We’ve already talked about what it looks like to create a capsule wardrobe for yourself. But what about your kids? My children used to have so much clothing, way more than I did.
I gratefully accepted all hand-me-downs, but never went through them so I could only keep the essentials and pass them on.
Now, things are a bit different. When we lived in the bus, it was imperative that clothing stay under control. Which is why my kids also have a capsule wardrobe. (Plus it makes travel packing sooooo much easier.)
A capsule wardrobe contains a few essential pieces of classic clothing that can be updated seasonally.
That means that everything can be mixed and matched so you can get a lot of different outfits from a few pieces of clothing. This is great for kids so they can learn that they really don’t need to have a ton of clothing to be happy with what they wear.
That’s an important lesson for everyone to learn, come to think of it.
It also drastically reduces the amount of laundry that needs to be done, especially if you teach them that you don’t need to wash it if it’s not dirty (and if you learn that yourself).
Creating a capsule wardrobe for kids is much like creating one for yourself, only you’ll need to get the input of someone else before you make the final decisions.
Here’s how our family does it:
1. Make a list of what they need, with their input
What shirts, shoes, outerwear, pants, etc. do you think they need? What shirts, shoes, outerwear, pants, etc. do they think they need?
While creating a capsule wardrobe is a great way to help you keep their clothing under control, your kids also need a say in this and if they think they need more or less of something, let them try it.
You can always keep the few items you think they might need in case they end up needing it. And if they don’t? Awesome. Give it away. (Or better yet, send it to Schoola and earn money for local schools.)
2. Take note of what they love (and hate) to wear
I can’t tell you how much clothing we’ve picked up for our kids over the years that they never wore. Yes, I thought they needed it and it looked great on them, but they just didn’t love it.
Think about what they gravitate toward the most and be sure to incorporate those pieces into their capsule wardrobe.
3. Incorporate their favorite colors and patterns
Do your kids gravitate toward a certain color or pattern? I know mine do. Each child has their own color they love and gravitate toward clothes of the same color (thank you, Boxcar Children). Which makes for some interesting outfits …
Their capsule wardrobes incorporate a lot of that color. Which I’ve had to learn to do over the years, because I used to fill their closets with my favorite colors – dark blue, grey and black. But I still make sure there are plenty of neutral pieces in there to go with all the purple, pink, green or blue.
4. Be aware of special reasons why they might need extras
Do they have dance lessons or soccer practice (and do they really need multiple items of the same stuff?) that require special clothing items? Or do you have a little guy learning how to use the toilet who frequently has accidents?
There are definitely special circumstances for keeping extra stuff, but don’t let that be an excuse to keep way more than is necessary.
5. Pull it all together (and get rid of the rest)
Now it’s time to go through their clothes and pull everything together that’s on the list. As you go through their stuff, pull out anything that’s too stained or damaged beyond repair, especially if it wasn’t on the list.
If you notice that they don’t have something that’s on the list, make a note – I have an ongoing clothing needs note on my iPhone for each kid.
Once you do that, get rid of the other stuff immediately, lest it sit in your garage for the next nine months. That never happens to me …
I recommend registering for Schoola and sending the clothes there (they send you the mailer with pre-paid postage) if you’re not sure what to do with them.
6. Go shopping
I’m not a big fan of shopping – it drains me. But when I have a list in hand of exactly what I need, I’m much more likely to enjoy it because I can go, find what I need and be done with it.
I like to check thrift stores, consignment shops and and Schoola before I go with new stuff. Actually, I go through the bin of hand-me-downs first to make sure it’s not there (can’t beat free!).
And last, but not least, don’t stress if you don’t get it perfect the first time. Or third time. Or seventh time. Kids are always changing.
Just do your best and try to make it as fun as possible.