2009 January 19


Buying for children can be a thankless task, they hate their school uniform and do everything they can to avoid wearing it. But on the other hand, anything you buy them for casualwear is bound to be uncool, non-rad and totally yuck.  And children’s clothing can be expensive too, especially once they hit the adolescent years and start to develop designer tastes.

There’s not a lot we can do to help you with the teenage spending drain, but before that, you can save yourself quite a lot of money by sensible purchasing and clothing management.

Buying with a Purpose:

  • Kids outgrow trousers much more swiftly than they do strap overalls which can be adjusted for several months more. While they are small enough to wear what you buy, keep them in dungarees!
  • If you can’t buy dungarees, remember that cuffed trousers and shirts can be uncuffed as your child grows, to give a longer wearing period before the garment is outgrown.
  • Classic clothing like plain T-shirts and blue jeans both last longer and look good longer than faddy items.
  • Buy a season in advance – pick up last season’s summer tops at knock-down prices in winter, and in summer, look out for long-sleeved tops and good jackets at bargain prices.

Buying Secondhand:

  • If you have a teenager, particularly a girl, get her to resell her ‘old’ clothing via the local paper or ebay to fund new purchases – often girls will wear something for less than a season and it can still be resold for a reasonable price. Trendy T-shirts and tops will often sell fast.
  • When buying second hand, look at all garments well, checking buttons, zippers, and seams and turn them inside out to spot stains and worn areas

Caring for Clothing:

If you hope to sell your children’s clothing second hand, you need to take care of it during its lifetime with you. So make sure you deal with any stains immediately and loosen any buttons or buckles that become tight – this keeps the garment in better shape for resale or for handing on to another child. Where possible, fold T-shirts and tops shop-style, rather than in half, as folding down the middle can exacerbate the tendency for cotton to lose its shape, folding sides to middle helps keep a garment’s form.

Form a Buying Consortium:

It sounds really upmarket, but all it means is that you’re buying bulk items: nappies and bibs for babies, T-shirts, polo-shirts and school trousers for kids, socks for teenagers, for say, twelve kids. You can find mums and dads who’d like to consortium buy through schools, sports clubs or youth clubs and by negotiating a group discount or making a bulk purchase, you can save up to 40% off the retail price for the item.

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