Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kids Clothing: What I've learned

My girls are girly girls who love to wear dresses and sparkly shoes but full day school this year for first grade was a game changer as their school day now includes "extras."  There's gym twice a week (comfortable clothes and sneakers need to be worn) and art twice a week (don't wear anything you don't want to see ruined by paint or markers) and there are never two extras on the same day so you're looking at outfit "restrictions" for most of the week.  Regardless, there's outdoor recess everyday, weather permitting, of course.

I used to buy a good majority of the girls' clothes ahead of time during end of season sales.  For the most part I've stopped doing this for several different reasons.  Because the girls' growth naturally leveled off and a lot of clothes could be worn for more than one year and there's not that much difference between a size 3T and a size 4T, they ended up with a wardrobe larger than necessary.  Plus, I don't know what they're going to want to wear and they are old enough to have a voice, within reason, of course.  I do still pick up a few basic items here and there when I see them on super clearance - such as t-shirts at Old Navy for $2 - but I really limit what and how much I buy now.

I'm glad I hadn't bought ahead for this school year because I wouldn't have ever guessed that they would have needed so many pairs of jeggings.  For the most part, they wear jeggings or leggings and if they wear skirts, they always wears leggings too, not tights.  I came across some super soft jeggings in a variety of colors at Target back in the fall after school started.  They were $9 a pop and I probably spend $100 buying up as many pairs as I deemed necessary.  By the end of each week, all of the jeggings are in the laundry so that was definitely a smart buy.

Here are my thoughts when it comes to clothes for kids:
  • They don't need expensive items.  Most of the girls' clothes come from The Children's Place, Old Navy, Target and Gymboree (only when there's a REALLY great sale.)  I do agree in certain cases, quality is important.  For example, I'm not a fan of Old Navy bathing suits as they aren't lined.  I really like the ones from Gymboree but I'll only buy them when they're on sale at the outlets for $10.
  • I never, ever pay full price.
  • I pretreat stains, sort darks from lights and wash and dry clothes at the appropriate temperatures.  I feel that it stretches out the life of the clothes.
  • Kids don't really need that many items.  50 weekends of the year, I do laundry so it's not like they have to go for stretches of time without clothes being washed.   

I think the girls are all set for spring and most likely the summer too.  I haven't purchased any new items for them yet in 2014 and I don't think they'll need anything until their sneakers get too small.  Oh, they'll need sandals and flip flops for the summer.  I usually wait for a super sale at Gymboree and buy them a pair or two of sandals for the season.  Love Old Navy for flip flops.

(In case you're wondering, I pass along almost all of the girls' clothes to family. The majority of them go to two of my nieces.)

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