I initially thought of this idea (children’s clothes on a budget) when I had a look at Claire Robertson (Loobylu) and Phil McKluskey’s new website Kiddley and emailed them about it. They’re runing with it in a serialised format and I’m running with the extended, personal mix.
I’ve been a sole parent since the birth of my son nearly five years ago and I don’t get one cent of child support for him so consequently I don’t have loads of money to spend. One area that’s a potentially large area for spending lots of money is on clothes. Babies and children grow very quickly and as any parent knows, there is an ongoing sorting through of clothes and putting aside clothes that are too small.
Because my budget is fairly limited and because I don’t want to spend loads of money on something that my son will wear for one season, I’ve found ways of being pretty thrifty in this area.
So here’s my tips for not having to spend too much money on clothes.
Spread the word that you’re in the market for hand-me-downs. When I was pregnant I was given quite a few babies clothes for my son and I’m glad. Some of these were 0000 size and as JJ was 9lb6oz (4.25kg) when he was born he was in this small size for about one minute so I’m glad I didn’t spend the money on these. Most parents are glad to offload the clothes their child has grown out of so you will be doing them a favour.
I continue to be given hand-me-downs for JJ and he’s not worried about it at this stage. I dread the day he becomes too fashion conscious to wear pre-loved clothing. The only thing with this now is that that long pants aren’t handed down quite so much because the knees get worn through.
Op-shops (thrift shops)
I love shopping in op shops for my wardrobe so since JJ came along I keep an eye out for him also. I’ve picked up some great stuff like a pair of Osh Kosh B’Gosh long pants the other day that are in almost perfect condition and were only $3. I’ve also found dressing gowns, safari suit jackets (just in case), and long flared pants that are still new from the 70s. He may never wear these when he gets big enough as they might not be cool, but as they were relatively cheap it doesn’t matter.
The thing with op shops, if you’re fashion conscious for your child, is that fashions are cyclic so something that was fashionable 20 years ago is probably fashionable again now.
I’ve found there are more babies and toddlers clothes available in op shops because they haven’t had the chance to be worn out as easily as older kids clothes and if you are brand conscious and have a bit of time to scout around you can pick up some good stuff and good condition.
Specialty second-hand clothing shops
The other option in second-hand clothing shops is the specialty clothing shops for kids. Usually you can take in your pre-loved items of clothing and get some money for them and you can buy pre-loved clothing there as well. This clothing is a bit more expensive but still cheaper than buying brand new.
Buying clothes on sale
Buying clothes on sale at the end of a season. There are always sales on at department stores and other shops and I browse through these to find clothing for my son to wear for the next season. Obviously I have to guess what size he will be there but that’s fairly easy to gauge.
Also there seem to be more and more sales these days. And sales like the end of financial year ones toward the end of June allow you to buy winter clothes more or less at the beginning of winter.
Buying clothes on Ebay
This is great opportunity for buying clothes without having to leave the house. There are a plethora of childrens clothes available on Ebay. Like browsing through second hand shops it may take some time to find a bargain but it can be worth it.
Selling clothes on Ebay
Again, if you have the time, this is a great way of getting rid of the clothes that are too small for your child and a possible way of making some money as well. I haven’t actually done this as I’ve passed my son’s old clothes along to friends.
I think buying your kids clothes on sale is a great idea. I have an upscale children’s boutique on Hilton Head Island, SC and many smart shoppers wait until items show up on the clearance rack. Sometimes they buy ahead for a season or two, but sometimes, they just pick up one special item that can be used to “make” the outfit. It is fun to see this happen. Our customers wait for out $10.00 shoe sale every year! It makes a lot of sense when you need to watch your budget to select items on sale.