I can’t believe my daughter is turning one tomorrow and I will have two toddlers. Plus, it officially feels like winter in Los Angeles so I’ve spent the past few weeks working on her winter toddler capsule wardrobe, documenting the process and now I’m ready to share it!
Why Curate a Toddler Capsule Wardrobe?
I’ve personally been wearing a capsule wardrobe of about 30-40 pieces for five years and can sing its praises high and low--less stress getting dressed, less laundry to do and put away, better for the environment. So when I had children, I applied the capsule wardrobe approach to my kids; I’ve done an infant capsule wardrobe for my son and daughter and a toddler capsule wardrobe for my son and now my daughter.
What do I mean by "a realistic toddler capsule wardrobe"? Too many capsule wardrobe guides for toddlers include about 15-18 pieces total (one I found had 18 pieces total, four of which were shoes and one of which were sunglasses). Other than that, they include only 3-4 shirts, 3-4 pants and 3 pajamas and assume that parents will do laundry every day. That is so not me or any other working mom or dad I know. I am able to do laundry on one day a week, two if I’m lucky, and my kids’ clothes need to last until laundry day.
On top of that, toddlers are messy humans. They get food everywhere, they find and play with water any chance they get, they pee or poop through their clothes. In our house, my younger toddler goes through about 3 outfits a day plus pajamas. My older toddler is good with one outfit a day, sometimes two if we go on adventure to the dog park or beach, and a pair of pajamas. We are potty training our son and he’s been doing amazing but we’ve still allotted him two pants per day just in case.
Let’s do the math for my one year old’s capsule wardrobe: 3 outfits per day x 7 days + 1 outfit so she has something to wear on laundry day = 22 outfits (this can be any combination of tops, pants, rompers, etc.) and 7 pajamas. You can even do fewer pajamas if some of your every day clothes are comfortable enough for sleep. For fall and winter capsule wardrobes, we also need to think about outerwear. I usually include three sweaters, one raincoat, and one warm jacket.
Keep reading to learn about the process of curating a toddler capsule wardrobe.
The Process of Curating a Capsule Wardrobe:
For us this season, I started out with 75 pieces of clothing, removed 24 altogether that were not practical for the season, too worn out or didn’t go with anything else, and kept 7 only for the holidays (will sell or donate after Christmas), and added two sleepers from Hanna Andersson because we didn’t have enough. My daughter ended up with 8 long-sleeved onesies, 8 long-sleeved shirts, 8 short-sleeved shirts, 10 pants, a romper, 3 sweaters, 3 coats, 5 sleepers and 2 pairs of shoes for a total of 48 items. She also has 4 dresses, a sleeper and two sweaters for the holiday season. This toddler capsule wardrobe will be worn for the next six months until it’s time for her summer capsule wardrobe at the next size up. Best yet, it all fits in one drawer and a bit of a closet, both of which she shares with her brother!
Have you tried a capsule wardrobe for your infant or toddler? Let me know how it works for you!