Shopping for girls clothes can be both a blessing and a curse: while there are so many wonderful choices, this same wide variety can make you either freeze up before you start, or get caught up in the moment and overbuy. Like, really overbuy. The smartest way to go shopping for girls clothes is to start out with a plan, any plan, and stick to it as best you can.
Now, seeing as how the name of this website is Essential Baby Things, the focus is going to be on baby girl clothes, infant girl clothes and ranging up into toddler girl clothes. Much beyond that, you’re on your own, although the advice given here could apply for older girls as well.
The first thing you have to do is make a plan. A plan will save you time, frustration and more than likely, lots of money. A plan is a backup to when your daughter wants something more – see, not on the plan, sorry honey. A plan will help guide you through the aisles and stacks of clothes just waiting to convince you to pry open your pocketbook through their amazing cuteness. So make a plan.
But what kind of plan? Well, you need to realize, first of all, that the clothes you buy now for your daughter will more than likely not last her until the following season. That means that clothes bought this winter will most likely not fit next winter. Summer clothes can stretch into fall and may be able to be worn about the house during the winter, but it is unlikely they will fit next spring. If they do, then great, you’re lucky. But don’t plan on them “buying big” and have clothes that are falling off your child now just to try and save some money next year.
Next step is to love the beauty of layering. That doesn’t mean the questionable style of multiple layers of clothes that are highly visible and meant to look that way. Layering is the wearing of more than one layer to increase warmth without adding thick layers. Tank tops from summer can go under a short sleeve shirt in the early fall. Short sleeve shirts can go over or under long sleeve shirts in the mid-fall. All three can be combined and with a medium weight coat in the early winter, your child will be toasty warm in many areas of the US.
Next you need to evaluate your daughter’s situation. No matter how heart-breakingly adorable that red dress is, if the child has no place to wear it or no inclination to wear it, then there’s no point in buying it. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a dress on hand that can be worn if there is a need, but if your daughter doesn’t wear dresses often, then there’s no point in having lots of them.
Take a good look at what kinds of clothing your daughter needs for her daily life. For example, a recent look at our daughter’s summer clothing situation revealed what she really needs is about 3 skirts, 3 pairs of short, 2 pairs of thin shorts, 2 summer dresses, about 5 sleeveless tops, 3 t-shirts, 2 tank tops and a thin wind-breaker for summer rains or the wind before the storms. That will allow us to take her to any of the places we typically go, have clothes for special occasions such as weddings or birthdays, let her go to daycare or grandma’s house or play dates with her friends, all without having to wear the same things over and over or having clothes sit unused in the drawers, but also have extras in case of messes or spills. Plus, it allows us to do laundry only twice a week.
Now, come the fall, the clothes should all still fit. Add maybe 2 pairs of pants, a pair of jeans, maybe a longer skirt or two, a couple long-sleeved shirts and an extra t-shirt or two, maybe a sweater or a hooded sweatshirt, and everything will be fine. As long as the clothes from last season still fit, and they should, then many of the things can be re-purposed and used in the new season with a bit of layering.
Every person who has gone shopping for girls clothes has been caught up in the buying of cute things for their child. It’s easy to do and we here at Essential Baby Things are just as guilty about it as everyone else. Pretty soon your cart is loaded up with far more things than they need or could reasonable wear before the season is over. You don’t have to go shopping for cheap baby clothes, just make sure your have a plan of what you want to buy, don’t go to an expensive store, maybe even shopping online, and be smart about how you shop. You’ll be glad you did.