To be honest, most of my girls' clothes are gifts. Brian and I have very generous family who love to spoil our children... BUT I'm fully aware of the cost of keeping kids dressed stylishly.
Rules & Tips for shopping for Kids:
- Spend very little on the basics but be sure to stock up on them. This includes leggings in black & grey, and solid colored tank tops. Leggings I can usually find for $5 or less, and tanks for $2- $4. Peruse sale racks! Go to discount stores... go thrifty for basics! (Carters, Target, H&M & Zara sales)
- Accessories make and break an outfit. They're not costly, but they provide the impact to take an outfit up a notch. Scarves and hats are a hit in our house, so we have a few in bright colors to liven up any look. Belts aren't practical for my girls' ages, so I skip them entirely. Headbands, barrettes, you name it. We love them in patterns and brights and avoid neutrals here. Stay tuned for a post on accessories coming soon.
- When you buy jackets, buy them slightly big, and let your kids wear them until they're too small. Jackets tend to be more costly than other pieces, so be practical and keep the jacket's lives going and going. Sophie is still wearing a 2T denim jacket that looks cropped and adorable, and Maggie wears the same one with the sleeves cuffed. No shame in that game! ;)
- Don't go too conservative for your kids. Let them make fashion calls for themselves when you're shopping for the fun stuff, so when you get home you have fewer wardrobe battles. Maybe tulle and sparkly isn't your thing, but paired with your neutral basics (above), it'll be a match. Clothing is a perfect way to let them express their creativity, and there is plenty of time down the road for them to wear serious adult-like clothing.
- Shoes choices are key! You should love them and they should love them. They should also be comfortable. Sophie wants "princess shoes" or rain boots every day. Princess shoes for her include any type of ballet flat. She has a pair in blue and brown, so one or the other will go with nearly everything.
- If your child puts up a fight every time you try to put them in something, ask yourself if it's worth it. We tried a pair of wide-legged jeans once and she was mortified whenever she had to wear them because "these jeans are so funny!" If they have an aversion to a style, for me it isn't worth it to force it.
- Jeans are expensive! Buy one or two really good pair, then use leggings for park time and everyday activities. My girls have either a black or grey pair, but most of theirs are really bright and playful colors and patterns.
- HAVE FUN!