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Chic on a Budget: Capsule Wardrobes

We all want our kids to be SUPER cute all the time, right?! But, let’s be real, buying tons of clothes for kids is not the most budget-conscious thing to do. Babies grow so quickly that sometimes that by the time we go to grab that dress or shirt we bought because it was SO cute from the closet, it doesn’t even fit. On the other hand, we buy it a size or two bigger and forget about it (that's happened to me on more than one occasion. It can also be tricky to know what to buy and how many of each piece of clothing your child will need.

This is where a baby capsule wardrobe comes in! I created one for myself last year for the two seasons we get here in Chicago...Summer and Winter. There’s really no in between here in the Midwest. Spring and Fall only last about two weeks. A capsule wardrobe (or minimalist wardrobe) is a collection of classic, essential pieces of clothing that you can mix + match. Capsule wardrobes allow you to maximize your child's wardrobe while getting him/her ready with ease and still be able to wear all of the favorites! You also save money. You can make one for every milestone age for baby or make one for each season, making note of what size baby will be during that time.

Here are some tips to start a capsule wardrobe for your little one:

#1: You’ve Got to Coordinate

When picking out items for your baby’s capsule, choose a color palette and stick with it. You can choose on trend colors or stick with neutrals. Either way, if all of the colors coordinate, you’ll be able to mix + match outfits much easier and spend less time thinking about what baby will be wearing. This also helps Dads! They can dress baby without you laying out an outfit because the pieces coordinate naturally.

#2: Quality or Quantity

This is a big one for me. I am FRUGAL. However, I’d much rather spend a little extra on a quality piece of clothing that can be worn over and over again, than buying lower quality clothing that will need to be replaced after the second or third wear. Not to mention, if you buy quality clothing, you’ll be able to resell it (so you can buy more things to replace it), store it for the next baby, or even give it to someone in need. Shop sales or even consignment and you can buy quality pieces that will last and are also very affordable!

#3: Think About the Bigger Picture

Choose brands that fit your budget, keep it simple, and know that you can have comfort and style! Try to be a little flexible as well. You can always add a couple of cute pieces that you love. If you have a pastel palette, but you dress your baby girl in your favorite fuchsia dress at least once a week, that dress was a good purchase.

#4: Make a List

List the basics your child needs for everyday wear. Then, include some seasonal pieces that you use to layer and accent to keep it trendy. Examples of what to put in your capsule:

Newborn - 12 months

  • 8 bodysuits / onesies (short & long sleeved)

  • 4 undershirts

  • 4-6 sleepers

  • 1-2 sweaters / jackets / hoodies (for layering)

  • 3-4 bottoms (pants / leggings / skirts / shorts)

  • 2-4 “coveralls” (dress / romper / overalls)

  • 1-2 hats (1 for warmth / 1 for shade)

  • 8 pairs of socks

  • 2 pairs of shoes (1 light / 1 dark)


  • 6 tops

  • 4 bodysuits / onesies (short & long sleeved)

  • 3-5 “coveralls” (dress / romper / overalls)

  • 4-6 pajamas

  • 4-6 bottoms (pants / leggings / skirts / shorts)

  • 1-2 hats (1 for warmth / 1 for shade)

  • 2 pairs of shoes (1 light / 1 dark)

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