HOW to Pack UltraLight – Capsule Wardrobes for Kids

The next post in the HOW series focuses on capsule wardrobes for kids and the associated travel benefits. As our family is actively preparing for an upcoming trip to Hawaii, we are fully immersed in the packing process. Capsule wardrobes have become a theme in our packing process, especially for longer trips. Mom has relied on this concept for some time now (see details on Project 333 and other resources here), but this is a new concept for our kids. Fortunately for our packing adventures, our kids are not yet at the age where they care what they wear, so we figure why not get them started on the concept early. Here are a few basic steps to kid-centric travel capsule wardrobes:

Neutral Tops or Bottoms: For kids, we have found that it is easier to choose all neutral bottoms or tops. For this trip, we decided to focus on neutral bottoms. For our son (4 years old), we packed solid color neutral shorts that all match. We packed 3 shorts, 1 pants, and 6 fun shirts to match. For our daughter (1.5 years old), we went with a few fun dresses and tops, with neutral bottoms that can go under the dresses or tops as needed (solid colored leggings and shorts). This also allowed us to only bring one sweatshirt and raincoat, both of which are fairly neutral and go with all the bottoms.

Color Theme: For the non-neutral garments (tops for us this trip), we choose a color scheme so that it will be super easy to make outfit combinations. For our son, most of his tops are blue and green. For our daughter, most tops are pink and some yellow. For both kids, this worked out based on what clothing we already had (i.e. we didn’t go out and buy anything new).

Outerwear & Shoes: For these items, we packed one pair of shoes (Keen hiking sandals), one raincoat, and one sweatshirt for each child. Each item was carefully chosen for its versatility and ability to reasonably match with everything.

High Maintenance Items: For parents or kids, we don’t bother with anything high maintenance. We try to set ourselves up for success when traveling (and life in general), and thus avoid items that are bound to cause us more issues than benefits. We try to focus on outfits for the kids that can be worn for both play and out to dinner, which greatly opens up opportunities when dressing the kids.

Greater Benefits: This concept not only makes it easier when traveling with kids, the benefits also transfer back home. When children have fewer items to choose from, it tends to help guide them through the decision-making process. We are hoping that by exposing our kids to capsule wardrobes from an early age, they will have an easier transition to picking their own outfits day-to-day and dressing themselves. By keeping their wardrobes simple, we have space (mentally and physically) for the things that really matter – quality time and play!

Stay tuned as we evolve in our travels! Please comment with your tips and experiences so we can all learn together.

Happy (and Light) Travels!

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