During this whole process I came to the conclusion that the girls have too many clothes. Is that possible? I mean - I usually only have time to do laundry on the weekends so we need to have a good supply of clean clothing for the week. Think about it - there are three of them and by the end of the week, they have dirtied up at least 21 shirts and 21 bottoms. At least.
So here is a summary of what I have learned over the past three years:
- You can always find "in season" clothing on sale or clearance. In season.
- If buying ahead, stick with outfits and neutrals.
- If unsure of size, buy big as it will eventually fit.
- Recycle! Be creative.
Is it just me or have stores pushed up when they have seasonal clothes out? I remember this past year, Crazy 8 had holiday dresses for sale in September. I have seen shorts and summer clothes in stores and online since February and now that summer is here, these items are on clearance. One thing that most of us know, I'm sure, is that the longer you wait for further reductions, you run the risk of having the bigger sizes sell out. Sizes 3T-5T go much faster than size 18 months.
I have made a few mistakes along the way in terms of purchasing ahead of time. For one, it was much easier to judge what size the girls would wear for tops so we ended up with a disproportionate number of tops as compared to bottoms. I have learned that it is so much easier to buy outfits or neutral items (such as solid color tops and blue jeans) as those will give you more options than, say, a green skirt with multi-colored polka dots.
I do have a bit of an advantage with having three girls who are the same size. I actually purchased a ton of items from that Gymboree safari collection because they can be mixed and matched to create a whole slew of adorable outfits or the tops can be worn with jeans.
Because the girls are such peanuts, they are still wearing a ton of clothes from last year and even some clothes from two years ago. I kept some pants from the Children's Place that were size 6-9 months and size 12 months and they wore those as capris/long shorts last year and are still wearing them this year as long shorts this year. Those running shorts from the Race Report post on Monday are size 12 months and size 18 months. They still fit just fine. Those pink tops that Allie and Anna are wearing in the Ducky Race post are really size 12-18 month dresses from The Gap that now fit them as long tops.
I have significantly cut back on buying ahead for several reasons. In fact, I really don't have that much that isn't already in their closet. The last few times I tried to hit up a big clearance sale, I found that the size 4T and 5T clothing was severely picked over. Plus, I'm not sure how long it will take them to outgrow what they already have. Do you know what they wore yesterday? Skirts in size 12 months and tank tops in size 24 months. I wish I had a picture because the outfits were a nice fit. They didn't look too small or tight at all.
And starting in September (hopefully if I can get everything squared away), we will have a new animal to contend with. Preschool for three! Rich and I were under the impression and had been told that an offer would be extended for Allie and Em to attend school as peer models starting in September. Yeah, well that was all fine and dandy until I received a phone call asking to schedule Allie and Em for peer model interviews. I've been told that they are already on the roster so I'm assuming that this is simply part of their policies and procedures.
At this preschool, play clothes are suggested and the kids are expected to get down and dirty. Open-toed shoes and crocs are not allowed. Anna came home one day with purple paint smeared all across the front of her shirt. Unfortunately, I didn't get to work my magic (Spray & Wash) on it for a few days and by the time I attacked it, it was too late. There are a few tiny specks left so it's not that big of a deal but we will obviously have to have clothes that are just for school now.
So I will leave you all with an example of how I plan to operate now. We've had some warm and/or hot days here but summer is really just starting. Have you seen this adorable summer collection from Crazy 8? If the girls needed clothes, I would just head over there and purchase a bunch of mix and match items, which are already marked down, and have a good start to their summer wardrobe.