A Guide to The Toddler Capsule Wardrobe

A Guide to The Toddler Capsule Wardrobe

Ahh, the Perfect Toddler Capsule Wardrobe Does such a thing really exist? Honestly, I couldn’t tell ya. BUT what I can say for sure is that it can be extremely fun, special, and convenient to create one. And I'm gonna let you in on a little secret, it's also pretty dang easy once you know where to start. So never fear! I've put together this simple guide (with examples photos!) to help you start building your kiddo's dreamy little wardrobe. 

In case this idea is new to you, the term capsule wardrobe refers to a small collection of classic, often neutral pieces that are meant to live in harmony, allowing for a multitude of outfit combinations without the overwhelm of an overstuffed, hodgepodge closet. In the end, a capsule wardrobe should allow you to feel a sense of organization and peace as well as the ability to “throw something on” your toddler in no time and say to yourself, “I wish I had that in my size”.  A side note—and this is especially true for children—capsule wardrobes need not be neutral as the definitions often state. As long as the pieces you choose mix and match well, you've understood the assignment. Patterns can be tricky and intimidating, but finding a good balance between neutrals and patterns or, better yet, two patterns that complement each other in surprising ways, is really quite satisfying. 

Now let's face the biggest, most obvious challenge when creating capsule wardrobes for kids. Our babies tend to grow. And grow and grow and grow. (They really weren't lying when they said time flies!) So, my biggest tip here is to choose pre-loved as often as possible. I find that although it may take slightly longer to find what I'm looking for, I am still most often able to find new or like-new clothing and the pieces are much less expensive. I also find a lot of vintage items, making my kid's wardrobe a bit more unique and sweet. All of that being said, there are certain pieces, like knit sweaters, that I am willing to spend more money on because I know they will be worn frequently throughout the year and I'm looking for great quality and durability. Like me, you may choose to “splurge” on any of the pieces you feel are most important to your capsule, but it’s certainly not necessary when shopping for a toddler. Another aspect I personally find beneficial when buying second-hand is that I am not directly supporting big brands whose design I might adore, but their business practices...eh, not so much *ahem, Zara*. Apps like Etsy, Kidizen, Poshmark, and Mercari as well Ebay have endless amounts of amazing children's clothing. I always start by searching in these places before buying new and if I don’t have luck, I move on to shopping other small businesses.

Now onto the meat and potatoes. You can plan to stretch your wardrobe across about 1 year based on the rate of growth we’re dealing with. (Did I mention they grow up fast?) The number of items you choose to include is up to you—the purpose is ultimately to make the amount of clothing feel manageable to you and for each piece to be beloved. Below is a list that will guide you if you’re just starting out or if you’re looking to cut back on what you already own.

What To Include In Your Toddler's Capsule Wardrobe

  • 2 hats/beanies
  • 3 pairs of shoes
  • 3-5 quality pairs of socks
  • 2 graphic tees
  • 2 pairs of sweatpants/harem pants
  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 hoodies/crewnecks
  • 1 chunky knit sweater
  • 1 knit cardigan
  • 1 pair of overalls/coveralls

To give you an example of how versatile a small closet can be, I’ve created 10 outfit combinations based on just 12 different pieces of clothing, and there were SO. MANY. OTHERS! I could have whipped up. Creating a capsule wardrobe can be such a fun use of problem solving and creativity skills and it truly makes the clothes our kids wear all the more special. Take a look at these combos and let me know what you think! Then tag @shopnordbo on Instagram when you've curated your tiny capsule wardrobe. Talk soon!

Where to find these items:

Beanie: Good's Goods Store (Etsy)

Ribbed sweater: Nordbo Woolly Pullover

Chunky knit sweater: Goumi

Hoodie: Nordbo Old School Hoodie

Overalls: Nordbo Woolly Dungarees

Graphic tee: Top Shelf Vintage Co (Etsy)

Long sleeve tee: OMAMImini

Black leggings: Daniel's Threadz (Etsy)

Ribbed leggings: Jamie Kay Organic Essential Leggings - Oatmeal Marle

Lightwash jeans: Vintage Levi's - search the apps!

Rain boots**: Zara (We have black Kuling rain boots and love them!)

Tennis shoes**: Nike

**I search for shoes on the apps before buying new and I usually find what I'm looking for.

P.S. Thanks to Heather for starting this conversation! ☺

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