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How To Buy Children’s Clothes That Last The Whole Year

How many times has this happened to you? You see a cute outfit online and you cannot wait to see your child in it, all ideas of budgeting and finance are abandoned and nothing stops you from buying the outfit.

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The next day something similar happens, you happen to walk past a display at the department store and you glance upon those little shoes. Oh! those shoes would look perfect on your little one. 

Such instances keep repeating and before you know it your child’s wardrobe has no room left to squeeze in more clothes, but when the time comes to put on an outfit for a birthday party, none of the clothes seem to be appropriate or even fit.

We have all been there! We experience the wastefulness of our mindless purchases from time to time.

Millions of clothes are thrown away every day. It is reported that the average person buys 60 per cent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste. 

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Children’s clothing is one such type of textile waste. Children are constantly growing out of clothes and with mindless buying trends each family today buys a lot of clothes which mostly end up in the landfill. 

One can definitely donate and recycle. But, only a small amount of donated clothes actually reach people in need, even with recycling, only a small percentage of clothes are recyclable. The rest ends up in a landfill. How can we then buy mindfully and make sure that our children’s clothes last a long time? 

Read on to know how I buy for our son and make sure to get the most use from his clothes.

children's clothes-capsule wardrobe kids


I say clothes must last a whole year, but we all know that certain clothing items such as t-shirts, trousers, kurtas, pajamas, girls jeans, and skirts last longer than a year when used correctly. 

Buy one size big

Always buy one size big when you purchase children’s clothes. Clothes like tees and pajamas can be easily bought one size big and used until the child grows into the outfit. Boys’ and girls jeans and trousers can be bought with a stretch elastic waist or waist tie option. This way you can get the right fit on the waist and fold over from the bottom and adjust the length.

Invest in good quality materials

If you want the clothes to last an entire year make sure you choose the right materials. When it comes to building a long-lasting kids wardrobe, buy less but of good quality.

Bottom wear especially can get dirty quickly. Buy girls jeans and leggings in thick cotton materials. 

For boys too, go for jeans or corduroy trousers. These will last long and won’t look worn out easily.  

Comfort wear

As children grow older they start making decisions about the kind of clothes that they prefer. Even a slightly itchy or scratchy material means a big no for a child. Avoid buying synthetic and scratchy materials or designs that have high necks and 3/4 th length sleeves. Most children have an issue with such type of clothing. 

If you know that your child does not like a particular style of clothing, don’t waste your money buying that style again. There is no use forcing the child to wear something he/she doesn’t like. That piece of clothing just ends up sitting in the wardrobe without being used. I have learned from my past experience to look for comfort over the latest trends. 

Coordinated pieces

Which brings me to my next point. Do not follow trends. Look for classic pieces that can be easily mixed and matched. Create a capsule wardrobe for your child in a color palette that favors mix and match. 

To learn more about how I created my toddler’s capsule wardrobe read here.

Avoid buying light coloured clothing

If you want an outfit to last avoid buying light colors. I personally love white, but over the years I have learned my lesson that white tees are not meant for kids. Especially as they grow into preschool years, all that constant play and exploration leads to many stains. I stick with black, brown, and navy blue for bottom wear and darker colored tees (in blues, greys, and bright primary colors). You can also buy outfits in dark colors and small gathered prints on them so that stains are not visible in case the child does end up soiling the outfit.

Semi casual party wear

To get the most from the party wear clothing don’t buy elaborate fancy designs. Instead, stick to clothes that can be easily dressed up or down.

For boys choose semi-casual shirts that can be paired over tees and jeans for an event like birthday parties or playdates. 

For weddings or other more formal events, you can add an accessory like a bow tie over a shirt for a simple, stylish yet comfortable option for the child. 

Here are some great semi-casual looks for toddler boys

Similarly, for girls, instead of buying pricky synthetic materials and large tutu dresses, go for a simple tutu skirt that can be paired with a solid-colored cotton tee and dress it up with some fun accessories like bows and bracelets. Or a dressy girls jeans and cute but comfortable blouse.

Choose all-weather clothing and accessories

Instead of buying multiple shoes and jackets to suit each season, try and find these in all-weather materials. This way you save money and get the maximum advantage of these clothes and shoes.

For shoes, we usually buy one pair of all-season school shoes that we also use for formal occasions and one pair of sneakers/sandals for play and travel.

Since India doesn’t get that cold in winters, I don’t buy jackets or heavy knitwear. I go with layering clothes instead. For e.g. shirts can be paired with tees, light cardigans or girls jeans that can be worn over a tee or shirt when it’s chilly and worn as separates other times of the year.

Hope these tips come in handy as you shop for your children’s clothes. Do share some tips of your own, on how you choose your child’s clothes. 

3 thoughts on “How To Buy Children’s Clothes That Last The Whole Year”

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