Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dressing a Baby Girl on a Budget

In my dream world, I would buy all of Anna's clothing from Zara, Baby Gap, and Tea Collection.

Money is a moot issue in a dream world, right?

I love picking out Anna's clothes.  The fact that we don't live in a dream world, but instead, a world where we only have one full-time income, means that the process is creative and challenging. While I would love to exclusively dress my daughter in outfits that are spot on current trends, the budget - and, if I'm honest, my convictions about where our money goes - say nope.

Last week, Shannan shared her secondhand genius for girl shopping, which got me thinking about sharing Anna's fall/winter wardrobe.

I have a few guiding parameters when shopping for Anna.  One, I steer away from animals and cutesie sayings.  Two, I don't buy a ton of pink.  I'm not die-hard against pink, but neither am I a huge fan of lots of pink and ruffles.

My basic process is to start with garage sales and thrift stores.  During the summer, I look at the online classifieds to find garage sales that specifically advertise baby/toddler girls' clothes.  Anytime I'm at a thrift store, I take a few swipes through the baby racks.  Anything I find that is cute and cheap at these places comes home with me.

At this point in Anna's life, it works best to have her clothes paired into outfits.  So after I have an assortment of secondhand tops/pants, I pair them together and take notes on what I still need.  I still keep an eye out for those gaps at garage sales/thrift stores, but I also start looking on Ebay or ThreadUp.  (More on ThreadUp at the end.)

As far as retail shopping, I rarely buy anything new full price.  Mostly, I shop online, because we live in a small town where the extent of retail shopping is Wal-Mart.  I wait for end of season sales or 30-40% off coupons and sometimes the stars align, and websites offer free shipping on top of the coupon.

Are you ready to peek into her closet?








Pajamas 
Monkey pajamas: $0.50, garage sale
Carter's cotton footy pajamas: $1.00 each, garage sales
Carter's fleece footy pajamas: $1.00 each, garage sales

Total: $5.50

(Soo, my animal rule does not apply to pajamas.  Let the girl sleep swaddled in a menagerie.)



Outerwear
Carter's aqua rain jacket: free, gift from Aaron's mom
Baby Gap yellow jacket: $6.00, Ebay
Old Navy pink fleece: free, hand-me-down
Old Navy navy/white striped jacket: $4.00, consignment shop

Total: $10.00

(She probably has too many jackets???)

Shoes
New Balance tennis shoes: $1.25, thrift store
Tan booties: $1.00, thrift store
Slipper socks: $2.25, Target clearance
Blue shoes: free, hand-me-down
Brown boots: $1.00, garage sale
Black Mary Janes: $0.50, garage sale

Total: $6.00

(Neutral is the name of the game for shoes!)



Outfits (Short sleeves for early fall but paired with cardis to take them into winter) 
Carter's hot pink cardigan: $7.00, carters.com clearance
Carter's love t-shirt: $5.00, carters.com clearance
Garanimals grey leggings: $0.50, garage sale
Old Navy white heart tee: $3.00, clearance
Old Navy heart leggings: $3.00, clearance
Old Navy gray cardigan: $8.00, sale
Old Navy yellow onesie: $3.00, clearance
Garanimals khaki pants: $1.00, thrift store
Children's Place white cardigan: $0.50, garage sale

Total: $31.00 (That seems like a lot after the other categories!)

(I'm obviously determined that she will love cardigans as much as I do.)


Outfits
Carter's peach top and patterned denim leggings: $4.00, JCPenney with $10 off coupon
Old Navy ivory pullover: $1.00, garage sale
Children's Place jeggings: $2.00, consignment store
OshKosh striped tunic: $2.00, consignment store 
Children's Place jeggings: $1.00, garage sale
OshKosh coral striped top: $1.00, garage sale
Garanimals brown yoga pants: $0.50, garage sale

Total: $11.50

(I think I would wear the patterned denim leggings myself, if I could.)


Uh, Mom, why are you laying all my clothes out on the bed?  That's weird. 

Outfits
Garanimals ivory top with lace: free, gift from my mom
Zara khakis: $6.00, ThredUp
Carter's chambray shirt: $12.00, carters.com
H&M flowered leggings: $7.00, hm.com
Old Navy green shirt: $1.00, garage sale
White leggings: $2.25, Kohls clearance
Circo white tunic: $0.50, thrift store
Orange leggings: $1.00, thrift store

Total: $29.75

(The chambray shirt outfit is her birthday present.  I really wanted to buy her this outfit, but $19.00 for a baby outfit is crazy expensive in our world, so that money came out of the present fund.)

Dresses
Old Navy coral dress: $6.00, ThredUp
Circo brown dress: $1.00, garage sale
Circo butterfly dress: $1.00, garage sale

Total: $8.00 

Grand total drumroll?  44 pieces for $101.75.  $100 still feels like a lot to me to spend on baby clothes, but it's spread out throughout the year as I pick things up here and there, and it averages out to $2.31 per item, which seems a lot easier to swallow!  

About ThredUp.  Have you heard of it?  It's an online consignment shop where I bought the Zara pants and the coral Old Navy dress.  Although you have to wade through some not-so-great stuff, it's a good place to find nicer brands for cheaper than retail.  Sometimes, the garage sales around here are full of animal/cupcake/pinkpinkpink little girl clothes.  ThredUp is a way to find some labels I really like but could never buy new.

The best thing about them is their referral program.  Every friend that signs up gets $10 credit, and if that friend makes a purchase, you get $10 added to your account.  Since there are a lot of things priced under ten bucks (even with shipping added in), it's a win/win.  Your friend gets something free, and you get $10 added to your account.  Obviously, I would be thrilled if you joined ThredUp through my referral link.  Then, go get yo' friends to join so you can get some credit too! Aaron teases me that this is my pyramid scheme - it isn't a pyramid scheme - but yes, I am excited about ThredUp.

And because I can't say pyramid scheme without thinking of that Office episode, here you go: 


"Yes!  Thank you!  You will get rich quick.  We all will!"  Makes me laugh every time.  

What about y'all?  How do you shop for your kids?  Secondhand all the way?  A good mix?  Wouldn't touch a garage sale with a pole?  Do share.  

3 comments:

  1. I used to buy almost everything for my kids at garage sales, but after they hit 3, it is a lot harder to find decent clothes that don't have holes or stains. It is still possible, just not as easy as shopping for a baby/toddler. I realized at some point that I am almost too cheap for consignment because I buy so much at garage sales. :) However, I am starting to have to buy some things (jeans and shoes mostly for the older kids) new because I want them to last long or I can't find anything that isn't completely worn. I always shop end of season online because it is a great time to find bargains and I buy ahead. So, I usually buy bathing suits at the end of the summer for the next summer and winter coats at the end of the winter. I also buy shoes at the end of seasons. If they end up not wearing something that I got I put it away for another child or re-sell it in a consignment sale and make back my money that I spent. I will sometimes splurge on a nice dress for the girls once a year (Easter) and a few nicer shirts for Aidan. I tend to have way more clothes than they actually wear since they seem to gravitate to their favorite and re-wear a lot. It is hard to dress opinionated people! I bought Nora a few super cute skinny Gap jeans from somebody and she refused to wear them all winter....she just wants to wear tights and leggings with a dress. So, I don't buy pants anymore! Anyway, that was like a blog post reply to yours...sorry!

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    1. No, don't be sorry! It's so fun to hear how your system works. That is too funny/awful about Nora and the jeans....sorta dreading that age where Anna has an opinion. :) I guess there are worse things. I need to try selling my stuff at a nice consignment sale - I haven't done that yet. Do you find it's worth your time?

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    2. I sold some stuff in a consignment sale for the first time in the spring and it was definitely profitable for me. However, I priced my stuff low because it was mostly nice stuff that I got for a steal and was probably making more on it than I spent. If you spend a lot on nice clothes and then sell at a consignment sale, I would think it would be disappointing, but if you are like me and get things at garage sales and sell "up" at the consignment sale, then it is worth it. I held on to all my clothes until after Enna was born. Then, I started getting rid of Aidan's stuff. I still have most of my girl clothes, but will start to purge after Enna wears them. I am not sure if we are officially "done" having kids, but for now we are, at least biological ones....and unless I hear from God, I don't think I am going to purposefully try to be pregnant again. :)

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