BUT, when winter comes around and I find that ds hasn't grown as much as I thought he would, for example, are half the pants going to sit unused in the box? Or when we get out dd's clothes will I find that she has grown so tall that the pants won't actually fit her at all?
When you take away the clothes that end up not working, they aren't such a great deal after all, are they?
Would it be better to wait until each season is starting, take an inventory, and THEN go buy what we need, even though it's not on sale? (Actually, I've noticed that it's usually only a few weeks into a season before they start putting things on sale, so I guess I could find deals). For the boys we usually end up just doing denim and khaki (jeans or shorts, depending on season) and then a bunch of shirts. I'm thinking that just waiting and getting what we need would actually end up being cheaper than all this miscellaneous bargain-hunting shopping I do. At the Goodwill while on vacation a couple of months ago I think I bought 10 pairs of little boy jeans/pants in the 24 mo to 3T range. Which is fine if all 10 pairs fit one boy or the other, but if half of them don't fit what's the point?
Ok, enough rambling. How do you all handle the clothes shopping?
We try to buy when the weather changes (not necessarily when the stores think it should), and under-buy because the in-laws love to send her clothes as presents, so know there will be some nice outfits coming from them.
I don't tend to "stock up" for the reasons you've mentioned -- it's hard to know if it will fit when the time comes.
but, my family (just DH and I right now) are trying to streamline down to only a few items of clothing--that seven items concept. we want to do this with our children as well.
part of the reason why is because this is the way i was raised (we always had mix and match clothes), and because when my parents were finally financially established, the way that they did spend money made me terribly uncomfortable. Each year, my mother donates $1000s of clothing that she bought and never wore. it's unbelieveable.
*Something* is always on sale and there are always consignment shops, thrift shops or just plain buy it retail.
Mom to DD1 (11/1999), DD2 (07/2003), and DS (11/2012), all born at home and cloth diapered.
I have it easy, though, because I have a little boy who could give a care about what's in his closet. I have his closet organized into size chunks (2T, 3T, 4T, 5T), so I can see at a glance what holes need to be filled and what I can quit looking for.
Plus, the only real "summer" clothes he has are shorts....and the only real "winter" clothes he has are his snow boots and coat. Everything else is just pants and shirts.
I have his clothing blocks organized with long-sleeve shirts, dress shirts (long and short sleeve), polo shirts, t-shirts, jammies, and pants. It's been working pretty well so far. When he gets into that in-between stage (right now, he's between 2T and 3T), I can either get more mileage out of the 2T stuff, or I can tap into the 3T reserve.
The best thing is that I regularly shop the clearance racks at Nordstrom, Gap, Children's Place, Gymbo, etc. On those, you'll find something that's just one left and you'll find it for 90% off sometimes! Okay, if it's 3 sizes too big....who cares!! By the time he fits into it, it'll still be a good quality shirt that he'll look adorable in.
I agree with a pp who said it doesn't really workout economically, unless you have the storage space and are super organized.
Clothes are definitely my weak point though.....
I admit my kids clothes is a weakness for me but... my children do have beautiful clothing. because I bargain hunt like mad. I've been known to find a $150. sundress for $11. also I have very generous friends who hand down beautiful clothes and we sometimes hit good will too.
From now on I am sticking to buying just what I need..I feel this should help with my clothing clutter as well...
Other things, like pants etc I buy when she needs them; as I am only buying them from consignment stores I have to be prepared to get them at the beginning of the season, and not buy ahead. I would not gamble on things like snowsuits etc as they are bulky to store, and possibly an expensive mistake too.
So in short, I guess my answer is that it depends....
Originally Posted by mamabearsoblessed
I admit my kids clothes is a weakness for me but... my children do have beautiful clothing. because I bargain hunt like mad. I've been known to find a $150. sundress for $11.
I started out buying ahead (as advised by friends) but really got burned when my dd wasn't in that size the next season. So I was stuck with a lot of clothes she couldn't wear the next season and had to buy a whole new wardrobe for that season and store the one I had. I also found that there were things she didn't wear because she had SO MANY clothes. So I've toned it down a bit and still will buy a few things ahead of time, but am trying to time the purchasing of clothes for the seasonal change closer to when she will need them and buy some things as she needs them. In the past, my dd has been able to wear things from the previous year as she is a peanut. But since last season, she's grown 4 inches! I will start picking up things soon.
I will say that I have a big bin of hand-me-downs from dd's closest in age cousin who is 7. I've been getting them for a few years and every season I go through it and we're able to pull out a few things that fit. Most of the stuff is a couple of sizes or more bigger than my dd, but eventually she'll reach a size 5 or 6!
I also find most places have ongoing sales.
We don't really buy ahead (we usually get enough hand-me-downs that we don't need to buy much, though that's ending now as my son is getting older) but we do have YEARS worth of too-big clothes. There's only one for my son, but my daughter is four years younger and I have big boxes marked with each size up 'til my son's current size. Anything I get is distributed appropriately.
This system has worked really well for us so far. I haven't run into a problem of things not fitting when he needs them -- everything fits eventually. I guess if your child grew more than one clothing size over the year it could be a problem but my son has been running pretty true to his size for age (he's quite tall but very lean, which I think helps--things "fit" for a long time). I have found this system very convenient because when I need to change out my son's wardrobe each spring and fall (his dresser is only big enough for one season's worth of clothes at a time), I already have everything he needs and don't have to run out right then to make a big shopping trip. I guess you have to be "organized" to do it this way but it doesn't feel like a lot of work to me.
Outgrown clothes go back into totes labeled by size and season and are stored in my MIL's basement for the next child. If I had to store all that on-site at my home it would take over a LOT of space so I am glad I can store it elsewhere.
I just went through the box of winter stuff I have already bought for my 2 boys, and by coincidence it worked out perfect. They both have between 5 and 7 casual shirts, 2 or 3 church shirts, and several pairs of jeans/khakis. They will both still fit in their jackets from last year. So they are all set. I also found about 6 pairs of pants that I thought would fit ds1 this year (he just turned 3 and they are a size 3T) but they are HUGE on him, so those will have to wait another year! (This is the kid who is still wearing 18 month shorts right now; the 24 mo and 2 T are way too big!).
I need to go through dd's box and see what she has.
Maybe that's what I really need to concentrate on; don't worry about storing stuff since we do have the closet space; just make sure I keep good records so I don't go crazy and end up with 20 shirts for one person!
we kinda hit it from all sides. I buy more stuff on clearance for my oldest because she always needs stuff and if it ends up not working it will work for one of the other two.
we also get handme dopwns from about 4 families.
then once the season is here we drag it all out, try it all on, hand around and thin down. then we pass the rest on. if we end up needing something in the middle of the season then we buy it then but that is usually just a special occaision, special uniform of pants for terror child who can put holes in the knees of anything.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
since we buy pretty gender neutral or plain clothes ('cause my dd wears all of her bro's hand me downs), our system works well. we stay away from charcter print clothes too. we only ever get 100% cotton as well (ds has skin issues). at least once a year, my mom takes me used clothes shopping for the kids (the kid of place where you fill a garbage bag with clothes for $10), and pays for it all, so sometimes we get clothes that are wayyyy too big. i figure if some clothes don't fit properly, i can always sell it, save it for the next kid, or lend it out to a friend.
then for bdays, christmas, etc, if they want something special (ds went thru a major dinosaur shirt addiction), then they can put it on thier wish lists, and grandma and grandpa usually get it for them.
Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
Proud Gestational Surrogate to N (15/01/15)
But, my parents live in FL in the winter months and we usually visit them. So I buy at the end of season the next size up a few outfits for dd1 to have. My mom also picks up stuff there from the outlets for us so she has clothing. Now w two, I will plan around that again.
I buy way too much so I am going to tone it down this year. After dd2 wears the stuff, I will do a consignment sale a local church does twice a year- fall clothing and then again in Spring for that season. Some stuff I sell here or on ebay already.
I don't really buy pants/shorts for ds until he needs them. They need to fit more exactly and he's tall and skinny so the fit really depends on the cut of each item.
Dd is a big dress/skirt person so she doesn't wear many pants, just leggings, tights, or bike shorts under her dress.
My youngest wears everything the oldest wouldn't.