocks and purchase a few new pieces each three months. I didn’t want to have to add to the wardrobe or have to spend money every three months, so I bought everything I would need for the entire season.
What I Purchased
All of these items were bought while on sale (at least 75%off) or at a consignment sale. I spent a total of $175 for my son’s entire closet. I purchased a total of almost 44 pieces of clothing (not including accessories or shoes) and that breaks down to almost $4 per item!
Here’s a breakdown of Theo’s clothes.
- 6 fleece footed PJ’s
- 2 cotton footed PJ’s
- 3 sets of short sleeve PJ’s with shorts & pants
- 4 pieces outerwear (1 coat, 1 lightweight jacket, 2 fleece pullovers)
- 4 pair sweatpants (navy, grey, black, olive)
- 4 pair pants (jeans with suspenders, khaki, maroon pant, jeans)
- 5 long sleeve casual shirts
- 7 long sleeve onesies (includes Christmas onesie)
- 3 long sleeve dressier shirts (with coordinating pants shown)
- 2 long sleeve hoodie shirts (with coordinating pants shown)
- 2 long sleeve button up dress shirts
- 1 vest, 1 wool pant
- Accessories: Fedora, baseball cap, socks, bow ties (3), suspenders, sunglasses
- 4 pair shoes
Theo is currently 10 months old and wears a 12 month in tops and one pieces, but a 9 month in pants. Here in TN, the weather will still be warm out for at least another month and he currently has clothes that fit him right now. I bought mostly 18 month tops and onesies and 18-24 month PJ’s. His pants are a mix of 12 and 18 month.
Shoes are the one item I’ll have to purchase during the season. He has 4 pairs of shoes that family have purchased, but once he starts walking he’ll need a pair that fits him a little better.
Tips for Building a Capsule Wardrobe
1. Consider your lifestyle.
Do you live on a farm or spend a lot of time outdoors? Does your child regularly go on outings that need a more dressed up look? Look for pieces that fit your lifestyle to make sure they’ll actually be useful and be worn. I’m a SAHM and we hang out at home quite a bit, but we do go to play dates and other outings that need a put together outfit. Theo’s closet will have plenty of clothes for hanging out at home and playing, with a few dressier pieces for when we go out.
2. Plan for upcoming holidays and important dates.
Make sure to look for outfits for holidays, family pictures, special outings.
3. Think about what types of clothing your child likes the best.
Does your child love jeans but hate dress pants? Theo is 10 months old right now, so he doesn’t really have a preference on what types of clothes he wears, but I do. I tried to look for clothes that were soft and simple to dress him in–no complicated snaps or lots of buttons.
4. If you are buying for toddlers or older children, buy clothing they can put on themselves.
5. Think about what colors your child likes the best or they look the best in and stick to that color palette. I focused mainly on blues and green with touches of yellow and red for Theo’s clothes. This helps so that each piece can mix and match well.
6. The simpler the style the better. Try to avoid clothes with lots of ‘extras’ on them like bows, sequins, and patterns. Not only will the clothes hold up better since there’s no extra items to worry about, but you can mix and match better.
7. Don’t forget play clothes! Kids get dirty and messy, so make sure to have a few pieces set aside for play.
Keep in Mind
- Is the piece good quality and in good condition?
This is especially important if you’re buying second hand. The goal is to have your clothes last several months, so you want to make sure they’ll stand up to the wear and tear of your child.
- Does it coordinate with AT LEAST three other items in the closet?
This is essential is you want to create a capsule wardrobe, that’s why it’s important to choose coordinating colors when buying the clothes.
*Take pictures on your phone of each item you buy so you can easily pull it up to see how it works with other items you’re looking to buy.
- Will it actually be worn multiple times?
Ready, Set, Go…
Now that you know what to look for—it’s time to go out and start buying your clothes for your kiddos wardrobe. Set your budget and stick to it! You can shop sales, online sales sites (there are more than likely plenty of groups on FB for your area), yard sales, and consignment sales.
Write down the sizes and measurements for your child. I also like to make a note of how certain clothing brands I normally purchase tend to fit. I know that for my son Carter’s brand tends to run small while Gymboree runs slightly larger.
Here is a simple printable guide you can print out and keep in mind what to look for at the store.
Do you plan on creating a capsule wardrobe for your child? If so, show us your pictures using #3momcircus