Updated: Aug 20, 2018
School is almost back in session, and of course most parents dread the idea of Back to School shopping. However, I am convinced that a minimalist approach is the key for an effective way to manage your child's wardrobe. Since we've embarked on a minimalist lifestyle, I was able to complete our back to school shopping early and with less stress. The best part is we spent less! I discovered a new method that is working very well for our minimalist lifestyle. I created the 7 for 7 clothing method which basically means 7 items for 7 days of the week. So, here is a look at what I did to create a functional minimalist kid's wardrobe.
DISCLAIMER: I am a mommy of boys. So, most of the items posted will be for boys. However, the same system will work for girls! (dresses and skirts of course!)
STOP! BEFORE YOU SHOP, GO THROUGH YOUR INVENTORY.
Before you decide to head out and buy any new items, sort through what you currently have. We went through each of Joshua's current clothing, shoes, and under garments. The goal is to salvage what you can, to determine what still fit, what was worn out, and sort out items that were not being used.
We then created three piles to start the sorting process:
Keep pile – Items that still fits and were in good shape, These items would be reused again.
Donate pile – Items that no longer fit or were no longer being used.
Tossed out pile – Items that were no in great condition for donations. These included items that were damaged, faded, or stained.
CREATE YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Once the sorting was out of the way, I created a list of items that were needed. This is an excellent way to make sure you do not buy extra items that are not needed or go over your allotted budget. This also gives you an idea of exactly what items you are shopping for.
Shop for items that can also be mixed and matched with other items. This will help create more outfits with less clothing.
CREATE YOUR CHILD'S FAVORITE COLOR PALETTE
A color what?! Yes, that is right. We all have our "go to" colors that we just enjoy wearing. If your child is old enough to dress his/her self, you will notice they have one as well. These are colors that they wear often or colors they gravitate towards often. Not only will this help in the buying process, but it ensure that you are not buying items that will just sit in their closet. This year, we are sticking to the natural earthy colors. These are colors that Joshua normally likes to wear.
OK, so we sorted out our clothing, created a shopping list, and have a color palette. Now what? Well, this is were the fun begins!
Although minimalist means having less, it should not affect the overall quality of the product you decide to purchase.
Quality: Select pieces that are built to last. The idea of having less means selecting quality items that you can use for a longer period of time. This avoids constant shopping to replace clothing. Don't focus on only Name brand items. Name brand does not always mean better quality, In my years of shopping for my kids, I have tried a large selection of Name brands as well as off brands and at times the off brands performed better. So don't just focus on s Name.
Flexibility: I love pieces that we can dress up if the occasion calls for it, and pieces that can be dressed down
Affordability: Let's be honest, kids are rapid growing machines. So items yearly and sometimes monthly must be reassessed to see if they still fit. Find deals that will not hurt the bank. Don't overspend on items that you can find cheaper at another store.
So, now that we are fully prepared to tackle out minimalist child's wardrobe. Let's take a peak at Joshua's Minimalist Back to School selection.
My favorite and go to styles for Boys are solid Polo Shirts. Polo shirts provide the option to layer up in the winter, dress up or down, and are always in season. A comfortable number to have is of course 7. 5 of the basic colors(Red,Blue, Gray, Black, and White) and 2 additional "pop of color"(yellows, orange, green, etc..) Our favorite place to shop for quality Polos are Target and The Children Place. You can finD 100% cotton Polos at a great price($4-$5).
I am a huge fan of printed tees with bold positive messages. Our son enjoys them as well. A trick to keep your child's tee to a minimal is to select pieces that are neutral in color but make a bold presence. We use the 7 for 7 method. So 7 tees for 7 days. Tees are also great for layering and you can always add a pop of color underneath to create different looks.
THE DENIMS & PANTS
How much jean does one child really need? OK mommies, you honestly just need the basics. This include a dark denim, a light denim, a black, and a grey. We also include basic Chino pants in Khaki and Navy Blue for those dress up days. For us, a comfortable number of jeans to have is two of each color. This does go against the 7 for 7 method. This is where you can bend the rules to fit your child's lifestyle. Our lovely son tend to weak havoc with his jeans. Having two of each gives us the option to rotate if one jean is damage badly enough.
WHAT ABOUT SHORTS?
Although we live in a very very hot state, we did not invest in shorts this school year. We've notice our son is not a big fan of wearing shorts to school. We decided to build his minimalist wardrobe based on actual pieces he will actually wear. This is where you can adjust and customize your child wardrobe to fit your lifestyle.
TIP: Choose a cut that works with your child and stick with it. If you child looks great in boot-cut jeans, then stick to boot-cut jeans! lol. I learned this the hard way. I tried different cuts and fit for my son, and they just did not work for his body type. So I ended up having to either return items, or give them away. So once we found a jean cut that fit, we purchased all the other colors in the exact fit. It made life easier and ensure that he would have a great fitting pants all the time.
This area can be tricky.The goal is to not to buy more than what your child needs. With our son, we notice that his shoes last longer if we rotate 4-5 shoes throughout the school year. This is a number that is comfortable for us and fit our lifestyle. however, you can adjust this number base on the age of the child and what works for your lifestyle.
Stick with the basic colors. It makes matching much more easier.
Have one designated shoes for outdoor play. This will stretch the life of the other shoes.
SOCKS & UNDER GARMENTS
For some strange reason, we believe we must have 1000 socks floating in our sock bins and 2000 underwear and tanks. Let me let you in on a little secret, You do not need all of that! There are seven days in a week, So, guess how many of each item your child really need? If you guessed seven, you are right! You can actually getaway with less, but most parents including myself are comfortable with lucky number seven(7 for 7).
Well, there you have it. I hope this will help you on your minimalist journey or just help you simplify your life.
BEST PLACES TO SHOP FOR BACK TO SCHOOL DEALS
The Children's Place: www.childrensplace.com
Crazy 8: www.crazy8.com
Shoe Carnival: www.shoecarnival.com
Heir Of The Most High Tee: ORDER HERE