Inside: Creating a capsule wardrobe for kids is not as complicated and rigid as it sounds. This post is for those with overstuffed kids’ closets, novice minimalists and the not so minimalist looking to simplify their laundry situation.
“I have tons of stuff, but none of the right stuff.“
This was the fed-up message I received from a reader a few weeks back. I could feel her frustration and overwhelm right through my phone. I knew exactly how she was feeling because it’s how I lived for the majority of my 30 something years.
Minimalism changed everything around here.
Capsule Wardrobe for Kids
However, there was one area that just constantly seemed to get the best of me. Kids’ clothes!
While we had let go of a lot and I did notice a decrease in how often I was doing laundry, it just never felt as simplified as the rest of my home. I had heard about the concept of creating a capsule wardrobe for kids, but never, ever thought it was a realistic and sustainable long term solution for living, breathing families.
At the time I associated it with high end fashion and a difficulty level that far exceeded my competency as a minimalist. After all, my real life minimalist family would require wider boundaries if we were ever going to make this thing work.
But, I was wrong. I was so wrong. Those misconceptions kept me from tapping into the secret sauce of simplicity.
“Never underestimate the benefits of removing clutter from your kid’s closet.” -Zoe Kim
Just as my minimalism moves and adjusts to fit this often messy life of mine, so can a capsule wardrobe. I began looking at how our family could redefine a capsule wardrobe for our kids and use it to simplify our closets in a way that fit our real life. One that’s far from high end.
Here’s the reality, my friend.
You do not have to be a tried and true minimalist to create a capsule wardrobe for your kids. In fact, I don’t believe you have to be a minimalist at all.
A Capsule Wardrobe vs. a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe
I’ve come to realize there are two kinds of capsule wardrobes.
A capsule wardrobe, is simply when every article of clothing can be mixed, matched and worn together. Think of this as theming your wardrobe.
A minimalist capsule wardrobe is just a smaller version of a capsule wardrobe. Here, is where you pare down the quantity of items in your closet.
Making this distinction was a game changer as we started transitioning from overstuffed closets to kids’ capsule wardrobes.
When shifting toward simplified kids closet, start by first creating a capsule wardrobe and then later, decide how minimalist you want to take it.
This shift in thinking will allow you to filter what stays, what goes and what you purchase in the future. Then later, if you choose to, it will assist you in paring down how many items of clothing you own all together.
Let’s unravel four common misconceptions about capsule wardrobes so you can create a sustainable system in your own home.
Myth #1. I Must First Decide How Many Articles of Clothing Each Child Needs.
I thought building a simple capsule wardrobe meant I first needed to figure out exactly how many pairs of pants each child needed.
However, as you begin, ignore the numbers all together!
The purpose of a capsule wardrobe is to simplify your life, not micromanage inventory.
A small wardrobe is not a requirement for building a capsule wardrobe. In theory you can make your capsule as large you want.
Theme Your Wardrobe
Instead, of counting pants and shirts, focus your effort on creating a theme. I’m not talking about airplane, princess or super hero themed clothing. I’m talking about a style, a base color or even a favorite shirt as a starting point.
No matter how many times I “decluttered” my kids’ closets or what I let go of, I was always left staring at a hodgepodge of mismatched clothing that soon became clutter again.
While I do, at this point, keep minimalist capsule wardrobes for my kids, it’s not where I started.
The theme I chose for my girls’ closet is one I like to call, “black legging chic.”
Now of course I just added the word chic to make it sound more exciting, as chic would never be used to describe anything in my home, especially my kid’s stuff.
I themed each of my daughters’ capsule wardrobes around black leggings. This means every shirt, sweater, shoe, coat, hair accessory and sweatshirt I keep or purchase from now on will match black leggings. Those same shirts also match her jeans and jeggings, making every shirt match every pant. Boom!
A simple first step would be to make it a rule to never purchase any article of clothing that only matches the item it comes with. This change alone will simplify your closets and help streamline your laundry situation.
Myth #2. I’ll Need to Start Shopping at Higher End Stores.
Yes, there is something to be said about buying higher quality clothing. But the fact of the matter is, I’m just one doctor’s office sticker stuck to a “high quality” shirt through the washing machine away, from it then becoming junk.
Besides, I prefer to buy my kids’ clothes at garage sales. Minimalism hasn’t changed that.
You can create a capsule wardrobe no matter where your children’s clothes come from! I prefer to buy mine at garage sales. Minimalism hasn’t changed that.
You don’t need to start from scratch or buy high end clothing in order to simplify your closets. Whether you shop at second hand stores, high end boutiques, chain retail stores or you opt to garage sale like a boss, you can still create a simple capsule wardrobe for your kids.
Myth #3. My Kids Won’t be Able to Wear What They Love.
I thought I’d have to force my son into skinny jeans, pop his collar and take away all his running pants. I believed my littlest’s Moana t-shirt would have to go because surely there’s no room for Disney characters in a perfect minimalist closet.
Pinterest is loaded with examples of super trendy capsule wardrobe ideas, but this family just isn’t so trendy. I assumed creating one would mean we’d have to become something we aren’t.
Our capsule wardrobe works because we chose a theme that fits our real life. A life that has us loving shirts reminding us to be brave and loaded with Star Wars characters. I still give my kids a say in what they wear. We just have firmer boundaries when it comes to colors.
You don’t have to adapt to the latest trends or purchase only solid colored shirts. The only real requirement here is that you become intentional with what you purchase and honest with yourself about what they truly need.
Myth #4. My Capsule Won’t Be Complete Until I Purchase a Few Missing Staples.
Creating a capsule wardrobe for my kiddos always felt like a daunting and costly task. I thought I’d have to start by hitting the stores in order to pull off a capsuled look.
It’s ok to shift slowly! Wait for a growth spurt or seasonal change when it comes to buying new.
I realized my daughters really only need one pair of dress shoes, but at the time we owned a bazillion. Each one matched a different dress. Instead of searching for a mystical, magical pair of shoes to match them all, I waited. Instead of forcing out the dresses she loved to reach a specific number of items, I waited.
When creating a child’s capsule wardrobe and decluttering their closet, a growth spurt is your best friend.
Play the long game. We can best transform our homes by changing the way we purchase and accumulate going forward.
Friend, theming your kids’ closets offers freedom. It’s the simplest way to streamline the monotony of managing their clothing so you can get back to doing the things you love.
It will significantly reduce your mental load and simplify household chores.
Creating a capsule wardrobe for your kids doesn’t have to be intimidating. It isn’t an advanced concept, reserved for “next level” minimalists. It’s simply putting the right boundaries in place so you can begin to own the right things to compliment your real life.
Have you created a capsule wardrobe for your kids or maybe even a minimalist capsule wardrobe for your kids?
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