5 Tips for Shopping for Kids Clothes (without Going Broke!)

Thursday, September 19, 2013
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I have always been a bargain hunter, and I never (ok, maybe once a year) buy things at full price.  I love the thrill of the hunt AND knowing that you can get so much more for your money.  

When you combine my pre-existing love for deals with the fact that Lu is now on her seventh wardrobe (that's right, she is in 24 month clothing at 13 months old), I like to think I am a pretty savvy shopper for kids clothes.  

These are my top 5 tips for keeping your kid stylish without breaking the bank.

Tip #1: ALWAYS Check Clearance

This isn't as time-consuming as flicking through the clearance rack of women's clothes- I promise you can do this with a baby in tow.  I have scored some amazing deals for Lu.  Old Navy and Target especially have some cheap mark-downs for less than $2 per item, and Crewcuts online shopping is always free shipping- even clearance items!  

These boots at Old Navy were regularly $25.99.  I got them for... 97 cents!  They probably won't fit until next winter, but that leads us to tip #2...

Tip #2: Buy UP (Size and Season)

You can find great stuff marked down at the end of the season.  Buy a bigger size and stash it away for next year.  I recently bought two swimsuits for $4 each (regularly...)  at Babies-R-Us and they should fit Lu next summer. 

Buy up a size for items you think may last more than one season.  Roll up pants or coat sleeves.  You will get longer wear for fewer dollars this way. 

Tip #3: Children's Consignment

Ok people, I'm not talking about an old consignment shop that smells like Grandma's closet... At least it won't in a good children's consignment shop!  

You can probably think of a few beautiful things your baby only wore once (or never!)- that is exactly what you can find at a good quality children's consignment shop.  Some shops specialize in name brands (Buttons and Bows in Acton, MA and Twice Is Nice in Mystic, CT are GREAT) and others are franchised (Children's Orchard).  Keep searching until you find a good one, and then visit once a month. 

I picked up a BabyGap white and silver ruffle-sleeve romper with the tags still on from my local Children's Orchard.   Original price was $30... I paid $3.   It is definitely not the most practical outfit, but it looked gorgeous in Lu's one-year portraits.  

Tip #4: Good Tag Sales

This is what I have learned to appreciate the most over the last year.  

Look for single family yard sales advertising kids's stuff and don't be afraid to negotiate the price- remember, people just want this stuff out of their house! 

I picked up a pair of barely used (I'm talking about perfect soles, people) L.L. Bean snow boots and Lands End rain boots for $1 each.  These sell for over $30 brand new.  $30 for rain boots my child will wear 5 times before her feet grow?!  I'll save my money for something else, thank you! 

Also, look for big group tag sales that are heavy on kid/baby items.  Local churches, daycares, or neighborhood yard sales will often advertise.  

Last, find out if there is a Mothers of Multiples group in your area.  If they host a tag sale, you've hit the jackpot.  

I got this load of clothes, including a lot of Ralph Lauren, Hanna Anderson, Mini Boden, and BabyGap, last spring for a steal

The local WSCMMOTA biannual tag sale is my go-to place for inexpensive wardrobe basics for Lu.  Check out the upcoming fall sale Here.

Tip #5: Hand-me-down and Help-them-out

Family, friends, or family-of-friends who have older kids are likely to offer clothes and other baby gear.  Take them appreciatively!  Lu has been known to rock her boy cousins' pj's and she doesn't seem to mind. :)

Return the favor by offering up any clothes that are too big, or passing along your maternity clothes no longer in use.  Everyone wins (and saves $)!  

At the end of the day, my approach to shopping for children's clothing is pretty basic.  I want my child to look stylish.  I want the clothes to be good quality.  But, I don't want to spend a ton of money.  I hope these tips help you achieve the same!  

Of course, if you have any more shopping tips, I'd love to hear them! :)

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