We recently switched to capsule wardrobes for our kids and will never look back! This minimalist wardrobe method has greatly simplified our lives. We love it and our kids love it too! (Specifics on all of the items we chose at the bottom of the post.)
Here’s why I’m so excited!
What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe, if you haven’t seen them all over social media, is an intentional wardrobe method. It contains clothing that can all coordinate. Typically, capsule wardrobes are also minimalist wardrobes because they contain only what is necessary and little if anything else.
This is especially great for kids because:
- Fewer choices means everything coordinates so picking outfits is easier.
- There is much less to clean, fold, and put away so room cleaning is easier.
- Less clothing means less laundry.
How to Plan A Girls’ Capsule Wardrobe
Planning is everything when it comes to a girls’ capsule wardrobe. Spending more time planning saves time, money, and stress with the finished wardrobe. Interestingly, after tracking it, I was able to save money with our new capsule wardrobes, even buying many items new, over buying mismatched items secondhand.
Here are some things to take into account when planning a girls’ capsule wardrobe (see how to plan a capsule wardrobe for boys here):
Kids often tend to pick clothes in their favorite colors so I built their wardrobes around it. I let them pick two main colors that don’t clash and then add in a third accent color. Everything else is in neutral colors like gray and black or denim.
Our girls often pick color palettes that include pinks, greens, aquas, or purples. Really any colors can work though as long as the two main ones don’t clash. All of my kids, but especially the girls, have really liked the process of switching to a capsule wardrobe. I find that they take better care of their clothing and they don’t seem to miss all the extras at all!
Favorite Clothes and Styles
I would wear jeans every day, but a couple of my girls hate them and only wear them if it is cold out or if camping. I built in wardrobe options that included leggings and comfy shorts and they almost always choose these.
My kids also typically all prefer simple styles like basic t-shirts and tanks without prints on them. I love the simplicity and often order several colors of the same shirt once they find one they love. My go-to for this is Primary, which offers simple clothing items in a wide variety of colors. TIP: Use this affiliate link to save 20% if you are a new customer.
Girls’ Capsule Wardrobe List for Spring + Summer
Once you have a color palette and rough idea of styles, it really helps to make a master list for your girls’ capsule wardrobe. I combine Spring/Summer into one wardrobe and Fall/Winter into a second one. The wardrobe list for Spring and Summer includes:
- 10-12 shirts
- 2 pairs of jeans
- 2-3 pairs leggings
- 4+ pairs of shorts
- 1 pair of tumbling shorts to wear under dresses
- 2-4 dresses
- 1-2 skirts
- 2-3 swimsuits
- 2 pairs of pajamas
- 6 pairs of socks
- underwear and undershirts
- sandals (1 pair)
- sneakers (1 pair)
- slip on shoes (1 pair)
- dress shoes (if none of the above shoes can work for dressier outfits)
Online Places to Buy Girls’ Capsule Wardrobe Clothes (+ Discounts)
I often try to find as many items as I can from consignment stores. Any items I can’t find there, I buy from three online places where I can always find discounts:
- Primary: My current favorite online store for minimalist kids’ wardrobes. They carry high quality staples in solid colors that are easy to coordinate. They have pretty good prices and were perfect for solid color shirts, shorts, leggings, etc. TIP: Use this affiliate link and the code “AFF25PCT” to get 25% off and free shipping on a first order.
- Hanna Andersson: More expensive than Primary but I love that they have organic clothes for many items. Their leggings last forever and my girls love their jeggings over regular jeans. I get underwear, undershirts, and PJs for all of the kids here since this reduces their exposure to non-organic clothing by at least half. I also get girls’ swimsuits and jeggings here. Their clothes last a long time and can be passed down. TIP: Use the code “SPLASH15” on a first order to get 15% off through May 7.
- Thred Up: An online secondhand store that is searchable. I’ve found great deals on some name brands on this website. This link will give you a $10 discount on your first order.
Specifics of Our Girls’ Capsule Wardrobes
As I said, I stuck to the basics this year and chose colors and styles that the kids actually like to wear:
All of the basic shirts for this year’s wardrobe came from Primary. These are all skinny t-shirts from Primary and the colors are (left to right): slate gray, raspberry, heather gray, pool and petal.
Top row from left to right: plaid shorts from consignment, green shorts from Thred Up, black gym shorts from Primary, jeggings from Hanna Andersson, black and gray livable leggings from Hanna Andersson.
Bottom row: Primary heather gray tumble shorts, Hanna Andersson organic undershirts, Hanna Andersson organic underwear, Primary heather gray tank, Primary mint tank, gold-toe ankle socks.
Left to right: Primary reversible dress in raspberry/red, primary black skirt, Matilda Jane dress (from a friend’s party), Primary short PJs in raspberry (they also have a set of organic longer ones from Hanna Andersson), Primary cardigan in heather gray.
- Dresses: The girls each had a couple more dresses in coordinating colors that aren’t pictured. I got these at a local secondhand store. I tried to pick versatile and well-made dresses that could work for church or everyday wear.
- Swimsuits: The girls each have 3 swimsuits since we swim a lot in the summer. They are all from Hanna Andersson as these seem to be the most heavy duty by far and I like their cuts and styles. TIP: Wait for a sale to get swimwear … they run one at least once a month.
- Underwear: They obviously each have more than three pairs of underwear. To simplify things, I ordered different patterns of Hanna Andersson organic underwear for each of them. One has solid colors, one has stripes, and one has dots. These all three came in several colors so they have a variety but know which are theirs.
- Sweaters: They also each have a thick sweater that we bought from a local place when visiting friends in Canada. These have enough grow room to be part of their wardrobes for several seasons and they wear these on cool nights in the spring.
- Outerwear: I didn’t count wetsuits, camping camo, or special occasion dresses in their basic wardrobe.
System for Matching and Hand-Me-Downs
With a few girls in a row who like to match, I’ve found I can easily hand down any high quality clothing and have them match for several years. This is another reason I’m willing to buy new items from quality companies. To simplify the process of sorting their clothes, I use a dot system. Here’s how it works:
- Each child is assigned a number of dots. The oldest gets one dot, the second oldest gets two dots, etc.
- First, I put this dot with a permanent marker on the collar or tag of the shirt where it won’t show from the outside.
- When they are sorting, they each know to look for their number of dots.
- Then, when the oldest outgrows an item, I add another dot and it becomes the second child’s clothes.
- There is a separate dot system for boys and girls since their clothes don’t really overlap. So the oldest boy and girl each get one dot, etc.
A Girls’ Capsule Wardrobe: Bottom Line
The beauty of a girls’ capsule wardrobe (or one for boys) is that it *should* reduce stress and laundry. This is the system that works for our family and I love it. I’d had enough friends ask about it that I decided to share. This exact system will certainly not work for every child or family.
If the mere idea of trying to do a capsule wardrobe stresses you out … don’t do it! Or just pull a couple useful tips that work with your routine.
One of the reasons this system works so well for our family is that I already have to do laundry more than once a week because of the number of people in our house and the amount of laundry they all create. Find a system that works for your family, and hopefully some parts of my system will be helpful to you in figuring out yours. Also, if you use any of the places I mentioned, make sure to use the discount codes!
Your turn! Any great tips to share for how you handle kids’ clothes in your home?