Thursday, September 3, 2009

Making the Most of Your Children's Clothes

Young children are hard on clothes, grow out of clothes at seemingly random times, and could care less whether anything matches or is seasonally appropriate. I wish I had $1 for every time my daughter has wanted to wear a favorite t-shirt when it was 30 degrees outside, or has wanted to wear some fleece footie pajamas when it's 90 degrees outside. She shows up regularly at breakfast in striped skirts with patterned tops and so forth. My boys...well, we're doing good to keep them clean-ish from breakfast to lunch, much less stay in the same outfit, unscathed, for an entire day.

Here are some tips to make the most of your children's clothes, particularly if they are still at home with you and can dress casually.

  1. Invest in quality basics. A few pairs of pants, some good heavyweight t-shirts, a nice button down or two, good shoes, etc. are all worth investing a bit of money in. If you think something will get worn daily, make sure it will hold up. That being said, you can still find many of these items on sale at the end of the season.
  2. Buy basics in solid and basic colors. If your daughter loves pink, buy a solid pink skirt, a solid pair of pink shorts, and maybe a pink jumper. Then, you can pick up some frilly, flowery, princess-y shirts and tops here and there at a consignment sale and they will go with a number of items already in her wardrobe. But sweatpants and sweatshirts for winter wear in a variety of basic colors. Then, if your son shows up in his favorite gray shirt with his navy or red or black sweatpants--it will all work!
  3. Buy one or two really fun items, but buy them on consignment. No one wants to wear boring clothes all the time, but children are notorious for being really into Bob the Builder one month and moving on to Curious George the next.
  4. Use t-shirts all year: layer smaller ones under long-sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, or sweaters, and larger ones over long-sleeved t-shirts. Layers keep kids warmer, and they'll be able to wear that fun t-shirt they got at the beach all winter long.
  5. Get creative: my children often put on clean clothes before nap-time in the winter if they've been playing outside all morning. The odds of it being light enough outside after their naps is slim, so they usually don't go outside again. Those clean clothes that were worn from naptime-bedtime then become the go-outside-and-get-dirty-clothes the next morning. Similarly, they often sleep in clean t-shirts in the summer. In the morning, they're ready for the day and we haven't dirtied up pajamas.

1 comment:

Bridgette Boudreaux said...

You are a genius about the nap time clothes...I've been known to change him into pjs only to re-change him when he wakes up and change him a third time before bed!