Whole Parenting Family

Capsule Wardrobe volume 2: ideas & inspiration for the two year old girl

whole parenting family

Sitting on the back stair landing, sporting their Whole Parenting Goods leggings, and BabyLoves desperate to escape the clutching hands of these two.

Welcome to volume 2 where I tell you how I pared down SweetPea’s wardrobe to a healthy handful of pieces that I actually like. Volume 1 that told about SuperBoy’s is here.

When I purged, I put a few thingies for sale on my insta account.

When I shop used, these are places I do:

Just Between Friends: in person consignment sales. Search for your state.

ThredUp: lots of kid & baby outfits, gently used.

Zulily: but only when it’s a brand I trust. I’ve had a few failings here.

Polarn O. Pyret. {{Sales right now on wool layers and outer clothing!!}} I shop my favorite wool brand & outdoor clothing brand for their frequent sales.

Joules: fav british brand has an outlet shoppe where I’ve scored great ones for the kids.

girl capsule wardrobe

SweetPea isn’t a particularly girly-girl. The “pink gene” hasn’t been turned on. She’s impatient when I brush her hair. She doesn’t want me to fuss over it. She wears whatever project she was doing that day on her clothes. Markers, paint, food, glue, whatever. It’s always evident.

When I stepped back to look at what clothing we had inherited from my very sweet friends & cousins whose families were done growing, and what I had acquired for her, I realized how little she actually had. A handful of pants, a few dresses, a few tops, and sweaters. Not enough pajamas and never enough socks.

capsule wardrobe girl


The thing about having a two, almost three year old, is that you get to pick their clothes. And I am also not into pink-pink girlie so instead she gets this array of long sleeve shirts. Mini Boden, Tea, smafolk, Gap Baby, you know. All used, gifted, or handmedown.

Pants // skirts.

capsule wardrobe girl

It’s winter so she’s not rocking a lot of skirts. One of mine from my twirly girl collection is really the only one I layer with leggings in winter. I have some great wool I’ve been meaning to make into skirts for her. Uh. Hasn’t happened.

For pants, I’ve given away a ton that simply didn’t fit her form. If your girl is very dainty like mine, ditch the wide leg boot leg sorts. And the one pair of jeans she has is one she insisted she keep for being a cowgirl. Otherwise, I eschew all pants with a waistband that doesn’t slide down for this age. She’s potty trained and why hassle a little tiny kid with zippers? Find pants that stay on and stay put, neither swimming in them nor poured into them (except scrunchy leggings, of course).

My fav brands have been Zutano, Carters, and of course, my own that I made out of necessity for her when nothing else seemed to fit right! Leggings are really the best & easiest pants ever for kids this age. My kids live in theirs.


I had a sudden notion to actually hang the shirts that go with the jumpers WITH the jumpers in her closet. Tah-dah. Now I can find them when I am snatching them. Janie & Jack, Joules, Tea, and a few others. Natural fibers and I buy ones that will not show her stains. Well, the new Tea one was a Christmas gift and not worn yet. Can you tell by how clean it is??

Easy to put on & off, and a size that she can grow into, that’s how I shop for dress and jumpers. The Joules one has been amazing. I bought it so it would be big (long) and it has lasted the whole fall, winter, and I think well into this spring. It is a heavy cotton (another plus for winter shopping). The others are cotton or wool blends.

With a girl you can go a size larger and pair it with leggings once it gets too short to comfortably be a dress. That’s how I make mine last longer!

capsule wardrobe girl


Again, natural fibers. I loved my fleecy carter numbers but my eczema girl was scratching extra with them. So merino wool & cotton it is! Polarn is our go-to for the light but warm wools. I just bought her a second pair of these and a few cotton footie pj numbers for the rest of winter into our cold Minnesotan springs. I’m not afraid to layer at night, but really want it breathable.

She still wears a diaper at night, but is mostly dry. This means if she is wet, and because she’s not wearing the fleecy poly numbers any more, her pants can be wet at the waistband. It’s annoying but better than itchy skin!

Sweaters & sweatshirts.

This is a winter wardrobe, so wool and cotton sweaters it is. I kept one Hannah Andersson polka dot number that’s not a natural fiber because she screamed and cried when I tried to sneak it out of her wardrobe. My son didn’t notice anything being yanked away. Her? Well, she’s a bit more keen in the vision department.

I favor Toto Knits, the organic cotton sweaters knit by moms in Africa, and Interior Castles, the soft wools made by my friend Cynthia, a little cashmere where I can find it, and cotton by Zutano. Not pictured is another wonderful hand knit from Bolivia I found at a Just Between Friends sale for like $10 and it’s cashmere!!

Avoiding graphics I find obnoxious and sticking to layers that can breathe has been my M.O. in the sweater department.

capsule wardrobe little girl

Socks & shoes.

Smartwools, of course, and Polarn’s wool tights. For shoes, we’ve lived in our Minnetonka Mocs, Bogs (bought on clearance in the spring at REI–always start shopping for next winter in the spring!), and TOMS
(bought for supersale on Zulily a while back). I used to buy shoes used but had too much trouble with the smell of some of them, and the forming of the sole to the previous owner’s feet.

Now I hawk-eye for clearance and sales for brands I know fit her, and a bonus for ones like Bogs that she can pull on herself even as a tot. The more independence in this department the better as I have the baby to suit up for going out, too!


So next week, the baby’s wardrobe, then mine, and then maybe a winter special? How we dress for the outdoors around here and hopefully some of my fav winter gear will be on an almost-spring sale?

*links to amazon mean if you buy something while you’re shopping through, I get $0.0002. So thanks!



  1. Lauren on February 17, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Toms for kids on Zulily tomorrow! I got two pairs last year and I’m doing the same this year! I love seeing these posts. Most of Margaret’s stuff comes second hand, but I will scour clearance racks (hello first child) for things like onesies and shirts- they get so trashed at this age (one year) that I rarely find them in good shape used. And REI has been my favorite place lately. I scored one of their brand’s micropuff jackets for next year – $12! I couldn’t believe it.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      I aw that!! So great. REI for $12? Girl, you’re talented!

  2. Jeanette on February 17, 2015 at 10:41 am

    My girl got that Tea dress for Christmas too! I love PoP’s little wool socks. just the best ever! I haven’t had much luck on Thredup for the kiddo (maybe you are snagging the good stuff ;P) but it’s the BEST for maternity wear! I’ll need to give JBF another try, but I’ll need to do some meditation in prep 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      So pretty! Yeah to the meditation. Brace yourself with a stiff shot of hot cocoa ahead of time!!!!! 🙂

  3. Jessica on February 17, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Nell, thank you so much for this! I have a 3.5 year old boy and 18 month old girl and we are gifted a lot of clothing – some hand-me-downs from my Mom, and some brand new clothes from my MIL. I always hate getting rid of nice clothes, but…I also hate re-washing clothes that got pulled out, stepped on, and never worn.

    With the Bogs – do you order big? We have another winter in Upstate New York and I know that both of my kids are going to need boots, but I would love to stretch them as long as possible.

    • Laurel on February 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      I have found the Bogs run on the bigger side (but we wear cotton socks). Nell?

      • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2015 at 9:23 pm

        I’m with you. But SweetPea’s feet haven’t grown much in almost a year so that doesn’t really help.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      I had that same problem giving away clothes that we just weren’t wearing! I’m with Laurel on the Bogs. I go big and then layer with wool socks. REI has a wool sock that I got for her this winter that was really bulky and it helped!

  4. Laurel on February 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    I love the quality of PoP’s clothes! I got a great haul last year on a major clearance sale, but haven’t been able to find the right sizes this year. We also love Hanna A, especially their dresses. I like to have a few nice dresses for church and a few play dresses (ones I don’t care about staining). And, YES, to the leggings. E is potty training right now and the jeans are OUT. Don’t want to cause accidents because of an inability to pull down pants.
    I recently discovered Bogs on Zulily and they are my new best friend. Miss Independent needed something she could completely do on her own that wouldn’t take 20 minutes to figure out. She’s able to pop these on in a jiffy All. By. Herself. I love Saltwaters for the summertime.
    We stick to a pretty minimal wardrobe. Both of the girls have about enough to last the week and then into the wash they go for the following.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Leggings so necessary for the toilet runs!! I’ve heard lots of good about Saltwaters. Maybe I need to investigate?

  5. Kristen @ A Fussner Occurrence on February 17, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I’m a huge fan of hand me downs and second hand clothes for my girls. Sadly, our oldest who is 2.5 years is wearing 3t/4t and I find it is much harder to find second hand clothes that aren’t worn out. Thankfully my parents live near an outlet mall with one of our favorite stores, Hanna Andersson. If you wouldn’t mind sharing, how many shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, and sweaters do you have for your little girl? I’m thinking ahead to spring and what to “downsize” how much I buy her. Thanks!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 17, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Outlet all the way! Let me count. She has about 6-7 pants, three PJs, 5-6 tops, 5 dresses, and about 6 sweaters. Does that help?

      • Kristen on February 18, 2015 at 3:06 am

        Thank you! It does help!

  6. Rachel on February 18, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Great post! My newest babe (#4) now 8months has such sensitive skin and eczema – I have the hardest time for pjs….we live outside of Chicago (brrrrr). The fleecy ones keep her warm but I have just figured out that they are doing a number on her poor skin. We cloth diaper and use wool covers, and why it never occurred to me to use wool jammies I have no clue!! Thank you so much for mentioning that-it was like a light bulb! I clicked right on over to order her a wool sleeper, wowza on the price. Totally worth it though. Any tips/suggestions on how to find them more affordable?

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

      They are pricey!!! But with proper care, they do last forever, too. I like this brand I forgot to mention: Merino Kids. Polarn O Pyret has big discount sales annually so I swoop up then and although I’ve not tried ebay for either of these brands, I bet you might find some there?

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