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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dressing your baby nice, but affordable.

This subject first started off as a joke. You know, when I asked my husband for ideas on what to write about on The Poop Whisperer a while back his *bright* idea was "um, how about you write about how to dress your kid nice...or something...". 

I totally laughed it off. Thought it was not helpful at all, and then a few of you chimed in here, on my personal blog like, "um, yea, do it"

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that yes, this is totally something I could talk about. 

For two reasons.

1. I love a deal. Clearance racks are my best friend. So, I'm all about doing stuff on the cheap without breaking the bank.

2. I love a kid dressed to their cuteness potential. It's just precious. Plus, it's fun, too. [Especially having a girl...gah. Love.]

Oh, and before I go any further--please know this: We love PJ days. We (as in, my baby girl & I) love our comfy clothes. Not everyday do we put together well thought-out outfits. We are human, after all. 

Ahem. Here it goes.

To make things affordable, my go-to stores for Emeline's cothing are Target, Kohls, Old Navy & Marshalls. Every once in a while, if there is an amazing deal on the clearance rack at Baby Gap, I *might* pick something up. Same goes for Children's Place (clearance rack or coupons only), or stores like Gymboree, Crazy8, or H&M.

Last summer, when she was just a wee-little-newborn baby, at the end of the season, I went through clearance racks at Target & Old Navy searching for stuff for this summer. It was the greatest idea ever. Because? I got pieces of clothing (shorts, tanks, dresses, etc) for $1.50 a piece. 

Brand.NEW.Clothing. Cheaper than used thrift-store stuff. You can't beat that.
Here's a short sleeved top with a long
sleeved plain onesie underneath.

When I tell people that I often shop that way, I sometimes get asked about running into issues with forecasting their sizing for upcoming seasons, etc. I have to be honest, I haven't had an issue with that, really. But, for the price of $1.50? I just buy an array of sizes sometimes. 

If I did run into clothing fitting earlier than planned, I'd just take her short sleeved tops, or tank tops, and put a long sleeved onesie underneath to make it wearable in the chillier weather.

Which makes a perfectly adorable layered outfit (I love me some layers) that's wearable whenever.

Which leads me to my next theory when dressing my little girl.

Ditch the matchy-match outfits. 

I know. That was harsh. It hurt a little. I admit, this is a totally personal thing. But for me? I really don't like the outfits that come in a shirt/pants combo. I think that matching is too much. Really.

Even when they try to do a stripe with a floral patterned top, I shudder a little. Mainly, Carters Clothing is guilty of the matchy match look. And I admit, I really do like Carters stuff. So, this is what I do.

Leggings under summer skirts prior
to warm weather? Perfect.
I buy their stuff (it's cheap! I love it.), and yes, I even sometimes buy the matchy-match two piece outfits. 

BUT... As soon as I get home, I separate them, and forget they were ever married. I treat them as two completely different articles of clothing in her wardrobe.

The horror.

This is where my love for plain colored tights/leggings (we all say something different, it seems) comes into play. 

I think plain leggings in an array of colors are a must-have for a little lady. They work great with those cute little colored floral/striped/godknowswhat tunic tops that they make for the girls, and look so much better than the ones that normally come in those 2-packs. They also look amazingly cute underneath little skirts, summer dresses, and even shorts. Trust me.

Also? We get some hand-me-downs and borrowed clothes. But, if you mix & match and pair with new things, or layer, etc--you can make entirely new outfits that are more unique.
Summer tank w/ long
sleeved onesie

And Jeans. Every baby needs cute jeans. Because jeans? Look good with everything. 

One last thing. Color me silly, but one other rule I try to keep in the back of mind is, would I be embarrassed if I wore this? 

I know, I know. I realize they're children. But honestly? She'll  probably already look back on photos of her as a child and think "Gosh, Mom, why was I wearing THAT?", when I'll be all defensive thinking, "Dang it, child--you were the best dressed kid around!" But yea. Thats inevitable with the way times change.

Despite that, I still try to keep that thought in the back of my mind as silly as it may be.

And if you have a little girl? Accessories are FUN. Headbands, clips, hats, you know. Enjoy it (especially when they don't rip them off).

Overall? It's totally possible to dress your kid nice without breaking the bank.

And I bet most of us live on some kind of a budget. So we all have tips & tricks up our sleeves on how to do so.

So share your ideas over at The Poop Whisperer.
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