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How to Create a Stylish Toddler Wardrobe

This post may contain affiliate links.
This post may contain affiliate links.

If you love clothes and all things fashion, then you may jump at the idea of dressing for your little one. If you don’t even like shopping for yourself, then the idea of shopping for kid’s clothes may sound as appealing as eating chalk. Whichever camp you fall in, having a versatile and stylish toddler’s wardrobe makes a huge difference in everyone’s life and daily routine! Not only is getting dressed easier for both parents and toddler, but you can feel good about the clothes they’re wearing…and there’s nothing wrong with that! As a fashion fanatic and mom to one crazy toddler, here are my best tips on creating a stylish toddler wardrobe.

Gather Fashion Inspiration

Nope, it’s not silly to gather inspiration for your toddler’s wardrobe. You’re just researching and doing it right! What style do you want your kid to have? Take your family’s lifestyle into consideration as well. If you are an outdoorsy family that camps a lot, then you may lean more towards a ruggedly stylish look. If your kids are enrolled in all the sports and to you, Saturdays mean soccer, then you’re probably looking for a more elevated active look.

Maybe your personal style is simple, minimalist, and Scandinavian and that’s what you’d like your kids to reflect. There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s good to have an idea in your head about what your main style will be so you know what to buy and where to shop. If your kid is old enough, feel free to give them some say in this as well.

So where do you go about even finding inspiration for kid’s clothing? Good question! Search “toddler fashion” on Pinterest and you’ll find a lot of great ideas. Zara’s “Campaigns” feel like a magazine and there can be some great ideas there as well. If you have an idea of your style, then check out these shops below and see if the items line up with what you’re envisioning.

toddler wardrobe

Color Scheme

Shopping for kids clothing and putting together a stylish kids’ capsule wardrobe may feel a little bit out of your element, but I like to think of it as what I would do with my own wardrobe, just sized down. And that starts with having a color palette/scheme.

It’s up to you as a parent how much say you want to give your toddlers. Personally, I chose the color scheme I want my toddler to have. I’ve got to look at it after all! And my 3 year old would probably just change his mind by the hour anyway. 😉

Because I’m partial to neutrals, my son’s main colors are beige, black, and white. Blue is the accent color, mainly because you can’t buy anything for a boy these days without it being blue!

Pick 2-3 main colors that you want your toddler’s wardrobe to have. If it’s all white and black then you may miss out on the “pop” that makes it stylish. If it’s all colorful, then you won’t have enough neutrals and the ability to mix and match.

The benefit of having a color scheme is that as your kid gets older and wants to dress themselves, they can…without looking like they got dressed in the dark! And if you’re in a rush trying to get everyone ready and hurridly pick a few things out of the laundry basket, you can feel good knowing that it all matches.

Wardrobe Foundation- The Basics

Though in this post I’m not doing a deep dive into what makes a kids’ capsule wardrobe, I will mention that it’s always important to have your basics covered first before you move on to any extra items. But don’t think that these basic items have to be boring. The best way to turn your toddler’s wardrobe from so-so to stylish, while still being practical, is to look for elevated basics.

As an example, instead of buying run-of-the-mill shorts for my toddler boy, I bought and love these drop crotch ones from Target. It takes a basic must-have item and makes it look a little cooler. As you shop for basics, look for ways you can take them up a notch, such as joggers for play pants instead of sweatpants.

Every kid needs short-sleeved shirts. Instead of getting just a basic tee (though those do have their place), why not get a short-sleeve shirt like this one instead?

Based on what we use as a family of boys, here is a rough idea of how much of what you may need. Of course, it’s going to look different for everyone, and I’m not including things like personal items, a snow suit, or other things you may need for the winter season like mittens and gloves.

  • 10-15 shirts (mix of play & nicer ones)
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1-2 pairs of khakis or chinos
  • 5-7 play pants (joggers, cotton pants)
  • 5-7 shorts (mix of play & nicer ones)
  • 5-6 pairs of shoes (sandals, nice & play sneakers, rain boots, nice fall/winter boots)
  • 1-2 special occasion outfits
  • 3-5 outerwear choices (jacket, cardigan, coat, etc)
  • 2-3 sweaters

Related: 2 Year Old Gifts That Can’t Miss!

Now, these are the things that make it stylish! Because that’s what you’re here for after all, right? 😉

Outerwear

Bottoms

Everybody needs jeans and those aren’t exactly “stylish” as much as they are a staple, so just think about what would make a stylish piece for an adult, and find the kid version of that piece! Culottes and linen pants for a girl? Adorable. Twill joggers and chinos for a boy? Too cute!

Shoes

Accessories

Depending on your child’s gender, there will be different “wow” pieces. Perhaps for your girl, you get her these Golden Goose dupe sneakers or this adorable faux fur coat. Or maybe for your boy you get him this statement suit. Whatever the wow piece is, every wardrobe needs them!

Related: 8 Cute Mother and Son Outfits for Summer

Where to shop

Now it’s time to put it all together. I find pretty much everything I need for my boys from my local second-hand store, H&M, ThredUp, and Amazon. But as far as options go, that’s just the beginning!

Check out all of these stores below:

You can always find some cool little boutiques if you search for them on Instagram too. To score a bargain, check out thrift stores and flip through your clearance racks. Though you have to dig a little for goodies, ThredUp has a huge selection.

toddler wardrobe

Generally in a capsule wardrobe, you’d focus on high quality items. Personally, I am choosing not to invest a lot right now. My kid is growing too fast and getting too dirty!

However, I’ve found that the times where I spend a bit more on one item the quality has been worth it and he’s worn it again and again. Not to mention that it sparks joy! Nice outerwear and nice shoes are usually the first ones to invest in.

If you want to know all the must-have toddler wardrobe pieces for fall, then check out the post below!
Up Next: The Cutest Toddler Boy Capsule Wardrobe For Fall

stylish toddler wardrobe
toddler wardrobe
Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.