Baby clothes, especially of the boutique variety, are often expensive. Since babies typically outgrow their clothes every couple of months if not faster, outfitting your little one in chic boutique clothing can break your budget. The good news is that there are ways to dress up your baby in designer duds without having to dip into her college fund to afford it.
Write down your children's sizes for all their clothing items, including shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, socks and hats. Then write down the sizes you anticipate that they will wear in six months or even a year. You can approximate this by noting their ages at the present time and considering the sizes they're currently wearing. For example, if your 6-month-old is currently wearing clothing for babies 9- to 12-months-old, you can reasonably expect that this child will wear clothes for 18- to 24-month-olds when she is 15 months.
Shop for off-season clothes at baby boutiques. With your list of anticipated sizes in hand, you can look for the clothes in those sizes for the next season. This way, you can save on winter clothes by shopping in the summer and vice versa.
Shop sales. Even boutique stores hold sales. Sign up for the newsletters or flyers of your favorite children's boutiques to learn when sales will take place so you can shop them early. Sometimes, you can even save big on current-season clothing.
Go to consignment sales. Many municipalities host large consignment sales and festivals a couple of times a year, which include a variety of kids' clothing. You can often find boutique items at these sales for a fraction of the cost of retail -- and they're typically in excellent condition.
Try online auctions. Sites like eBay offer new and gently used items for less-than-retail prices. You can browse by brand, size, color and other criteria to find the clothes that you like.
Visit the websites of your favorite children's clothing designers regularly. These websites typically have sale items available. While the sale items might be off-season clothes or clothes in colors that aren't the most popular choices, they're still designer clothes at discounted prices.
Shop surplus and outlet malls. Many retail stores send their clothes to surplus and outlet malls after they're marked down for a while. These items might be off-season or no longer the latest fashions, but they still have designer labels -- and are still cute. Shop early in the morning on a weekday to get the best picks.
Go to thrift stores. Thrift stores, especially in wealthy areas, often have second-hand boutique items that are still in good condition. Learn what days the thrift stores in your area put out new merchandise, and plan to go on those days. Quality items will not last long on the racks.
Items you will need
- Children's clothing sizes
- Internet connection
- Consider signing up for an online swap group through a social networking site or meetup site. Parents often come together in these groups to trade their gently used items -- and you can find some quality clothing this way.
- Always clean any clothes that you buy second-hand.
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