Create a kids' capsule wardrobe


Did you know that the basic cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old is £71,611 for a couple and £97,862 for a lone-parent family? And forecasts suggest that in 2021 we spent a staggering 23.9 per cent more on children’s clothing and footwear than we did in 2011?

Longevity is the key to getting the most out of your kid’s clothes, and cutting back on clothing consumption benefits both our finances and the environment. But there’s more to sustainable clothing than handing down old clothes to younger family members. In fact, it may be a futile task. Young fashion moves in much the same way as adult fashion, trends change fast, and new clothes are bought. By the time clothes are ready to be worn by someone younger or smaller, you may find that they’re unsuitable for style or season.

Capsule wardrobes, the latest adult clothing trend, may be the solution to making kids’ clothes and hand-me-downs last longer. Capsule wardrobes are designed to stay in style and incorporate high-quality and timeless clothing that can be worn throughout the seasons, year after year. Their popularity is reflected in TikTok views which surpassed 106.4 million earlier this year — an increase of more than 110 per cent.

Here are some tips for creating a practical, stylish and money-saving capsule wardrobe for your child:

Quality is key

It’s essential to look for quality if you want to get the most out of your kids’ clothes. Grazed knees and muddy elbows are important aspects of being a kid: durable clothes will not only help protect children but also ensure that the clothes are still wearable after a good wash. Organic cotton is a great choice because it has longer fibres and is generally more durable. Longer fibres also mean that the material feels softer and is less abrasive on the skin. Organic cotton is also hypoallergenic, meaning it causes fewer allergic reactions and is more suitable to wear for those with skin problems, irritations, and even asthma. Trousers with reinforced knees help to prolong the garment’s life and may help protect against any little scrapes.

Anticipating growth

Kids grow fast, and a simple way to get the most use out of your kids' clothes is to anticipate their growth and buy clothes they can grow into. No-one wants to see them swimming in oversized jumpers: but nor should we buy something which clearly won’t fit by next month. For girls, t-shirt dresses can transition into tunics, getting two items out of one over time. Boys’ jeans can easily be rolled up and held with a belt when first bought, and there’s no harm in transforming them into shorts when the time comes.

Other clothing items that should be considered for that all-important longevity are adjustable styles. Trousers and shorts with elastic or adjustable waists improve comfort and can be used for longer —both as your children grow and as quality hand-me-downs.

Communication with other parents who have children of similar ages means that you can easily trade clothes. Donating clothes can also extend their life and help other families.