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I’ve found it’s quite easy to save 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 are my tips 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.
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: Old Navy or OshKosh B'gosh. 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.
Versatile items which can combo in multiple ways
And finally, I’ll move on now to highlight 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 ribbon cuffs.
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.
The bottom line
If you are looking for your dollar to work twice as hard, these tips will really help.