Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dressing Your Baby or Toddler Boy on a Budget, Smug Mummy-Style

I've had some fab questions about tomorrow's "decision to stay-at-home-parent" link-up along the lines of who can participate - anyone is welcome, whether you're currently a SAHP or just seriously considering it. The idea is to give some food for thought to those considering the move about however you've reached your decision.

I'll also try to get my own post up early in the a.m., so you morning people - you know who you are, ye of much perkiness - can link-up sooner than my usual nap-hour posting time, emphasis on "try".

And yes, I promise, this will be my final reminder - sort of like the final Bachelor rose, but without crushing anyone's dreams on national television. *cue ominous music & Chris Harrison appearance*.


You know what they say about baby boys - if they aren't dressed well from the get-go, they have no chance in life.

Ok, precisely no one is saying that, but surely a well-dressed tot can't hurt? Call me shallow - it's ok, you're not the first - but in those Dark Newborn Ages, a darling onesie or smocked bubble never hurt Master P's chances of making it out alive.

In any event, I've received some sweet inquiries about Master P's sweet, sweet wardrobe, so I figured I'd spill my secrets here. I'm hardly the first to cover this territory - check out the stellar boy wardrobe roundups done by my favorites AmyAP & Erin - but I thought I'd give my Texifornian take, which includes a little Texas, smocked traditional, a little a lot prep, and a little trendy, if only because it gives me an excuse to trot out photos like this again:

From local boutique favorite Baby Bugaloo - see details below

As mothers of boys know, the selection of Smug-worthy apparel for infant & toddler boys is, shall we say, limited. I confess that, when Master P's gender-reveal ultrasound showed the man bits, I had a shopaholic's moment of panic - BUT WHAT WILL HE WEAR? (Yes, yes - #firstworldproblems blah blah blah).

The thing is, the smaller amounts of boy stuff makes finding the gems easier - and what's more is that there's almost never cause to pay full price for them. I like buying quality items - as you'll see below, when the budget permits I'd rather pay a bit more for something that won't fall apart in a few washes - but I do not enjoy paying full price.

Here's my secret: I can count on one hand the items for which I've paid retail. Having a boy has turned me into a bargain hunter - better late than never, eh? Money saved on the clothes the wee CEO will outgrow in 3 months is better put towards his college fund Mama's Celine tote fund.

My three rules of infant & toddler boy shopping are as follows:
- Never pay retail, particularly for special occasion / little worn items;
- (Esp. for infants) Try to buy one size & one season ahead of where your boy is currently;
- Always check consignment & discount retailers before retail.

Keeping those in mind, here's what has worked best for us, organized by brand & location:

Everyday/Play Wear Brands:
Carters (particularly for onesies & sleepers in infant stage; check Costco & brand outlet for deals)
BabyGap (both in-store & online; check Ebates for cash-back deal & sign up for Gap emails to get discounts)
Janie & Jack (look for their "Friends & Family" 30% off sale)
Ralph Lauren (good sales w/ Ebay & department stores; we lucked out here w/ hand-me-downs & consignment finds too)
Silly Goose (Viva Le Fete's casual smocked line; check Facebook smocked auction sites below)
Stride Rite (for shoes; subscribe to their emails for sale info)
Target (Note: quality is hit or miss, so I'm not linking to them online - check in-store vs. ordering online; we have found some good, inexpensive basics there, but it's always a search.)

Carters (Note: Master P will be in footed PJs until puberty or whenever he objects, whichever comes later)
The Children's Place (check in-store for sales)

Special Occasion Brands:
Janie & Jack (for our non-smocked, prep looks)
Smockadot Kids (Facebook smocked auction site)
Smocked Auctions (Facebook smocked auction site)
Zulily (check Mr. Rebates or Ebates for cash-back discount first)
Viva Le Fete (check Facebook smocked auction sites & Zulily)

Austin Favorites:
- Baby Bugaloo
- Sparkle Kids Re-Sale
- Moms of Multiples Consignment Sale

Now that Master P is moving into 2t/ toddler size territory, we'll be testing out some new brands; I will report back as we find good bargains.

Moms, any suggestions for lines I've missed? Any questions or more specifics that would be helpful?


Cheryl E. said...

Great tips! I try to never buy retial. Its pointless when you can find almost the same if not the same exact thing for cheaper. I love a good deal!!! Its like a high I tell ya :)

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

I love Children's Place for my boys. Their boys clothes are cut wide, which is nice for my (ahem) stocky oldest child. Their footie pajamas are great quality.

Their girls clothes are hit and miss. I have two complaints. First, my girl is also sturdily built, and girls stuff from there (and everywhere else) is just not wide enough. I tend to buy alot of stretchy t-shirt type clothing two sizes up, and hem or roll them up. The other issue there (and everywhere else) is that there's a fair amount of just...trashiness. My 2 year old does not need polyester lace trimmed items, or a streetwalker pleather trench with faux fur (not making that up, it was there last Christmas).

Honestly, I buy alot of stuff from Target. Children's Place is better quality and lasts longer (my third kid is wearing her oldest brother's hand-me-downs), but Target has cute, non-trashy, reasonably modest, inexpensive clothing.

I did not much care about modest girl's clothing till I had a girl. Now every time I go clothes shopping for her I am enraged at what retailers think is appropriate to sell for the under-10 crowd.

Hannah Anderson? I will not buy a 2 year old a $78 dress. I barely justify that dress for myself, let alone someone who will grown out of it in three months. I will admit that their stuff is pretty cute (and modest!). But still. $78 is $78.

Rhiannon said...

SUPER helpful. I made many rookie mistakes shopping for Henry when he was first born and am now hunting for bargains so that my husband does not take my AMEX away.

Also, am very interested in reading SAHM posts tomorrow. I have a big fat decision ahead of me and I'd love to hear how others decided to stay home.

Kate said...

I really wish there were more options for boys. I'm so glad my sister is going in the smocked outfits, mini boden, dress like a baby direction. I'm not a fan of baby boys that dress like little men (purely because after 3 or so those are the only options!)

I am going to check out those smocked clothing sites you linked to. Zulily has had some great sales recently!

Master P always looks very handsome and put together :)

AEOT said...

My favorite jammies for SYT are Hanna for sure. I can wash them a zillion times and the colors don't fade, they don't pill, and they're just really cute. I've found them at Costco too, so keep your eyes open. I also love the other Hanna clothes I've gotten (mostly off ebay or from consignment shops!!). I like the idea of mom to mom sales, but up here in the north, parents don't "do" smocking, bubbles, longalls, etc nearly as much (if ever), so it's a lot harder to find that kind of stuff. So I do a lot of ebay up here!!

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