person folding clothes for a toddler girl's capsule wardrobe

How to Build a Complete Capsule Wardrobe for Your Toddler: Simplify Every Morning and Save Money

It’s morning and your family is in a rush to get out the door. Again. Your toddler comes running down the steps in yesterday’s stained striped top and plaid shorts. There’s no time to change your toddler into something more suitable. You just chalk this up to #momlife.

But this doesn’t have to be the case! How do I know? This situation was pulled from my own personal experience. Finally, I had enough and researched how to simplify mornings. One idea that stuck out to me was a capsule wardrobe. For my toddler. MIND BLOWN!

When it comes to the growth and development of your toddler, a capsule wardrobe can have many benefits.

Here are my favorite tips and ways to create and use a capsule wardrobe with your toddler.

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What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a simplified wardrobe that contains a few essential pieces. These pieces can be easily mixed and matched together. Thus, you can save time and money!

By creating a capsule wardrobe, you have a few building blocks that will make a complete wardrobe. This will allow you to create countless outfits out of a smaller quantity of clothes.

When it comes to deciding whether or not a piece of clothing will fit in a capsule wardrobe, think about versatility. Ideally, each piece of clothing can be worn with at least 2 other clothing items. For example, a pink floral top can be matched to solid navy pants and a white skirt.

There will be some exceptions of course, including for formal wear.

Overall, a capsule wardrobe will help simplify your toddler’s choices on what to wear.

organized toddler's closet with capsule wardrobe

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

List the Essentials

So how do you go about building a capsule wardrobe for your child? First, make a list of essentials and estimated number you will need. Your list of essentials will depend on certain things, such as:

  • What activities is your child involved in and/or enjoy?
  • What seasons and weather do you experience?
  • Does your child need a winter coat or a snowsuit?
  • What about athletics? Is there a required uniform?

Sort and Declutter Current Items

Next, sort through your child’s current clothes. Clear out what no longer fits, is out of season,  or has stains. Consider whether the item is in good enough condition to resell or donate.

If there are clothes that are too large, store them in a bin for later use. Just don’t forget about them for next season’s capsule wardrobe!

A capsule wardrobe can increase your toddler’s independence, save you money, and simplify laundry.

Make Inventory of What Your Child Already Has

Next, take a look at the array of current clothes your child has. Do they have too many t-shirts, or too few? Are there not enough light-colored bottoms to match those darker tops?

Fill in the Blanks

Finally, cross-check your toddler’s current clothes with the list of needed items you made earlier. What essentials do you already have? What do you still need to locate or buy?

At this stage, it can be beneficial to go through the remaining clothing alongside your child. Which items do they particularly love? Are there any that they loathe? Is there a color scheme that’s starting to emerge?

Use this information to help you choose and purchase items that are missing from your toddler’s capsule wardrobe. See our favorite stores to complete a capsule wardrobe below.

person folding clothes for a toddler boy's capsule wardrobe

Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe for Toddlers

After building a capsule wardrobe for my own toddler, I have seen the many benefits it can have. Not only can a capsule wardrobe be good for your toddler, but also for you and your wallet!

Teach Your Child to Dress Themselves

One of the biggest benefits of a capsule wardrobe is the way it teaches your child to dress themselves.

Generally, children between the ages of 1-3 are considered toddlers. According to the New Mexico State University, children are not expected to be able to fully dress themselves unassisted until the age of 5.

By the time a child is age 3, they are expected to be able to dress themselves with some help. But, they still have some trouble distinguishing left from right.

A capsule wardrobe can help your toddler become familiar with specific types of clothes. “Pants go over your legs, not on your head!” 🤣

Also, if your toddler dresses themselves from a capsule wardrobe, you can roll the dice that their outfit will most likely match. This is because there are limited options from which your toddler can choose. What a great way to increase your toddler’s independence!

toddler trying to dress himself with capsule wardrobe

Save Money

Additionally, a capsule wardrobe should help you stay within a clothing budget. You’ll have to get out of the habit of buying clothes on a whim! But your wallet will thank you.

You’ll rest easy knowing that your toddler has all the clothes they need to last an entire season.  Unless your toddler has a sudden growth spurt!

Furthermore, having fewer clothes means that you know exactly what you have and what you don’t. You won’t have those black pants tucked away in a closet, lost for months. This leads to overbuying black pants. Then you’ll have 5 pairs of black pants that are exactly the same. 😲

See my tips below on why buying quality over quantity will save you even more money.

Simplify Laundry

Are you ready to simplify your laundry too?! A capsule wardrobe can do that!

A capsule wardrobe means fewer clothes. This means less sorting and fewer items to put away. You will no longer be drowned in 20 bajillion socks that do not have a partner and 15 white tops that somehow accumulated.

Worried about washing the clothes more often? This is when the tip for buying quality over quantity comes into play. And this is why we buy clothes from certain stores. These clothes withstand multiple washings and are still in great condition for the next child!

simplify laundry days with a capsule wardrobe for toddlers

Tips for Building a Capsule Wardrobe for Toddlers

We have built a capsule wardrobe for our toddler over many seasons. Here are the tips that we have identified for building a successful capsule wardrobe.

Choose Quality over Quantity

When buying clothes for your toddler, it’s easy to get sucked into buying all of the cute things! But the idea behind a capsule wardrobe is that it should last your child as long as they are this size (cue the tears).

With longevity in mind, choose quality clothing over quantity. If quality is less than desired, you spend more money in the long run by replacing items as they wear out faster. You want these clothes to last a long time – so those younger siblings can have some hand-me-downs! 😜

Shop for Basics

Yes, there will always be fads when it comes to clothing. Your toddler may be super into a TV show and want all their clothes to have those characters. Currently, my toddler wants everything Iron Man when last week it was Spiderman. Can you relate?

While there’s nothing wrong with getting some character clothing, it’s okay in small doses. Aim for building the rest of the capsule wardrobe with lots of basics. Basic tops and pants offer the most flexibility.

But, basic doesn’t mean boring! Toddler capsule wardrobes can still have patterns and interesting designs. For example, instead of a plain white tee for a toddler girl, opt for a flowy white tank top with lace details!

capsule wardrobe for toddlers with basic tops on hangers in closet

Favorite Store Picks for Toddler Clothing

When designing a capsule wardrobe, it’s important to focus on flexibility and quality. Here are some of my favorite children’s clothing stores:

  • – perfect for solids and basic pieces. Their clothes have no tags or slogans, perfect for mixing and matching! Get 20% off your first order and free shipping by clicking here and using code AFF20PCT!
  • Hanna Andersson – offers sets of leggings with dresses, as well as bodysuits and pant sets as well
  • Old Navy and Target – offers simple staples and great basic building blocks

These stores offer kids-specific clothing sections for easy viewing and shopping.

Optimize with a Capsule Wardrobe

Converting your toddler to a capsule wardrobe can be a wonderful thing. You can optimize mornings, save money, and simplify laundry. Now you have time to enjoy your hot (gasp) coffee and meal plan in peace. It can even help spur your child’s creativity! Imagine how much fun they would have in choosing an outfit to wear and matching items.

Better yet, it can help inspire independence! Your toddler can start dressing alone, picking out choices, and putting laundry away! Get started with a capsule wardrobe system today by following the steps above.

Does your toddler have a capsule wardrobe? Would you consider building one to simplify your mornings?

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