Author Topic: Kids' wardrobe?  (Read 4995 times)

Gray Matter

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Kids' wardrobe?
« on: April 10, 2015, 08:33:22 AM »
I need to update my kids' summer wardrobe.  Usually, I think that to myself, then I go out and buy anything and everything that catches my eye, which turns out to be a whole lotta things.

I'm trying a different approach this year, which is to pre-determine exactly how many shoes, jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, underwear, socks a kid needs, then inventory what they have, pass down what they can to a younger sibling, and only fill in where I need to and hopefully with pre-owned clothes.

So, for a kid who lives where it can be warm or cool in the summer, and who has parents who won't do laundry more than once a week, how many clothes do you think he or she needs?

Jackets
Swimsuits
Jean/pants
Shorts
T-shirts
Long-sleeved shirts or sweatshirts
Shoes
Pajamas
Socks
Underwear
Dressy clothes (not sure they need at all - we don't go to church or fancy anything)
Anything I'm missing?


I appreciate your input!



MayDay

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 09:04:22 AM »

Jackets 1
Swimsuits 2 if you swim a lot, otherwise 1
Jean/pants 2
Shorts 8
T-shirts 8 unless they spill lots of food, then 10
Long-sleeved shirts or sweatshirts 2
Shoes 1 sandal 1 tennis shoe
Pajamas 1
Socks 10
Underwear 10
Dressy clothes (not sure they need at all - we don't go to church or fancy anything) maybe 1, probably none.  Just make one of this shorts and t shirts nicer. 
Anything I'm missing?  I keep a few really ratty clothes to take camping and then just throw them away after they are worn on the trip.  I am talking holes/stains so I won't even donate them to goodwill. 

Your kids are plenty old enough to do their own emergency laundry if they need something desperately. 


Dee18

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 09:56:43 AM »
Agree with Mayday's list, although I always would have a light fleece jacket and a rain proof jacket that could be layered.

Whatever you decide to buy, consider checking thrift stores or a week-end consignment sale for the clothes. (I always bought shoes new.)  You don't mention the ages/genders of children, but I found fabulous clothes available at thrift stores for my daughter all the way through age 12.  (I especially found a lot of gymboree---their size labels are very odd, so they were often placed on the wrong size racks.) I heard from friends that boys' clothes tended to be more worn out.   At the stores I used to shop at, the best time to go was a few days before the end of the month, right when the store opened.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 11:35:36 AM »
I'll add a couple things:
1)  They only need 2-3 pairs of shorts.  They can wear pants more than one day without washing.  Shirts I'm ok changing every day--they seem to bear the brunt of the spilled food, and the variety is nice.
2)  No more than 2 sets of pajamas.  Heck, as a kid I just slept in a t-shirt and undies.
3)  If you have pants, recognize that your boy(s) will NOT be passing them down.  We've got 4 boys, and it's incredible how quickly they get holes in the knees.

Unique User

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 11:43:45 AM »
Agree with MayDay's list, but that might be a bit much on shorts depending on how old your kids are.  Also, for my 8th grader, 85% of her wardrobe comes from Goodwill and we get the remaining 15% of things we can't find from Goodwill from Plato's closet.  Plato's is more expensive, but still less than retail.  It is very rare that she gets anything new, a black dress for a funeral and track shoes are all I can think of for the last 12 months or so. 

eyePod

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2015, 11:47:32 AM »
I need to update my kids' summer wardrobe.  Usually, I think that to myself, then I go out and buy anything and everything that catches my eye, which turns out to be a whole lotta things.

I'm trying a different approach this year, which is to pre-determine exactly how many shoes, jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, underwear, socks a kid needs, then inventory what they have, pass down what they can to a younger sibling, and only fill in where I need to and hopefully with pre-owned clothes.

So, for a kid who lives where it can be warm or cool in the summer, and who has parents who won't do laundry more than once a week, how many clothes do you think he or she needs?

Jackets
Swimsuits
Jean/pants
Shorts
T-shirts
Long-sleeved shirts or sweatshirts
Shoes
Pajamas
Socks
Underwear
Dressy clothes (not sure they need at all - we don't go to church or fancy anything)
Anything I'm missing?


I appreciate your input!

I'm sure this will get worse as my daughter gets older (and with another on the way) but we go to thrift stores and garage sales for a ton of stuff. Then we also do craigslist. Got GARBAGE BAGS FULL of clothes for cheap. Same thing with maternity clothes! It was fantastic.

Check out garage sales though. You can get a lot!

catccc

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 12:15:56 PM »
I routinely share items like winter boots and jackets, items that get only so much use before they are outgrown, with friends in our area.  I have 2 girls, 6 & 3, and a friend has 2 girls, 7 and 1.5.  My friend got a nice lands end coat at goodwill for her oldest, passed it to me, I used it for my two girls, and it is going back to her now.  I love that we do this!

I feel like we always have oodles (way too many) clothes for our kids, and on the off chance that I need to get them something specific, it's easy to run out and buy one thing, rather than shopping for a season's worth of clothes.

For PJs in the spring, summer, and fall, my older daughter just likes to wear oversized freebie t-shirts- ones she gets from the Y after a session of swim lessons, a free one from school or a community event.  That kind of thing.

Sorry this doesn't specifically address your question, just thought I'd put it out there.


galliver

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2015, 12:20:14 PM »
Go through their wardrobes and pick out clothes that aren't ok for everyday wear (torn, stained, faded, frayed, etc. for camping or wear at home only), and set aside. Also obviously see that everything fits and pass down/put away things that are too small. After leaving only decent clothes, see if or how often they run out of any particular category of item. Then get 1-2 more of that item. As kids, my sisters and I really only got clothes when we needed them, as determined by this method. We also had nice clothes for going out in public and home/play clothes for bumming around the house, digging in the garden, etc.  We also had nice/dressy clothes that we wore to birthday parties and some school events, but most of those came from hand-me-downs or from grandma...

laka

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 12:24:27 PM »
I think MayDay has the right balance.  I know my kids are really hard on clothes (getting dirty, torn, etc) so I would probably keep an extra outfit or two in the mix.  But other people don't seem to go through clothes at the rate we do, so you're probably fine. :-)

Also, I absolutely hit thrift stores.  So much there.  I am more likely to buy new clothes for my daughter, just because it's hard to find girl's shorts that aren't super short (I'm mostly concerned about her burning her legs on the slide, not so much modesty, but it also just irritates me), and the amount of glitter and sequins can be overwhelming.  But when I do a kid's clothing run, I try to go to the cheapest place first, find what I want, and work my way up to new stores if necessary.  So garage sale/craigslist->thrift store->consignment store->Target/Old Navy/whatever.  Keeps our clothes spending pretty low.

asauer

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2015, 12:35:44 PM »
That sounds like my climate and here's what we have:

Boy:
10 shorts
12 t-shirts
2 long sleeved shirts
1 sweat shirt
2 sets of PJs
1 swimsuit
1 rain jacket that doubles as a "cool evening" jacket
10 pairs of socks
1 pair flip flops
1 pair tennis shoes
1 pair hiking boots (we do ALOT of hiking)

Girl:
same but add 2 skirts and 1 dress

I got all of them either through consignment or goodwill.

That's it.  It usually lasts them all summer.  the only thing I have to rebuy sometimes are socks because there is apparently some gnome that has a huge sock habit and steals them.
10 pairs of underwear

TrMama

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2015, 12:42:41 PM »
The above lists are good. I do something similar to what you have planned and we spend next to nothing on clothes. The only things I'd add to your list are 2 summer hats and a pair of sunglasses for each kid. This year, I also bought my kids shortie wetsuits. However, we live on an island in the PNW with lots of beaches and lakes. I'm pretty sure the suits will get lots of use between kayaking and swimming.

MsPeacock

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2015, 01:22:46 PM »
That sounds like my climate and here's what we have:

Boy:
10 shorts
12 t-shirts
2 long sleeved shirts
1 sweat shirt
2 sets of PJs
1 swimsuit
1 rain jacket that doubles as a "cool evening" jacket
10 pairs of socks
1 pair flip flops
1 pair tennis shoes
1 pair hiking boots (we do ALOT of hiking)

Girl:
same but add 2 skirts and 1 dress

I got all of them either through consignment or goodwill.

That's it.  It usually lasts them all summer.  the only thing I have to rebuy sometimes are socks because there is apparently some gnome that has a huge sock habit and steals them.
10 pairs of underwear

+1 - this is about where my kids are at. We have some ridiculous number of socks currently because many are 'too small" and many don't have mates, and I just can't deal. No dress clothes (we get some from hand-me-downs - and usually maybe 1 dress shirt gets worn 1x a year). My kids only wear sweats and athletic"comfy"  type pants, as they both now hate jeans. My kids cant get by w/ only 2 or 3 pairs of shorts as they are generally sweaty filthy and gross by the end of the day. Occasionally need more than 1 change of clothes per day.


Gray Matter

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2015, 03:26:43 PM »
Thanks for the great advice, everyone.  I'm excited to tackle this, and am particularly excited when I remembered that I have $48 in a Groupon that I bought to a local consignment store months ago and that expires in May, so the timing is perfect. 

I also reached out to my sister who has a boy one year older than my oldest.  She buys him the best of everything, and lots of it, so I'm sure his hand-me-downs are lightly used at best.  I told her we're counting pennies now that I work in the non-profit world and asked if she'd be willing to save his hand-me-downs for us (we don't live in the same city, so we've never really done this, but she said sure).

Will also hit garage sales.  Have never used Craigslist (have heard a few horror stories), but probably need to get over that.

DH and I are sorting and inventorying tomorrow.  Whoever said boys don't pass pants down is right--they immediately get holes in the knees and rarely have the chance to outgrow a pair of pants.  My daughter too.  She only wears "boy" clothes (she hates girly things), so at least we can keep passing down as long as they have wear in them.

galliver

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2015, 04:06:25 PM »
Will also hit garage sales.  Have never used Craigslist (have heard a few horror stories), but probably need to get over that.

If you're worried, with clothes or other portable goods, you can do the exchange at a local police station. Many are encouraging this.

annegables

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2015, 04:49:32 PM »
Check for community yard sales around you, especially in fancier neighborhoods.  I have furnished almost our kid's entire wardrobe from a few of these.  Barely worn boy's pants (above 6T) all name brands for under $3 a pair, like new shirts, jackets, shoes, you name it.  And because it is a community yard sale, it takes up only about 4 hours 2x/year.  I dont know how old your kids are, but sometimes those giant kids consignment sales like Just Between Friends are good.  But sometimes they are totally overpriced.  Also, if you live near a military installation, see if they have a community yard sale.  You can score big at these.

Gray Matter

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2015, 06:35:47 AM »
Thanks, everyone, for excellent advice.  Just wanted to report in the results.  I asked my older sister for any hand-me-downs she had--she brought me two boxes of clothes and one of shoes.  Once I outfitted my oldest son with those and cascaded his outgrown clothes to his brother, and then his outgrown clothes to his sister, and inventoried the lot, it turned out the only thing I needed to buy was a windbreaker for the oldest son, which I got at a used clothing store for $9.

I normally would have spent $400-500 buying summer clothes on a assumption that they needed them without really checking to see if that assumption was true. 

It feels so good to do it this way!

catccc

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2015, 11:05:15 AM »
Awesome!!

texaslady22

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Re: Kids' wardrobe?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2015, 12:50:25 PM »
We buy kids clothes at Just Between Friends (a semi-annual consignment sale). Everything is used and we can regularly pay $1.50/outfit. Here's the best part: We normally sell as much as we make, so it's like it doesn't cost us anything to clothe our kids!

We use good brands, too, like Gymboree and Carter's