They’re the building blocks of any closet – the pieces that pull together every single outfit. For you, it’s a plain white tee, favorite pair of jeans, or ultra-versatile LBD. For little ones? Not that different. Invest in the right basics and you’ll make the science of outfit planning infinitely easier.
What pieces do you need to get for each stage of your child’s development? Here are our essential picks:
Infant and Baby: Comfort is key, but cuteness doesn’t hurt either. Young babies will practically live in pajamas, bodysuits, and rompers, so stock up. It’s good to have extras in the event of accidents (spit-up, leaky diapers), so buy more of these and less of the specialty pieces. (Tiny dresses and suits certainly have a place in their wardrobe, but unless your home bears an especially formal dress code, they likely won’t be wearing these very often). Other necessities: comfy cotton bottoms; sleepsacks that help them feel calm, secure, and cozy during naps and bedtime; soft, flexible shoes for outings as they get older; and a bevy of socks, booties, bibs, burp cloths, and blankets.
Toddler and Kid: Toddlers may start to have opinions about what they wear. Welcome them – even when some decisions (sweats plus patent leather flats?) leave you incredulous. While they’re beginning to dabble in the art of self-expression, it’s still important to have a solid assortment of basics to support their outfit building. Now’s the time to add more denim to their collection. As you know, jeans are the foundation of basically everything. Look for ones with some stretch: they’ll be more comfortable and allow your active tot better range of motion. Beyond jeans, joggers and leggings provide tons of mix-and-match possibilities. Just add a sweatshirt, top, or tunic and – instant outfit. Speaking of tops, choose solid-color, wear-with-everything tees, henleys, and turtlenecks as their essential layering pieces. PJ’s are another staple of their expanding wardrobe. They’ll wear them for bedtime, of course, but they’ll probably also wear them for lounging. Invest in a few pairs and you’re good to go. Finally, shoes now play a more important role than ever for their growing feet. You want ones that provide ample stability and support their foot health. You’ll also want ones that are relatively DIY, not just to foster self-sufficiency (and save time) but because many pre-schools and day cares require it. Look for features like Velcro and slip-on styling. You know, anything that makes them easy-on, easy-off.