You may have heard the term “capsule wardrobe” floating around a lot lately, especially if you are into minimalist fashion. For those of you unfamiliar with the trend, it’s essentially making a commitment to owning only enough clothing to fit into a small box (yikes! But bear with me). Many people, myself included, are drawn to this method of wardrobe maintenance because it saves money, space, and time.
- You save money by investing in classic, timeless pieces which you can wear in any season for as long as the clothing is in wearable condition. This means no shopping for a whole new wardrobe because everything in your closet is “so last year.”
- A capsule wardrobe saves space in your closet, home, or room, because every item you own is classic and therefore interchangeable with the other pieces in your wardrobe for multiple styling options. A black pair of jeans looks equally great with any classic, neutral colored top (think grey, white, beige, etc…) so you don’t need to own 10 different shirts for 10 different looks.
- By adopting a capsule wardrobe, you will also save time, oh so valuable time (esp. if you are a parent of small children). Since all of your timeless pieces are easy to coordinate, you can literally walk into your closet and grab clothing blindly to put on in a hurry and it will ALWAYS look great.
STARTING A TODDLER CAPSULE WARDROBE
OK. I can already hear the gears turning in your head. You’re probably asking yourself something like “this sounds awesome for me, but how the heck would this work for a toddler!?” Babies and toddlers grow so fast it seems like the moment that cute onsie your mom gifted you fits, you’re already needing to buy the next size larger because of a growth spurt. Babies really do grow an inch(es) overnight, y’all.
So wouldn’t it be impossible to save money by re-using clothes?
Yes and no.
It’s impossible in the sense that you physically cannot fit a one year old wearing 12 month clothes into a size 3 month onsie. It is possible if you do one or both of two things:
- Save the clothes for baby number 2 (or 3 or 4). If you are buying cute gender neutral clothes, you’ll be able to give new life to those pieces, thus saving a bunch of money by dressing your subsequent children in the same clothes. Since babies do grow so fast, the clothes will most likely still be in “like new” condition. If there are any horrific stains, there are a ton of great stain removing cleaners to revitalize those adorable outfits. Personally, I’ve saved all of my son Ezra’s clothes, newborn to present (2T) in the hope we will have another child. This means I should spend little to no money on baby number 2’s clothing needs (#win!).
- Use second hand clothing stores for all your child’s fashion needs. Whether you plan on having more children or are a part of the “one and done” club, this strategy will save you a lot of money. It’s unfortunate, but clothing resale stores get a bad rap. Shopping secondhand can conjure up images of tattered, worn out clothing that maybe isn’t hygienic, but I’m here to tell you this is absolutely not the case AT ALL. Remember in the previous section where I said babies grow really fast? Well, because of this wonderful fact, most clothes at resale shops are good quality and practically brand new. I recently found an entire Lucky Brand outfit, size 2T, for $10 dollars. It still had the original tags on it and everything (say what!?). Regular price would have cost me around $70, I kid you not. (Price comparison here , and here ). Plus, you can resale what your children grow out of for extra cash. It’s a win, win situation.
Ok, but how would a toddler capsule wardrobe save space? Babies and toddlers are MESSY and sometimes go through 2 or more outfits a day!
I wish I knew a magic formula to share with you on how to avoid multiple outfit changes a day, but unfortunately there just isn’t one. It’s a fact of life: Babies, toddlers, and children are messy. We might as well embrace the spit-up, mud, and mysterious sticky goop in all its glory. With that said, there are strategies to avoid and manage clutter and it all starts with a little bit of organization.
The good thing about small children is just that: they are small. If you make sure to only buy what your child needs, their clothing shouldn’t take up more than a drawer or two.
I must confess, in the beginning this was something I struggled with A LOT. I’d have a million cute onsies, but not enough pants. Or some variation of that. It was a struggle to learn to avoid the baby clothing sections of stores, because I’d ultimately leave with a few shirts (they were on sale!). However, once I started planning out my child’s outfits based on how many articles of clothing he goes through in a day, I was able to curb my shopping urges and save space in his room.
SO LET’S DO A QUICK RECAP
Time is something all mother’s crave. Whether you work a full-time job or stay home to care for your children, the demands of day to day life always seem to leave us wishing for those few extra cuddle moments with our little ones. A toddler capsule wardrobe is just one strategy out of many to help maximize our time with our children.
- We save money by reusing clothing with our future children, or by shopping secondhand when possible, thus freeing up extra cash for family activities or lightening the pressure to work to pay for so much clothing.
- It’s a well known fact babies look cute no matter what they are wearing, but making sure there is an adequate and equal number of pants to onsies will ensure you never struggle dressing your toddler + it reduces time spent doing laundry to compensate for the uneven number of clothing pieces.
What about you? Do you struggle finding balance with your toddler’s over-cluttered closet? Is a toddler capsule wardrobe something you think you’d try/is even feasible?
Kristin Moras is a newbie organic gardener and simplicity seeker. She created her blog, The Mulberry Patch along with the help of her techie husband David to connect people to simple, sustainable, and eco-conscious options for living a slower life in a fast-paced world.