getting the most out of your child's wardrobe

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Helloooo! While the crickets have been chirping around these parts, I've been busy, busy, busy in the background working on a very special project (more on that later!). I haven't had any time to write anything new for this space but I thought I'd pop in with a post I drafted up a couple of months back (it's particularly fitting to the project I'm working on, hint hint).

I often get comments and emails about the girls' clothes, so I thought I'd share with you the main factors I consider when adding to their wardrobe. I hope you find these little tips useful when shopping for your little ones.

1. Before buying on a whim, stop and consider whether it will work with what you already have. Remember, kids grow out of clothing quickly, so look for pieces that can be worn on fairly high rotation, in a variety of outfit combinations.

2. Invest in voluminous shapes - they'll last so much longer. Loose fitting smock dresses can last a few years - evolving into tunics and billowy tops as your child grows taller!

3. If you can afford it, try to invest in one pair of good quality shoes per season. It can be hard parting with cash for kids shoes when you know they'll grow out of them quickly... but I honestly believe money is sometimes better spent on quality, not quantity. Each season, I invest in one pair of beautiful and practical leather shoes - always in a neutral "go with everything" colour. She will literally wear the shoes every day, and I sleep soundly at night knowing her feet are being properly supported as she grows. The added bonus is that quality leather shoes make good keepsakes - imagine how lovely they'll be when they're pulled out of the time capsule 20 years later!

4. Buy bold colours and prints in moderation (unless of course this is your signature style!). Personally, I find that sticking to a fairly neutral palette and adding hints of colour and print with a few select items and accessories results in a more cohesive collection that can be interchanged and mixed and matched to create more unique looks.

5. Buy a size too big. Remember, they really will "grow into it", and in the meantime, roll cuffs and cinch waistbands!

6. Layer! This piece of advice is for Australians (or anyone living in warmer climates) in particular... don't spend too much money on bulky, heavy, expensive winter pieces. Instead, invest in trans-seasonal basics that can be adapted for different climates. Layering with vests, cardigans and tights creates a really cute look in cooler months and you'll get longevity of those lighter pieces which can be carried through from the warmer months.

7. Consider unisex pieces (particularly practical advice if you're planning on having another child). Little girls can look really cute in tomboyish looks (think denim overalls or desert boots!). Similarly, little boys can get away with 'softer' pieces such as leggings, bloomers and sandals.

8. Hit the op-shops! I love a bit of vintage and pre-loved clothing; they add oodles of nostalgic charm and cost a mere pittance. Win win!

Do you have any tips you'd like to add? I'd love to hear what's important to you when you're shopping for your kids.


  1. I have 3 boys (so far) so clothing is super simple at our house, hand me down city �� hardwearing shoes are essential, so it's always leather boots for them. I also scour op shops particularly for denim pants/overalls as they are always in good
    nick. We are currently on a "no new clothes" challenge and 5 months into the year I have not caved once! I also sew and knit, so my boys get lovely one off creations from me as well.

    1. Mama-made clothes are always the best! x

  2. That's so funny that you've just posted this now. The other day I had a little browse through some of your old posts to get some girly clothes ideas... I've always loved how you dress the girls and now that I've got one of my own, I thought I'd get some tips! Having said that, she'll probably just wear her brother's hand me downs mostly! And good to hear you've got some exciting things in the pipeline Claire xx. Jo

  3. New project sounds exciting Claire. Can't wait for the big reveal! x

  4. AnonymousMay 23, 2014

    thank you for this post, i always swoon over your daughters outfits. my first baby is due in September and i will be sure to come back to this post. cheers, andrea.

  5. Thanks for this post Claire! I always try to buy neutrals and soft colours (light blues and mints) for my 18 month old daughter - I find that most of the colour in her wardrobe comes from hand me downs and gifts. I have the most trouble with trying to find good shoes. They either don't fit properly or are garish colours/patterns/covered in cartoon characters. Where do you get the girls' leather shoes?

  6. Lovely post Claire. And so excited to hear about your new project xx

  7. Any tips on where to find baby leather shoes? Thank you for this post!

  8. I like your swanky hangers. Many of these rules are the twins to our own for the children's clothing. It's especially hard, (and I think expensive) to clothe a boy. I dislike militaristic prints or sports themes, but nor do I want my 8 year old son to be a walking advertisement for a clothing company, so I have to really dig to find good, classic, tasteful pieces for him that also suit his personality. My daughter is only 3, so it's still easy to find classic pieces for her.

  9. Since I've became a single father, I started my trip in the world of children's fashion. Your advice is great, if only I went through this post a couple of years ago, it would have saved me much time and effort.
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  10. I know it,s a bit late, but I'll dive anyway. I like to split my shopping in three categories: cheaper pieceshirts from Target that I can let her wear without fearing they'll stain on the first date; basics from "designer" stores like Okaidi or Mexx that grow well, wash well and last long enough to grwo with them; and fun pieces, mostly impulsive buys and love-at-first-sight pieces that may not fit but my daughter usually prefers (like this pair of tights with kitten faces on the knees)....

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - it really means so much. I will try to reply where I can! xx

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