Now that the girls are wearing some 12-18 month sized clothes I purchased a while back, I can evaluate the success of my shopping strategy. Based on my evaluation, here are a few tips from me to you:
- Get the maths right - I didn't forget my kids' birthday, but somewhere in my mind I had it that they would be one by 2011 Christmas so I bought 12months Christmas outfits. Bad maths. Since the girls were born in November, I should have bought outfits sized for 18months. Let's just say their santa dresses were a little snug.
- Get the seasons right - Cute skirts in 18m size are not a steal if the girls are 18months old in May and the temperatures are still too cold for short skirts or capris or the cutest little linen tunic
- Get the accessories - I focused on the everyday clothes and forgot about accessories like socks, hats and gloves. That could be a costly mistake. I've seen the same pack of socks sold for $8 in-season and $2 off-season
- Get the accessories right - Leggings and tights can turn some summer clothes into winter clothes
- Get the colors right - I initially bought anything that was priced right but soon realised I had a bunch of colors that didn't go well together. Sure I can dress my kid in a green tee, purple pants and yellow shoes but I probably shouldn't.
- Buy complete outfits - To handle the problem above, I made sure to buy a complete outfit or matching accessories if available. This really works when shopping in the children's stores that have collections like Crazy 8, Gymboree and Gap
- Limit the volume - When buying heavily discounted items, it's easy to go overboard. To forestall this, I have a 64qt plastic tote for each size of clothes and a total of 5 totes. All old and new clothes have to fit into these 5 totes. The space limits helps me control the numbers and forces me to organize the old clothes before buying new ones
- Understand the value - When limited on space, some items are more valuable than others. High value items worth buying on sale include dresses, jeans, heavier sweaters and outerwear. Items like tee-shirts, shorts, fleece pants and sleepers are not worth buying ahead unless they are special. These will always be available for $5 or less in Carters, Walmart and even Costco. Why take up space storing them?
- Watch the wear - Some brands wear out better than others. Spend good money on Gymboree, Gap and OshKosh. Old Navy and the Children's Place are over-priced below-average quality brands - thats my opinion based on experience so far. Carters and Walmart have year-round sales so you'll always get good deals. Stocking up is not necessary
- Enjoy playing dress-up with the little munchkins because in a short while they will have their own opinions on fashion and refuse to wear those cute yellow shoes
|Photo Credit with thanks|