It’s a pretty safe bet that everyone is feeling the financial squeeze lately with the economy and the changes happening in our jobs, healthcare and the nation. We all have our priorities, and unfortunately, sometimes we still have to pinch pennies to take care of the things on the top of our lists.
Kid’s clothes are no exception! They certainly need them, but how do you manage things so that you can meet their needs and still be able to have them look nice on special occasions and most importantly, like what they are wearing?
More and more, our customers are looking for flexibility in the children’s clothing they purchase. Every family is different, so you have different options from the next person. If you have 6 boys, you might be able to spend $50 on an indestructible pair of jeans since all the kids can wear them and you would actually save money in the end. However, if you don’t have anyone to hand down the clothes to, you are probably thinking about a much lower price point.
Here are some ideas on how to get the most out of your kids’ wardrobes during the various holidays and every day.Look for kids clothes that have room to grow with them. Skirts, shorts and short sleeved tops tend to fit longer since you’re supposed to see their wrists and ankles. Sweater vests are a nice way to dress up a basic boys dress shirt and with no sleeve length to worry about, they can wear vests longer. Look for dresses with generous hems that you can let out as your little girl grows. Rosey Bear Boutique has several styles from Sarah Louise and Petit Ami that offer lots of room to let out the hem. Skip the holiday themed kids clothes. Sure, we know that dress with embroidered candy canes or reindeer is super cute, but she’ll get minimal use out of it. Instead, go with a sweet smocked dress that you can accessorize with holiday hair bows that cost much less. Plus, the hair bows will fit for many years and can be worn with many dresses.
Black goes with everything. You know it’s true! Don’t forget this little rule of thumb when looking at kids shoes. We always think of white shoes on little girls for Easter, but how often does she really get to wear them? I’ve actually handled this a couple of different ways in the past. One option is to just go with black. Especially if she’s grown to the point of wearing the same size for a whole year, you can choose a nice pair of black patent shoes that she can wear all year round. Even if she is still small enough to go through several sizes in a year, you will still cut your shoe budget in half by just buying black. Another good choice is ivory. If you really would rather she wear a lighter shoe color, consider ivory for a nice year round dress shoe. Your second option is to get a pair of white sandals that she wears for the first time on Easter so that they are pristine. After that, they become her sandals for that year, allowing her to get the most wear possible out of them.Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! We all know that accessories can make or break your outfit. It’s no exception for kids! You can take a reasonably priced dress and turn it into a beautiful Easter ensemble with a few accessories. And as we noted before, most accessories are going to last for several seasons, so you really get your money’s worth. Take a basic, smocked summer dress, for example. Add a sweater, dressy socks and an Easter hat or hair bow and you’ve got an outfit. That same dress becomes a great addition to her wardrobe since she can wear it in cooler weather with the sweater and then by itself during the summer.
Buy machine washable kids clothes There are a lot of dry clean only clothes for kids out there and if you want to save money, don’t buy them! Avoid the dry cleaning costs and make sure the clothes are machine washable before you buy them. You won’t want to pay for dry cleaning once, let alone several times a year if you are hoping to get a lot of wear out of the clothes you choose for your kids.
There is a difference between cheap and inexpensive. This is something I’m sure you already know, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Those $3 pants from your local discount superstore are no value when they fall apart in the wash, one leg shrinks and the other doesn’t or they get out of shape and no longer look nice on your child. Sometimes the lowest price isn’t the best deal and could end up costing you more in the end.
Being on a budget doesn’t mean giving up style! You can still dress your kids fashionably if you use some (or all) of these tips. Decide which things are most important to you and then try one of the compromises for the others. Your kids will still look great and you won’t break the bank!