By Tiffany MacKay
Even though most people wouldn’t know it by looking at me, I am a fashionista at heart. I love how clothing can enhance your assets and minimize your flaws. It is a testament to human ingenuity that I can go and buy clothing that makes me look like I lost 10lbs or get a pair of jeans that gives an illusion of a butt where none exists! This interest in fashion has become a minor obsession when it comes to dressing my son. In some ways my fashion sense has taken over my common sense when it comes to him. I cannot let him walk out of the house without looking put together. I feel like I am doing him an injustice when I send him to school with just plain old jeans and some random t-shirt. Crazy I know, not something that I ever thought I would become with my children, but there it is. I have to deal with it and I am forcing myself to do it on a Walmart budget.
I may feel responsible for making sure that my son always looks coordinated and put together but I do not want to hurt my pocket book doing it. Daycare already does that for me! So here are some websites and tips I have found for making my little guy look as cute and as fashionable as I can without breaking the bank (too much!).
On-line and other stores I love to shop:
• Totsy.com, this is a website where high end products such as clothing, shoes, baby gear, as well as stuff for mom are marked down significantly. The only catch is that you have to monitor the site regularly since the sales are of limited time, type and quantity. When you find something you need or just have to have, the price does not make you hyperventilate like it would if you were to buy the product in a boutique.
• Urbanbabyrunway.com, this website is run by a woman out of Baltimore and the website has some really cool and unique clothing and accessories. The clothes are a little more pricy than Walmart, but it is a great place to find unique pieces to add to your child’s wardrobe. I bought Iain’s fedora from them and I still love it though his head has outgrown it. I can’t wait for my next little guy to fit into it.
• Zappos.com, I love this site for myself and now my shoe fetish continues with shoes for my son as well. They have just about every type of brand name imaginable and a wide array of shoe sizes and widths. Their customer service is fantastic and their shipping is free not only to get the product but also if you have to return it.
• Outlets – whether it is Carters, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Children’s Place, Gap Kids, Tommy Hilfiger or Gymboree you can get your basics at a great price. Right now I buy clothes for Iain about twice a year once for cooler weather and once for warmer weather.
• Gently Used stores, there are several second time around stores in the area that have great clothes in fantastic condition that let your child look amazing without spending insane amounts of money.
Tips that help those clothes go a long way:
• Keep a list of the clothing that you have gotten. I try to keep a list of clothes that I have purchased so that I can keep track of what I still need and do not purchase too many pieces of similar type clothing.
• Try to be able to mix and match as many pieces of clothing as you can. I stay away from what I call “uni-outfits” clothes that will not go with anything else in my little guy’s wardrobe. Granted there have been a few times where I just couldn’t help myself but the more I can mix and match the longer and more uses I get out of the clothes, the less money I have to spend.
• Buy a few unique pieces to intersperse with your basics. I find that a great jacket or shirt that I can dress up or down and mix it with the basics allows me to get a great looking outfit that did not cost me as much as I would of spent if I had bought the entire thing at that boutique store.
• Make sure your child will be comfortable in the clothes that you get. I try and make sure that everything that I buy, Iain will be able to wear all day at daycare and be able to play and run around, without wanting to take off that really cute shirt I got him or those fantastic shoes.
• Don’t discount the basics a simple polo or oxford and a nice pair of jeans complimented with deck shoes or a pair of casual dress shoes can make a great outfit and you don’t have to spend a fortune.
• Plan outfits the night before. I am usually rushing around the house in the morning with no time to think. Granted you can only do this so long as your child does not want to dress themselves!
I am always looking for great places to find clothes for my son any suggestions? Also, what tips would you give moms about dressing your little ones?