Kids Capsule Wardrobes

The concept of a capsule wardrobe works particularly well for children, who tend to outgrow their clothes every 3-6 months and need different items depending on the varying seasons. Summer is not yet drawing to a close, but I’m already thinking ahead to what my littles might need for the Fall/Winter season. I’ve compiled some items from my favorite online shops (ThredUp, Old Navy) and put together some sample outfits to show how easy it can be to dress children with intentionally limited apparel.

Tips for Children’s Capsule Wardrobes:

  • Start with what you have – Review your childrens’ existing items to see what might work for the upcoming season (and still fit for the next few months)
  • Work with a palette – This doesn’t have to be super limiting, but I tend to notice that I prefer dressing my children in certain colors that just look good on them. My son tends to stick with reds and blues, and my daughter with pinks and purples. Occasional variations are fun, too, but your capsule wardrobe will mix and match more easily with colors that coordinate.
  • Size up when you can – I tend to buy clothing items a half size or so too big, because you know they will grow into it. And sometimes it means a piece will work for the next season/capsule as well. If it means rolling the sleeves or pant legs for a little while, I’m ok with that because it’s economical!
  • Layering works – Especially for the cool weather season, planning outfits that can be created by layering items gets a lot more wear out of a single piece. Especially for boys, throwing a t-shirt under an open button-down shirt creates a new look with the same pieces.
  • Shoes/Accessories update the outfit – Shoes are one item not worth skimping on. Comfortable footwear that fits appropriately is key for growing kiddos. I like to buy shoes new, even if the rest of the clothing items are purchased gently used, because I don’t want the sole molded to fit someone else’s foot. Plus, changing up which shoes you wear with an outfit can create a totally different look!
  • Do all the laundry… when necessary – With limited clothing items, more loads of laundry may be necessary. At this point, I can still get away with doing laundry twice a week (typically 3 loads each time to account for my clothes, hubby’s clothes and childrens’ clothes). But this also may mean wearing an item more than once before it’s washed. If there are no stains or particular stench, throw it back on the hanger wear it again! I apply this principle with my own wardrobe (especially denim), and it saves on the time and cost of doing laundry.

Young Boy’s Fall Capsule Wardrobe

All items were found on ThredUp, except the shoes, which are from Amazon. The total cost of all items is less than $125! My son is almost 4 years old (in November) and currently wearing 4T/5T shirts, 4T bottoms, and size 10 shoes. I’ve included a selection of both sizes, plus size Youth XS and size 11 shoes in the below items. 

Below is just a sampling of outfits that can be created with these 13 items — but all told, these pieces could create about 50 different outfits when you include layered options!

Toddler Girl’s Fall Capsule Wardrobe

All of these items were found at  I wasn’t finding the right pieces at ThredUp (which is usually my preferred place to shop for children’s clothing online) and Old Navy is a close second. I love the classic stripe and polka dot prints, plus a floral which makes a great basis for the palette of navy + gold + plum. I typically like to put my daughter in leggings with longer tops or dresses, and I really like the peplum/flare style of the tops included below. Very cute. A classic cardigan in a neutral color will go a long way! My little lady is currently in 18-24 months size, and on the petite side, so we’ll probably be able to get by with this size for a little longer before we promote her to 24mos/2T sizes. Currently wearing size 4 shoes, but I see size 5 in the near future!
I only included 10 items in this capsule, although realistically I would end up with more like 15-20 pieces. I typically do laundry twice a week, but toddlers do a great job of getting their clothes messy and sometimes an outfit change is required in a single day.

Fifteen sample outfits are shown below, and that doesn’t even including layering with the cardigan!

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