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Kids fashion on a budget

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Kids’ fashion – can it be done on a budget?

Babies wriggling around on the changing mat while you struggle to dress them, toddlers refusing to wear anything other than superhero costumes and teenagers stropping about not having the latest in designer gear.  Clothes can be the source of many a disagreement between parents and children but cost doesn’t have to be one of them. This begs the question; can we source kids fashion on a budget?

Browsing celebrity magazines and websites, it’s impossible to avoid seeing the likes of Suri Cruise and Harper Beckham looking adorably chic in this season’s Burberry or Stella McCartney outfits.  Obviously, not everyone has the budget of an A-lister but the desire to give your children the best you can afford is common, with parents sometimes even going without to fund it.

Finding their feet

Any parent with teenagers knows that clothing them can be a costly task.  From the latest Nike trainers to the Paul’s Boutique bag, there always seems to be something that you see as being wanted rather than needed but that your child insists they cannot possibly do without.  Even if your teenager shuns labels and embraces individuality, vintage pieces and alternative clothing don’t come cheap.  At this age, it’s important for kids to feel part of something.

When you’re a teenager, clothing is your main channel of self-expression and what you wear defines not only who you are, but also what group you belong to.  While young people start to develop their own style, they are still acutely aware of how other people perceive them.  Although the demand for specific clothing can be exasperating for parents, we all want to make our kids happy and certainly don’t want them feeling out of place or uncomfortable in the way they dress.

While they’re young, it’s easy to influence what your children wear.  As long as it’s comfortable most kids will happily don anything you choose for them.  Combine this with the fact that scuffing shoes, falling over, spilling food and getting covered in paint are all serious pass-times for the under-5s and it seems sensible to kit your kids out in inexpensive outfits.  But the notion of expense is relative; while one person might see Next, for example, as being reasonably priced, another may find it beyond their means, favouring shops like Primark or supermarket brands for value.

kids fashion on a budget

Thrifty shopping

Car boot sales, eBay and Facebook selling pages can be invaluable when it comes to buying designer clothes for children and teens.  There are plenty of bargains out there and kitting out your kids in the desired brand names this way is much more economical for both the purse and the environment.  Bear in mind that kids grow quickly and most people don’t let children wear expensive stuff to muck about in, so many of the garments will be in excellent condition and often have hardly been worn.  Once the ‘right’ pair of jeans, trainers or jacket has been purchased then kids are usually happy to pair them with something in a more affordable price bracket. It isn’t necessary to wear designer gear from head to toe every day.

School uniforms are a great concept when it comes to saving money on clothing.  Despite probably hating yours when you were young, as a parent you’re likely relieved that most schools now have one.  Not only do they remove the daily “You’re not going to school wearing that!” argument, but they are also an easy and relatively inexpensive way to clothe your kids for a good chunk of their week.

School uniforms

Even before the schools break for the summer holidays, the shops are full of back to school clothes and so it is possible to spread the cost over a couple of months.  Places like M&S and Debenhams are the stalwarts of the school uniform but increasingly supermarkets and chains aimed at teens, such as Quiz and Internationale, are stocking shirts/blouses, smart trousers and skirts. The old adage that you get what you pay for is perhaps one that can be put aside in the case of the school uniform.  While a more expensive pair of school trousers may in theory last longer than their George at Asda equivalent, the chances of them not being outgrown long enough to test their durability is minimal.  Especially for primary school pupils, a uniform should not necessarily be expected to last the whole year.

Many schools have rules against wearing branded clothing and one plain black jacket looks pretty much the same as the next.  Thus, kids are as happy wearing clothes that are easy on the pocket as they would be anything else, which means the expensive designer items you do shell out for will last considerably longer.




About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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