Classic Style

Winter Capsule Wardrobes for Babies and Toddlers.

By: Jen Shoop

Over the past many seasons of dressing my children, I have occasionally ended up with too many iron-requiring rompers and too few leggings-and-sweaters-for-outdoor-playground-excursions OR with a medley of beautiful pieces that don’t go together, i.e., a darling set of boots that don’t actually coordinate with anything else, or a skirt with no suitable top. I find the best way to ensure a well-rounded closet is to invest in something of a “capsule wardrobe” — tried-and-true staples I love that coordinate with nearly anything and that will stand up to heavy use — and then pepper in trendier, less expensive pieces and a handful of beautiful statement outfits for more formal occasions. Below, I thought I’d share a representative example of what I’ve bought for micro (six-month-old baby boy) and mini (nearly-three-year-old girl) this winter. All of the items in these “capsules” are essentially pieces I buy in every single size as my kids grow.

Baby Boy Capsule Winter Wardrobe.

+Kissy Kissy Pima Peter Pan Collar onesies. These are just the best. I bought several of these in every size for mini and am using them for micro — they are super soft and incredibly well made and I love them layered under anything, from overalls to sweaters. Some moms are not huge pans of peter pan collars on boys, and I get that. Definitely a look. You can also buy these bodysuits with a more traditional “boy” collar.

+Zutano fleece booties. The only baby footwear I have ever purchased that actually stays on the baby’s foot. Super soft and cozy and can be thrown in the laundry machine to boot. I have bought these in multiple sizes and colorways.

+Personalized knit hat. A girlfriend of mine gifted micro one of these from Madre Dallas and it has fetched more than its fair share of compliments. You can get the look for a little less with this one.

+Petit Bateau raincoat. These are so wonderfully-made and have a soft plush lining. I have also bought the similar Gap version for a fraction of the price and it’s wonderful, too.

+Long-sleeved polos (<<on sale!). Micro owns these in every size, usually in both white and navy.

+Patagonia fleece. For every day wear.

+Saddle shoes, for more formal occasions.

+Cableknit sweater.

+Dark wash jeans.

+North Face Minna mitts.

+Little English playsuits. I’ve written about these so much, but I love them. They’re easy (one-piece!), soft, and adorable.

+Mayoral toggle coat. I love these for both boys and girls. I will either buy micro a toggle coat or a field coat like this for more formal occasions.

P.S. Not shown above: I also always buy a variety of solid-colored leggings from Old Navy. I really like this exact style, especially in the heather gray and indigo colors. I pair them with a polo shirt or a statement sweater for an easy, layerable winter look. I also bought micro these boots when I need something in between fleece booties and saddle shoes.

P.P.S. Some of micro’s special purchases for this season: this plaid button-in, this emerald green button-in, this velour playsuit, this sweater, bloomers (different print), and this knit set.

Toddler Girl Capsule Winter Wardrobe.

+Mayoral coat. Mini owns this exact style and it is beyond precious. (Also, surprisingly, holds up well in the wash when run on a gentle cycle!)

+Wee Ones bows. I always buy in white and navy and then a few seasonal colors. I also buy a lot of bows from PoppyBows on Etsy.

+Cienta t-straps. I love these because they can be tossed in the laundry and they look more refined than your average sneaker. (More traditional toddler footwear picks here.)

+Cableknit sweater. Love the strawberry red color! In general, when buying these “capsule” basics, I try to stick with red, white, or navy and they go with the vast majority of purchases.

+Skinny jeans.

+Jefferies cableknit tights. I buy multiple pairs of white. I also like Condor’s ribbed styles.

+Elephantito Mary Janes (<<on sale!). She’s owned a pair in every size since she was an infant. I have often purchased her a metallic color, but nowadays I stick with black patent. Perfect for dressier occasions.

+TBBC rain slicker. I love these! They run large but thin, FYI. I have to layer super warm under these in the cooler months.

+Hunter rainboots. I am trying to buy these in gender-neutral colors so they can be handed down — I like hunter green and yellow best at the moment.

+Blueberry Hill hat. Love this new-to-me label and will be buying again next season. The cutest patterns.

+J. Crew layering tees. Also always have peter pan collar tops from TBBC and Bellabliss, which I like under jumpers.

+Everyday boots. Can be worn with jeans or dresses. Also has these.

+Patagonia fleece.

P.S. Some of mini’s special occasion outfits for this season: this tartan dress (matches micro’s button-in), this stunning blue velvet dress, a red corduroy dress similar to this I bought from Jacadi a year or two ago, a white embroidered dress similar to this I also bought several years ago.

P.P.S. I also always buy several pairs of inexpensive leggings in navy and white from wherever I can get them on sale — Gap, Bellabliss, Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, Hanna Andersson, and these undershirts for layering beneath her clothing. I like buying both children solid white socks from Gap or Jefferies Socks because then you can mix and match pairs without a problem and I also find it easier to coordinate outfits that way.

P.P.P.S. Also might be of interest to you: baby gear I wish I’d known about earlier, going from 0-1 vs. 1-2 children, and my favorite sleepwear for children.

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6 thoughts on “Winter Capsule Wardrobes for Babies and Toddlers.

  1. Such a wonderful post, and so helpful because I just KNOW that if I was outfitting babies/toddlers, I know I’d be tempted with the special-occasion clothes and might find myself in a similar situation where I needed more basics. I have accumulated knowledge around dressing kids over the past 5 years, though, and I have found that Hanna Andersson, Patagonia, and LL Bean REALLY hold up. Blue-ribbon faves for sure! xx

  2. Such a good post, thanks! Just bought our first pair of Jefferies cable tights on your recommendation and they’re great. Question about the wee ones bows: do they have “grippies” on the clip part like poppy bows?

    1. Hi! The Wee Ones have something similar to PoppyBows — kind of a rubber grip/label on the top. So glad you like those tights! My favorite!

  3. Hi! I’m expecting a little boy in April and have used your posts to create my registry. I really appreciate your recommendations. Out of curiosity, what do you do with any baby clothes or gear that micro and mini have outgrown? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!

    1. Hi Allison! Happy Thanksgiving and congratulations (!!!) Will be sending you good vibes as you round the corner into your third trimester. So glad you’ve found my posts helpful. I saved a lot of things because I anticipated we would be having a second but then donated absolutely everything else to The Good+ Foundation. If you’re local to NY, this is a best-in-breed non-profit that provides diapers, baby gear, formula, baby clothes, etc to families in need. They will even have a courier come to your apartment to pick everything up! It’s incredible. If I didn’t live in NY, I’d try to find a similar outfit in my local area or would at a minimum donate outsized clothes in one of those clothes donation drop-off bins. For baby gear items, you might try selling via a mom’s facebook group or something like LetGo. Strollers in particular have a great secondary market. xx

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