I’m often asked how I can afford to buy cute, fashion forward clothing for my children on a budget. I actually don’t spend lots of money when dressing Jude & Ruby. Unless I am buying for a Birthday or Holiday, I try to spend as little as possible while still keeping their wardrobes fashion forward and comfortable. Here are some ways I cut corners and fight guilt when it comes to justifying purchases for their wardrobes.
1. Stalk Clearance.
No really, I literally stalk the Clearance section in my favorite stores. I often browse whats new and wait for the items I like to go on sale. I ask employees about upcoming sales, and they are often more than willing to share with me about upcoming deals. I also sign up for mailing lists for stores I shop at most so that I can be alerted when sales are coming.
2. Buy Seasons ahead.
Part of my stalking clearance routine is that I will buy from clearance at the end of each season. For instance, at the end of summertime all the bathing suits go on major clearance. Last year I bought Ruby 6 bathing suits for $2.50 at Target. Sometimes it is hard to estimate what size your child will be in, but I generally buy in size of the age the child will be next season plus one size.
3. Say YES to Hand-Me-Downs
Always, always, always say yes to someone willing to give you hand-me-downs. If you have friends with children, suggest trading some of your child’s clothes with theirs (depending on size difference). Don’t have any friends with kids yet? There are lots of great used children’s fashion sites such as Baby Outfitter.
4. Thrift Stores & Estate Sales.
I have always loved, LOVED thrift store shopping and going to Estate Sales. I don’t have as much time for such things anymore, but luckily my Mother saved a ton of my baby clothes for Ruby and my Sister-in-law goes to Estate Sales like its her job. When I can get to the thrift stores, I search for children’s vintage apparel. Almost all of my favorite things for my children are vintage/second hand. You would be surprised what other people give away. A lot of the thrift stores around where I live have 50% off sales around Holidays, so I always try to go search during those times to save more.
5. Re-Purpose Gender Neutral Attire.
When I was pregnant with Ruby, I was packing away some of Jude’s clothes when it hit me, wait…Ruby can wear some of this stuff too! Suspenders, vests & bow-ties on girls?! I mean, it doesn’t get much cuter when done the right way. Also, things like Toddler skinny jeans can be worn by multiple children of different genders. Toms are a great buy in gender neutral colors, as they will easily pass down to the next child. Another option to re-purposing an older siblings clothing is to re-dye it in another color. Rit Dye is cheap, fabulous and comes in almost every color.