Twin Cities Mom Collective

Creating a summer capsule wardrobe for my toddler and baby

One of the things I have realized since becoming a mother almost three years ago is the power of systems. Keeping things simple, streamlined, and organized has always felt good to me, but once I added in one then two children it became a way of life that I sought out often. Not everyone loves schedules or predictability, but I thrive on it, and I believe my family does as well. Everyone knows children grow out of clothing quickly and are hard on what they wear. Plus, we all want to look our best. After being curious about the concept of capsule wardrobes for a few years, I finally dove in last year with the birth of my son and have not looked back since. This summer presented a fun challenge of creating a capsule wardrobe for my nearly three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.

I sometimes like to say that my favorite hobby is baby clothing because I love children’s fashion. In high school I wanted to attend Parsons School of Design in New York City, but that dream never came to fruition. As a photographer and someone who appreciates design, I am drawn to children’s fashion and find joy in expressing personal style through it. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the item is gifted, vintage, thrifted, or boutique purchased, I believe clothing should be enjoyable and functional.

Putting together the capsule for Priscilla and Langston felt pretty seamless. I started by making a list of what was needed. I go through our baby clothes often and had pulled what might work from last summer from Cilla’s stash. Today we own a much higher volume of clothing than our great-grandparents did, most of this due to our addiction to fast fashion. I try my best to avoid poor quality items that won’t last, and I am always going to do my best to support smaller shops. This obviously isn’t possible for all families, but since we are able to, we do. Since I started this capsule wardrobe journey, one of the unexpected perks has been recognizing how high-quality garments and better fabrics wear and wash better. Stains come out of linen and cotton much easier than polyester. The customer service at smaller shops is excellent, and the clothing seem to truly wear and last much longer.

Numbers wise I landed on a few pair of shorts for Cilla, three tops, four dresses, and two skirts. I chose one pair of sandals that are leather and well made. I figured she’d wear those all summer and that has certainly been the case thus far. For Langston, I purchased a few onesies to mix and match with two pairs of shorts, one pair that matches an existing top, and then a few pairs of bibs (knit and classic overall). We repeat outfits weekly, and sometimes I needed do laundry twice instead of my usual once a week, but the result is a much smoother life.

The perk is that the clothing I’ve purchased for LJ and Cilla are pieces that I love, will hopefully pass down, and that coordinate well with each other. I chose a simple pallet of blues, whites, creams, and some yellows. Since everything can be mixed and matched and goes nicely with each other I can allow my nearly three-year-old the autonomy of choosing her clothing. Mornings may still be hectic, but they aren’t as much of a battle. I truly thrive off the simplicity and ease of capsule wardrobes and plan to do this each season going forward.

Summers here seem so fleeting, special, and full of important memories. I didn’t want to spend hours shopping, or feeling overwhelmed by laundry or the amount of options. Creating a capsule wardrobe for my kids has made our daily routine just a bit more freeing, and for that I am grateful.

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