We have been blessed by hand me downs and new clothes being gifted to us by grandparents. I really have had to buy very little for my daughter. But when I do, I am not only making sure to buy on sale, but I buy items that I know can transition from being a bit too big, fitting just right and being on the small end.
Picking clothes that can go the long haul through those three stages, gets me more than double the amount of use out of them.
Here are some ways that I do this, in how I style Penelope.
And might I just add, that picking out her outfits has to be my favorite thing in the whole world to do. It is becoming quite the hobby. I have no idea what I am going to do when she won’t let me pick out her outfits anymore.
It also has made me more conscious of the clothes I wear. I have started to take much more pride in what I wear and how I look.
But I digress.
So here is a classic example of how I dress Penelope when it is cold out. This pink jacket is from Mini Boden and is a size 18m to 2T. When she first got this jacket, at 11 months old, it was huge on her (you can see in the picture below), but she looks cute in anything, so we pulled it off. We are currently wearing this jacket in the fits-perfectly-stage. I don’t think we will get another winter out of it (that would make for three total) but if we go someplace cold this summer, it will still be great.
Her first layer is a long sleeve shirt I recently bought at Target, in size 4T. She is tall, so bigger shirts don’t hang too low on her, but the sleeves are too long. But I roll them up, or make a cuff like this. Pretty adorable to me.
The next layer is a 18m black cardigan. She first started wearing it at about 9 months old. All I did was roll up the sleeves then. We have passed the perfect fit stage and are in the almost too small to wear stage. But since it still fits in her chest, it looks cute as 3/4 sleeve, especially with a longer sleeve underneath.
Here she is in the black cardigan at 13 months. I miss that baby face!
Here she is at 11 months when she first got her Mini Boden jacket. The tights she has on are also Mini Boden in size 2T. Again, she is on the taller size so I can pull off bigger clothes on her. The top of the tights just came way up her chest in the beginning.
This winter, the tights fit perfectly, and almost getting too small, but I am pleased we got two winters out of them.
The dress she is wearing, also from Mini Boden, is a classic jumper. So in the winter, I would layer a long sleeve shirt, her dress, then a cardigan. In the spring, she would wear it over a short sleeve shirt, and in the summer just bare.
She can still fit into some of the very first pillow case dresses I made her. I made them a little long, and at first they were longer dresses, then perfect length dresses, then tunics and now shirts. They also layer very well.
For shoes, I buy as big as I can but that she is still able to walk in them and not look like a clown. This picture above (shoes by See Kai Run) is as big as I will go. These look a little goofy right now, but she is not wearing them much yet, since it hasn’t warmed up here enough for open toed shoes.
Her leggings in this picture are in the almost too small to wear stage. I first I bought them big and rolled the hem under. Then they were perfect and now they are still cute at cropped leggings. I also did this with her Gap skinny jeans (which are great for cloth diaper butts by the way). Other pants I will roll the cuff up and unroll it as she grows. I have gotten almost two full years out of most her pants this way.
Skirts. I do the same thing. See a trend? I buy big, and as they get shorter, I add leggings.
The jean jacket she is wearing in this picture is a size 2T. Almost too small for her, but gonna get a little bit more wear out of it. The next jean jacket I bought for her to wear is a 4T, so we will start the whole process over again, of being a bit too bit at first.
So even though I bought this jean jacket from Gap at full price, getting two full years out of it, makes it more than worth it. And buying a staple like a jean jacket, that can go with anything, eliminates the need for several jackets.
Here is how the jean jacket fit when I first bought it. That is probably one of my favorite outfits she ever wore!
One last picture for posterity. She was having so much fun running around and modeling for me.
So what do you do to extend the life of your children’s clothes and stretch your dollar as far as it will go?