Shopping a Season Ahead: Tips and Tricks

We moved Jack to a toddler room recently.  I got to hang up all of his new clothes that had been waiting in bins since last winter when I purchased them on clearance!  I was super excited about it…really!  I purposefully left the tags on so I could high five myself on the amazing deals I was able to get last year.  (I realize this is slightly weird…but who couldn’t use a little pick me up?)

Buying ahead has saved us so much money.  Of course there is always an item or two that doesn’t fit, but after some trial and error I know what to buy and what to avoid.

1.  Look for Quality on the Cheap

I noticed recently that most of Jack’s clothes are from H&M Basics and Baby Gap.  They seem to hold up the best and are the cutest.  One of my friends has great luck with Macy’s brands and their clearance rack, but I can never find anything at our Macy’s.

2.  Know what Size Your Child is NOW

You will have to make an educated guess on where he/she will be during that season next year.  Jack has been, for the most part, on par with Baby Gap sizing.  Right before he turned 2 he was fitting into a 2T.  When he was 8 months old, he was in the 6-12 months size.  18-24 months was a bit tricky, but I noticed that 2T is just longer in most brands.  I had 2T stuff for last Winter that was way too long, but we made due by rolling up the pants.

3.  Make Sure You Like It

Don’t just buy it because it’s cheap.  Buy it because it’s cheap AND you like it.  If you are wishy washy on it now, you probably aren’t going to put your kid in it in 9-12 months when you’re drooling over the cute new clothes for the season.

 4.  Shoes are Hard

I would avoid it unless you find a fantastic deal.  I found two pairs of kids Keens at REI last winter for 8 dollars.  They are usually around $50, so I couldn’t say no and bought both sizes.  He did wear them both, but was out of the smaller size 5.5 in a month.  He is still rocking his 6’s months later.  Shoes are the one area I will pay full price if I have to.  He usually only has one or two pairs of shoes at a time and I think it’s important for them to fit his growing feet.  (Keens are amazing for rambunctious little boys BTW)

Happy Shopping!  Stay tuned for my next post on when and where to shop the sales!

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