Back to School Capsule Wardrobe


We, as mothers, have all been there. It haunts us day and night, the over flowing piles of laundry which never gets completely done because there is no place to put the laundry once it is clean… Because the dressers and closets and sometimes even the nightstands are completely full of clothing. Some of it our children may never even wear. 

First, we spend hard earned money on hundreds of individual pieces of clothing and accessories for our children every year. Secondly, we end up washing clean clothes because unworn clothes are bound to end up in the wrong pile. And Thirdly, when a child does spill on his or her shirt, its not always easy to match outfits so you end up changing the whole thing. Now, we all know these can be irritating, but laundry and kids go hand and hand right?

There are things we can do to make it a little easier. My family always uses a back to school capsule wardrobe.

Our standard capsule wardrobe for our girls is:

-3 pairs of shoes

-3 pair of leggings

-1 pair of jeans or slacks

-2 skirts

-3 blouses

-2 T-shirts

-2 Long sleeve shirts

-3 outer layers

-4 accessories

-1 dress

Our standard capsule wardrobe for our son is:

-3 pairs of shoes

-1 pair of kakis

-1 pair slacks

-3 jeans

-2 pair of  athletic pants

-2 polos

-2 button downs

-2 t shirts

-1 long sleeve

-3 sweaters

-4 accessories 

More simply… Everyone has 3 shoes, 7 bottoms, 7 tops , 3 sweaters, 4 Accessories at all times. 

The first step in mapping out our back to school wardrobe is to figure out what we already have. This year unfortunately that is a big fat nothing. The second step is to give each child a reasonable budget based upon each child’s needs.  This list at our favorite name brand department stores runs about $300 per child. But of course this is starting with nothing and having no discounts, or sales. I always place cash in an envelope with each child’s name on it. When they are out of cash they are done shopping. This teaches them to shop responsibly. 

Now you may be wondering, how does a capsule wardrobe work and how do you get by with 7 out fits? By choosing 3 neutrals and 3 colors for all of your items, everything will be interchangeable creating more than 72 very different looks. Its best to choose color combinations while you are shopping you will know what is going to be the in fashion trend that year and what is readily available.

Hope this helps everyone with there laundry crisis in the up coming school year. If you have any back to school shopping tips or tricks or laundry tackling hacks feel free to comment below!