A friend recently asked me how I put cute clothes on my kids without spending an arm and a leg. It’s especially poignant considering that my kids are the same age and approximately the same size, so hand me downs don’t work within our immediate family. Here are my ground rules for clothes shopping in my household.
Buy secondhand. Consignment, Instagram shops (I love adelescloset and hazelandgray), thrift stores, and hand me downs from other parents are all lifesavers. We have a kids’ consignment sale in my area twice a year (momstotstweens.com) and a few consignment shops statewide. I always make it a point to stop at Other Mothers when we are in Albuquerque for any reason. I even scored an Uppababy stroller there for $40! I love shopping on Instagram because I get to support other parents financially and get the most adorable high quality items for my kids. Savers is definitely my favorite local thrift store. They have a great selection, it’s organized well, it’s nice and clean, and it’s CHEAP! We have had a few different people offer to give us bags full of clothes they’ve had in storage for some time and we always take them with open arms. I never keep or buy things I don’t love. If they were given to us, I pass them along to other parents or local (small) thrift shops whose mission I support.
Sell your secondhand items. I sell at the same consignment sale that I buy at and I would recommend looking for consignment near you that you can sell clothes (and toys) at. Donating is great and your generosity will be appreciated, but I sell our higher end and nicer items to help pay for the next season of clothes for twins. Stained, but still usable items I give away for free on a local classifieds web page. I have kept a few items for their chest of baby stuff, but I do not have room to store bins of clothes in case I have another kid in the future.
Avoid cute baby stores. Don’t go to Target (clothes section), Oshkosh, old Navy, Carter’s or whatever your poison is. You’ll pine for that fox sweater for months if you don’t get it, but if you never look at it, you won’t have that problem. The same goes for Zulily, Fab, babysteals and others. If you want to spend money, go for it, but if you don’t, keep that app closed. It’ll suck you right in and your kid will be sporting that Sex Pistols onesie for all of two months until they outgrow it.
Don’t go overboard. Your child does not need 50 outfits in each size. Seriously. They don’t need 6 jackets. Or 20 dresses. Or 365 bows so they never have to wear the same one twice in a year. You can absolutely do all those things, but I would personally rather spend that money on Bobby Flay’s cooking or a new wrap. Do you follow Didymos or Natibaby on Facebook? Then you know what I mean.
Allow splurges sometimes. Because seriously, I bought that fox sweater for Cormac and I don’t regret it. I got them each a brand new shirt for Christmas and they look super cute. New clothes are just fine, but that’s not how we save money and it’s not how I dress them every day. Plus, grandparents buy them new clothes pretty often and they are way too cute when it happens.
I don’t spend that much making my kids look darling and you don’t have to if you don’t want to either.