With spring on it's way (hopefully soon!) we spent time over the long weekend going through our kids clothes and assessing their wardrobe for the spring and summer. Each season we do this and reevaluate what we currently own and what needs replacement or which pieces need to be added. One of the advantages of having four kids is that we can often reuse many pieces from one child to another. When we make our initial purchases of clothing for our kids it is always with the intention that it will get used with multiple children. Sometimes the clothes last for all of them and other times it gets worn out after two kids (my kids like to play dirty and rough!).
Capsule wardrobes gained popularity a few years ago and have been going fairly strong since then. A capsule wardrobe is a way of organizing your wardrobe so that it is seasonal and includes a small amount of pieces. For some families that means sticking to a specific number per person for others it is more open concept. The number is less important in our family but the concept is vital to moving forward in a hugely harmful industry! The fashion industry is a huge drain on our system. Did you know that it takes more than 700 gallons of water to produce a single cotton t-shirt? Learn more about the impacts of the fashion industry by checking out "Fast Fashion a burden on our planet".
In the past we have talked about ways to Minimize the Clothes your Kids Own and How to Choose Brands and Styles of Clothing that Will Last. Today we are going to talk about how to implement those concepts and create a capsule wardrobe for winter!
Key features of a capsule wardrobe for kids are:
- Gender neutral colors
- Unbranded, basic pieces. My kids are not walking advertisements for companies!
- Long term wearability (how many seasons can you get out of it?) For instance a t-shirt can be worn in all 4 seasons.
- Clothes that can be played in. Forget the fashion pieces for kids and stick with clothes they can get dirty in and play in!
- Natural materials: Organic Cotton, Bamboo, Linen (super breathable and lightweight), Merino Wool
- Comfortable for the child.
What should my Spring/Summer Wardrobe Look Like?
Here are our suggestions for keeping a capsule wardrobe simple along with some brand recommendations for a Spring & Summer wardrobe:
2 Sweatshirts or Hoodies: Warm, well made sweaters will get you through a season. Buy a size larger to save for next year and roll up the sleeves!
2 Long Sleeve Shirts: Purchasing non branded, plain gender neutral colors is your best bet for building a capsule wardrobe since they will all match nicely and can be used for multiple children.
4-5 Short Sleeve or Tank Shirts: These shirts can be layered depending on the season with a sweater or worn alone in the summer. Be sure to choose gender neutral colors with little to no designs.
4-5 Shorts: We prefer a cotton, bamboo or organic cotton pant in simple prints or plain colors. Comfy, cozy and flexible clothes are ideal for playing in. We will often buy shorts one size larger as well to get two years out of them! They can be rolled up at the bottom the first year or worn longer. We are also careful about the shortness of shorts for our girls as to not have them be too revealing!
2 Dresses/Skirts: Dresses and skirts are fun for kids, especially in the summer. We always put on a pair of cut off tights underneath (we usually take scissors to a pair of leggings that have developed holes over the winter!).
6-8 Pairs of Underwear
4-6 Pairs of Socks: Merino wool or wool socks are ideal since they will keep toes warm and will also wick moisture! FYI Smart Wool socks offers free replacements within 3 years if they wear out.
2 Pairs of Pyjamas: Cotton and organic cotton are best. Wee Woollies are merino wool under clothes that are breathable and will keep your little ones warm. Hatley also offers cotton pyjamas that are trim and breathable.
1 Pair of Slippers: Padraig slippers are fantastic - made with wool, sheepskin and leather these slippers are built to last. Great for early walkers in the spring/summer or amazing for cool nights in the summer around the campfire. They are machine washable too!
1-2 x Outdoor Shoes: Depending on activities your child is involved in you will need at least one pair of indoor running shoes for daycare or school and one pair for your home. Choose brands that support your child's feet and are comfortable to wear while actively moving about. We love our kids running around barefoot at home or we look for shoes with a barefoot like feel. Vivo Barefoot makes wonderful shoes for kids that support the natural shape of their feet!
Outerwear for Spring/Summer
Outerwear is a huge priority in our house. We want our kids playing outside - A LOT! If they are outside they need to be adequately dressed to ensure they enjoy the weather (and so do I as a parent). Purchasing quality outerwear will serve you well and will ensure that your kids can get outside and not get wet or cold.
1 Rain suit: We love our Splashy Gear Rain Suit. One piece rain suits are amazing for kids since it keeps them all clean and dry all the way through.
1 Fleece or Lightweight Jacket: For vehicle use since "puffy" jackets are unsafe when children are restrained in car seats/boosters (Patagonia and MEC). Choose a lightweight jacket for cool spring days and cool summer nights!
1-2 x Sun hats: Our Grow With Me Sun Hats are the perfect addition to your child's summer wardrobe. We like to have at least one sun hat per child and we have a few extra's that we rotate between kids. Hats are like socks they seem to disappear and get lost. We always end up finding them but sometimes not in the moment we need - which is why we keep a few extras.
1 x Rain Boots: We quite like Bog's for our footwear in our family. Their rain boots are excellent quality and the company has top notch customer service. Regardless of brand, be sure your kids have a good pair of well fitting rain boots so they can splash in the puddles and get dirty.
1 x Water Shoes: This is not a must but definitely helpful if you will be spending lots of time at the beach or in wet areas.
Take about 1 hour to go through your kids clothes, assess what you need for the spring/summer and then head out to purchase any missing items. You will find that you save money and time if you know what you are looking for ahead of time!