Building a Capsule Wardrobe for the School Run

Articles about capsule wardrobes often focus on work clothing or the what you’ll need for a fabulous city break. However, for a lot of mums, it’s the school run that can be a real sartorial challenge. While you don’t want to be the mum that overdresses, rolling out of bed and throwing a coat over your pyjamas isn’t exactly recommended either, so how do you build a capsule wardrobe to strike a balance and make your mornings easier?

Start with some great jeans
Dealing with the great British weather, it’s likely that 90% of the time you’ll want to wear jeans. One pair of light wash and one dark will co-ordinate with lots of your favourite tops and jumpers, so it’s worth investing in quality and a great fit. There are plenty of options when it comes to jeans that are comfortable and hard-wearing, from Levi’s 711s to ASOS’s high-waisted stretch skinny. Jeans are preferable to leggings as they’re a little smarter and more flattering.

Keep accessories simple
Let’s face it, you’ll have about five minutes to don your outfit in the morning, between wrangling the kids and trying to feed them, so you aren’t going to want to hunt through your jewellery box for the perfect earrings. A gold chain bracelet, disc necklace and some stud earrings will co-ordinate with most outfits, and an accessory like a scarf will make an outfit look put-together - even if you’ve just thrown it on.

Embrace new trends
A capsule wardrobe is mainly made up of classics, but there’s no reason you can’t swap out items as they start to look dated. If you’re bored of your Breton top, switch it for a sporty sweatshirt or fleece to bring your look up-to-date. Mixing classics and newer pieces will keep your look fresh.

Chuck out things that don’t fit
The purpose of a capsule wardrobe is so you aren’t rooting around for clothes every morning. That means, if you have things that are ill-fitting, old-looking or uncomfortable, you should recycle or donate them. When you only have a short window of time to get dressed in the morning, you don’t want to have to keep changing your outfit, so only keep things on-hand if they make you feel good.

Look for cute flats
Whether you’re walking the kids to school in all weathers, or driving them, it makes sense to mostly stick to flats. Ballet flats might be dull, but they are practical when you don’t want to wear trainers. White trainers are a good option when you want to strike a balance between smart and casual - but look out for puddles! A good investment would be some flat ankle boots with a comfortable sole for walking.

Finish your look with a great coat
A decent coat will hide a multitude of fashion sins, as well as keeping you cosy and dry on the school run. Since it’ll be the thing you wear the most, it’s worth investing in a coat that you love in a neutral tone for compatibility. Ideally, get one that’s waterproof and padded too.


  1. Great advice - hate seeing mums in their pjs!

  2. I seem to have several Capsule Wardrobes without realising! I have sets of everyday housework clothes, other stuff for nipping to the shops and visits to friends that have dogs, smarter stuff for smarter visits, work clothes, etc, and then my poshest stuff!