Shopping for children’s clothes is an exciting activity for most parents. But when you go to the store, you might get overwhelmed by your many choices. Buying clothes for your little one is an investment, so it’s a good idea to consider several factors when purchasing children’s clothes. You want outfits that are cute and fashionable, but you also want them to last long enough so you can hand them down to your younger kids or your sibling’s kids. So, check out these tips that will come in handy when buying your kids’ clothes.
Here are some factors to consider when you’re shopping for your kid’s clothes:
Babies, especially newborns, have sensitive skin and can easily be irritated. And they can’t talk yet, so when they get irritated, their only form of telling you so is crying. So when you’re buying little kid’s clothes, prefer materials that are gentle and soft to touch. Most parents choose cotton, which is a good material, but you can also consider other alternatives, like silk, rayon, or azlon. These fabrics are nature-derived and have good properties that make them a great fit for baby clothes. Avoid synthetic materials like nylon and polyester because they can’t take up moisture and regulate your babies’ body temperature.
The same goes for children. Kids – especially active kids – would sweat, and you don’t want an icky, non-absorbent fabric to make them uncomfortable.
To avoid rashes and skin irritation, look at the softness, lightness, and how loose the material is while shopping for kids’ clothes. Feel the fabric; If it feels off to you, chances are your child isn’t going to want to wear it either. You must also pay attention to the labels that list all the materials from which the clothing is made. Sometimes, the fabric seems nice to touch but it contains materials that are not the best choice for children.
This one’s a no-brainer, right? But some parents tend to get a little bit overboard with buying cute clothes. Remember, kids grow up fast – especially babies less than one-year-old – so make sure to account for the growth rate when you’re making purchases. There’s no reason to stock up lots of clothes of the same sizes. If you’re not sure, shop for slightly larger sizes to ensure that the piece of clothing would be usable at some point.
Also, choosing the right size will ensure that your kid can move freely and feel comfortable while spending time in play and other activities. The size should be just enough so they can feel free and not restricted.
Another good option is to invest in clothes that have adjustable sizes. These might be items that are especially made this way, such as buttons in a trouser band allowing you to adjust the waist as the child grows bigger. Some items might just fit a child in different ways as time goes by; for instance, you may invest in a long T-shirt that eventually becomes regular-sized as the wearer gets taller. This is an especially useful hack if you have a skinny kid.
Sometimes, the clothes are of the correct size but don’t fit quite right. You don’t want your child to have too long of pants that they could trip or fall or get stuck under their heels and end up with holes in them. Also, you don’t want them to be too tight in the legs. Speaking of pants, those with adjustable waistbands are a great choice, for they allow you to buy pants that are slightly bigger so your child can wear them for more than one season.
To avoid these things, it’s best to bring your child with you when buying tricky pieces of clothing, like pants, jackets, and shoes. If you can see it actually worn by your child, you can easily decide if it’s fine to buy. Since such items are also usually the most expensive ones, it’s worth going the extra mile to make sure they fit the child properly.
While it’s true that kids often outgrow their clothes before it’s totally worn out, it’s still important to look for a bit of quality when buying their clothes. Look for sturdy seams without fraying. Stay away from really thin fabrics – kids are not responsible enough to care for their clothes, as long as they have fun.
Kids love to play, and of course, they would end up getting dirty. Babies change through outfits several times a day, usually, after milk spit up or a diaper change. Make sure that the fabric looks easy to clean and can withstand lots of washes. When in doubt, check the label and look up the materials to ensure that any stains will wash out relatively easily.
Speaking of washing, buy clothes that don’t require extra TLC when laundering to help save you from exerting extra and unnecessary effort. Parenting is hard enough on its own, so don’t add to your worries by buying clothes that need too much care. Avoid knits and wool because these materials need special laundry instructions that may be overwhelming.
Also, it’s great to pay attention to quality so it would be handed down in good condition. Since kids outgrow clothes quickly, it just makes sense if you can make the most of it by handing it down to a younger kid or to a child of someone close to you. Quality would ensure that you (and probably other people) can maximize your purchase.
However, you can compromise on quality if you’re just interested in buying cheap clothes that will get dirty in any case. If you see a bargain on a set of thin, low0quality t-shirts, you may want to get them so that your child can play in the mud, sand, or paint without you having to worry about soiling high quality clothes.
Functionality and Safety
Always choose functionality over aesthetics. Kids do not prefer a turtleneck and other clothes with narrow head openings, and they are not for babies. If you can find something that’s easy to put on or has a zipper, it’s best to choose it because it’s easy for children to put on and play. This is also important for babies because changing them can be challenging, especially when they are already mobile. It’s great to choose pieces with a design that allows you to put on them in no time.
Also, make sure that any embellishments on the clothes won’t irritate or potentially hurt your child. If a piece must contain decorations like buttons, flowers, bows, and hooks, they should be firmly attached. For babies, avoid choosing clothes with drawstrings or waistbands as they can pose strangulation hazards. Check if there’s anything that can be too sharp or edgy, and if you find them, avoid them.
Factor in the season and geographical climate you are in when buying clothes. Fuzzy, furry jackets may look extra cute on your little kid, but if you live in Southern California, it would probably only stay on your Instagram feed. Buy season-appropriate clothes and think ahead. Warm weather is particularly difficult for babies and children, as they can get warmer and sweaty more easily than adults. If this is the weather in your area, go for breathable fabrics that can keep your child comfortable.
Value for Money
Go for clothes that are worth the amount you are planning to spend. You can shop on expensive brands if you can afford to do so, but you don’t have to, so you can make the best use of your money. There are a lot of reliable and affordable shops available for buying children’s clothes.
Whether you are buying online or in physical stores, there are usually online reviews available for most shopping platforms. Before you visit any store (at the mall or on Amazon), read the reviews of its customer service and some products. If the feedback from genuine customers seems off, it’s probably bets to avoid that brand or vendor altogether.
Consider the practicality of the clothes you buy. Resist the urge to snag adorable sailor or pirate outfits if the baby could make the most use of bodysuits. Also, don’t spend too much on clothes that your baby will hardly ever wear, like fancy dresses and costumes. Having one or two sets for special occasions would be enough.
When buying clothes for newborns, it’s best to keep a gender-neutral palette to make sure you can use them for all the babies you’re probably going to have.
Be realistic and buy only the amount of clothes that they really need. No kid needs 20 different pants or dresses. List the essentials and try to find more affordable options as much as possible. But keep in mind that you must never compromise quality to get a low price. If prices are too low, it skimps on the material and quality, and you may probably not be able to use those pieces for longer.
Child’s Opinions and Taste
Once your child gets old enough to have preferences, it’s best to consider their own choices since they will be the ones wearing them. You’re never going to get your kid to wear something they hate, so consider their personal opinions and tastes before buying her new wardrobe. Let them decide what they want to wear – you don’t want to be labeled in the future as the mom who forced them to wear “tacky” clothes during their childhood. This way, you’re making them happy while also cultivating their decision-making skills.
However, keep in mind that there should be some limits in letting a child choose how they dress. You obviously can’t let them wear a princess-like dress every single day, not can you let them wear a T-short and shorts in the middle of a harsh winter. For really picky kids, grab a few suitable options and let them choose from your selection instead of their whole wardrobe.
When buying fun, printed shirts, choose pieces with prints that they like. Every child has their favorite cartoon character, movie, or kid’s show, so it’s best to choose something that you know they will adore.