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Where do you buy your children's clothes?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

Now that I'm trying to get together dd's fall/winter wardrobe, I'm wondering what other moms here do.  Dd is 5.5 but tall, so she's about to go into size 7 clothes.  I'm looking for clothes that are cotton/knit and easy to put on and off.  In the past I've bought Gymboree, Carters, Osh Kosh, but I've recently felt that Gymboree is getting more prep-kid looking, and Carter's stuff and Osh Kosh aren't as cute as I'd like.  We don't do any character clothing, and I like it to be well-made.  I've bought some things at Target but the quality hasn't been that great, which is frustrating.   I'm getting to be at a loss.  What do you do?  


Also, what kind of play shoes do you buy for your kids--especially kids who run around and climb and stuff.  I need shoes that will hold up well.  I've bought Preschoolians, See Kai Runs, and Pedipeds in the past but dd's foot is getting on the upper range of these. She wears  US size 12/EU 28.  She's also really rough on shoes so they have to be strong shoes.  I keep wondering if I should try something cheaper like Target shoes but do they hold up?

post #2 of 47

We get a lot of clothing from people on Craigslist.   I look for an average cost of $1 an item and take a chance that a lot or bag of clothing will have a few pieces my DD likes.  So far, we've been fortunate to get some nice stuff for her.


Kohl's has some nice kid's clothing that seems to wear well, and we LOVE Life is Good - their shirts run a bit big, so my DD can grow into them a bit and they last her forever - until she grows out of them.


For shoes, we do Clarks and Stride Rite.  I don't buy shows from Craigslist (only exception is snow boots) and we've found that those two brands wear well.  We also like Lands End for both clothes and shoes.

We bought a pair of Clarks sneaker-like shoes for school last year - my DD wore them every day and grew out of them before they looked used (she had them for the whole year).


We've gotten shoes from Target before and they lasted OK, but they were little ballet flats or flip-flops, we haven't tried their sneakers.  I figure for everyday wear and tear, Target shoes wouldn't hold up like Clarks or Stride Rite do.   


I've found that Target runs small, and shrinks after washing so I buy about 2 sizes too big just in case.  It's so frustrating when a shirt doesn't make it through the summer before getting too small, which is why we usually just buy from people on Craigslist.


And, one last thing (I seem to be rambling a bit, sorry) - Crocs are good for being at the beach and stuff - they last forever and are super easy to clean.   My DD doesn't wear them all day but usually will slip a pair on when we go to the playground - her clog things have a good grip, and it's so easy to wash them out when we get home.

post #3 of 47

Land's End is good for quality and for basic knits.  You can return at Sears so you don't have to pay return shipping.  Make sure to check out their overstock section for deals.  I got a bunch or really inexpensive things over the winter; snow pants meant to be $50 for $12, swim trunks and rash guard for about $5 each, etc. 

post #4 of 47

I buy a lot on Ebay -- the brands I look for are Lands End and Hanna Andersson for dd. I also buy clothes at Target (they have nice, basic cotton-blend stuff that my kids find comfortable).


I have to buy Old Navy or Gap sweatpants for ds because he's skinny and those are the only brands I can find that have draw strings that we can tighten down. I usually do Old Navy jeans/khakis for ds because they come in slim with adjustable waists. (Luckily, it's pretty easy to find decent used slim pants.) I don't care for Old Navy for dd because she's only 7 and I find the styles too grown up for her, and the quality for the girls' stuff doesn't seem to be very good. For shirts, ds seems to be wearing exclusively sports team shirts that people have bought him (3 baseball shirts, 2 football, one basketball and one soccer get him through the week). 


I do buy some Lands End on sale (new). The Children's Place has some cute stuff that I get on sale sometimes, but I also find that it runs a bit small. (My kids have long torsos and short legs, but the Children's Place leggings don't fit dd.) 

post #5 of 47

My 8y wears a size 8 and my 4 year wears a 6 with the same shoe size as your DD. Both girls are skinny and have to wear slim jeans or only leggings because nothing else stays up. DD1 is my one that even slim, skinny jeans rarely fit her so she mostly wears leggings and saves the jeans for when she has to wear them. We do a lot of Hanna Anderson dresses and leggings for them. DD1 I usually end up buying Land's End leggings to wear under the dresses because they are thinner cut. I do some LL Bean as well. I like my girls to look like girls and the older they get the harder it is to find clothes in regular stores that I approve of. I don't mind my kids playing in all those clothes, if it is really going to be a rough and tumble day then I keep some cheap clothes that I don't care about, from Target or something that they can wear and trash. 


We are all over the place with shoes. DD1 hates shoes and the only ones she can tolerate to wear tend to be more expensive ones so I do buy those for her. DD2 gets her hand me downs and then I supplement with whatever. We do buy shoes are Target for her often, her favorite sandals have always come from there. 

post #6 of 47

I get a lot of clothes for both kids from Tea Collection. Comfortable designs, fun prints, wears pretty well. I mix in some random Target stuff, Lands End, Hanna Anderson, Zutano, and American Apparrel and the occasional Gap or Gymboree. I'd actually like to buy more Gymboree (great sales, great wear) but I can't stand the matchy-matchy. Why can't they just sell some solids?

post #7 of 47

A lot of our clothes have come from grandparents.


I stock up when things go on clearance at Walmart (I'm temporarily working there) for $1 or $2 an item.


There's a big children's consignment sale here twice a year, www.sweetlittlerepeats.com that I'll shop.


I don't pay attention to the brands at all. If we get it for a dollar, it doesn't bother me so much when they wear it out.

post #8 of 47

I buy most things from Gymboree. I know it is expensive, but if you know how to shop sales and coupons it can cost about the same as Target or Wal-Mart clothing, and the quality is much higher. Gymboree clothes also have a high resale value online, so you can recoup a lot of the money you spend and use it for new clothes.

post #9 of 47

DS is hard on shoes, but we love love love how Tsukihoshi shoes hold up.  They run big, so if her foot measures at a 12, buy a Tuskihoshi 12, as the growing room is "built in."  They are machine-washable, which we love.  They are also very breathable, lightweight, and flexible.  DS has skinny feet and they work well for him, though I read reviews from lots of people who love how they fit their kids with wider feet.


DS got his first pair of Tsukihoshi's at around 2 years of age.  He wore them daily for 8 months (his feet grow in spurts about once a year!) and put them through all the typical trials that a 2-year-old's footwear must face.  They're long outgrown now, but they still look practically new, save for a little wear on the soles.  Totally worth the price.  Whenever I've bought other brands I always wish I would have just stuck with Tsukihoshi.  Nothing compares in my book.  The one exception is the "Retro" model shoe.  They're super cute, but the suede got scuffed up pretty badly on ours.  The Retro is a mesh-ier shoe anyway, so not a great choice for a fall shoe.


Here's a link.  Also try Shoes.com and search high and low for coupon codes.  I just bought a pair for DS for about $15 off with coupon codes I found online.

post #10 of 47

I make 95% of ds's clothes, the rest I buy at thrift stores.   For shoes, he mostly wears crocs, flip flops (old navy), and converse all stars with velcro.  He also has soft sole shoes that I've made.  Most of his shoes are hand-me-downs from friends of his that are bigger.   

post #11 of 47

@Mama2soren  YES!! on the Tsukihoshi shoes.  We got some a few years back and they have been the only shoes that held up and worked well for our oldest who seriously has

Fred Flinstone feet!  I actually was able to pass them to the younger one for play in the back yard.  Heres the thing with these shoes though, buy them at Nordstroms during their sales and if anything happens to them you can return them for a new pair.  At anytime.  ANYTIME!  I returned a pair of shoes there I had 6 month prior, one shoe heal came off the other was fine, I got a new pair in return.  You can't beat that!


As for other clothes, I wait for sales.  If they don't need anything then we're good and I can wait on the sales, otherwise I'll do some online searching first before I even step foot into a real store.  It's always more expensive in the stores.


post #12 of 47

Ds gets an insane amount of hand-me-downs from a friend so we never buy him clothes.


For dd we often buy used clothes.  We also shop at H&M and sometimes Old Navy.  We're on a tight budget so that limits where we shop.  Dd is also very tall and skinny so a lot of kids clothes aren't really made for her shape.  The clothes from the 2 aforementioned stores seem to fit better than elsewhere.


For shoes this year her grandma got her a pair of Nikes.  She has a long, narrow foot (like me!) and so it is difficult to find anything that will fit.  Eventually we went to a proper running shoe store where we found the Nikes that fit her well.

post #13 of 47

Besides Goodwill?  My favorite clothes are from Hanna Andersson.  They are really high quality and generously sized.  My only beef is pants!  My girls go through pants like there is no tomorrow.  They like leggings instead of cords or jeans with that awful fit-to-size elastic that curls up uncomfortably.  No more girls' jeans for us, seriously.  Then again, they won't wear jeans and the knees on their pants blow out in short order whether I'm paying a dollar or twenty dollars per pair.

     Hanna's style can be a bit over-the-top style-wise for the uninitiated, but I almost guarantee you will not be disappointed, and they are adorable on your own kids. The colors and patterns and stitching all wash up really well.  When I get the new catalog and add up a wish list of $200 or more, a quick $20 trip to the thrift store usually resolves that urge.  And if I'm lucky, I'll find some of that brand there or at the consignment stores in Seattle which I visit once a year when the sweaters hit the racks.


     For shoes, my all-time favorite is the Jungle Mocs Merrell makes for the under-size-11 set.  These are really bendy, but a bit more substantial than baby shoes.  These velcro for a nice fit, and are well treaded.  Unfortunately they don't make these over size 10 and we have yet to find good substitutes. I am a stickler about shoes being good and bendy.  Hopefully the new trend towards barefoot shoes will produce well-treaded shoes (lots of rain up here!) for kids that aren't as stiff as a board.  For maryjanes, I got some Primigi on sale (discontinued colors).  Great shoes for that style and really tough when it comes right down to it, as my girls are proving.  Too expensive to pay full price for.  The ones I bought were for birthdays.

post #14 of 47

I buy most of my kids' clothes at Target, Kohl's, Old Navy, and sometimes H&M.  They have a few things from Gymboree and Gap Kids, but I will only buy those on clearance, LOL.  I never pay full price for most things because I just can't stomach it.


For shoes, my son pretty much exclusively wears Crocs and Stride Rites.  He's still in the same pair of Crocs he's had for almost 2 years, though they are starting to get a little snug.  I buy his sneakers at the Stride Rite outlet so I'm not paying full price.  At his age though, he'll be in the same pair for at least 6 months, and I don't have to worry about them falling apart.  He's always outgrown his Stride Rites before they even show any significant wear other than just dirt!

post #15 of 47

I am not judging you here, but I am honestly boggled by how people find money to buy new clothes.  I shop second hand for myself and my children.  My children and I wear hand-me-downs whenever possible.  I do buy some new clothes at local clothing stores, on the internet, or at Target or Sears in the next-biggest town (we are rural).  I am cheap, though.  I just can't spend more than $20 on any garment as a general rule, and if I get that high, it's usually a pair of pants for me.


Anyway, I have some friends and family that hand me down stuff for the kids, and then I shop mostly second hand, but also at K-mart and Target, etc. if I need a specific item.  When my grandparents give my kids birthday or Christmas money I will buy Hanna Andersson for them -- I love how they are natural fibers, well-made, ethically produced, and they last forever.


I have mostly been concerned with finding soft-soled, sturdy shoes for my kids so far, and I have been happy with Target (often Circo) for that.

post #16 of 47

Ebay is good for gymboree, and then you get the bonus of older styles (since you don't like as much where they are going right now).



post #17 of 47

It may be where I live, but I have scoured the second hand shops and the clothes are either expensive and extremely worn or stained and torn.  No kidding!  So I'm done with that.  I've gotten hand me downs from a few friends for the girls but my oldest literally wears her clothes out and they usually can't get passed down.  They share shirts and sweaters but can't share pants.  For the most part we have noone to swap clothes with though.  So we're stuck forking out the cash for new clothes.  So I seriously have to wait it out on the clearance items. 

post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

It may be where I live, but I have scoured the second hand shops and the clothes are either expensive and extremely worn or stained and torn.  No kidding!  So I'm done with that.  I've gotten hand me downs from a few friends for the girls but my oldest literally wears her clothes out and they usually can't get passed down.  They share shirts and sweaters but can't share pants.  For the most part we have noone to swap clothes with though.  So we're stuck forking out the cash for new clothes.  So I seriously have to wait it out on the clearance items. 

This is our situation, too.  We have no one to get hand-me-downs from, and though I have looked at second-hand shops around here, I have never been impressed--they charge a lot for cheap stuff that is already falling apart.  I also just don't have time to constantly check up on these shops (they are not nearby, and we only have one car so weekends are the ONLY time I can do errands, and even then I'd rather be doing something else).  I keep toying with Hanna Andersson but, I don't know, they just seem so pricey even if they do hold up.  I ended up going with LL Bean and Land's End.  We've had really good luck with these before and they are slightly cheaper than the Hannas.  Other than knit, legging-style pants, I have not had a lot of luck at Target.  The threads/stitching seem to always come undone and sometimes the cut is off, which is frustrating.


In case anyone is curious, I got this dress in every shade: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/66383?feat=627-CL1 and two more from Land's End http://www.landsend.com/pp/JerseyDress~223936_1187.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::CPS&CM_MERCH=IDX_Girls-_-DressesSkirtsSkorts&origin=index.  I also got some tights, some lined jeans, some turtle neck shirts, some Moc style shoes, and some knitted leg warmers from Etsy.  I only buy clothes twice a year for dd.  Whatever we buy in the Fall has to last until Spring (I just layer turtlenecks, sweaters, and leg warmers in the winter).


Thanks, everyone, for your insight.  It was much appreciated and quite helpful!

Edited by LuxPerpetua - 8/4/11 at 8:13am
post #19 of 47


Edited by Mulvah - 10/16/11 at 5:53pm
post #20 of 47

I tend to buy most of my son's pants and shorts at the GAP, (when on sale), because that's the only brand that fits him perfectly. Shirts I buy from thrift shops, Etsy shops, Target, Old Navy, etc. I don't buy a lot of clothes for him so I make sure what I do purchase is of decent quality and will hold up to rough play.


As for shoes, lately DS has been wearing light-up shoes from Target. (They are usually character shoes, this time it's Cars, but they do have similar varieties that are character free). They hold up very well, which I was surprised about. My go-to shoes are Keen brand shoes, (which can be pricey), but they hold up amazingly well. We also do a lot of hiking/outdoor activities which the Keens tend to be more geared for.

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