I’ve gotten a few questions about how and what I buy for the kids’ closets and since back to school is a month away (for us anyway), I’m guessing it’s because BTS shopping is on everyone’s mind. Yes? Well if so, I hope this post helps in someway! Just keep in mind that dressing the kids should be fun (not to be confused with getting a toddler to put on clothes) so if you find yourself overthinking things or fighting with the kids over it – abandon ship! Nothing in parenting is more important than your relationship with your kids. Not even if it looks like a unicorn puked all over them.
Most of the questions also had to do with dressing boys… with all the athletic gear and giant logos, it’s hard to keep them from looking like a walking billboard and I completely understand the frustration. Espen and Griffin (so far) are pretty easy regarding clothes, but Ozzie went through a long stage of only wearing nike or under armour. Now he dresses better than I do. So there is hope.
In the meantime, here’s my strategy!
75% OF THE TIME MY KIDS PICK THEIR OWN OUTFITS — and even on church days or family photo days, they always have the final say because uncomfortable kids are no fun to be around. Poppy prefers dresses and skirts and the older kids know the difference between play clothes and nice clothes so this set up works out pretty good for us. On certain days I’ll give a few suggestions or guidelines, but for the most part it’s all about the choices they have in their closet…. Most of the time you’ll see them in sweats and tees (it’s all about comfort!). Oh, and lots of pink and play dresses for Pop. At the moment, Tilly is our pickiest dresser and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Wrote a little bit about tit HERE.
WHEN IT COMES TO ATHLETIC CLOTHES — they need it for all the sports they play so we’ve got an abundance. I try to buy stuff that fits well (not too baggy and anything more structured is a bonus) and I’m a fan of matching sweatsuits and joggers too. Both options make athletic gear look less frumpy.
BALANCE IT OUT (the sporty or glittery) WITH BASICS — so they might not want to wear a polo shirt, but most boys I know are cool with a plain tee or sweatshirt which is a great way to balance out the basketball shorts and tights! Same goes for girls and over the top tutus (or fill in the blank). I’ve been stocking the kids’ closets with lots of plain tees lately and it makes things so easy for all of us.
I SHOP SALES!!! — and mostly online too. Makes it easy to throw a few things in my cart and then ask the kids if they approve before buying — they always have the final say!
Speaking of sales, J.Crew Factory is having a 40% off sale right now (ends tonight). I bought a few things for the boys (ringer tees, these sweats (j.crew sweats never disappoint), this striped tee, henley’s in green and red (there’s a striped option too) and a couple plain tees. Also got Poppy this corduroy skirt (I’m very into corduroy lately!) and white bell-sleeve tee.
Other places I shop for the kids | Zara (they don’t do many sales but their prices are reasonable), Hanna Anderson for pjs, denim at the gap, peek kids (their sales are so good!), gymboree, and small shops like hen & co (25% off right now), childhoods, alice & ames or plain jane. Nordstrom and Macy’s are also go-tos for shoes and athletic gear especially. Tilly likes Zella Girl and there are usually good nike and adidas options for everyone too.
Way too cute to hide behind “Just do it” convo tees and frumpy sweats!
(Pics from a month ago on a ferry ride to Whidbey island for the day — Oz and Tilly had both stayed behind with friends.)
In closing — as a style enthusiast and stylist by trade, I work really hard at trying not to care about what the kids wear or pick out for their back to school supplies (just prepping myself for the inevitable, ha!) and at the end of the day I’m just thankful that we have more than enough clothes and money for back to school shopping.
When I find myself caring too much, another thing that really helps is turning some of that attention towards myself which is the only thing I can really control — what I want to wear! Ha! “Worry about yourself” is something I say to the kids often and for sure need to hear myself sometimes.
What do you struggle most with when it comes to dressing the fam?
HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON (insert crying emoji).
PS – would you be interested in seeing more links and shopping posts in the future?
PPS – is it just me or when we were younger, was there more of a push to dress nicer for school, church, bday parties, events and outings with the fam? I always remember having “school clothes” and “play clothes” in my closet, but maybe that’s just how I was raised?