Yes, it is possible! You really can keep your kids’ clothes tidy and manageable. Or maybe you already do, but you’re interested in a way to decrease laundry and have everything “match”.
Before you begin…
Be sure to read and understand the idea of a Capsule Wardrobe (click here). As I write this post, I’m assuming you have read that post and are ready to dive into the kids version!
Note: here are a few big things that can make a capsule wardrobe more difficult for kids. They are: 1. Kids get a lot of clothes dirty, 2. Kids grow out of their clothes quickly, and 3. Gift clothes or hand-me-downs often don’t fit so well with a Capsule Wardrobe.
I’ll go over ways to handle these in a minute.
How a Capsule Wardrobe is beneficial for kid clothes
The benefits for a kids’ Capsule are similar to the adult one, with an added benefit (the last one)!
1. Keep clothes tidy. If you don’t have tons of clothes and extras that they never wear, it is pretty easy to keep everything where it goes in the drawer (or hung up, if you do it that way).
2. It decreases laundry. Especially if your kids are old enough to dress themselves (or try to), clothes often end up strewn around. With a set amount to wear, it’s easier to keep track of them and not end up washing clean ones because you just scooped up everything on the floor.
3. The amount of clothes and choices isn’t overwhelming. Even if your kids have tons of clothes, they probably only wear a handful of favorites. An efficient wardrobe helps you to clearly see the options.
4. It saves you money. If you know just what you need for your kids wardrobe, you won’t have to constantly buy whatever looks good.
5. Here’s the “bonus” for kids: With a capsule wardrobe, they can dress themselves as they get older – and NOT look ridiculous! The idea is that you have some “neutral” clothes that go with anything (like jeans), and a color scheme for all the clothes that doesn’t clash.
How to put it together
As far as I know, there is no “official” way to form a children’s or babies’ Capsule Wardrobe. But you can certainly use the same principles as an adult one, with a few adjustments. First I’ll give you the overview and examples, and then I’ll address the potential issues I mentioned at the beginning.
To begin transforming your kids wardrobe, use the same steps you did with your own: Sort the clothes into piles or boxes of “keep” “maybe” and “donate/sell”. What you’re going for is a theme of similarly colored clothes that “go together” and you (and your kid, if he/she is old enough) like. If your kid knows colors, encourage him/her to pick his/her favorite colors to keep. My favorite way to make sure everything matches is to have bottoms that go with everything. Kids don’t usually “layer” their clothes as much as their mothers do, so in that sense this system is actually easier for kids. A t-shirt and jeans is just fine on most occasions.
As for the numbers you want to keep, this definitely depends on your lifestyle and kids personality (read: tendency to get dirty). If they tend to stay inside and avoid dirt and food spills, or you don’t mind them being a bit dirty, you might be able to keep numbers similar to the adult wardrobe, or even fewer (as I mentioned, kids don’t usually need to layer aside from coats). Right now I just have a 9 month old, and I’m not overly worried if she gets a bit dirty so typically she only wears one outfit per day.
Here is an example of part of Esther’s wardrobe. All the tops go with the bottoms, and the coat looks good with everything too!
Potential issues with kids’ Capsule Wardrobes
1. Kids get a lot of clothes dirty.
I touched on this when I wrote about determining numbers, but basically it depends on the kid’s needs. Obviously you don’t want them to run out of clothes, but you shouldn’t need too many clothes if you do their laundry once a week, even if they go through more than 7 outfits in a week.
2. Kids grow out of their clothes quickly.
Of course this can’t be helped, but there are a few ways to keep on top of it. If you have a lot of kids, hand-me-downs are a great way to save money and keep efficient wardrobes. When one kid grows out of a set of Capsule clothes, but them in a box labeled with the size, and place in storage. When the next kid comes along, you have it all ready. For your first kid, or if you don’t want to re-use clothes, just plan ahead and keep an eye out for clothes that will fit into the capsule wardrobe. If you have a daughter whose chosen colors are pink and teal, buy those colors (and any neutrals, like black or jeans) ahead of time so she can grow into them.
3. Gift clothes or (non-capsule) hand-me-downs often don’t fit so well with a Capsule Wardrobe.
This is the biggest issue I’ve run into, since Esther is the first baby in our family and everyone wants to buy her clothes. But then, that’s not such a bad problem, now is it?! I welcome any gifts from family and friends, and am sure to have her wear them when we see the gift-givers. If it throws off the capsule wardrobe a bit that’s okay with me. She outgrows them so quickly anyway that we can just donate them and bless another child.
Also, if people give us a set of clothes, I’ll just adjust the color scheme to work them in. This works especially well for babies, since outfits often come in sets with multiple shirts. Again, they grow so quickly that you have to keep adjusting anyway!
If you try a Capsule Wardrobe for your baby or kids, I would love to hear about it!