What is a capsule wardrobe?
Capsule wardrobes are all the rage right now. The goal behind them is to declutter your wardrobe, which makes it easier to pick outfits- as all your pieces should go together. It also means you think about your 'style' a lot more, meaning any pieces you do buy are more intentional. Then you end up with less 'random' pieces in your wardrobe that never get worn (I am so guilty of this.)
I've been doing a capsule wardrobe for myself for only about a month now, but it has made getting dressed much easier! In that time, I've had to buy one item (my only pair of jeans ripped!!) and instead of going for my usual bargain hunt, or two for one deal, I bought one good pair of quality jeans. Time will tell, of course, whether spending more upfront is worth it down the track, but I think it will be. I would rather have one pair of quality jeans than 3 of cheaper ones which go baggy at the knees in a few weeks (the worst!).
Why a kids capsule?
I wanted to make getting dressed easier for Ada. She is getting to the age of wanting to pick her own clothes, so I wanted to have outfits that go together easily.
Ada has a full wardrobe, drawers, and a 60l box of clothes that could currently fit her, for all four seasons. Then there is a box for size 4 and 5! (but I am not focusing on those boxes at the moment.)
We have been so blessed to receive many hand me downs. I also tend to buy items on sale for the next season. Add to that those 'can't resist, it's so cute!' items, and she has a LOT of clothes in differing styles.
Now, if you are doing a capsule wardrobe like many other bloggers, you will start from scratch and buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes for your kid. The benefit of this is that you can buy pieces that go together seamlessly. But of course, this doesn't really gel well with the minimilist lifestyle values which the capsule wardrobe has emerged from.
For me, my goal is to spend no (or very little) money. We've got to work with what we've got, which means it's not going to be a 'perfect' capsule wardrobe- and that's ok.
The steps to a kids capsule wardrobe
Step 1- Choose 2 or 3 of your favourite items of clothing for your child. For Ada, I chose 3 of my favourite pieces for her. I decided to choose the rest of the items based on these colours
Step 2- Think about patterns. This blogger talks about how she builds prints into her capsule- she adds prints into one of three sections- tops and dresses, layering pieces (coats, cardigans) or bottoms
I love this blogger and her philosophy. She is building a wardrobe from scratch though, so she can buy items with patterns in just one category easily.
Working with what we already have is a bit trickier, but I aimed to just have patterns in tops and dresses.
Step 3- Think about the weather. Here in Wellington it's summer (you wouldn't really know it though!). So I added a few short and long sleeve tees, and a few dresses. All of these items can be layered for colder or hotter days. If it had been a truly hot summer here, I would have chosen more short sleeve items.
Step 4- Think about where your kid is at. Ada has just toilet trained and can take herself to the toilet (wohoo!!) this ruled out all the jumpsuits and dungarees, as toilet access needs to be easy.
Ada doesn't get into too much mess at daycare, so can just have one wardrobe for all occasions. A lot of kids tend to ruin their clothes at daycare though. In this case I would suggest two mini capsules- a 'playing' one and a 'good clothes' one. Many items like coats or tights may cross the two collections. Keeping both capsules in different areas, or separate drawers will help with dressing your child.
Step 5- Go for it- pick your items! This is the most fun part. As you can see in the capsule below, I started with a base of orange colours. However, Ada has a lot of pink, in necessary items (like cardigans) so I have added some pink too. Greys and blues were added for neutral colours. In the process I discovered Ada had about 5 long sleeve grey tops, and the same for blue. She doesn't need that many! I was able to put away a lot of redundant clothing.
We also had a lot of 'random' pieces in her drawers. These would be the ones I pulled out, then searched for that one pair of leggings they go with. Those leggings were in the wash, so I stuffed that item back in the drawer, and in reality it was never worn. These random pieces were easy to remove from her wardrobe.
I didn't focus on a certain number of clothes. I preferred to focus on a few of each category of clothing. You may look at Ada's capsule and think it's still a very big amount of clothes. Each childs wardrobe will be different, and I am looking forward to refining Ada's wardrobe, and seeing if we truly need this many clothes as we move into the winter capsule.
Step 6- Involving your child. Ada is a little young at this point to care about her clothing. I imagine in the coming months or years she will want to be involved in this process. Ask your child about their favourite items of clothing, or colours, and go from there.
Now that I have begun this process I think it will make buying clothes, and sorting through hand me downs a lot easier! Once you have a clear vision of colour, style and pattern, you can immediately know whether a piece of clothing will fit in the wardrobe. This will save you money in the long run!
I am aiming to review Ada's capsule every season, or every time she has a growth spurt, so a few times a year.
I hope this post has been helpful! I'm at the beginning of doing this too so I would love to hear any tips you might have