If you’re looking for fun ways to create trendy kids’ outfits on a single parent’s budget, you’re not alone. Let’s look at some easy tips for keeping your kids on-trend and within budget this season.
One of the easiest ways to stay within budget is to use what kids’ clothes you can from last year while sprucing them up with a few new things. Maybe your kids have grown like weeds, but even so, make sure to have them try on any of last year’s clothes that are candidates for this year. In addition to their clothes from last year, make sure to add in any gently used clothes from older siblings, extended family, and thrift store finds. Most kids outgrow their clothes before they wear them out, so gently used clothes often look like they have just been through the washer a few times.
When looking for new clothing items, keep it simple. If your kids are old enough, explain the ground rules to them (e.g., they can each buy two new T-shirts and a jacket, and they will get to wear them with those cool jeans that their sister or brother had). Go shopping at brick-and-mortar stores or websites that you know have quality clothing at good prices (like Lands’ End).
Your kids may want the latest style of everything, but what they need are clothes that will work for school, the ever-changing weather (at least if you live near Wisconsin), and all their activities. Every kid needs kids’ jeans, comfy casual tops, and a warm jacket and coat.
By getting the basics first, you’ll have a better idea of how far your time and money will stretch when outfitting your kids this season. Even if it’s not as far as you would like, you'll know how you can keep your kids cute and cozy.
Multi-buy deals and deep discounts can be found on everything from kids’ graphic T-shirts to joggers to outerwear. Take advantage of them whenever you can. If you're like most single parents, your time is at a premium. Leverage the internet to find out the best deals on clothing items and accessories that are on your wish list. By getting email alerts from your favorite brands and sites, you can pounce on sales while they're hot and fit them into your budget. It only takes a few moments to scan through the emails on your phone (and you can always delete the ones that don’t fit your needs).
End-of-season clearance sales can be a boon. For fall and winter items, this typically means after January 1st. In the summer, major markdowns start right after July 4th. Consider buying marked-down items a size too big so you’ll have them saved for next year. If you don’t want to buy tops or bottoms on spec, consider items like hats and gloves (unless you're sure that the ones that they have will still be good next year).
If you buy your kids only one new clothing item this season, make sure it’s a kids’ hoodie. A hoodie will keep them looking on-trend and feeling cozy year-round. In the fall, they can wear it over a T-shirt. In the winter they can layer it under a coat. In the spring it will keep them warm on those chilly mornings, and in the summer they’re handy for over-air-conditioned areas.
Hoodies are still as on trend today as they were a few years back. Consider a red hoodie to go with either black joggers or jeans. Black, grey, and white are also on-trend choices. Just be prepared to treat stains if you choose white. Even the neatest kids can’t keep a white hoodie spotless.
Every kid needs some cute kicks to stay on trend. The right kids’ sneakers will keep up with your kids whether they're running at recess, dashing to class, or just playing outside. Whether they're brand new or gently used, make sure your kids’ sneakers fit well and have the support their growing feet will need.
Sometimes all it takes to make a kids’ backpack “new” is a fun accessory. When you're helping your kids stay on trend, let them express their personalities with fun key chains or clips with everything from stuffed animals to pom poms on them. Make sure that this will work for their teacher, but as most backpacks are in lockers or cubbies during class, many schools are fine with this.
Enjoy helping your kids stay on-trend while keeping your budget in line this season!