Capsule Wardrobe for a Toddler

The conventional wisdom is that kids need lots of clothes, but I’ve found the opposite is true – we find keeping kids’ clothes to a minimum simplifies laundry, keeping track of clothes, etc. (The same is true for adults’ clothes, too – and dishes, and sheets, and and and…you’d think more is better but it just creates more inventory to manage, as The Minimal Mom says.)

Today I’m sharing our toddler’s “capsule” wardrobe from this past summer to give an idea of just how little your kid(s) might be able to get by with.

For reference, my kid gets dirty pretty regularly and we wash clothes almost daily, thanks to cloth diapers and laundry for four people. If you do laundry less frequently, you can adjust accordingly.

Without further ado, the Toddler Capsule Wardrobe for Summer 2020:

2 sets of jammies
4 short-sleeved t-shirts
3 pairs of shorts
2 pairs of lightweight pants
1 long-sleeved t-shirt
A bunch of socks (including my favorite pink ones with the pink John Deere t-shirt and the purple socks with the tie-dye shirt)

Not pictured:
1 sweater not pictured
1 pair of shoes, 1 pair of sandals
1 pink John Deere ball cap for sun protection

Plus 2 pairs of pants and 2 vintage John Deere t-shirts as backup at daycare, including this gem (with some soup on it, pre-laundry):

(Can you tell we are a John Deere family? My uncles farm with them/sell them.)

Everything goes together (more or less), and almost all of this was inherited from our daughter. I thrifted the sloth pajamas and was excited not to have to buy anything more for this stage.

My spouse, however, was a bit skeptical about whether this would stretch far enough – it does look a bit sparse in the drawer! But I persuaded him to give it a try, and we never ran out of clean clothes (as long as we remember to check the dryer/clean clothes hamper, ha).

If you’re nervous about making it work here’s how to try it out without committing:

  1. determine the number of clothes you think will get your kid through a few wash cycles;
  2. pick their/your favorites until you reach that number;
  3. put the rest in a box someplace out of sight and inconvenient to access so you won’t be tempted to break it open and will be forced to go check the dryer and the clean clothes hamper first :)

I have since thrifted a few pairs of toddler pants for the coming cold, but I shouldn’t have even bothered because our friends just dropped off a grocery bag full of clothes passed on from their youngest, all in great shape and many that fit my kid right now. Hurray! Now to get my older kid to go through her clothes before the in-person portion of elementary school starts… she has a lot more opinions about clothing than the baby does :)

If you have little people at home, do you have a minimal or capsule wardrobe for them? If you haven’t tried it out yet, would you ever consider it?


Two Tricks for Feeling Like Your Closet is “Enough”

Want to feel like your wardrobe is enough? Here are two tricks to help you feel content with your closet instead of itching to shop (thrift or otherwise!):

1) Download a free closet app (or pay for a fancy one!) and go create a new outfit every time you get the urge to shop.

It takes some time on the front end to photograph and upload your clothes (or find similar images online), but for me it’s worth the creative charge I get from playing around with potential looks – and it helps me remember that great outfit idea I had right before falling asleep. (What, you don’t think about fun ways to wear your clothes to help you drop off to dreamland?)

Alternately, you could write down possible outfit combos – or draw them!

2) Write down everything in your wardrobe, grouping by categories (e.g. jeans, dress pants, long sleeve tees, warm sweaters, etc.). Something about seeing that list growing longer and longer as I tally up my clothes definitely switches my mindset from “not enough” to “Wow, I have a lot! Maybe even too much!”

Bonus level: write down everything in your closet from memory. Now go look through your actual hangers, drawers, and shelves to see how well you remembered the contents. And here’s the kicker: donate whatever you couldn’t remember! Because if you couldn’t recall it was there…do you really like/need/wear it?

The donate part is hard core and I didn’t do it because I forgot one of my favorite/most versatile blazers, ha! But even if you don’t donate forgotten items, it helps you realize you have great stuff you don’t even think about, leading to instant improvement in wardrobe satisfaction.

(Hat tip to The Minimal Mom for the “from memory” part. She has lots of great ideas for culling extra clothes from your closet.)

What are your best tips to keep yourself from adding to an already-sufficient wardrobe?

Friday ReBlog: My Current Favorite Minimalism and Style People

Long time no see, fellow thrifters! Turns out life with two little kids and a full-time job is…well… full! In lots of good ways, but also in ways that don’t leave much time for long-form creative pursuits.

These days I’m more likely to have time for an Instagram post. To get a more regular fix, you can find outfit pics and thrift finds at (You can also see my latest IG posts – at least the picture part – on the sidebar at right.)

But I did want to pop in here to share a few resources I’ve been really enjoying lately.

First up, in the category of simplifying your home, closet, and life (aka minimalism), there’s The Minimal Mom on YouTube. Dawn has a sunny, down-to-earth personality with loads of pithy questions and game-changing shifts in perspective to help you get rid of all the stuff (literal and metaphorical) that gets in the way of how you want to spend your time and energy. She’s married with four kids and thus knoweth of what she speaketh re: streamlining your life.

Oh! And her house has color in it! Rare for minimalist types with an online presence.

Read the comments on this post for great tips on simplifying your closet.

Then, in the category of personal style inspiration, are two people who’ve put some thought into a small wardrobe with COLOR.

Remember when I thought I could/should fit into the IG capsule wardrobe look where everything is neutral? Ha:


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A post shared by Leah (@thriftshopchic) on

Orla Sheridan is an Irish stylist who shops retail but very thoughtfully, encouraging her clients and followers to only buy pieces they can see themselves wearing at least thirty times. (If that number seems really low…like we should be wearing well-made pieces for 30 YEARS instead of 30 times…well yes, we should. But since the average American throws out 81 pounds of clothes each year, I think aiming for 30 wears is a good step in the right direction for many of us.)

What I like about Orla’s style is the clean, unfussy lines paired with beautiful colors. She looks current but not overly trendy; patterns are well-chosen and not too visually distracting; and she does oversize blazers SO well.

Signe at is similarly skilled at blazers. Personally, she tends toward the neutral cool-girl aesthetic, but she did us color-lovers a solid and made a color-heavy capsule wardrobe I can’t stop staring at (I even bookmarked it for easy reference #stylenerd):


All the heart-eye emojis for this smorgasbord of color! I would wear almost all these outfits (especially if that mustard sweater magically morphed into more of a lemon shade of yellow).

Signe is also doing a “low buy” challenge for 2020 as a way to push back against the consumerism of influencer-driven style climate. Because, speaking of climate, she is committed to sustainability via secondhand and ethical shopping. (Watch this delightful thrift-with-me video!) I’m joining her in this challenge (hashtag: #2020wehaveplenty, awww, it rhymes) because I realize how often in the last year I’ve used perusing Poshmark or Etsy as a way to kill time and how much I’ve ended up buying (even secondhand/vintage/handmade) as a result. Time to take a break!

That’s all for now, folks – hope your year is off to a great start!