“I don’t want to wear this dress!” or “I have nothing to wear!” Is this something you hear your child say a lot these days? Then this is your sign to start building them a capsule wardrobe and saying goodbye to dress-up tantrums for good. 

So, the question is how do you build a capsule wardrobe? To answer this, we got into a conversation with two mommies - Saakshi and Breez to understand how they built one for their kids! Adding to it some of our own knowledge we’ve created what might be the perfect formula for the wardrobe capsule (pun intended). Let's start first by understanding what exactly a capsule wardrobe is:

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

“Capsule wardrobe” sounds kind of science-y, doesn’t it? But worry not it's not all complicated. A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe made of interchangeable clothing pieces that complement each other. In simple words, it's a closet where everything goes with everything!

A capsule wardrobe can be made for many different reasons and can be made according to your requirements, as Saakshi puts it:” Probably for me my capsule cupboard will be something that is sustainable, which is very comfortable, easy to mix and match with, portable and which is not very high on your pocket”.

With that being said let’s get to the first step of building your kid's capsule wardrobe!

1. Identify our child's requirements

The first step in creating a capsule wardrobe is to identify your kid's requirements. Sit down with a notepad and identify what clothing items your kid requires according to their current lifestyle, the weather conditions you live in, and their clothing preferences.  

Breez lives in Kerela, so her daughter’s capsule wardrobe is based on the weather conditions prevailing there “I keep a few winter clothes because we have rain and some clothes which could also be used in summers, during the mild climate. I pair them with denim and shawls as the weather demands.”

Tip: Try to be as realistic with your list as possible, include all types of clothing that your child might require, and also be conscious of the ones that they don’t really need. Remember, the main aim of any capsule wardrobe is to meet the requirements of your kid's lifestyle while avoiding excess.


2. Identify your laundry schedule

Now that you have your kid’s required clothing items list, let’s get to identify how many of each item you require. Now a lot of this will depend on your kid's lifestyle but another thing that will affect it majorly is your laundry schedule! 

Why? Because if you are someone who does laundry daily then you can go through the week with three to four outfits, but if you do laundry only on the weekends then you would require at least seven outfits to last through the week!

3. Quantify the required clothing

Now based on your laundry schedule add quantities to the clothing list you created earlier. Write down the quantity of clothing based on what you think might be required by your kid. An example of a wardrobe list for a girl can look like this:

  • Tops: 4
  • Shorts:2
  • Skirts: 2
  • Dresses: 4
  • Co-ord:1
  • Jumpsuit: 2
  • Total clothes: 15

We’ve made quantifying the clothing items a bit easier for you! Just follow this link to download our Capsule wardrobe checklist!

4. Cross out the thing you already own in your wardrobe

Now that we have a list ready it’s time to take a stroll through your kid’s existing closet, go through the items, and make three piles: 

To keep: these are the items that match your requirements and will go into the capsule wardrobe. Reduce the number of items required on the list as you go about making this pile.

To become nightclothes: This pile will have all the clothes that your kids have worn out but are still in usable condition, this can include T-shirts that have become faded due to repeated use or clothes with minimum tears that can be fixed. The clothes in this pile can be reused as your kid's nightclothes or maybe for those play-in-the-mud days!  

To donate: This pile will consist of the clothes that your kid has grown out of. You can donate this pile, pass them on to another kid, or if the clothes are in great condition sell them in second-hand stores!

Now that we know how many clothes we really require let's get to the interesting part!

5. Pick out a Colour Palette and Set an Aesthetic 

 A capsule wardrobe thrives on the idea of thoughtfully chosen pieces of clothing that can be worn with each other to create numerous combinations(outfits), so in this, if you end up choosing clothing that doesn't go together at all you will end up defeating the purpose of a capsule wardrobe. So, to avoid that you can start by deciding on a color palette! 

This is not as complicated as it sounds, I promise! PS: I highly recommend including your kid in this process and taking their opinions! Just start by deciding on three base colors (these are the colors that your kid will wear the most) let’s start with pink, white, and black for example. Now that the base colors are decided, add more accent colors (these are colors that go well with your base colors!) so for our color palette, can we add a bit of blue and red to give it a pop? And voila there we have our color palette!

Tip: While creating a color palette do take into consideration the colors in your to-keep pile, this will help prevent wastage and help create a color-coordinated without wastage!

If you don’t have a particular aesthetic that’s fine too! As Saakshi says it: “I don't really have a particular aesthetic, I like some great cuts and I just go with what I feel I think I like at the moment and there’s nothing fixed in my mind like what I want, usually it’s something pastel or light colors” 

6. Identify Bands that match your requirement

Why do I need to identify a brand? Well, you can skip this step if you want to, as exploring different brands is a great way to procure interesting items for your kid's wardrobe! But choosing one brand and shopping from it comes with the advantage of similar sizing, fabric styles, and color palettes so you don't have to worry a lot about the fabrics not matching, moreover buying from a familiar brand ensures that the fabric quality is also constant!

7. Pick out the Clothes

Now comes the fun part! When picking out clothes don't go directly to a shopping mall! Instead, first look at a thrift shop, you will be surprised at the things you can get there and that too at amazing prices!

Now while buying clothes for your kids, one thing you should remember is that all the clothes should mix and match, how do you ensure that? Well follow these simple tips:

  • Keep it Simple: As Breez tells us:” Don’t buy lots of gaudy things and lots of fashionable things, always stick to stable fashion so it will be easy for you as well as the kid to be sustainable!” 

When buying bottom wear always prefer neutral shades in solid colors, keep the prints for the tops, shirts, and jackets! This will ensure that your bottom wear will go with everything from the top wear.

  • Go Timeless: Going with trends is always a bad idea as trends keep changing very quickly and will make your closet redundant fast, instead look for timeless styles that you know will keep your Lil one looking stylish for a long time!

  • Lil Shoppers: Take your kids shopping with you and help them pick out outfits, this will help them become independent and you will be surprised at how less the fuss will be the next time they are dressing up!
  • The No-Brainers: Some pieces of clothing can go with almost anything! This can be a smart pair of trousers, a cute Lil black skirt, and of course Breez’s favorite - Denims! Make sure to invest in such clothing items to keep your kid’s wardrobe Poppin!
  • Ethnic wear: Ethnic wear is often kept separate from the capsule wardrobe and consists of pieces that are not regularly worn, but that creates a section of the wardrobe consisting of clothes that just gather dust except for some special days. To avoid this, you can opt for ethnic wear that is simple and comfortable, hence can be used even during normal days!

We love how Saakshi does her daughter’s ethnic wear: “we buy her cotton ethnic wear so that it can get reused! We prefer Indian embroidery and chikankari. My daughter can wear lehengas even on normal days because they are cotton.” 

You can buy Ethnic wear for kids from stores like -  Mazhalai, and Indie Project Store

  • Keep space for fun! : Lastly, if your child picks out a very loud Dino t-shirt that does not go with the color palette at all, let them keep it, after all, it's their closet! Help your kids find their own style and if you followed the tip of having denim jeans in your closet then you don’t have much to be worrying about! As Breez puts it: “Make sure whatever you buy is comfortable for your kid and keep it minimum” 

An example of a capsule wardrobe for a girl can look like this -


What does Saakshi think of her capsule wardrobe? “I personally love it, I find it’s easy for me, it’s not overwhelming for the child, and the biggest thing is you know what’s there, what you need, it’s more organized so it’s just simple for everyone!” so what are you waiting for go create a capsule wardrobe of your own! You just have to remember that all the clothes need to go with each other!

If you need help creating your capsule wardrobe, we would be glad to help you! Just drop in a message at - Elfin House and we can get started on putting together your Lil one’s closet!

PS: All the pictures used in this article can be shopped at Elfin House!   


Written by 

Sheetal Shriyan