I always misjudge on how much clothing DD needs for each season. For winter we had too many pants, not enough shirts, and a few things that just didn't get worn enough to justify having.
How do you decide how to stock the closet? Do you have a target number for each type of item?
We usually have the opposite issue. A ton of shirts and not as many pants. We do laundry every week but like to have enough clothes just in case laundry isn't done on schedule. For winter, 14 pairs of socks, enough long sleeved shirts and about 4 to 5 sweaters in the winter. Four to five pairs of long john sets (top and bottom), two winter scarfs (the around the neck ones), two pairs of gloves (next year though we'll get four because those things get so filthy quickly), 6 to 8 pairs of pajamas (some with feet and some without), four pairs of jeans, two pairs of corduroys and those fleece sweat pant bottoms and whatever else just for cuteness sake and two winter coats. Oh, at least two winter hats. For next year though, DD has about five hats because I found a clearance sale!
For the summer though, we like to have a bunch of loose fitting tanks, tees, shorts, light cotton pants, dresses and those capri type cotton pants.
Honestly, I have 4 kids and I have never gotten it "right"
I buy things as needed instead of doing one big shop. Same with school. Its just easier for me to do it this way b/c I know what my kids need this week.
I'm not a big shopper, and frankly between work, kids, home, painting, husband... I just do not have the time. I do two MAJOR shopping sprees per year, once for spring/summer, once for fall/winter. I do this after I take out last years spring/summer or fall/winter clothes and see what is too small, too many holes, just not used... Then I have an idea what I need. I leave the kids with DH and go to the mall to 2 stores and buy everything at once, where I can see exactly and mix and match X amount of shirts/pants/skirts.... I usually end up with slightly more than that. And there always seems to be one or two items that DS or DD will not wear, for whatever reason. But overall it works. Then as the season drags on, if I find out three outfits could always need a pink or green shirt underneath, I might look for the one item and buy it if reasonably priced.
Somewhat funny - one of the places I am spending tons of money at the one time, they think I must be a huge shopper, so they give me a coupon for 25% off for my next purchase, or some other debate. Meanwhile, they have no idea that once I am done, I am not spending any more, and not coming back for another 6 months.
I have 2 DDs, and *think* I have gotten the list to something workable. I actually make a list of basics and go from there, and copy the list of basics every year - everything else is gravy :) My kids are petite so lots of their clothes work for ~2 seasons, and I don't have to get new ones every year.
Basics are, for example for summer, a pair of brown khaki shorts/denim shorts, swimsuit, few basic coloured t-shirts, a few dresses, one matching tracksuit. Then I add as I see it (eg. tank tops, pretty t-shirts, hats, and so on). As long as they have the basics, we're good. Same for winter - basics are fleece-lined jeans, velour trackpants, long sleeved shirts, two really good hooded cardigans, then we go from there.
My thing is: always more tops than bottoms, and bottoms have to be basic and able to match a variety of tops. Some stores sell 'lines' of clothes where everything matches - sometimes I do that.
Also, for girls: accessories mean a lot, just like for grownups. Hats, scarves, necklaces, gloves, vests, boots...
ETA: I also do 2 BIG shops a year at the outlets and spend hundreds. That makes it easier for me to know what I have, and I can coordinate a bunch of stuff as well. I do a spring (April) shop and an August shop.
I LOVE shopping for kids clothes. I could never just shop for them twice a year. I tend to shop in outfits and DD usually has about 20-25 outfits for each season (including casual dresses) and about 5-6 swimsuits (we have a pool and swim year-round.) DS has about 15-20 shirts each season, 8-9 pants or shorts and 5-6 swim sets (swimsuit and rashguard top.) Both kids can usually wear their clothes for more than one season but I usually resell at our local consignment sale each season.
Now for me? That's a totally different story. I rarely buy for me.
This works well for my son (swap out shorts for pants, short sleeve for long depending on season)
5 pair pants (at least one pair khakis that can be "dressed up").
3 pair fleece/sweat/athletic pants
5 bathing suits (we swim all year round)
5 knit tops, including at least 2 with collars ie "polo shirts" (not graphic tees)
5 graphic (fun) t-shirts
1 button down "dress" shirt
1 navy blazer
7 pair boxers/underwear
7 pair athletic socks-all the same so no worries if a few get lost
2 pair "dress" socks
There are always a few random impulse buys within a season that might change the numbers but the above is my goal to have on hand at all times. Small enough to store easily and not overwhelm but enough that I am not tied to my washer machine.
At the start of each season I pull out last years stuff to see what fits and only replace what is needed to get back to these numbers.
Pardon me while I
I try to stick with 2 weeks worth of clothes. 2 weeks of nice/dress clothes, 2 weeks of play clothes, 2 weeks of jammies. In the winter time, "jammies" are sweat pants/shirt and I try to have more than 2 weeks of those around so that dear child has extra warm clothes for those "just in case" moments.
My daughter is also one of those kids who can wear clothes for 2+ seasons. She's almost 4 years old and she wore a pair of capri's the other day that were size 24 months. Last year I went over board on pretty summer dresses (amazing sales at Khol's and I have no self control with pretty dresses) but I knew that they would fit her this year as well.
I buy socks and undies as needed. Socks and undies disappear into thin air at my house so I buy those when most have disappeared :)
I attempt to "finish" laundry every week. But sometimes it just gets lightly "dipped" into and I'm thankful for the clothes that are still in the drawers.
Hmmm, my kids have more clothes and I'm not tied to my washing machine. I do laundry twice a week, just like I always have. I know people who have 60+ outfits for their kids each season. THAT would make me crazy.
In our case it's stocking the dresser, which automatically limits the number of bulky items, like pants. However, I decide what to buy based on what worked last season/year for numbers of tops/bottoms. I do laundry once or twice a week, but DS (almost 6) has more extras than that b/c there are times when he'll need a wardrobe change once or twice a day (not the neatest eater/drinker).
As DS outgrows pants (he keeps getting a lot taller), I'll set aside the too-short ones for spring/fall transition time (he's got issues) and go buy longer ones for cold weather. I usually end up buying a few pairs at a time (generally one of each color--DS detests woven fabric, so he's always in sweats-type pants). Shirts tend to fit him for several seasons/years, so those are replaced infrequently...unless I see a color I know would be perfect on him (he only wears plain tees), in which case I'll get it right then. There are actually quite a few items that DS refuses to wear (that's changed since he was a toddler and would wear anything I put him in), so it limits what I need to buy. For example, he refuses to wear sweaters, so I haven't bought him one in 3 years. He'll wear zip up hoodies, but only outside. Inside, if he's cold, he'll either grab a blanket, or large rags (really!).
So I end up doing some shopping each season, mostly for pants, which doesn't bother me. The selections available in the stores I go to that will fit DS's criteria severely limits what I can/will buy, but that helps keep it simple, too.
Whatever we have that DS won't wear, I either pass it along to his younger cousins, or donate it. But b/c I'm shopping throughout the year, I'm usually pretty on-target.