He Says / She Says

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My wife and I have different ideas regarding how our children should be dressed. I’m not saying she’s better at it, but…

SHOES

Bruce says:  Don’t remove the string tying the shoes together when you buy them – it’ll slow your kids down making it easier to catch them when they do a runner. Plus it keeps them in pairs.

Tracey says: You want shoes that are comfortable and durable and look nice. But more importantly, easy to put on. Young kids often want to ‘do it myself’ and only a fool, or possibly Bruce, will stop this from occurring. Slip-ons or shoes with Velcro straps work best. It’s been our experience laces are for when they’re a bit older. We want to encourage them towards independence. It’s why I’ve bought Bruce thongs.

CLOTHES

Bruce says: Buy on special. Special. Special. Special. It doesn’t matter what it is, they’ll wreck it.

Tracey says: You don’t save money buying clothes on special if they don’t match with their existing wardrobe. A photographers tip is to pick three colours, not just one. But if they like pink, for example, use it to accent more neutral colours like white, cream or denim. It’s like decorating a bedroom: if the bed frame, walls, sheets and cushions are all pink it’ll be too much. You’re better off paying full price for the right item rather than buying several at half price which either don’t go with anything or require several more purchases to make a set.

PYJAMAS

Bruce says: Waste of money. They can just wear undies and a tee.

Tracey says: No. Just, no. If nothing else, pyjamas signal bed time. Better yet, find pj’s with their favourite movie or TV character on them because they’ll want to wear them. Anything we can do to make our kids want to go to bed is worth doing.

 Note from Bruce: I hadn’t thought of that. I retract my answer.

GOING DOWNTOWN

Bruce says: Let them dress themselves. No one notices what your kid is wearing.

Tracey says: Everyone notices how your kids are dressed. While I wholeheartedly agree they should be encouraged to dress themselves, I think the key here is a coordinated wardrobe with maybe some subtle parental guidance. Bruce used to bring his oldest daughter, who was three, into work when we were dating and I’d cringe. Nothing matched. No two items of the five or six layers she was wearing. So again, buy stuff which coordinates because my experience has been that even when your husband does step in and help dress your kids he’s just going to reach blindly into the drawer and grab whatever.

WHY BIGW?

Tracey says: The beauty of shopping at BIGW for your kid’s clothes is that the range is substantial and you can mix and match right there in the store. The prices are better than reasonable (you’ll be happy, Bruce, because it’s like they’re already on sale), the quality is definitely there and the items are just beautiful.

Bruce says: The beauty of shopping at BIGW for your kid’s clothes is that they have a really great electronics and gaming section to browse around while Tracey is picking stuff out.

BIGW have asked me to giveaway three Dimples Essentials Packs worth $50 each, so enter by answering the following question in the comments below:

What is your number one tip for buying kid’s clothes?

Our winners are:

Rebecca F

Angela P

Jenny

Congrats guys 😀

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It really does make a difference :) Thanks.

“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

105 Comments

  • My biggest tip – don’t take the kids with you it takes twice as long to get the clothes and then there is no time to spend that hour that I desperately need (want) in the book section!

  • My tip is to feel the fabric of the clothes you are thinking of buying. If they don’t feel nice to you, they won’t feel nice to your kids and they won’t be comfortable wearing them. Clothes your kids hate wearing are a big waste of money, right Bruce? 🙂

  • Take one child at a time and focus just on them and their clothing needs. It’s one on one time with mum and it can be good fun.

  • My kids often receive compliments on what they’re wearing, and when people ask where I bought those cool shorts or that gorgeous baby dress, I say ‘BIGW, baybeee!’ : )

  • make sure if you are buying clothes for one child you think of the other one/s too. There’s sure to be a melt down if one child thinks they are missing out!

  • Don’t buy clothes too big, with the hopes that they will grow into them, no matter how good the sale. You will more then likely find that they finally fit into them in winter when you thought they would fit in summer and visaversa. Then it ends up being a waste of money.

  • I ask family’s buy my kids clothes for less significant birthdays and christmas, then I just need to buy basics, like jeans, and t shirts.

  • I try to only do 2 shops for clothes per year. I go and do 1 big layby for summer clothes and then 1 big layby for winter. Then for birthdays or special occasions i may buy an outfit or two. This saves on overspending and they have plenty of clothes to last them!

  • Don’t spend too much money on any of it! All kids clothes seems to get ruined, end up with massive stains or rips in them, no matter how hard to try to keep your kids clean. Or they grow out of them so fast they wear it once or not at all (cause they’re too busy getting the cheap clothes dirty). Also always buying at the end of season for the next year or two save heaps of money, big w currently have shirts for $2! Perfect for when they are just going to get destroyed!

  • When the end of season sales are on whether it be shoes or clothes go and stock up for the next year! Buy a size bigger so that you have clothes ready to go when the season comes around again and at a few dollars per item.

  • I am not entering for the give away (I couldn’t be bothered doing the three things required 😉 ) But wanted to say the boys stuff at big dub as I refer to it. Is cute as.

    • Only one thing required really – answer the question in the comments (where you lift your comment lol). Clicking that you’ve done that just means I can contact you when you win 😀 Go on, give it a go 😀 😀 😀

  • Carefully and correctly size your children (OR it doesnt work so well) and then buy clothes/outfits for opposing seasons whilst they are on sale (I.e Buy Winter sales in Summer and vice versa)

  • I buy colourful clothes and leave the white ones on the rack. White will go from crisp and bright to stained and dirty in less than a minute with my son! Colourful clothes hide the stains and last longer!

  • My best tip is to get a size bigger or two if you can get away with it, they grow so fast and gets very expensive. The other tip is to leave the kids at home lol less fuss and no headaches 😀

  • Layby specials and pay it off and buy discounted end of season stuff in multiples and next sizes. I ‘encourage’ Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles to buy the fancy smancy character clothing/expensive stuff the kids will love and stick to the basics myself.

  • I stock up on the next size up in clothes when they have their end-of-season clearance, so I have next seasons wardrobe sorted at a fraction of the price!

  • Before going to the clothes, I detour through the book section and let my toddler choose a cheap board book for a “special treat”. Invariably he’ll want to read it straight away so I get peace and quiet, board books are hard to destroy so it’ll at least last until we get home, and it promotes a love of books that I’m trying hard to instil in my son. Win win all round!

  • Buy a size bigger at the end of season sales – I love the yellow, red and pink dot sales – sometimes it’s 70% off!! And buy what they like, not what you like, or you’re wasting your money.

  • Don’t take the kids- we have 6 it becomes a massive fight over me picking what matches and them picking clothes that make them look like they may be going to mardi gras

  • I buy all the kids clothes out of season and on sale (1-2 sizes up).
    Their grandmother and aunts always send the beautiful outfits for Christmas and Birthdays.
    If I spend $5 or $100 on an item..passata sauce shows no mercy.

  • I have learn’t very quickly to keep receipts very well organized as teens are very picky! Sign up for newsletters on all of the clothes stores most will often give you a % off on return. Search for promo/discount codes online.

  • Go by yourself with a clear list of what you need. Kids don’t need half of what’s hanging in their wardrobes, I’m sure of it!

  • Buy coordinating items of clothing to make a set that will be easy to mix and match with the rest of their wardrobe. If you find that they don’t really match anything else they already own, at least you’ve always got that initial set you bought.

  • My tip is wait for the sales then you can buy more, costing less. Also bringing grandma to watch the kids why you attack the sales like a madwoman 🙂

  • Buy shorts with elastic adjustment. You can go 1 size up, but they will still fit well and you get longer out of them. Also, buy sturdy pants and shirts for those times that they become handmedowns.

  • hand me downs are always good. it’s an 8 hour round trip to the nearest big w or kmart for us so we do it twice a year and buy 2 different sizes for each kid.

  • My tip is to go through the kids clothes before you hit the shops. Its amazing what can get lost or hidden in such a tiny room. Then write down exactly how many of each item you need (I like to have 6 of everything) this can save you a fortune. All four of my children like specific things and can go crazy of they can’t get everything they see (miss 3 with frozen at the moment) so this he them pock as they can cross off things as they go

  • Think about accessibility, as Tracey said they want to “Do it by myself!” So make sure pants/shorts are easy to put on and off and tops with cross over straps may be for the older kids… Who am I kidding? I still end up with the cross over at the front!

  • Once your kids are at an age where they can choose what to wear make sure you only buy cloths that will go together! Especially for boys my oldest almost 12yr old doesn’t match cloths well so denim or black bottoms are the go, Big W has some great cloths even for the older kids 🙂 and I love the little kids cloths too for my 16month old!

  • shop the Op shops in the big cities whenever we head south we always go op shopping surprising th new brand name clothes people get rid of!

  • Always sort through their wardrobe and bin/donate any they don’t fit BEFORE shopping then write a list of what you’re missing. Otherwise you end up with a billionity billion shirts and no pants.

    Oh and my other tip: never buy clothes just before their birthday or Christmas. The relis will always buy some and again you get a billionty billion shirts and no pants

  • Take your kids and make sure they will love the clothes, nothing worse than having brand new clothes in the cupboard that wont be worn!

  • Buy in sets! You can get 2 & 3 piece sets quite cheap which you then wash and fold/hang together in the wardrobe, no more hunting around for clothes that go together.

  • Liz Curley – Always buy a size above the child’s age if you’re buying for kids you aren’t sure of sizing. And never take the kids with you because they never select the clothes you want them too!!

  • My children are all long in the body so I always need to buy bigger sizes, and considereing the difference between sizes of different brands, I find that it is necessary to have the children come in with me at least once so we can try clothes on and see what sizes are the best to fit them.

  • Go to shops where the sizes are generous (funnily enough, Dimples brand is great for that). The clothes last a lot longer. Especially for my in-between-sizes toddler, a generous smaller size often fits a lot better than a tight bigger size.

  • I LOVE pjs on kids, I must agree that it signals bed time & if having a lazy day the next day, they dont need to get dressed! I love big w for kids clothes, can always find a good bargin

  • My tip is to take the kids with you, one at a time. And let them pick their clothes. They can try everything on and make sure it fits. Have a fashion show in the change rooms. Yes it takes longer but they know what they like, they know what they’ll wear and if they don’t like what you pick then I can promise they will not wear it, ever.
    Make a day of it, have lunch, see a movie, have fun, make it special.
    I love BigW, but with the nearest one being over an hours drive away and 3 stores from one other clothing chain in between, for us it becomes a day thing. Luckily the bigger, better cinema chain is right next door to BigW.

  • Don’t take the hubby, because invariably we come out with a video game, some gardening supplies and mostly a new nerf gun.
    Oh and if I am leaving the hubby at home, leave the baby- much easier to carry armfuls of clothing if you don’t have a baby on one arm!

  • Shop at the sales, buy ahead in one size larger & allocate a draw in their room to clothes they can grow into {remember to check it regularly} buy quality & go for comfort! They are kids not high fashion models 🙂

  • Ensuring that the pieces are comfortable! As simple as it sounds, this will ensure that your bub will actually keep the clothing on during the day without fuss. Quality and comfort are the two main important things!

  • I try and buy mostly at clearance, this is easier for my boys who aren’t too picky about what they wear. My daughter on the other hand… She has a wardrobe full of clothes she “needed” and will only wear 3-4 outfits from them :/

  • My husband has 2 tips:

    1. Let the wife do it.
    2. Genetically modify the sex of your second child to be the same as your first (for hand-me-down purposes, of course).

  • We always do a big “start of season” clothes shopping adventure where we let the kids pick out their own outfits. And taking 5 kids clothes shopping is certainly an adventure. It’s a huge day, but we end up with a car full of clothes that the kids like and will wear.

  • I always buy the brightest stuff on the shelves. I have 4 kids and when they run in different directions, I can still spot them in the crowd.

  • The best tip I can give is, for younger children, do not let them choose the clothes themselves. Pick out your choices and let them pick out of those.

    I will also give a tip for the older children. Get them to model the clothes so that you can see if they fit properly. Some pre-teens and teens will try and get clothes in the wrong size if there are no other options in a size that will fit.

  • Make sure the clothes you buy won’t take forever to be washed because most times the kids want to wear their new clothes ASAP.

  • Last winter when my son would’ve comfortably fit size two jumpers we bought him size three (with a roll of the sleeves they weren’t too bad bigness wise) so they’ll fit him this winter too. Try and get as many clothes (especially jumpers) to be worn a couple years. And get plain long sleeves to go under the cute summer tees in winter to get more wear out of them while layering to keep warm.

    Also the size 1 and 2 clothes in the baby section are usually smaller than the size one and two in the kids section. Be careful which size one or two the child is in when in different sections.

  • If you find something that is a great deal and you and your child BOTH love, buy multiples in different colors or sizes,kids don’t mind repetition, they thrive on it.

  • My tip – it is worth making sure clothes are hardy and good quality, especially if you plan on passing them on to a younger child once your older child has outgrown them. Even day care/kindy clothes need to be good quality since they are often the most roughed up clothes in the wardrobe. That way you really are saving money in the long run.

  • Sort, dispose of, then shop, and only twice a year. Keeps everything under control and they’re more open to a new *insert clothing piece here* if they know you’ve already thrown out their favourite.
    More importantly, unless your goal in life is to waste money and fight with every child at least twice a day then NEVER buy something they don’t like. Uniforms are of course the exception.

    Last but not least, give your kids, particularly the younger ones, choices……”you can wear this or this” nothing else :). If you make it a habit early in life it will safe you a fortune and a lot of grief once they become teenagers.

  • My tip is don’t take your husband. He will only try to grab the cheapest item then try to tell you they don’t need that many items. He is also happy to just buy tracksuit pants.

  • Don’t buy single outfits, rather, combinations instead. ie; This shirt goes with these three pairs of pants, this skirt goes with those two tops. Mix and match means the wardrobe goes further 🙂

  • I try to buy a size or two ahead at the sales for next year and use op shops. With four kids I’ve got to spend carefully

  • I buy a couple of outfits that are kept as good outfits and the rest everyday clothes that they can run around in, I make sure that they are not light coloured where stains can be seen and that they can just be washed and worn, no ironing.

  • Check their current wardrobe first then you can see what they do and don’t need. Write a list, set a budget and your’re good to go!

  • Always wait for the sales, check to see what they need before you go, budget and withdraw the cash- if you run out, don’t be tempted to pull out your card (besides leftover money is good for a coffee.. and maybe some cake!)

  • So my little guy is only 19months and we have only needed to buy a fee bits here and there to boost his supply of clothes. So not really experienced in kids shopping – I guess my tip is have the first grand baby of the family and all the rellies go nuts ;-p

  • With 5 kids it’s buy quality not quantity. Quantity only means more to wash and put away – quality means hand me downs, matching outfits and great wear and tear.

  • My number tip is to take the girls shopping to BigW for their birthday, individually, of course. That way, they get a day with Mum, get to try on clothes like a grown up, pick the clothes that they will like and wear, I don’t have to think of a birthday present for them and they feel thoroughly spoilt

  • Unless obviously swimming on them, buy next size up to get most wear. And all ‘Bruce’ jokes aside, Big Dub is great coz you can get the other bits and pieces you need once you make the haul into the shops with the tribe!!

  • Until your kids care about what they wear, buy clothes for them to be comfortable so they can enjoy their favourite activities. An elaborate dress may be lovely for a special occasion, but make sure they also have clothes to enjoy digging in the sandpit, riding bikes and building pillow forts.

  • I have a crawling baby that loves to be outside. She goes through 3 or more pairs of pants every day. So when buying pants, dark blue and black hide a lot of sins and white can always go white again with a bit of bleach. Everything else ends up with a dirty mark on the knees that requires a lot of elbow grease to shift!

  • Check what sizes in their wardrobe currently fit and then shop without them. Oh, and use all the money you save from buying awesome stuff at Big W (at a fraction of the cost of other places) and buy yourself a really nice lunch afterwards.

  • If it fits, and it’s on special, buy one of every colour – tops, bottoms, dresses, singlets, undies and shoes. Then buy a set of everything in one size up too.

  • My biggest tip? When shopping for clothes at Big W, aways grab the specials for the kids & head straight to the Michelle Bridges one active gear for yourself. Oh & always grab a few extra pairs of sox for each child! Is it just my kids that lose their sox constantly?

  • I agree with the pjs thing, only I take it a step further and dress my son in the clothes he’ll wear to daycare the next day. One less thing to do in the morning! My top tip is to buy less. You never need as much as you think you do.

What do you think?