What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe consists of a limited number of clothing items which all work together to create many outfits.
Children’s Capsule Wardrobe
Capsule wardrobes are becoming more and more popular with lots of different people, but especially mums and their kids. I absolutely love having a capsule wardrobe for my children, the benefits are immense.
What might be the benefits?
The benefits will be different for most people. The most common benefits, especially for a children’s capsule wardrobe, are:
- You can’t get a backlog of dirty washing. You can immediately see when you need to wash soon and usually all that washing is done in a load or two (for my kids anyway).
- You can invest in higher quality items as overall your spend comes down.
- You often spend less, overall. If you shop like I do, once per season (summer and winter), then you can easily keep to your desired budget.
- All the clothes go together, you can dress in the dark and will still look respectable.
- You need less space in your home, to store clothing.
How do I even begin to do this?
As my kids are little, starting is a bit easier. The first time I did this I waited until my son needed to go up a size. I wrote down what the numbers of each item I wanted and then had a look at the things I already had in the right sizes. That helped me work out what I needed to buy.
Once I knew the numbers, I hopped online and made a list of what I wanted to buy when tin store. Once at the shop I quickly grabbed what was on my list. If they didn’t have sizing then I would find a suitable alternative. The shopping itself takes very little time. If you prefer you can do all the shopping online.
The below image is my hand scribblings, I’ve made in the past, when working out what I need to buy. These lists ensure I don’t over buy and that everything matches. Now that I have more experience I didn’t bother with this and I just used the notes app on my iPhone to list the number of items, as per the pic.
Deciding on the amount of clothing is a bit of maths and a bit of guesswork. I worked out how often I wanted to wash and how many outfits were needed to get there. I review the amount every new season and adjust. I have 2 sons so need to do this x 2. I have one shared wardrobe for both boys (they are 14 months apart and the same size) most families with young kids will need different sizes so ensure you run individual lists, so as to not mix up the sizing needed.
Things I do which others might not:
My kids go to day care 3 days a week. I have a set uniform for these days and they wear that every day care day. I have enough for one full outfit every day and then one spare for their back packs. This works really well and we can’t accidentally send them to day care in good clothing. For this uniform we chose the BigW budget essentials range which are so cheap and the quality holds up. The spares are a different colour in the same cut so we always know they need to go straight back into the day care bags once washed. Visual cues like this are so helpful!
In addition to the day care clothes I also have a set of spares for the car. One outfit each which always goes in the car after its washed. I chose pink because my sons love pink and its totally different to everything else they own so it’s a visual cue to put it back in the car, after the wash.
As I mentioned, my kids have a shared wardrobe, This won’t be possible for some families so you can find the way which best works.
But What About…?
Accidents/Messy days: I just change them. If we have a really messy week then I might need to wash twice. This really isn’t a big deal because pretty much everything fits in 1-2 loads.
Gifts: If my kids are gifted clothing then we accept it graciously and incorporate that into their wardrobe.
Changing sizes: If my kids grow out of their clothing, I’ll replace it (I’m not a tyrant haha).
Damaged items: If an item is damaged and I’m not close to doing the next season then I will replace the item – this hasn’t happened in 4 years.
Buying second hand: This doesn’t work for me, personally, but there is nothing wrong with buying bundles from facebook or pieces from OP shops. When I am finished with the seasons clothes I bundle them up to give away.
I hope this helps you to understand and create your own capsule wardrobe!