Dressing the munchkins: quality over quantity

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When I was pregnant with Clay and found out I was having a boy, I did what many expectant moms do: I went shopping for baby clothes. I was in Florida visiting my friend, Heather, and Baby Gap was having a huge sale, so I bought a suitcase full of onesies and other sale items. There was something irresistible about that little bear logo and at the sale prices, they were a great deal.

Clay had reflux when he was born, so I changed his clothes several times a day and washed those first onesies probably 100 times each. The shocking thing: they held up great! I quickly realized that with baby and toddler clothes, it was worth the money to buy quality brands, because they will hold up longer over the long run. Kids can wreak havoc on clothes. Every type of bodily fluid, along with finger paint, food, milk, dirt and who knows what else will end up on your kids’ clothes. They will fall down 10 times a day. Even though shopping online is convenient, I don’t have time to buy new stuff every week, and I don’t want to spend the money replacing clothes before they outgrow them.

For our kids, I shop mostly at Baby Gap and Gymboree. On occasion I actually visit the store in the mall, but mostly I shop their online sale section. When we need certain items, I just search “bottoms” or “tops” in their sizes and make my selections based on the sale options. Besides convenience, online shopping for kids is great because other parents review the items, so you’ll know if they run big, if the fabric is scratchy, etc. Both stores can be pricey, but their sale items are very reasonable and I know they will last. I can wash them every week and the colors won’t fade, the seams won’t split. Sure, I could buy cheaper clothes and the kids could have more of them, but for preschoolers, I’ll take quality over quantity any day.

I packed up a bag of Clay’s hand-me-downs for a friend’s son last night and it looked like a Gymboree and Gap sample sale. But after wearing these clothes for close to a year, doing crazy four-year-old boy stuff, they’re still in pretty good shape, which makes me think they were good purchases.

There is a good chance that Clay will let me dress him forever, but since she already dresses herself at two and has sweet-talked her dad into buying her tutu dresses at Costco, I’m pretty sure Avery will battle me to shop for her own clothes before she’s out of elementary school. So I’m enjoying the control while it lasts. I sure will miss Gymboree and Gap when I’m trapped with her, bright colors and loud music in Forever 21!

What about you? What are your favorite stores to buy kid clothes?


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