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If you're looking for where to buy cheap toddler clothing that looks great and is made by reliable U.S. brands, you're in the right place. Perhaps you were fortunate enough to have plenty of baby clothes given to you, but now that baby is approaching 1 year and up, you need to find a store that has good toddler clothes at an affordable price point. Or maybe you already have a toddler but are looking for more options of where to buy. Either way, I've got you covered!
First, a word on toddler sizing, then I'll move right along to stores with stylish cheap toddler clothes.
Toddler ages and sizes
You would typically only call a child a toddler from ages 1 to 3. But when it comes to kids clothing sizes, the toddler sizes go from size 12 months to 5T - in other words, up to 5 years old. And because kids grow rapidly around age 1 and 2, many stores have finer gradations at the lower end of the toddler size. The typical sizes are: 12M, 18M, 24M, 2T, 3T, 4T and 5T.
What is the difference between the 24M and 2T toddler sizes?
If a brand offers both a 24 months size and a 2T size, then the 24M size is fractionally smaller than the 2T. You'll also encounter this when your toddler is older with the 5T and regular size 5: a 5T is slightly smaller than a 5.
At the end I'll give some shopping tips if you have dilemmas of which one of these sizes to choose for your child.
For now, let's move on and look at awesome yet affordable brands of toddler clothes. All of these are similarly priced or cheaper than the big discount stores like Target and Walmart, and the designs are even cuter. When my kids were little I didn't know this, and I just assumed the stores below were out of my budget range. I was wrong! The stores I mention below look fancy, but they're just as affordable as the big-box discount stores.
The Children's Place
The Children's Place is my number one place to shop for stylish toddler clothes online and in-store. Their storefronts have a very boutique look, but the price points are so cheap - similar to discount store prices! It's the best of both worlds. They have awesome clothes for toddlers in sizes 12M to 5T - you can shop toddler boys here and toddler girls here.
The reason I like The Children's Place so much is that their styles look great and items tend to be in stock online, so you can get what you need. They have plenty of color options and size options. There's another practical reason I recommend it: unlike many other kids clothing stores, most of the toddler pants and jeans at The Children's Place have an discreet adjustable inner elastic, meaning you can adjust the waist as needed for your child at the inside waistband at each side of the button and fly. This means the pant doesn't look obviously elasticated from the outside yet fits the child well. As your toddler grows, you can move the elastic to a looser setting. This system is great because it means you don't have to stress about getting the fit exactly right around the waist as you would at other stores that don't have the inner waistband elastic.
For cute toddler clothing at a budget friendly price, Carter's is another great option. Be aware that they arrange their sizing a little differently to The Children's Place: at Carter's, their toddler section is for sizes 2T through 5T. If you have a younger toddler, for example a 1 year old or a small 2 year old needing the 24M size, don't worry you're still covered, Carter's stocks those sizes in the baby section.
Yes, you can afford this brand! When they have a sale (which is a whole lot more often than you'd think), OshKosh B'gosh prices are in line with big-box discount store prices. Yet you get a much better brand for what you're spending. OshKosh B'gosh is the sibling brand of Carter's and they share a combined shopping cart and checkout, meaning you can shop from both stores in one order if you wish.
The OshKosh B'gosh toddler clothes are so cute and adorable! You can take a look at their toddler boys clothes here and toddler girls clothes here. Also, their famous toddler overalls are available in more colors than just denim now - you can take a look at your options here.
Yes, the baby food company Gerber has their own brand of casual clothing especially for toddlers, Gerber Childrenswear. The items are beautifully styled and wonderfully budget-friendly. It's a bit of a "hidden gem" - most parents don't know about it. So enjoy! You can see their toddler girls styles here and toddler boy styles here.
Old Navy might not be everyone's first thought when it comes to toddler clothes, but actually it has a lot for babies and toddlers - and at a cheap price point. I've noticed that their kids clothing is priced much more affordably than their adult clothing, even accounting for the size difference between kids and adults.
In particular what makes Old Navy a great option for you is their toddler multi-packs, available in sizes 12 months all the way to 5T and sometimes even 6T. These multipacks are typically a set or 2, 3 or more items together with a cohesive color scheme, for example a set of 3 t shirts that have colors or patterns that work together. These are available for packs of pajamas, shorts, t shirts, sweatpants, and more. The patterns all look really nice - upscale and on-trend. Take a look at the toddler girls multipacks here and toddler boys multipacks here.
You save money in two ways with the multipacks:
- the multipacks work out cheaper than buying each item individually (that's on top of Old Navy's already low prices for kids clothes)
- the colors and patterns are designed to work well with whatever other separate you're pairing it with. In other words, suppose you plan to match one of the short sleeve t shirts with navy shorts, the other t shirts in the multipack will usually also work well with navy shorts. Obviously this will not always be the case 100% of the time, so look carefully at the colors when buying, but in general they've made a big effort to design it in that way. Buying the toddler multipacks means you have a lot more flexibility over what goes with what, allowing you to get by on less total numbers of clothes - you wind up with items that pair well with your existing items.
Of course, you don't have to go with the multipacks, you can shop individual toddler items at Old Navy if you prefer. But for me, the multipacks are both a sanity-saver and a budget saver.
If you're looking for slightly dressier styles for your toddler, then Gymboree is your best bet if you're seeking to do it at an affordable price point. Gymboree is the fancier sibling brand of The Children's Place. If you're wanting a more preppy look then it's the place to shop.
I also love that Gymboree excels at seasonal wear, so if you enjoy putting together seasonal outfits for your kids rest assured no matter the season or occasion they've got you covered. I especially appreciate that they're not just doing Easter wear and holiday outfits, but also lovely themed fall clothing for example, and other themes for other seasons. This ensures your kid looks wonderful in any photos you take at any time of year. Their toddler boys clothes are here and toddler girls clothes here.
Janie and Jack
Janie and Jack is a bit pricier than any of the other stores I mentioned on this page, but if you want an excuse to splurge on a special piece for your toddler then you won't find a better place. Janie and Jack is a traditionally styled brand, slightly like Gymboree but with more formal styles available. For the quality, detailing, and styling you get from them, the price point is great value for money, but it's still a bit more of a total cost than the other stores above, so take that into account. For a gorgeous photo outfit, for example, it's worth it.
To sum up Janie and Jack, if you're of the opinion that "they're only young once" then I'd recommend it. You can look at their toddler boys clothes here and toddler girls clothes here.
Shopping tips for toddler clothing
- If you don't know whether your child needs a 24M versus a 2T, start with the 24M once your child has grown out of 18M clothing. Remember the 24M clothing is very slightly smaller than 2T. Move up to the 2T as needed. A good rule of thumb is that if your child has recently grown out of 18M clothing and you're buying for the current season, then go for 24M, but if you're buying for the next season (example: it's early fall but you're buying a winter jacket) then go for 2T. This is just rule of thumb though - it's impossible to predict it exactly. You should also take into account whether the item would be a problem if it's slightly too big. If a slightly too large item won't pose a problem (e.g. a jacket or other loose-fitting item) then get the 2T.
- Different brands have slightly different sizing. Here is a neat tactic. If you have a favorite out of the stores I mentioned above, you might like to go mainly with that store for the more precise-fit items, such as long pants, because you'll have a good feel for how they size their items. Then shop around multiple stores for things that need less of a precise fit, such as T shirts. This what I do when shopping for my kids.
- In general, don't buy too far ahead of time just yet if something is specific to a particular season, for example jackets or shorts. The toddler years are a period of rapid growth for your child and it can be hard to predict what size he or she will be beyond the next season. Buy for the current season or 1 season ahead. Otherwise a sudden growth spurt could cause a pre-bought winter jacket to be too small by the time winter rolls around, for example. Once your child is at size 5 and up, you can safely buy further ahead if you wish because he or she tends to grow more steadily at that point. Items that are not seasonal will be fine to buy as far ahead as you wish for your toddler.