Going through the KonMari Method was a huge eye-opener in realizing how much unnecessary stuff I thought we needed. Clothing was a big example of this. I simply didn’t realize how much extra clothing I had (was hoarding) for each of our children until I became more mindful of ‘stuff’ in general. However, despite my enlightenment, scaling back on buying kid’s clothes was one of the last things to finally change in our overall journey of living with less.
That’s because frankly, kids clothes are stinkin’ cute and most of them Spark Joy!
However, I’ve turned a corner. I (finally) realized how much money I was spending compared to how little of the clothing my kids actually wore. Not a winning combo. As silly and obvious as it may sound, I had to actually mentally work out the reality that there will always be cute clothes and sales; but the only one wanting them was me. How did I not realize this sooner? I can’t be the only parent to ever have this ‘A Ha’ moment.
About a year ago is when I really started being smarter about our children’s clothing. My kids still have a decent sized wardrobe, but nothing compared to even a couple of years ago. I don’t shop like I use to and I’ve come up with some pretty savvy ways to pare down the volume of clothes; while still maintaining a good variety and also having fun myself with their outfits.
Keeping Smaller Children’s Wardrobes
The biggest way I have come to reduce the amount of clothing is to shop less. It’s as simple a strategy as it sounds. I don’t tempt myself with adorable ensembles by limiting the amount of unintentional shopping I do. An easy way I have found to keep to this, is by eliminating a lot of the daily emails I use to receive from shops we frequent. Admittedly, this was a bit of an experiment on my part; but it worked. When I stopped getting these daily reminders, I didn't know about sales and on my own I didn’t think to check out their websites, unless I actually needed something. This achieved exactly what I hoped it would - less clothing and less money spent.
I also keep track of exactly what my children will soon be growing out of. So, if I’m out shopping, at a quick glance I can reference the list I keep on my phone and know exactly what I’m looking for. This has cut out unnecessary purchases of things my kids don’t need.
Tips for Buying Clothes
Buy Quality. I love the expression, “I can’t afford to buy cheap” because it’s so true. Buying inexpensive clothing often means a compromise of quality materials and craftsmanship. It’s not a deal if you find yourself having to replace a pair of $10 pants three times before your child actually outgrows that size (been there). Instead, paying a bit more initially often works out to be a cost savings down the road when your child is able to wear the item, longer. I have also found with the pieces of clothing I have spent more on, that I’m able to use them again for my younger children (often with little sign that it’s a hand-me-down).
Peekaboo Beans is a brand I have shared before. We love their designs, prints, style, fit and quality. Cost wise, I do find their pieces are slightly more expensive than some common children’s clothing retailers, but you do get what you pay for. I have purchased clothing for our oldest, which was handed to our middle child and then once he outgrew it - I was still able to sell them through online buy/sell groups for a decent penny. In the end, it didn’t cost me any more and likely, even less than having bought cheap and was a way better deal all around. Some of their pants even have a great ruched bottom that stretches as your child grows, giving sometimes even years of extra wear! Our kids have also noted that they prefer the look and feel of Peekaboo Beans, which has truly eliminated buying clothing only to hear, “I don’t like it”.
*This isn’t sponsored, we’re just genuine fans!
Swap With a Friend! I unintentionally have pared up with friends who have children of opposite ages/gender that work well for swapping clothes. This happy coincidence of being able to trade clothing at no cost, has worked out really well - especially for play and school attire. If you know of someone who buys similar brands/quality of clothing as yourself, consider asking if they would like to swap!
Buy used. I have found wonderful used clothing and consignment shops, where I’ve been able to buy new or almost new children’s apparel for truly a fraction of the price. I’ve also had great luck over the years with local children’s buy/sell Facebook groups. The only downside is when you’re searching for something in particular, but otherwise definitely an easy way to save money!