How I shop for kids clothes

My two youngest kids usually look pretty cute. The oldest - who knows? he is away at boarding school plus he looses EVERYTHING. So no point in buying him anything good!

I have some tips for online kids clothing shoppers. Sign up for email notices from your favorite companies. You will become aware of sales and often they might send free shipping to boot. I sometimes buy from Hanna Andersson, Olive Juice or Polern O Pyret USA or Lands End/LL Bean too, but only on sale. I think maybe once I have bought a pair of tights not on sale. I also hit ebay from time to time. And I am not afraid to buy for the next season. Kids do grow usually...ebay is the place to go for those Stride Rite mary janes to wear to the Amb party of the season. Or a holiday dress. Or Hanna Andersson snow pants which are last years model but someone in my house loves flowers so perfect. Lands End especially seems to sell clothes very cheaply at the end of the season.

When I am in the States I look for stuff everywhere. Target, the Gap sale rack, the usual mall stores, even Wal-mart. And consignment stores in the South are excellent for used smocked dresses. I can keep putting my daughter in them till she is 15, right?

Another tip - which came about mostly because I hate little girl t-shirts with silly things on them - if you stock up on plain white, pink t-shirts, they go a lot farther. They match almost everything and since I am somewhat crafty - those stains can be covered up with some freezer paper stenciling or ribbon or who knows what.

I am also big on stripes, but that might be just me...I think if we ever moved to Scandanavia our bank account would be in BIG trouble. Our little kids only wear stripey HA pajamas which I buy on sale every year. I have now quit buy the 5 year old any because she is starting to be able to wear her brothers hand me downs and the more those things are washed the softer and better they feel. Seriously! My daughter just grew into one pair that her brother has worn almost non stop for the past 2ish years - if she wears them 2 more years then the $28 sale price was well worth it as far as I am concerned.

So there is my official position on children's clothes. I have never actually met in person anyone who shares my views, so if you do - please send me a comment so I don't feel quite as crazy! Or if you have similar clothing suggestions - I would LOVE to hear them.


  1. I agree with signing up for the sale emails. We buy lots of stuff clearance on Land's End. I like them because their sizing tends to be pretty accurate and everything has adjustable waists. We have three girls who are really close in age. I often buy bottoms (skorts, shorts, etc.) in several sizes (usually denim or other solid dark color) when they go on sale. It is just easier. I love the idea of embellishing shirts as they get stained. Genius! Not sure my girls would stand for only pink or white but we buy mostly solid colors for easy matching so that idea would work great for us. Thanks!
    I am also an ebay fan for boys clothes. I am a little more picky on girls clothes but I find boys clothes are pretty easy to buy there.
    Honestly though, I am thrilled to be going to a school at our next posts that has uniforms. That's just easier overall.
    I haven't tried the HA pjs but I agree that if you find something you like that is a decent price and durable, you should stick with it. No reason to keep reinventing the wheel. I think it saves time and money overall. We'll see how my take on clothes changes as the kids get older and have more of their own preferences :)

  2. I'm a big fan of stripes and solid colors. With a puker who goes through several wardrobe changes a day, it's easier to keep outfits together.

    When I was home last summer, 8 months pregnant not knowing if we were having a boy or girl, I stocked up on the summer clothes in different sizes to bring with us to India while it was all on sale (knowing it would be impossible to find them this time of year now that we have a 6-month-old) but I had to buy all gender-neutral. Now I can add pinks and purples to "girl" up the outfits. Now that my sewing machine and craft supplies are here I plan on embellishing some of her plain onesies and refashioning some of my t-shirts into onesies for her.

    On a freak cold weekend back in the States I popped into Marshall's and bought the cutest Addidas track suit, one to fit her then and one to fit her now. When I see something I like I often buy it in multiple sizes so I can enjoy it for more than the couple of weeks that one size fits her.

    I check Old Navy and Gap weekly for their sales. I just recently discovered a 75% off sale at BabyLegs, which have been perfect for girlie accessories and getting more use out of all the short-sleeve shirts I bought last summer -- it's chillier here this time of year than I expected it to be! $1 newborn legwarmers sound crazy, but they make perfect sleeves for her!

    I also check clothing sales at since I'm buying formula from there anyway and I use them and for cloth diapers.

    I found an Indian website whose warehouse is here in H'bad and they'll let me pay cash and send my driver to pick up the clothes. That's even better than ordering through the pouch!

    Sophie doesn't care if her clothes are cheap or from last season. All that matters is that they fit and they are cute.

  3. LL Bean, Land's End. JC Penney, and Old Navy tend to have very consistent and well-described sizing for their products. I hate having to return things! Old Navy, sometimes JC Penney, and the Childrens Place also have jeans and pants with those adjustable waist tabs. My kids are tall and skinny (my just turned 10yo boy needs a size 14 for height, but probably has a size 10 waist!) and I have no idea how I'd keep them dressed without those amazing inventions! Oh, and consignment shops are fun, but don't Goodwill is great for some of the basics, like fun t-shirts. You never know what you might find, and shopping there supports charity too. I try to stick with name brands with shoes to keep their feet healthy.

    Now... being overseas... I wish I could find the Target equivalent of a 'big pack of socks'. I hate the local quality, but buying them online usually entails ordering 1-3 pairs at a time. My kids are hard on socks.

  4. Well, you know I am a Hanna fan in, out and up and down. The clothes really last since they go by height and the quality is so much better. I get on eBay or on sale, and Hanna jammies are a must year round in our house.

    When I do non-Hanna stuff, I agree that adjustable waists rock! My kids are all super slender and need them. I also love finding deals at consignment shops, but can't always find exactly what I need...