Kids Capsule Wardrobe Essentials (Free Checklist)

Want to make a kids capsule wardrobe but not sure what and how many clothes you’ll need? Here’s a list of essential clothing for fall/winter and a printable kids capsule wardrobe checklist so you can be sure you have everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

The first time you create a kids capsule wardrobe, it can be hard to know exactly what and how many clothes you’ll need for each child. The key to creating a kids capsule wardrobe is finding the right quality and quantity of clothes to get you to the next season or the next size, whichever comes first.

Before you start planning out your kids capsule, make sure you read this post on How to Create a Kids Capsule Wardrobe for all of my tips, tricks, and favorite brands. 

If you’re ready to jump right in, let’s start planning your kids’ fall/winter capsules! 

Kids Fall & Winter Capsule Wardrobe Essentials 

Below are all of the essential clothing items for a typical cold weather, kids fall/winter capsule wardrobe. For those of you who live in warm weather climates (or on the opposite side of the equator!) I’ll be creating a spring/summer capsule essentials checklist next that might be more suitable — so stay tuned for that!

I’ve broken the essentials into five categories: tops, bottoms, underthings, footwear, and outerwear and listed the number of items we typically have in each category to give you an idea of how much you might need. 

Keep in mind we do a load of laundry nearly every day, about 5-6 loads per week for our active family of four. Your needs will vary depending on whether you do laundry more or less frequently. If you do laundry about once per week you’ll probably want at least 7-8 everyday tops, bottoms, undershirts/layering tees, socks, and underwear since these items typically need a wash after every wear. 

Tops

  • Short-sleeve t-shirts (2-3)
  • Long-sleeve t-shirts (4-5)
  • Sweatshirts (1-2)
  • Sweaters (1-2)
  • Dress (girl) or dress shirt (boy) (1-2)

Bottoms

  • Casual leggings or joggers (3-4)
  • Jeans (1-2)
  • Khakis (boy; 1)

Underthings

  • Undershirts/layering tees/tanks (4-5)
  • Socks (4-5)
  • Tights (girl) (1-2)
  • Underwear (5-6)
  • Pajamas (2-3)

Footwear

  • Sneakers (2; one nicer pair and one for getting dirty)
  • Nicer shoes (1) 
  • Winter boots (1)
  • Slippers (1)

Outerwear

  • Light jacket (1)
  • Midweight jacket (1) 
  • Winter coat (1)
  • Snow pants/suit (1) 
  • Hat (1-2)
  • Gloves/Mittens (2)
  • Scarf (1) 

Because your needs will vary depending on laundry frequency, the weather where you live, and your kiddos personal style and preferences, I created two different versions of the kids capsule wardrobe checklist — one with numbers that you can use as a guide, as well as a blank one for you to fill in however you like. 

How to Use This Kids Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

If you haven’t already, snag your printable checklist download here and follow these three simple steps to plan your kids’ next capsule! 

  1. Estimate what you’ll need. Your first time around this might be a bit challenging. The good news is, after one or two seasons it’s actually super easy! I created two versions of the checklist, one with numbers that you can use as a guide, and also a blank checklist for those of you who want to customize it — you pick which one works best for you! 
  2. Take inventory of what you have. Chances are you’ll have some things that can be used from a previous season or you’ve got some hand-me-downs that might work. Take stock of what you have and donate or recycle clothes you no longer have use for. I like to keep a small stash (less than a drawer full) of well worn clothes and hand-me-downs for rough and tumble play clothes in addition to the kids’ capsule clothes. 
  3. Shop to fill in the gaps.  Once you know what you need and what you have, all you have to do is purchase what’s missing. The checklist I created will help you stay focused and curb impulse purchases of items or outfits you don’t truly need. For shopping tips and our favorite brands, check out How to Create a Kids Capsule Wardrobe next.

Oh, and don’t forget to hang onto your final checklist. It’ll come in handy the next time seasons change!

What if what I buy doesn’t seem like enough? 

You might make a list and do your shopping only to look at everything together and feel like there’s no way you have enough. I know because that’s how I felt the first couple of seasons. 

Trust me though, your kids need way fewer clothes than you think they do because, like you, they prefer to wear the same things on repeat, too! 

Give yourself a couple of weeks to adjust to this smaller, more manageable wardrobe. You can always buy more and update your checklist later if you decide you need a slightly larger capsule than you anticipated.

Remember, before you start shopping make sure you read this post on How to Create a Kids Capsule Wardrobe for all of my tips, tricks, and favorite brands! 

If you find this checklist helpful or have suggestions for items to add, I’d love to hear from you! Just drop a comment below or reply to the email you receive. As always, I love to see you putting my resources to use. Snap a photo of your checklist in action and tag me @modminimalism on Instagram so I can share!

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photo of kids capsule wardrobe checklist on a white desk next to a computer showing a kids clothing website with title text overlay

Author: Elle Penner M.P.H., R.D.

I'm Elle, Registered Dietitian and minimalism-obsessed mama with a thing for simplifying, particularly when it comes to clutter, calendars, and family meals. Favorite things include carbs, cooking, kid-free workouts, and high-waisted yoga pants.

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