The white oxford shirt is a hand-me-down from big brother Jude, plaid skirt from a thrift store, bowtie borrowed from Dada, glasses from Forever21 (just wrapped white tape around center) and suspenders from American Apparel. Fun, easy, cheap and cute. I would love to find a little pocket protector or lab coat to go with it!
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.
I’m all about easy. When I see most DIY links on Pinterest, I’m often overcome with…
WTF? Who are these people?! I can barely take a dump by myself, let alone sew a rainbow made from unicorn tears.
So here is my DIY No-Sew for Moms with as little time as they have patience. I found this mustache print fabric at my local Hobby Lobby. It is pictured with a tulle skirt underneath, however it looks cute without it too.
Materials: 1 yard fabric, sewing shears, Velcro, hot glue gun.
I made a pattern first on thicker extra fabric before tracing it onto the mustache fabric.
1. Measure your little ones waist. Just like any other circle skirt, this will become the inner circle in your pattern. 2. Measure your little for length from waist to knee. This will become your guide to your outer circle in your pattern.
Here is a really lame diagram for you to help visualize my ramblings:
3. Take the waist measurement and draw a circle of measured amount. 4. Use the inseam number as a guide to guide you to draw the next outer circle as pictured above. Once I have my doughnut shape on my pattern I cut out the middle circle and around the outer circle. 5. I need to create a slit for Ruby to get in and out, so once my pieces were attached, I determined where the back of the skirt would be, and cut the fabric in half. 6. Fabric will need a slight overlap to hide Velcro fasteners, so over lap fabric about one inch and hot glue the bottom half. 7. Hot glue your Velcro tabs along the second half of the skirt. I bought stick on Velcro squares, but I secured it with extra hot glue.
Yes, this is probably the laziest way to make your child a skirt. No, it wont last longer than a few wears.
If you are looking for that kind of DIY, you are probably asking the wrong lady.
However, it is great for a last minute skirt!
Ari: Vintage Mid-century pill box hat, dress D-Signed (Target).
Ruby: H&M Beanie, shirt Target, vintage wool romper, tights Old Navy, shoes Cherokee (Target).
Edie: Outfit via Target, necklace from The Children’s Place.
Ruby: Shirt & tights from Target, skirt DIY.
Edie: Cape Nordstrom, Leggings Baby Gap, boots Playless, bracelet The Children’s Place, headband Target. Cooper: Old Navy Oxford, vest vintage with DIY flower, pants Baby Gap, bowtie The Children’s Place. Ari: Mid-century vintage pillbox hat and fur. Cooper: Old Navy Oxford, pants & suspenders H&M, bowtie The Children’s Place, shoes Chuck Taylor All Stars. Edie: Sweet Ivy cardigan, blouse Target, Baby Gap leggings, bow boots Payless, headband Target.
Ruby: Dress & hat from H&, tights Old Navy, shoes Cherokee (Target).
Ari: Black dress D-Signed (Target), vest Cherokee (Target), belt J Crew, bow vintage. Ruby: Black & white checked vintage coat. Cooper: Outfit via H&M. Edie: Headband from Neiman Marcus, cardigan via target.
Set Design & Photography by the INCREDIBLY AWESOME Vida Mia Photography,
Styling and Directing by Tiffany Reese of Lookie Boo.