Monday, July 28, 2008

Stephanie's Thoughts on Boy Clothes

Can you believe how fast the summer is flying by?! I sure can't. It won't be much longer and autumn will be upon us here in New England. Ah! Autumn. My favorite season. Colorful trees. Crisp morning air. Warm comfy clothes. What's not to love?

Well, shopping for those warm comfy clothes is one thing I don't love. I don't know who determines when to change the seasonal clothing in stores but whoever does it is crazy! Especially for those of us in New England. Seriously, who wants to buy a sleeveless Easter dress in February?! It's crazy, I'm tellin' ya, crazy!

But I digress.

With the changing seasons close at hand my thoughts have turned to clothes shopping for my kids. What do they need for fall and winter? How much is this gonna cost me? I have given some thought to how to organize this whole business. After all, buying a wardrobe for 3 kids is not a quick, simple or cheap undertaking.

Here are some of my conclusions about buying clothing for boys. First, hand-me-downs. I box up all of Will's clothes and Ben wears them in a year or two. I will be saving them after Ben (those worth saving anyway) and Baby #4 will wear them when he's big enough. This keeps money in my pocket. It also justifies spending a little more on Will's clothes to get good quality pieces that will last through 3 boys. T-shirts from Wal*Mart, while only $3, do NOT last. Take my word for it.

Next, I like my children to all coordinate when we go out in public. Especially the ones who are independently walking. I find it's easier to keep my eye on them and people know they go together. That means I need to have at least 2 sets of clothes in different sizes in the same colors. And since I'm using hand-me-downs it means I've got to plan ahead.

My final conclusions. Skip the characters and logos. Stick with solid color shirts as much as possible. And buy the same colors every year if possible. Another benefit is that the clothes won't go out of style in the 3-4 years it's going to take for #4 to grow into them.

With all of this in mind, this afternoon I sat down and made a complete list for a wardrobe for my boys. Keep in mind this list reflects our lifestyle and the seasons where we live (summer only lasts 3 months here). We aren't involved in extra-curricular activities, we home school, and if nothing is spilled on or sweated in it then it's still clean. That means I probably have fewer items on my list than you might have. Regardless, I hope this helps you think through your purchases ahead of time and plan them out so you aren't spending a fortune at Gymboree needlessly.

I know having a list might seem a little silly but how many times have you gone shopping, bought something, and then discovered you already owned something very similar to it? I know that's happened to me on more than one occasion. My plan is to take this list with me and mark off the items as I buy them. Even if that shirt is only $5, if I already bought one in the same color I'm wasting money not saving it.

Church or Dress-Up Clothes: Fall/Winter/Spring
Dress Slacks – khaki, navy blue
Corduroy Pants – brown, khaki, navy blue
Oxford Shirt – white, blue
Polo Shirt (long sleeve) – white, navy blue, red
Sweater Vest- brown, navy
Sweater -
Shoes - brown loafers
Socks – tan (2), navy blue (2), brown (1)
Tie – Clip on
Brown Belt – Dress up & Casual

Play Clothes: Fall/Winter/Spring
Blue jeans – (4)
Blue Jean overalls
Sweat Pants – navy blue, green
Sweat Shirts – navy blue, green
T-Shirt (long sleeve) – red, white, navy blue, black, green
Tennis shoes, Work Boots
Sports socks (7)

Outer Wear
Winter coat, Snow pants, Snow boots
Denim jacket, Light weight dressy/casual jacket
Hat & Gloves
Rain coat

Summer: Casual & Dress-up
Shorts – Khaki (3), Navy blue (2), Blue Jean (3)
Polo shirt (short sleeve) – White, Red, Navy blue
T-Shirt- Red, White, Navy, Green, Yellow
Sweater vest (light weight) – Navy Blue
Sandals – brown dress up, sport/play
Swim suit

Superman: winter version, summer version
Short sleeve/shorts: 4
Long sleeve/pants: 4
Fleece shirts/pants: 4

Underwear (10)
Undershirt – white (3)


wherever HE leads we'll go said...

Wow! Very well thought out. I like the idea of sticking with same/similar colors from year to year. Then you don't have to re-think an entire wardrobe because of one purchase.

Buying clothes for kids is tough & I am just getting started. When Emily was born many people sent us clothes which was great except that they expected her to grow a lot faster than she did. So all those 6-9 months winter clothes did not come in very handy when she didn't fit into them until May or so (and May is HOT here so fleece was NOT going to work!).

Then I had to get some summer clothes. And since this was my first time around I went NUTS. I bought WAY too many clothes. Some she only got to wear once or twice & has already outgrown. So for fall & winter - less is more. I only had to make that mistake once!

Rachel said...

Wow! I never thought of making a list and planning out the shopping. Andrew is starting kindergarten next month and just out grew the last of the hand-me-downs from cousins. I have to buy an entire fall/winter wardrobe and was dreading it a little. Joshua will be in these clothes in a year or so and I'm starting to feel the same way about Wal*Mart clothes. They just don't last. Thanks so much for sharing your method. I bookmarked your post and will be printing it out soon.

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Oh how I love lists. I have done this before only to find myself buying that shirt at the resale shop because it was on $1. I really need to stick to a plan especially with my girls. Simple is good.

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