Simple Preschooler Wardrobe

With the changing of the weather, comes the bi-annual wardrobe assessment for our children. I have found that going through the clothes we already own, inventorying them and coming up with a list of items we needs saves money and prevents me from purchasing too many clothes. This keeps our wardrobes simple and our dressers and closets clutter free.

Here’s a glimpse into this process:

Simple Preschooler Wardrobe

I pull out the bin with the next size up label.

I choose not to stock up on a bunch of next size up children’s clothes because the rate at which they grow is never certain. For our 3 year old, our next size up bin contains mostly clothes that still fit at the end of the past season, any hand-me-downs we may have been given and any items I came across that I know my boys would love (like guitar and dino t-shirts) that were super cheap on clearance.

Last Winters Clothes

The contents of his next size up bin contained clothing that still fit with ample room at the end of last season. Always remember to look back at the clothes from the previous season because some items still may fit!

Everything in this picture (minus the dino shirt which I picked up for $2.50 on clearance this past May) were clothes that he wore last winter. Having this many clothes that still fit definitely got his fall/winter wardrobe off to a great start.


2 pieces of outerwear

2 dress shirts

2 nice t-shirts

2 pair play pants/overalls

3 play shirts

3 pajama sets

Current Clothes

The next step was to look through the clothes he was currently wearing to see if any of them would transition into the next season. A quick look through the closet and dresser came up with a few items.

2 hoodies

1 pajama set

1 sweater vest

1 pair of play pants

After assessing what we already had, I was able to make a shopping list of the things he was going to need. He needed jeans, a few nice t-shirts and a rain jacket.

Purchased Clothes
Once I had my list, I started stopping into our local resale store frequently (where I have store credit) and was able to acquire most of the items he needed there. The only items purchased new were the rain jacket and a t-shirt with construction equipment on it. The rain jacket is part of his Halloween costume (firefighter) and was purchased a size larger in hopes of it lasting 2 years so it was well worth the $18 I spent on it.

Items purchased:

Rain jacket $18 (Carters gift card)

Carters Khakis $7 (resale store with store credit)

Osh Kosh Jeans $6 (resale store with store credit)

Children’s Place Jeans $6 (resale store with store credit)

Children’s Place Jeans with Stretchy Waistband $5 (resale store with store credit)

Black/Red Stripe Tee $.50 (yard sale)

Black/Grey Striped Henley $5 (resale store with store credit)

Guitar Tee $2 (purchased used)

Construction Tee $3 (Carters gift card)

Thomas Tee $.50 (yard sale)

Total spent: $53

Purchased with store credit: $29

Purchased with gift cards: $21

Out of pocket expense: $3

It really makes me happy that I only had to spend $3 out of pocket for his new clothes. Using gift cards and store credit really help to stretch our clothing budget. And, I especially love that almost everything we purchased was secondhand.


His entire fall/winter wardrobe includes:

6 nice t-shirts

3 pair good jeans

2 dress shirts

1 sweater vest

1 pair khakis

3 pair play pants/overalls

4 play shirts

4 pajama sets

5 pieces of outerwear (2 hoodies, 1 sweater, 1 fleece jacket, 1 rain jacket)


I’m not suggesting this is the perfect amount of clothes for a 3 year old child. It is, however, the right amount of clothing for our 3 year old and our lifestyle.

We attend a casual church and there is not a need to dress up every Sunday, he does not go to preschool so he mostly wears his play pants and shirts on the days we stay home all day and we typically experience mild winters in Georgia so there is not a need for heavy coats and thick winter clothing. (If we do happen to have a super cold snap, we’ll just layer him up for warmth with his hoodies and fleece jacket!)

Handsome Pax

Modeling his new khaki pants with a dress shirt and sweater vest from last winter.

Secondhand Outfit

Jeans and shirt from the resale store. Both gently used and purchased with store credit!

Benefits of a simple child’s wardrobe:

  • Less clothing to organize and find storage for.
  • Costs less. Not having a large wardrobe means you spend less on clothing!
  • Easier to get dressed! It’s easier for the child to pick out their own clothes since they aren’t bombarded with a drawer/closet stuffed with clothes.

Do your children (or you) have simple wardrobes? 

responses to “Simple Preschooler Wardrobe” 14

  1. Great post!! I have found that going through and making sure you have the needs make life a lot easier! Also, Congrats on your wonderful news…. Will you be doing a post about baby number 3?

  2. So awesome! My children's clothing is such a battle. When they began sharing a room I was able to let go of a lot to make it all fit into the ONE dresser. Despite so many people telling me we "needed" a second dresser I didn't do it! I knew better 😉

    We still have so, so many t-shirts. Part of the issue is Amelia not outgrowing shirts like she used to but people still get her shirts they see that she would love. That love is my issue – she loves them all and rotates through them but there are so many! I've been trying to watch the ones that are thrown aside more closely in hopes of weeding a few more out!

    ps – your little firefighters looked adorable!

    1. Children's clothing can easily get out of hand! Good for you for consolidating everything into one dresser though! I've found that space constraints help me keep things simpler. It is hard when preschoolers love things – my 3 year old doesn't forget anything and will ask, repeatedly, if I try to get rid of something he loves! 🙂

  3. Precious!!!

    My girl is the opposite – at 2.5 years we have had to start bumping up to 3T because dresses were exposing her undies and pants were "capri" length instead of to her ankles! Crazy how fast she grows! Our little guy is much slower, although his expanding waste is an issue sometimes 😉

    1. It is crazy the different rates at which children grow. Our almost 2 year old is wearing some of the clothes our oldest wore last winter. Our oldest was in 2T for over a year so I suppose it was time to skip a size! 🙂

  4. Great post! We have a very simplified wardrobe for our daughters (4 & 16 mths). I find that the 4 year old is less overwhelmed with fewer clothes, and is able to pick out her own clothes (she is very independent so this makes her feel grown up). Not to mention, there is less laundry to wash. Paxton is getting so big! The plaid shirt and sweater vest is just precious!

    1. Yes, fewer options makes decision making much easier for preschoolers (as well as for mama!) And, Paxton is getting so big! He is so helpful and a lot of fun.

  5. Rachel! He's huge! 🙂 I love having simple wardrobes for my little people! Life is easier. Less to wash and maintain, less to put away, easy outfit choices, and less cost! I find my daughter has favorites and wears those over and over again. It seems wasteful to buy a ton when truly, she will wear her favorites all the time and not much more! 🙂

    1. He has gotten big! When I'm sitting on the floor, he now towers over me when it seems like yesterday he was just at eye level! But, it's so much fun watching him grow and developing more of his personality! Simple wardrobes are wonderful for little ones, our boys both have their favorites that they wear often.

  6. I just started this with our 2.5 year old – it makes things so much easier!! We are lucky to be gived a lot of clothing but most of it is random items that do not work well for us so I donate everything we do not need to a crisis center.

    When fall started (we are up north so it was a couple months ago!), I cleaned everything out and was able to buy her 3 nice outfits with matching leggings/pants, 3 church dresses and 3 lounge pants for around the house (we had play tees to go with them and sleepers). I did spend $57 on everything but it was new (from Kohls) and I received $10 store credit to use for her Christmas gift. it makes laundry SO much easier!! Now if only I could be so strick with my closet 🙂

    1. I love how simple her wardrobe is! And, simple wardrobes do make laundry much easier and keep the dresser drawers from overflowing. For you, a fun place to start would be Project 333 <a href="http:// (” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( It's a fun way to start paring down your wardrobe and really helps you realize how little you truly need to have a nice wardrobe that you feel good in!

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