With four small kids of my own and the thought of four college tuition payments, four cars, four weddings and four proms – my husband and I try not to think too much about the future. We choose to look as far into the future as “Is there enough wine in this house to get us through this evening or should someone stop and grab more?” Our kids are pretty amazing, but they’re expensive. We have a daughter turning 8 this summer, a daughter who just turned 5 and boy/girl twins who just turned 2. We are busy, and we spend a lot of money on things for these kids all the time.
They’re kids; they grow. Whereas I can buy a pair of full-price Manolol Blahniks and wear them for 10 years with no problem, these kids need new shoes (all of them) every few months. They grow, and they won’t stop. We thought about no longer feeding them, but apparently that’s illegal and neglectful (I’m joking, people). With four little ones, eight feet and four bodies to clothe all the time, I’ve learned some exceptional lessons when it comes to shopping for my kids; and I never pay full price.
Don’t get me wrong; I have. When our oldest daughter was born and she was our only little one, that kid rocked Burberry dresses for Christmas, little Michael Kors shoes on a regular basis and every designer item imaginable. And, yes; I am thoroughly embarrassed I ever spent that much money on things a child spits up on, gets food on, ruins, and can only wear for a hot minute. We live and we learn; I learned.
Now my kids rock their name brand items like everyone else, but theirs is never full price. I’ve learned where to go to buy their favored Sperry deck shoes, their favorite Hunter Wellingtons (my five-year-old refuses to wear anything but, every. Single. Day.) and even our little man’s LaCoste, Ralph Lauren and Seven For All Mankind for our sweet girls. Trust me; it’s so easy to buy kids an amazing wardrobe and spend nothing – ever. Just take my advice.
For most of their clothes, my kids wear Old Navy. It’s durable and lasts forever, and it’s well-made. My Hunter-obsessed daughter only likes to wear leggings, so we get them all here. She can run, play, fall, scrape her knees and get as messy as she wants, and they withstand every second of it. I tried leggings from Walmart before, but they usually rip the first time she trips and falls on her knees; and for only $2 more, I’d rather have the Old Navy leggings that are far more durable.
The same goes for shorts and tops for our kids; they’re super cheap and they’re always online on sale for some ridiculously low price when you buy things that are out of season. Since we live in Florida, we can use most clothes all year long since it’s warm most of the time.
TJ Maxx and Marshalls
If you love Ralph Lauren, Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger for your kids, you will love TJ Maxx more than any other store in the world. I just went shopping the other day on a mommy/daughter date with my oldest and we went into the store. For less than $45, she walked out with red Nautica Shorts and a matching Nautica shirt with a sweet blue and white design, a Tommy Hilfiger maxi dress, a new swimsuit cover up, two pair of Roxy flip flops for summer and a Ralph Lauren polo dress; all for less than $45. That’s pretty amazing for that much clothing for a 7-year-old.
I never pay full price for these items, and that’s why. I can get them here for so much less than anywhere else. Some people like to say that these designers send their imperfect items to stores like these, but they’re kids and I cannot find the imperfections. Besides that, they’ll have them ruined in no time at all.
If you love cute clothes for your very little kids, this is the place to go. I just picked up 5 little solid polo shirts, three pair of sweet little shorts and two dresses for the twins for $40. I always order when things are on sale, and I always save a ton. The clothes are highly durable, too, so they’re never anything that gets ruined too soon.
Nordstrom and Bloomingdales
Now, you might not assume you can get inexpensive children’s clothing here, but you really can. First and foremost, you’d be surprised how often I can find designer clothes on sale here. For my son, I often find little Ralph Lauren polos for less than $10 on sale. I always pick up the twins’ Sperry deck shoes here because there are always at least two pair for each gender in their age range on sale for less than $25 per pair. When they’re usually priced over $40 per pair and sometimes even more, this is an amazing deal that is not to be missed.
During Christmas, I was able to order my son four or five Under Armour shirts and shorts for less than $8 per item because they were on sale at Bloomingdales. I even picked up my daughter Michael Kors boots for $14.99 not too long ago online.
All you have to do is know where to look and understand that there are always good deals available for kids. It makes shopping so much easier and so much less of a hassle when you do. We love affordable kids clothing since they do grow so fast and it really is bittersweet that all those clothes are only worn a few times before they are no longer able to fit – and hand them down!
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