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Fashionable Kids—on a Budget

I know I wish that my kids could always be perfectly dressed and rival Quinoa—the best-dressed (imaginary) kid in all of the land, but its just not always realistic. This is true for me because (a) I don’t have that kind of cash to blow on my two (soon to be three) kids wardrobes and (b) because they are kids and kids ruin clothes. My husband and I always say that having kids is like living with drunken frat boys—you just never know what’s going to happen next. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care about what they wear—I do. I think about it a lot, and I try to pick things for them that show their budding personalities since I believe your wardrobe is a reflection of who you are.


Who are my kids? They are hat-loving ice cream eaters

All that being said, here are some of my tips for putting together fashionable kids’ wardrobes on a budget.

Shop Consignment Sales

I admit that when I was first introduced to them, I was a bit of a snob. I believe my response went something alone the lines of, “Um, no. My kids aren’t wearing some other kid’s old clothes,” but once I went, I definitely changed my tune. Consignment sales are different from thrift stores in the sense that they are usually new or very gently worn clothes. They are checked thoroughly for holes, stains, and wear before they are accepted for the sale. You can find some really great pieces this way. I tend to only buy name brand/boutique clothing and shoes at these sales. You can score some really great brands/designers if you look closely at truly amazing prices. For example, I found two Lily Pulitzer dresses for my daughter for $7 each. They were both barely worn. If you compare that with retail prices, you just saved yourself a boatload of cash. Similar dresses usually sell for upwards of $50 each.

all the hats

Shop the End of Season Sales

This might be my favorite tip. Scour the clearance rack at the end of the season this year for clothing for next year. Buy a size to a size and a half bigger (depending on the age of your child), and you can really save a lot of money toward the next year’s wardrobe. I also love this because you don’t have to break the bank all in one shopping trip. Just pick up a piece here and there on clearance, and by the next season, you will have a drawer full of stuff for a fraction of what you would pay in season.

em fashion

Shop Boutique for a Few Items and Big Box Stores for the Rest

If you’re like me, you love the small shops that pop up on Instagram or Etsy but can’t afford to buy every handmade piece of love. I can, however, afford to buy a few. I tend to buy cool hats or a unique pair of leggings and pair them with plain, inexpensive pieces from Target or Old Navy. I think the key to shopping the big box stores for children’s clothes is to keep it simple. Not everything has to have writing and characters on it. Sticking with the plain will keep it generic enough that no one will know where it was bought (you know those stores that put their logo/brand everywhere).


Layer, Accessorize, & Have Fun!

This is how I tie everything together. Consigned pieces, clearance items, boutique and big box store items, and accessories—mix them. Have fun with it. Not every single outfit has to match exactly. Don’t be afraid to layer pattern on pattern or pair two things you normally wouldn’t put together. Sometimes those very combinations turn out to be my favorite outfits!

em layers

What are some of your tips for dressing kids fashionably on a budget?



  1. {reblog} Fashionable kids on a budget | Stay at Home Money Manager - September 22, 2014

    […] she shared more tricks on Nashville Moms Blog and I love them – especially her suggestion to layer and have fun with accessories. Her […]

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