A capsule wardrobe for your baby allows you to have a smaller number of pieces that mix and match into easy outfits. So what exactly goes into a capsule wardrobe? Read on…
MyRegistry contributing writer Savannah Walsh is a mom of five (and counting!) and the voice behind That Caffeinated Mom, where she talks pregnancy, birth, and everyday mom life in her own relatable and candid storytelling style. Here, she shares how she creates a minimalist, mix-and-match wardrobe for her babies, from newborn on.
Creating a capsule wardrobe for your baby may sound silly, but believe me, you’ll want to consider it.
What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?
I asked the same question myself a few years ago. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes that are all essential and easily paired together.
There are benefits to having a capsule wardrobe for anyone, but in particular babies and children. Let’s dive in!
- It saves money!
When you learn to properly capsule your baby’s wardrobe it can really help your wallet. Buying only what’s needed and filling holes in the closet out of functionality—as opposed to overconsuming and having multiples of pieces that aren’t necessary—helps cut down your spending on baby clothes. And let’s face it, babies are expensive as it is! Saving a few dollars wherever you can is always a positive in my eyes.
- It allows you to buy higher-quality items.
Because you’re buying fewer items and saving money there, capsule wardrobing gives you the opportunity to buy some nicer and higher-quality items. To be honest, that’s actually what got me started with capsule wardrobes: the fact that when I purchased fewer pieces I could justify spending a bit more to get the items and brands I really like, as opposed to spending just as much on more pieces of lower quality.
Which brings me to a sub point here: Higher-quality items last longer and better. I quickly realized that when I buy baby clothes made in smaller quantities and from better fabrics, those items not only wear better, they also wash better and maintain their quality so I can save them for future kids or pass them on to friends. (Gender neutral baby clothes are also ideal for hand-me-downs.)
- It saves space.
Capsule wardrobing saves tons of space! Baby stuff can definitely consume all the extra room in your house, and that even includes tiny newborn baby clothes. Having only what you need takes up a lot less space.
- It's more sustainable!
Unfortunately the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to our climate crisis, and the children and baby world are a huge contributor within that. Because babies are constantly growing, millions and millions of pieces of baby clothes are disposed of annually. The less you buy, the less you are contributing to the massive waste associated with fast fashion.
Bringing me to my second sub point: A lot of better-quality clothing is made from more sustainable materials—but not all! A lot of people assume that higher quality or “small shop” equals sustainable materials and practice. Unfortunately this is NOT automatically true. Do your research on a company’s materials and practices before assuming their products are sustainable!
If one (or all) of these reasons resonates with you, capsule wardrobing will make your life with your baby so much easier!
How Do You Create a Capsule Baby Wardrobe?
There are different formulas for putting together a capsule wardrobe, and I think we can agree that for babies, it’s a little different still. Let’s face it, babies need to be changed much more often than an older child or adult, so a baby's capsule wardrobe will involve more pieces.
Below is how I approach our babies’ capsule wardrobes. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: If you put these all on your registry you may be able to get away with buying minimal additional clothing for your baby for the first year! Add a note letting your friends and family know you’re trying to stick to a capsule wardrobe and if they’d like to buy you clothing, please stick to what’s on your registry (that will hopefully also stop Aunt Sue from knitting you another baby sweater *wink wink*).
Note: You’ll want to repeat your capsule wardrobe for each size. However! Things like cardigans and dresses I like to size up and use twice as long. Dresses look cute oversized, and cardigans are great with the sleeves rolled.
Basic Onesies for Babies
8–10, size 0–6 months
6–8, size 6–12 months
I know this might seem excessive, especially after we’ve been talking about having essentials only. But with babies under 6 months, this pretty much is the basics, considering the amount of yuck you’ll encounter. I personally do 3–4 long-sleeved and 5–6 short-sleeved. And I do most of them in neutrals and earth tones (you want them to be easy to pair with other pieces), but feel free to include one or two “special” onesies that are a bit bolder.
6–8, size 0–6 months
4–6, size 6–12 months
Bottoms can be pants, overalls, shorts, or skirts (though I’m personally not a fan of skirts on babes). I try to go with mainly comfy pants like leggings or joggers, but I do like to have 1–2 “fancier” pairs or overalls.
3–4, size 0–6 months
2–3, size 6–12 months
By “one-piece” I mean rompers and dresses. In a capsule wardrobe one-pieces are my favorites to include, because you’re done in one! And if you don’t love the neutral/earth-tone game (judging you… okay I’m not… no sorry, I am), one-pieces will likely be your favorite too, since they give more room for adding a fun pattern, as you don’t have to match them with other pieces, except maybe a simple cardigan.
Baby Cardigans and Sweaters
2–3, size 0–12 months
Baby cardigans have my heart—really, really have my heart. If I had to pick just one clothing item to buy for my babies it would always be a cardigan, I love them that much. Cardigans are also amazing for capsule wardrobes because they allow you to get multiple seasons out of outfits that would otherwise be appropriate for just spring/summer.
10–12, size 0–6 months
6–8, size 6–12 months
YUP. You really do need that many sleepers. If a new baby’s going to have a blow-out, 8/10 chance it will happen in the middle of the night—and 0/10 chance you’re getting up and doing laundry.
4–6 pairs, size 0–12 months
Baby socks are something I’m SO picky about—the fit, the material, all of it. But after five kids, I’ve finally found the baby sock of my dreams! I cannot recommend these socks enough. The price is a bit steep, but so, so worth it. (I’m including a good knock-off as well.)
And voila! You’ve created your baby’s capsule wardrobe, and you’ll get the most out of your baby’s closet by investing in great pieces that will last and be well worn. In the words of Rachel, “I am a woman who spent a lot of money on a dress, and she wants to wear it because soon she won’t be able to fit into it.”
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