Today we meet Ashley, a global mama of three who spent the past 10 years living in 5 different countries and the creator behind the family travel page @bornexplorers. We talk about how she builds her kid’s seasonal wardrobe with intention and balance style and comfort on the day to day.
What is the first thing you look for when you purchase clothes for your children?
The most important probably is quality, I really like brands that are sustainable and ethical to buy from and then of course style.
Do you have brands on rotation at your house, that are your staples and you always go back to?
I do, I really love Mini Mioche even though we are not living in Canada anymore I still buy from them, I think they have really cute basics and what I love is the gender-neutral aspect of it and so even buying from my older boys, I can pass it down to my girl so it’s great. I love Alice + Ames dresses for my little girl so I usually buy one a season. I really love The Simple Folk as well as Wheat Kids clothing, love their designs. And then Zara for some good affordable basics.
Especially now that my oldest is getting almost to the Tweens years, I find it hard to find brands for him, so Zara is usually like good and easy basics.
Did you keep clothes from your older kids for your younger ones?
I did, I didn’t keep that much but yeah definitely I kept pajamas that were still in great quality, just some basics, some jackets, but now it’s something I consider especially if it is more of an investment. For example, I bought some Reima coats, that I really love but they were pretty pricey but since they are gender-neutral they can be passed down and saved for my younger Ella.
One thing I love about you, Is that you are all about spending the most time outdoors with your kids and still you always find a way to balance style and comfort. How do you do that?
I think a lot of it is just in the brands. I do a lot of research on the brands. And so for example the Canadian brand Faire Child. I just thought the pieces are so beautiful so functional too and what really sold me is that they are meant to last for a couple of years so you can really justify a higher price point if your kids will be using it for 3 years. So I research the brands and yes function and comfort are really important but I have always been into incorporating style first.
I try to do capsule-like wardrobes when I buy for the season, I try to have everything pretty coordinated to make it easy to mix/pair together. Especially for my boys, pretty much any of their shirts will go with any of their pants and it makes dressing a lot easier. I don’t have to tell them they can just pick and choose.
Buying kid’s clothes can take so much time, do you have a process for season clothes change to make it easy? how do you do it?
Well, I usually start by pulling stuff out from the last season to see what still fits. and in this case, lately, it hasn’t been much, because my kids just had these huge growth spurts but I see what I can rework into the wardrobe for the current season. And then see where the gaps are. So I try to have kind of a set number of pants, tops, jackets, the rain gear, all that stuff, and take time looking at second-hand or researching brands. But yes the bringing, taking the actual clothes out, putting new clothes in can be very time-consuming.
What is your starting point when you build a new wardrobe for the season?
I always start with what they need, pulling stuff in from the last season, and then pulling stuff out like the hand-me-downs from my middle one and if there is anything for my youngest and then filling in the gaps from there.
When I first became a mum, when my kids were younger and I was less intentional about the buying I would end up with too much. For example my son, Mason would end up with so many clothes because he would have hand-me-downs from my oldest, and then I would buy new stuff too. Then I realized I really need to have a system and just fill in the gaps so I don’t end up with too much. It took me some time to learn that but it’s so much better now.
We have so much input nowadays, with lots of messages to buy all the time, do you sometimes fall for emotional purchases?
Not that much now, I don’t really let myself look. I kinda have this time at each season where okay I’m filling in their wardrobe with what they need and then once it’s done, it’s done.
Until the new season comes I don’t look at websites. Otherwise, if I would still be looking I would still be buying.
You guys travel a lot as a family, Any tips to plan for the kids outfits when you travel?
BeforeI was really focused on photography stuff for travel blogging, so sometimes I would buy things cause I know it will look good on pictures. and then the same thing with the capsule wardrobe and the colors coordinating I also do that because it’s just then very easy for travel and photography because I know we will coordinate in the photos. The capsule wardrobe also makes it much easier for the packing process.
Any tips to help kids dress in the morning?
For my oldest boys, they just choose, with the capsule wardrobe it makes it so easy because they just ask me what the weather is like, so they know whether to get long sleeves or short sleeves, once they know the weather to dress for everything goes together. And then for Ella, my youngest, she doesn’t really care too much yet like she definitely knows when she wants to wear something, otherwise, she likes almost everything in her wardrobe so she’s fine for me to choose.
Any piece of wisdom you’d like to pass on?
I think it is really about intention and knowing in advance the kind of things you like and need. Sometimes I build the whole wardrobe around one piece. For example, for Ella I found this really cute tutu, it’s like grey very different not super girly, I think I just built the whole wardrobe around this piece with lots of greys. I’m really into neutrals because they mix and match so well. But yes usually the color-coordination pattern palette would be around one piece that I really love and then the rest goes along with that.
Over the years, with my oldest, the amount of clothes he had as a baby was absolutely ridiculous. I didn’t know much about the impact of fast fashion and it was so stressful to even go choose an outfit for him in the morning. It was difficult because there was too much. I really learned that you need to have the right number and life is so much easier when you don’t have too much.
Find Ashley's kids collection available to shop here
Capsule wardrobe, sustainable fashion, sustainable living, children fashion, slow fashion, mindful consumption, slow living ,kids wardrobe, mindful shopping