How to shop smart for kids
Tara Dixon shares her top tips in buying children’s clothes, that will not only save you money, but will save your sanity.
Everywhere I look in our home, there is a piece of children’s clothing, however no-one ever knows how they get there. Magically at the end of every day the clothing fairy comes and puts everything away, and yet as obsessed as they are with the idea of fairies and magic, the little ones don’t seem to take much interest in the clothing fairy.
Having two kids, one who is absolutely consumed by what she might wear on any given day, and the others life purpose is to ruin anything he is wearing, I have come to realisation I need to be smart with my purchases. As you know kids grow so quickly, their clothing needs change based on what they are doing at any given time.
Here are my top tips in buying children’s clothes, that will not only save you money, but will save your sanity.
Tip 1: Buy the size up
This isn’t ground breaking by any means but purchasing the size up will mean your child can wear the item of clothing for longer, They will get more wear from a single piece of clothing, and it will save you money in the long run because we know in 5 months time they are onto the next size.
Get the look: Boy - Cotton On Kids Denim jacket, Cotton On Kids Boys L/S Top, and Cotton On Kids Boys Burnt Red Pant.
Girl - Cotton On Kids Girls denim Pinafore Dress , and Cotton On Kids Penelope Long Sleeve
Tip 2: Share Basics
Not always possible but if you have a children close in age, share their basics. Plain block coloured long and short sleeve tops, trackies, singlet, socks. Share it all. My kids are 6 and 4, but son is a very big 4 and can wear a size 6 top easily just by rolling the sleeves up a little. We get a huge amount more of wears from single items of clothing and if it means saving money then I am all for it. K-Mart, Best and Less and Target are GREAT when it comes to buying durable basics.
Tip 3: Think Ahead
Buy smart! Each season I purchase items for my kids that can be layered, for girl’s; dresses & pinafores will double for Summer and Winter. You will see the year through with long sleeve tops, cardigans and t-shirts underneath. Stockings and boots will warm up any dress option more than a pair of leggings. In Summer just wear the dresses as they are designed and that way you can make your way through the year with only refreshing the staple long sleeve and short sleeve options. Denim shorts with stocking always look oh-so-cute too!
If there was one item we could live without for my son it would with out a doubt be a puffer vest. In spring we wear a t-shirt with shorts or jeans, and in winter we have it layered as much as we need. They are the perfect option to keep them warm, and no need to buy multiple jackets.
Tip 4: Let them have a say
If you have a mini fashionista on your hands, don’t make the mistake I often do and buy the clothing I like, and not what she likes with the hope that she/he may wear it. I quite often return things because Miss 6 (going on 16) has told me she doesn’t like it (not ungrateful, just knows what she likes.) just I know it will never be worn and believe it or not, kids usually know what they want. Or at least like to wear.
Let them be involved in the buying process, they will learn the value of clothing, and if they get to choose it, perhaps they will look after it a little better. I try to have cash I’m my wallet sometimes so that my kids can pay for some of their own items at the checkout. The see how many dollars are handed over, and they realise clothes aren’t cheap, so It has certainly helped with them understanding why mummy get upset when they get holes or spaghetti all down the front of their outfits.
Tip 5: Check the returns Policy
Ask a sales person what they return policy is in store and online, incase your little one doesn’t like what you have purchased. You might find you have accidentally grabbed the wrong size or have gotten home and noticed there are sequins on the front and your daughter/son doesn’t like the feel of the stitching. All mistakes easily made, but you want to know you can swap or return if need be.
Tip 6: Shop the Sale
Almost every clothing store (adults or children’s) will have a sale rack. Make sure you check it out. Children don’t know what’s “In Fashion” at any one point. What they do now is how the clothing feels, if its comfy, its its scratchy and so on. So hit the sale rack and if its out of season then put it away for the coming year. You will find there isn’t a huge difference in children’s wear trends, the colour’s may change slightly but unlike women’s fashion, it isn’t fast paced.
Tip 7: Hand me Down/ Selling secondhand clothes
Investment pieces such as coats, shirts, party dresses and those special occasion pieces are all perfect for hand me downs, most times these are the items that aren’t worn a huge amount of times and by the time you need them again your child has most likely grown out of them. Think about handing items down when your buying. If you don’t have multiples of the same gender, think about your friends or siblings and their kids. Clothing can be so expensive, so don’t feel bad about selling your second hand goods recouping some cash and going again.
Get the look: Cotton On Kids Girls Party Dress
Tip 8: Play clothes
Don’t send your kids best clothing to day care. Be smart, head to K-Mart or Best & Less and grab your kids a Play Clothing wardrobe. These are the most affordable options, and you’re spoiled with choice.
Buying clothes for your kids can be, but doesn’t have to be expensive. With K-Mart, Target, Best and Less and Big W offering huge ranges of clothing you really can’t go wrong. These stores don’t have the daggy connotation they once did. Their design teams have stepped it up big time. Not only the designs but the fit and quality of the clothing will rival that of any other store. We tend to buy the majority of our wardrobes from these places, and add in a few additional pieces from the likes of Seed for their weekend clothes. Cotton on Kids is another store you really cannot go past. The variety is outstanding. So many styles and amazing deals like buy two for $XX. It really is a one stop shop with everything from PJ’s, shoes, party wear and everyday clothes.