(Catherine is a guest blogger from Catherine Alford.)
When I was pregnant with my twins, I would go to high end children's clothing stores and stare wistfully at all the beautiful outfits, shoes, and accessories in them.
On one hand, I wished I could afford $40 dresses and $60 shoes that I saw and instantly fell in love with. On the other hand, I wondered why anyone in their right mind would spend a fortune on kids' clothes that would undoubtedly be covered in baby vomit and poop by the end of the day (yes, I went there).
Still, there were times and special occasions where I wanted my kids to be dressed like high fashion baby models without the high fashion prices, so here's how I found beautiful, affordable clothes for them at an extreme discount:
There are these magical unicorn events in the mom world called "clothing swaps" and you should do everything in your power to find them or at least throw a clothes swapping party yourself.
The way a clothing swap works is you purge your closet of clothes you and your kids no longer wear and your friends do the same. You meet at someone's house and arrange all the clothes like a store. Then, no money is exchanged. You literally just have fun swapping clothes all for free. I once went to a swap that even had accessories and books too. This is a great way for moms to purge items and get like new clothes from moms who have older kids than they do.
There are many different types of thrift stores, and sometimes, if you look for unique stores that might not be your typical Goodwill, you’d be surprised what you can find. There is one particular thrift store in my area that only accepts higher end name brand clothes. So, I can often find expensive jeans or beautiful dresses for a fraction of their retail price. This particular store has an amazing children’s clothing section too, and I’ve purchased several items from there. So, think outside the box when it comes to thrift stores and try out a few different ones in your area to get a feel for the types of clothes they carry.
Another tip is to try looking at online auctions or sales pages. These days, you don’t have to rely on finding something on eBay. There are so many buy, sell, and swap Facebook pages for moms. I’m a member one one where moms can sell matching outfits for boy/girl twins, but that’s just one example. You typically only need to commit to buying something and have a PayPal account to participate. It’s a great way to get quality, used items without breaking the bank.
Sometimes people forget that outlet malls have incredible deals. I’ve always loved J. Crew but again, it’s typically outside of my price range. Their children’s clothing line, Crew Cuts, is so cute it makes me wish I was 2 years old again. Just recently the J. Crew outlet near me had a random 50% off day. Every single thing in the store was 50% off so those gorgeous Crew Cuts outfits were finally within reach. Usually outlet malls have great sales around the holidays, but they also have several promotions on random days of the week too so be sure to check in on one near you.
This trick is a long standing one, but it works every time so it should definitely be mentioned! Whenever you go to a garage sale, make sure you go to one in a nice, established neighborhood. It’s amazing what people will get rid of when they have to move or purge items, and you can always bargain with them to lower the price.
Ultimately, there are many, many ways to find beautiful clothes for your children without paying full price. Don’t feel like the top name brands are out of reach because as evidenced above, you can typically find great deals by buying secondhand or scoping out some sales at the outlet malls.
DealsPlus is a great place to find coupons and savings on babies' and kids' clothing at your favorite retailers:
Where do you like to shop for babies' and kids' clothes? Tell us in the comments below!