Simplify Parenting

How to Build a Toddler Capsule Wardrobe

As my girl eeks ever closer to her second birthday, she’s increasingly determined to show us the correct way to do things. And, as it turns out, the correct way is her way. No other suggestions accepted, thank you very much. Nowhere is this streak of independence more evident than when she’s getting dressed in the morning.

A typical morning in our house used to go something like this: she wants this top with these pants. I point out they don’t match, and gently suggest an alternative. “No thank you, mama.”

She attempts to put on her clothes. I offer a helping hand, and again: “No thank you, mama.”

OK, little one. I hear you.

Luckily, I’ve discovered a simple solution to our getting-dressed dilemma. I created a small capsule wardrobe of coordinating clothes for her and our mornings have been smooth sailing ever since.
Toddler Capsule Wardrobe

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The Clothes

I’m not normally one to purchase an entire wardrobe from one place, opting to gradually piece together items to create a cohesive collection. But when the free clothes stopped coming in from family and friends and my girl grew big enough to fit into a new size of toddler clothes, I began my search for clothing that would end the morning battles and simplify our lives.

I hit the jackpot when I stumbled across Primary.com. They sell solid-colored clothes for kids from size newborn to 12. There are no graphics, no text, no images or patterns. Just classic styles in beautiful solid colors.Green top and blue leggings from toddler capsule wardrobe at SimpleMountainMama.com

I took the plunge and ordered a small capsule wardrobe for her and am so glad I did. Here’s why:

It’s Helped Us Simplify

My girl’s entire wardrobe fits entirely in one small dresser drawer now.

She wakes up, opens the drawer, and picks out her own clothes. Oh, you want that top with those pants? No problem! I never have to worry about whether or not her clothes match because they all match each other.

She’s starting to dress herself successfully. These clothes make it so simple. Each size has a cute animal printed where the tag would usually go. We just have to help her “put the teddy bear in the back” when she gets dressed each morning.

Plus (and this is a major one), clothing from Primary can limit sensory overload. As I share in this post, limiting the sensory input our kids receive goes a long way to make our whole home a lot more peaceful. Without bright, screaming graphics in her peripheral at all times, my girl is better able to focus on tasks and play.

We’ve Spent Less Money

Buying an entire wardrobe all at once ensures that all her clothing needs are met. When I’m out shopping, I no longer have the impulse to buy clothes for her. I used to pick up an item here or there because I was never sure if she had enough shirts or pants at homeBlue top and gray shorts from toddler capsule wardrobe at SimpleMountainMama.com. Or, I’d grab something just because it was excessively cute. Now that she has a capsule wardrobe, I know there is nothing she needs. Anything I buy when out and about wouldn’t necessarily fit in with the rest of her clothes and would make getting dressed more complicated.

If you’re looking to spend less money on kids clothes, it makes sense to buy fewer high quality items of clothing over buying lots of “cheaper” clothes. The clothes from Primary are, in my opinion, fantastic quality. Previously, we received most of her clothes from very common baby & kid’s stores you’d find at the mall. I thought the clothing she’d been wearing was already great quality, but when I got her new clothes in the mail I was shocked at how thick and soft Primary’s 100% cotton is in comparison. It will take some serious wear and tear before she busts a hole in these clothes.

The clothes at Primary are reasonably priced, especially for how soft and durable they are. I’m going to show you how I built a capsule wardrobe for my toddler that costs less than $10/month.

My Toddler’s Capsule Wardrobe

My daughter was just getting ready to move into 2T clothing when I first ordered from Primary. A lot of their styles come in a two-year size range. For example, instead of 2T, they have a 2-3 size, then a 4-5 size. I was a little nervous that their size 2-3 would be huge for my little one just coming out of 18 month clothing. When it arrived, though, I was happy to see that everything fit her with room to grow. It doesn’t look like she’s wearing clothes that are way too big. Because of this, if you’re unsure which size to get I recommend ordering a size up.

Where we live we get all four seasons with lots of snow and cold in the winter. I aimed to create a capsule wardrobe that would work in all climates.

Here’s the basic template I came up with for a toddler capsule wardrobe to work in all seasons:Emerald dress and yellow leggings from toddler capsule wardrobe at SimpleMountainMama.com

  • 4 pairs of long pants
  • 4 pairs of shorts or skirts
  • 3 long-sleeved tops
  • 6 short-sleeved tops
  • 2 layering items (sweatshirt or cardigan)
  • 1 long-sleeved PJ set
  • 1 short-sleeved PJ set

Here’s what I bought for my girl’s capsule wardrobe:

At Primary, the price goes down when buying three or more items of the same style, so I try to order items in groups of three when possible. The short-sleeved dresses are the most versatile, because they can be worn by themselves in the summer, with leggings in the spring and fall, and with leggings and a hoodie in the winter.Blue tunic and pink leggings from toddler capsule wardrobe at SimpleMountainMama.com

It Was Worth It

I was able to spend just over $200 for two full years of clothing for my daughter. Yes, it would have been cheaper to use only hand-me-downs, but we would lose the simplicity of having a coordinating wardrobe that we both love.

If you haven’t tried a small capsule wardrobe for your toddler, I highly recommend it. Primary is a great place to buy clothes if you’re looking to simplify your life with a youngster. Right now, the team at Primary is offering Simple Mountain Mama readers 20% off your first order PLUS free shipping. This is a great deal. To get it, just click on over using my link and enter code AFF20PCT at checkout.

Building a simple capsule wardrobe for her has put an end to our morning struggles and provided my girl with the independence she craves. Mama saves money and my girl is happy, too.

This is so simple, yet so genius! You have to try it!

I've been wanting to try a capsule wardrobe with my LO...

What simple hacks have you tried to make life smoother with a toddler?

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    thepurplebug
    March 9, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    This is such a cool concept. I don’t have any kids but if I did this is definitely something I would try. I can barely coordinate my own clothes. I kind of hate kids clothing that has the current popular cartoon character on them so “sensory simple” clothing is awesome. And for that price, holy cow.

    Also, I’ve noticed you haven’t posted anything new in a month and I would definitely like to see more from you.

    • Reply
      simplemountainmama
      March 11, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you! I’m still here, just slowing life down a little more lately. Thanks for stopping by!!

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