These simple tips will help you save money on kid’s clothes and still dress them well. I love the first idea especially!
How to Save Money on Kid’s Clothes
1. Ignore Sizes
It’s easy to look at the tags on your children’s clothing and think, “Oh, this is a 9 mo. shirt, so it definitely is going to be too small for my 12 mo. old” or “I guess I need to go buy some 12 mo. shirts because all that I have are 18 mo. ones and they are going to be way too big for my 1 yr. old!” But the fact of the matter is, those sizes are simply guides. Sizes vary by brands, so one time they’ll run small, the next time they’ll run big and once in a while, they’ll actually fit exactly for the age they are supposed too! (This is especially true for children 3 and under.)
When our oldest was just a baby, I soon learned not to pay much attention to those tag sizes. I regularly wear clothes long past the actual size listed. For instance, our 13 mo. old daughter is still wearing some leggings that are 3-6 mo. size, and she’s a big 13 mo. old! When she was 3-6 mo. old, they fit long and were ankle length. Now they fit like capris and work great that way. No one but me knows that they aren’t the “right” size, and it has saved me from needing to buy a bunch of new leggings for her.
Similarly, I’ve discovered that toddler/preschool age girl’s dresses are all close to the same size in the bodice area, it’s usually just the length that really changes that much. So, it’s not uncommon for me to buy a dress a size or two larger than I really need. When the dress is new, it will be on the long side. As my daughter grows and the dress shortens, I just add a pair of long leggings in the mix and no one is the wiser! Obviously some styles of dresses work better for this than others, but generally it can work quite well.
For boys, it’s a bit more challenging to use this savings tip, but I’ve still found a couple of things that have helped. For instance, vests can often be worn long past their actual “size” and still look good. And short sleeve shirts are much more size forgiving than long sleeve ones. Also, if you have pants that are a tad big, depending on the style, they can actually look kind of cute with pant legs rolled up one roll, allowing you to get a bit more wear out of them.
2. Buy Ahead
When you find clothing at a really great price, buy a size or two ahead and save yourself some money. This works especially great if you are shopping end of season clearance racks. But I’ve done it other times too when I simply find a really good deal.
If you aren’t careful though, this one can burn you, especially when your children are young. Because sometimes it’s really hard to gauge what size your child will be in several months time! But as your children get older, in my experience it gets much easier buy ahead and save.
3. Buy Used
This probably goes without saying, but buying your children’s clothing second hand at yard sales, consignment stores and online used clothing sites will save you a lot of money! Often you can even find brand new clothing for sale at these places too. Yes, it can take a bit of time and sometimes requires some sleuthing, but if you are willing to do that, you’ll get some great deals!
Just remember to look closely at the clothing you plan to purchase to make sure that it truly is in good shape, because after all, this is clothing that has been previously worn. Make sure that all zippers, snaps and buttons are in tact and work well. I learned that one the hard way after buying a nice pair of jeans for my son only to discover that the zipper was broken!
4. Buy Clothing that is Versatile
Matching outfits can be fun, but in all reality, they limit you because you are stuck with only wearing those certain pieces of clothing together and as a result, you end up needing to have more clothes. As much as possible, choose pieces that you can mix and match easily. Sticking with solid and neutral colors helps a lot with this.
I love the Garanimals brand for this very reason. They keep things simple by designing their shirts and pants/skirts to be easily mixed and matched, plus their clothing is cute and super affordable too! I recently bought a couple of pairs of Garanimals leggings for my daughters. They came in solid colors that make it easy to wear with lots of different outfits. And I thought the lace edging at the bottom of the legs was an adorable touch.
Garanimals clothing comes in a variety of sizes (newborn to 5T) and is sold exclusively in Walmart stores and at Walmart.com. Their bigger kid’s brand, 365Kids, offers the latest styles for kids up to size 8.
Do you do any of these things to save on children’s clothing? What other tips do you have?