toddler capsule: olivia's summer wardrobe

I stumbled onto the idea of a capsule wardrobe a few years ago. I tend to get overwhelmed when I have too much in my closet so I thought it was an amazing concept. But, of course, I have been either pregnant or losing baby weight or pregnant again so I haven't exactly gotten around to building my own.

However, I unconsciously started doing this for Olivia's clothes the autumn before she turned one. I purchased clothing that pretty much all coordinated together, I felt like she always had something cute to wear, and it was really easy to build outfits for her. I continued to do this without realizing it the next few seasons. However, this past autumn and winter, I just bought random items and found myself buying more and more because I felt like nothing ever went together. 

So, after figuring out why I was struggling so much this time and spending more money, I decided to build a toddler capsule wardrobe of sorts for her for summer. I started out with a color palette in mind but only used it as a guide  - you don't want to become a slave to the colors, especially if you find something you really love. Plus, you are at the mercy, somewhat, of what is being offered at stores. 

I am actually really happy with how it turned out. After snapping these pictures a few weeks ago, I did add a few pieces. I realized that I needed a few more bottoms - I only do her laundry once per week and Olivia always comes home with something on her from daycare. 

So, where do I buy clothing?

+ Gap and Old Navy: This is where I buy the majority of her clothing. I love the styles and they tend to have a lot of items that coordinate together but aren't matchy-matchy. However, I NEVER pay full price. Every few weeks, at least one of brands is having a 40% off sale online and, if you are lucky, they may both be having a big sale. Plus, I never pay for shipping. They offer free shipping for orders over $50 and free returns. And their customer service is top-notch. 

+ Target: Before kids, you would find me in Target all. the. time. But I don't have the time to peruse like I used to so I do most of my shopping online. For some reason, though, I never thought to check Target's website before now. This season, I scored a lot of cute items for Olivia from there. 

+ Small Brands: Now that I have my "base" wardrobe, I may pick up one or two items from smaller (more expensive) brands if I see something that works with the rest of the clothing. I am more apt to do this now that I know we are having another girl in July but, considering you can't control stains at this age, I don't do this often. 

If building a capsule wardrobe for a child seems silly, it's not. Listen, I am not one of those mom's that is extremely fashion conscious and always has bows in my daughter's hair or has her perfectly layered. Really, for me, it is about a few other things:

+ It saves money. I spent way more money last season because I kept buying clothing since nothing ever seemed like it went together. Plus, it keeps me from impulse buying because I have a better idea of what is in her closet and if something won't coordinate with everything else, it isn't worth the purchase. 

+ It saves time. When pretty much everything goes together, it takes me about five minutes on Sunday evening to put together her outfits for the week. This past season, sometimes it took me fifteen. 

+ It keeps things organized. Olivia's drawers are usually pretty organized but, this past season, her drawers were a mess. This happened because I was constantly digging through drawers trying to find SOMETHING that matched the shirt I was holding in my hand. 

+ Eventually, it will allow her to dress herself. Let's face it, Olivia is saying "my turn" way more often now and it is only a matter of time before she insists on dressing herself. If everything coordinates, she is more likely to look put together than if the clothing didn't. And, with a baby on the way, I may just let her start picking out her clothing. 

How do you save time and money purchasing clothing for your children?