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? 



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