Buying clothes for kids can be trying and fun! For one thing, there is no shortage of cute clothing out there, but on the other hand you don’t want to break the bank buying expensive clothes for you little angels who are going to quickly outgrow them. Here are a few suggestions for buying children’s clothes that can lower your expenses and still provide fun, functional, and styling clothes.
First things first—kids clothing sizes are fairly standard and are typically based on age. For example, a 3T shirt will most likely fit the average three year old. This is a useful fact to know especially if you are out somewhere without your children and see a fantastic sale on clothing basics. Of course, use common sense. If you have a big boned toddler that is already wearing the next larger size, make an allowance for this in your purchases.
Keep an eye out for end of season sales. Based on our established fact that kids clothing is somewhat standard, you can buy clothing at a discount for their next size up. Some stores will have sales of up to 50 – 70% off of their normal prices so they can clear space for newer merchandise. Did you come across an adorable bathing suit for your three year old toward the end of summer? If it’s a good deal, but it’s not practical to wear the clothing now, try to find a 4T suit that they can use next summer! This can work well also for many other types of clothing, such as shirts, blouses, coats, sweaters, underwear, and socks. These items can be worn a little large or more loosely than pants and still look good and be comfortable. You also need to understand how most children tend to grow. In general, their bodies will fatten up and become a little more plump right before they have a major height growth spurt. If you are going to buy pants a year early, it’s a good idea to look for styles that have elastic or some other sort of adjustment for those in between sizes.
One area where money can be saved is play clothes. Active, curious children can be rough on clothes, so it’s a great idea to purchase mix and match clothing that can transition from the play ground, to rough-housing with dad, out shopping with mom, to possibly even naptime. For example, you can buy some decent quality solid color shorts or sweats and then buy multiple patterned or complimentary colored shirts to mix and match. Not only will you have some good play clothing, you’ll have a lot of looks to choose from.
One age old adage that still holds true is to buy the best quality you can afford. This is especially true if you plan on having more than one child and hope to have hand-me-downs for the baby. For infant basics especially, buy non-trendy, gender neutral items that any child can wear. Even if you don’t plan to have any more children, high quality clothing can be passed on to relative’s children or donated to a worthy cause. Exceptionally well-made clothing can even be passed down from generation to generation. From the author’s experience, clothing that is over 30 years old is still being worn by multiple children in the same family and looks almost as good as the first time it was worn.
If you are searching for a one-time event item such as a christening gown or a ring bearers dress, it is probably a good idea to look around on-line to see what is available. This will inevitably save you time and money and also allow you to see a broader range of products than most stores can afford to carry in inventory. This is especially true if you plan for the clothing to be a keepsake. You’ll probably want something unique and timeless. The internet is also a great place to look at styles and fashion. You can search online and get good ideas for outfits that can be pulled together either from clothing you already own or from purchasing some accessories to supplement your child’s wardrobe.
Most doctors are going to recommend shoes for your children only after they are walking well. Shoes can actually slow down a child’s progress in walking if they are worn too soon. The exception to this is most children will need shoes or very warm baby booties in the winter to keep their feet warm, whether they are walking or not. As far as shoes go, in general you don’t want hand-me-downs for your children, unless it’s high quality leather dress shoes. These types of shoes can last through more than one child quite easily, especially if they are readily polished. Other types of shoes such as tennis shoes or other play shoes most likely won’t last child to child. You want your children’s shoes to fit properly and be comfortable. Most parents find a brand of shoes that fits their child well and are able to learn how they run, small or large, and can order shoes online.
So there you have it. With a little ingenuity and thoughtful planning, you can outfit your children in style and comfort without having to crack open the piggy bank. Also remember that other parents can be a great source of insight and ideas. It’s best to tap into others experiences as often as possible so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes others have made. Happy shopping!