Capsule Wardrobes for Kids

When we moved into our tiny home 6 months ago, a big thing we had to do was downsize all of our possessions, including our clothing. We did a pretty good job, and we've continued to pare down as we've lived here. The kids had an incredible amount of clothing before we moved in, hand-me-downs, gifts, thrift store finds and dress up outfits filled their dresser and closet to overflowing. I obsessively packed away outgrown clothes and we had 6 rubbermaid totes full from Lulu's first 3 years. 

When I heard about the idea of a capsule wardrobe; a small collection of classic, simple items of clothing that can be worn several different ways in different seasons, I loved the idea for myself but also for our kids. I made a list of what I thought we'd need for each of them and got rid of everything except for the essentials. Since then, we've gone down again to about half of that. 

I did several big loads of laundry and we rearranged their clothing from their dresser to simple baskets under Abram's bed, so I decided to take a few pictures and document what they have now. Of course, after I was done, I found a few other random things lying around, but this is 95% of it. 

When I was going through their clothing the first time, I immediately got rid of anything with cheesy sayings, characters or annoying graphics. The kids weren't attached to any of it and we generally don't buy stuff like that anyway. I tried to keep pieces that were solid colors or simple patterns, things that they could wear together in different combinations. 

I originally kept two pairs of jeans for Lulu, but we recently got rid of those too, since she hasn't worn them once. I can't remember the last time she wore pants - just dresses for our girl! Today, she decided she'd like to donate her skirts too since she really just wants to wear dresses. 

Lulu's favorite dress is this one from Old Navy. I found one at a thrift store for her and she loved it so much that I looked it up and bought her a second one for her birthday. On Black Friday they were on sale again and I bought her two more. I ended up paying around $8 for each of them. She has two solid colored ones and two patterns. She wears them literally everyday.

The two cute tunics are really more for me than her, I think they're adorable and she tolerates them. She has several pairs of leggings, she's very picky with her leggings (the pattern, not texture) and we finally have 5-6 pairs she'll wear, instead of washing the same two pairs daily. Not pictured, but she also has two solid colored cardigans and several scarves that she can wear with any of her dresses. 

I love how easy it is for Lulu to dress herself now, she grabs any pair of leggings, any dress and she's done. I often get compliments on her outfits and I laugh because she dresses herself all the time, and picked out 90% of her clothing herself. 

Lulu has three pairs of fleece jammies and her new pair of Christmas pajamas. When we went through her clothes this time around, I finally got rid of all of her "girl" underwear, since she prefers the "boy" ones. And I don't blame her! Why do they make little girls' underwear cut so that they have a constant wedgie? Not to mention, the boy pairs have nice thick waistbands and are almost always made of thicker, more comfortable material. 

Abram has little to no preference when it comes to clothing, except that pink squirrel shirt you see in the pile. It's a hand-me-down from Lulu and he thinks it's great. The ruffled cap-sleeves do really look nice on him. The last time he wore it someone asked him "Is that a GIRL shirt!?" to which he responded, "Yep, it's my squirrel shirt!". I was relieved. 

Abram has 4 t-shirts (actually, 5, I found one afterwards), 4 button up shirts and 4 pairs of pants (3 jeans and one dressier pair). He occasionally borrows leggings from Lulu as well. 

Most of their clothing is from thrift or consignment stores, but I have found that since I've started capsule wardrobes for them, I've been buying a few more things new. Sometimes it's just easier when I have something specific I'm looking for, ie: a solid colored stretchy dress for Lulu vs. clothes for Lulu. While it is more expensive (sometimes) to buy things new, I feel like I'm saving money in the long run since I used to buy a lot more for them when I bought it second hand. 

Abram was wearing a pair of fleece jammies when I took this picture, so he has 3 pairs as well. We could easily get rid of a pair of them, but the kids love their pajamas and we have the space, so I haven't bothered. I keep all of the socks in Abram's basket because if I split them up between them, Lulu is convinced that whichever socks were in her basket are hers forever, even though they share them all. It cuts down on the drama to keep them in Abram's basket. He also has a darling pair of suspenders that he hates more than anything. I'll probably get rid of them since it just isn't worth the fight to get him to wear them. I got a cute picture the last time I forced him, so that's probably all I can hope for. 

Abram has a couple sweaters that aren't kept in the baskets and Lulu has a special drawer with some ballet clothes and a princess dress. Other than that, this is really everything they own. If they outgrow something or just don't wear it, I replace it with a similar item. We avoid any arguments about clothing and Lulu is totally happy with every item she owns, Abram doesn't care but I will keep the things that I know he likes until he outgrows them. 

Another change is that I no longer save clothing. I have realized that a) I'll probably forget about it and buy new stuff anyway and b) my kids (and I) have different tastes from year to year and probably won't like whatever we did the year before. Instead, I donate, pass on or consign everything as soon as we decide we're done with it. When we did our first initial huge purge, I brought tons of stuff to consignment and I'm still using the credit we earned! 

Austin and I have capsule wardrobes as well and I'll probably post about them one day too, if we ever get them organized!