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Kids fashion and style on a budget

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How to save money on kids clothes - easy parent-approved tips

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

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I've found it’s easier than you might first think save money on children's clothes. Here are my favorite tips which are not ones everyone thinks of right away.

Strategically select your children's clothes for double duty

You can save more money by making sure your child’s clothing can do double duty. If you’re buying an item of clothing, why not let it fit two roles for your child instead of just one? Here is a guide for which items can do double duty and why.

1. The white graphic tee

A white graphic short-sleeve T-shirt can do double duty in summer and in winter. In summer, a white short-sleeve patterned tee goes with almost any color shorts, pants or skirt. In winter, the same T-shirt can be worn as an undershirt on unusually cold days. Since this tee is white, the neckline won’t clash if it shows up slightly under whatever else your child is wearing. In Kentucky where our family lives, this system works out perfectly for us – I’m always grateful to have access to these on the occasion of an especially cold winter day.

Caveat: If you live somewhere where you need an undershirt every single day in the winter, it is probably cheaper to buy a pack of 6 plain undershirts instead of 6 white summer shirts.

Favorite place to buy white patterned tee: The Children's Place, because a) low pricing b) good selection of graphics, and c) they organize their graphic tees by color, making it a snap to find white shirts. Top alternative: Old Navy.

2. Snug-fit long pajamas

Snug-fitting long-sleeve pajamas are great: besides being comfy for nightwear, I’ve also found these to be ideal when you need an extra long-sleeve layer underneath regular clothes in winter. Be aware they will soak up water, so they’re not safe to use if it’s raining or in snow, but they do work well under thin pants for waiting at the school bus stop. Also if you run out of undershirts for whatever reason, the snug-fit long-sleeve PJ top fits under almost any long-sleeved regular top.

Favorite places to buy: The Children's Place (usually cheapest). Top alternative: Carter's.

3. Windbreaker-style track pants

Besides being a must for PE wear in winter, the type of track pants that are slightly water resistant are perfect for taking the kids out and about on after-school errands on rainy days.

Favorite places to buy: OshKosh B'gosh or The Children's Place. Most other shops don’t have these in water resistant material. Offerings change from season to season at this and other stores, so do be careful when looking at product descriptions. If in doubt about whether something is water resistant, ask before ordering.

Have at least a few items which go with everything

Another way to save money on children's clothing is to pick items which are so versatile that they mix-and-match with almost everything, thereby extending out your child’s wardrobe. I’d consider these absolute must-have items, yet all too few kids have them.

For girls: “Quieter” one-color tops that go with everything

So many skirts or pants are heavily patterned or feature strong colors, so you’ll want something easy to match them with. I particularly like the different style blouses from French Toast for this - you can find different detailing options there, like a Peter Pan collar or puff sleeves.

For boys: Gray chino-style pants

They are more formal than jeans and stand out from the crowd a little more than khaki pants. What’s even better is that gray goes with almost any color top except brown. My two favorites place for gray pants for boys are The Children's Place and Old Navy. My boys have these from both places, and they’re very durable.

Know the best places to buy stylish yet cheap children's clothes online

The big-box discount stores are not always your cheapest option. Instead take a look at my list of the 6 best budget-friendly U.S. kids clothing stores.

Know when multiple kids clothing stores are having online sales

Another way to save money on kids clothes is to be in the know when many children's clothing stores are running online sales at the same time. This allows you to shop around and cherry-pick the best deals. You can really get the most for your money that way.

And no, you don't have to spend ages scouring the internet for these deals. I have a free newsletter where I send out deal round-up info whenever multiple children's clothing brands are having an online sale. This way you can shop around and save money. Sign up here - I never spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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