How Much Clothing Do Kids Need?


How many outfits do kids need compared to adults? It is a very interesting question. As adults of course since we are not growing anymore, we can keep our clothing and shoes longer as we are not outgrowing them. Kids are different since usually we need to buy clothes for them around 2 times a year or sometimes more often if they go through a sudden growth spurt.

How much is enough and how much is too much? I used to buy a lot more clothing for my son when we was younger. Of course his clothes got dirty faster when we was a little guy, and of course there were diaper explosion accidents. Fast forward to now when he is 10 going on 11 and now I’ve gotten much more minimal when it comes to his wardrobe. I also used to buy special outfits for Easter and for Christmas. Now, I just buy two “nice shirts” in the fall that can go for any winter/spring holiday and then one “nice shirt” in the spring/summer. Those are more than enough for any occasion we may be attending- and for picture day too! I am aware that girl’s clothing presents more of a challenge because there are more choices/accessories. However, I do believe that a similar effect can be achieved.

For fall/winter here is what I usually get for my son:

5 or so long sleeved shirts

2 collared shirts

5 pairs of pants

7+ pairs underwear

7+ pairs socks

1 pair of shoes (I only buy him 1 pair of shoes at a time. I never really buy formal shoes unless they are really needed)

3-4 pairs pajamas

1 coat

For summer:

5-7 pairs shorts

5-7 short sleeved shirts

1 collared short sleeve shirt

1 pair sandals/flip flops

1 pair swim trunks/swim shirt

underwear/socks/pajamas as needed

I think that this minimal wardrobe works really well. His closet is not stuffed with clothes and he can easily find what he needs. When he outgrows his clothes I can just pass it on to others. That’s great!

We are going on vacation this summer and I know that he has 7 days worth of clothing, then we will do laundry. This way we can pack light, but still have a very enjoyable trip.

I would love to hear from you on how much clothing you get for your kids each season and also how much you buy for yourself each season!

Joyful Minimalism: 

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Trista Ainsworth

I am a professional organizer and decluttering expert. I help clients create more peace, joy and freedom in the spaces in their homes and businesses.