Clothes and fashion can be confusing, especially when the clothes and fashion in question are not yours. Kids have a sense of style that’s all their own, and clothing trends among their peers can seem opaque and ever-changing. Kids outgrow their pricey clothes and demand to wear things that you’re not comfortable with them wearing.
It can all amount to a big headache, but here are some tips for managing kids and clothes.
Comfort and fit
A good fit is the key to great fashion at all ages. For kids, fit — along with the comfort of the material — is key to safety and fun, too!
Kids move around a lot. If you want your child to be comfortable (and if you don’t want to patch clothes, re-sew seams, or replace torn garments), then you better make sure that their clothing can move with them.
When your kids try on clothes, have them move around and ask if they feel comfortable. Don’t let them just stand still in front of a mirror — that’s not how kids are most of the time, and it won’t tell you a thing about how well the clothes will hold up to real kid behavior!
Time marches on and we all grow older. So when you find yourself confused by kids or tween fashion, don’t worry: it happens to the best of us.
To ensure that your kids can wear what they own confidently, head to reputable retailers with good reputations. Rely on the expertise of your own kids and the folks that you’re buying from, and use your common sense. Remember: you don’t have to understand everything your kids want to buy, because you’re not the one that is going to be wearing it! Generally, it’s okay to let your kids wear what they want.
Of course, none of this means that you can’t exert some amount of control over what your kids wear. Healthy boundaries are important, which brings us to our next section.
Setting rules and boundaries
Parents shouldn’t be too controlling about what their kids wear. Still, some things are inappropriate, and it is the role of the parent to establish what values are applied in the world of fashion.
You have a right to establish rules and boundaries for your child. But you need to be consistent and fair: the rules should be clearly defined and clearly communicated. And you should lead by example, especially as your kids grow older. If your child can’t wear it, then they’re going to be confused if you’re wearing it.
Saving money on clothes
Buying kids clothing can be frustrating. It’s not just that you can’t find the right stuff — it’s that when you do find the right stuff, the kids just outgrow it! No wonder the typical family spends so much money on clothes.
With your kids growing fast, it doesn’t make sense to overspend. Be smart about how you shop! Don’t be afraid to check out secondhand stores, which can be fun for kids to explore. Accept hand-me-downs wisely. Don’t force anything on your kid that they hate, and try to make hand-me-downs special instead of a letdown for your kid. Otherwise, they may learn to hate them.
Shop on days with big sales, and look for more affordable retailers. Quality is still important, but remember that you’re not buying these clothes for life. Pretty soon, your child will outgrow them. You’ll have to keep up with your child’s clothing needs for a long time, but never fear: with the right approach, you can take the stress out of buying kids’ clothing.