Buying Kids Clothes that Last

Buying Kids Clothes that Last

Baby sizing tricks us: everything is in three-month increments of growth that tend to correspond with the three-month seasons in their first 12 months. At first, we're buying clothes for our little one regularly to keep up with their growth (and well, it's fun). So when the baby reaches toddler and kid sizes, we tend to over-buy for what they need. Sure, in the potty training period, there's no doubt they can go through more clothes in a week, but you can fix that with a laundry cycle rather than another clothing order. By age 2 or 3, you can buy clothes that are meant to last: quality shirts that withstand stains, dresses that fit for multiple summers, layer-able tops worn in any temperature, and pants that adjust to fit longer. That means that styles, cuts, durability, and versatility become critical when selecting the choice items that go into your child's wardrobe. With a little planning in combination with bundleduds unique customer shopping experience, you can approach the shopping experience with just the right filtering options.

Style & Cut. The key here is adjust-ability, expand-ability, and layer-ability. Can the pants fold up and fold down? Does the waistband adjust? Will the sleeve shape allow for layering? Are the shirts long enough to still work nine months from now? Are skinny pants or slim leggings going to fit in 6 months? Also, certain garment types and shapes allow for longer wear over others. A-line dresses and tunics work as tops worn over everything from jeans to tights to Capri leggings. They also work as dresses and can be worn on warm spring days. Loose-fitting sundresses or sleeveless dresses in the summer will still fit two years later as tops with a pair of shorts. Similarly, knit pants in the fall will still work as capri pants in the spring, and can easily be cut-off for shorts in summer (again, typically fitting for two summers if you don't cut them too short).

Durability. If the clothes aren't durable, they won't make it from fall to spring. For me, I had a hard time getting my arms around this. Many of the big-name brands aren't durable - they are meant for 2-3 months of wear by one child but not for 9-12 months by multiple siblings. And I heavily relied on Amazon for all my needs as a new mom - from diapers to food to clothes. But the quality wasn't reliable, I would pick brands I had heard of, and the clothes would shred and disintegrate after just a few wears and wash cycles. I wanted better, so I then switched to other big name brands that were more expensive, thinking the extra money would show up in the clothing quality. I found a little more success but was still deeply disappointed in the quality of wardrobe staples like leggings, joggers, and long-sleeve t-shirts. So I got pickier and started taking my time to seek out the brands and items that I felt would hold up. I looked for better, thicker material, reinforced knees & waistbands, and took more notice of collars and sleeve cuffs.

Versatility. There are three main ways that clothes increase their versatility. First, they have to be practical for everyday life. I once had an entire closet rod full of clothes that I didn't wear anymore - I changed climates, changed jobs, and changed my lifestyle. They weren't practical anymore. Often this can happen with kids fashion because we buy things on a whim without thinking about the real practicality for everyday life. Second, versatile clothes need to be layer-able and configurable with many different styles and temperatures. Third, colors. The color scheme needs to "work" year-round to make the clothes versatile from fall to spring.  That was tricky because we get into habits with our color schemes. Pick a color palette and stick with it for everyday clothes, branching out if you want to for specialty items like activity gear (swimsuits, leotards, soccer socks). It doesn't have to be too restrictive, but pick three general colors (one neutral) when you buy new clothes. Then reevaluate again before you buy more- if those items were worn and the colors are still your child's favorites, stick with it. If you engage your child in the shopping process, it helps with the success of the color palette and the items chosen. You can take turns: my daughter still gravitates towards pink, and I chose something more gender-neutral like yellow or green. Then we chose the neutral together- often navy blue or gray. No matter how hard it is, working together will help to ensure that spring break dresses will still compliment the back to school outfits. And if you are only buying a few items at a time within a narrow color palette (see our "rule of 3" applications), then the shopping experience will go much smoother and in less time.