There has been some interesting research out of the UK, published at, which reveals that the average parent has spent $500 on building a stylish baby wardrobe by the time their child turns one. The results of the poll, conducted by Marks & Spencer also talks about the pressure parents feel to dress their children in fashionable clothing thanks to the examples set by celebrity kids such as Suri Cruise and Harper Beckham.

I was alarmed to read that many parents will not dress their children in hand-me-downs as they think they are “outdated”. I have bought my niece and nephew more clothes than I care to think about in my role as Aunty Sara. Knowing that my sister-in-law is packing the clothes away, once they are outgrown, for the time when I will need them for my own family is of great comfort to me.

My belief is that kids should look well presented but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to do so and the clothes don’t always have to be new. Given that a child wears an item of clothing an average of 12 times before outgrowing it, second hand clothes will usually be in great condition.

My tips for building your child’s wardrobe on a budget are:

Accept hand-me-downs

Sure not everything will be your (or your child’s style) but you may find a hidden gem or two amongst a range of wardrobe basics. If you are handy with a sewing machine you can make alterations or pick up a packet of fabric dye to update the colour.

Know what your childs style is

When they are babies their style will be whatever you put them in but as they grow older let their gorgeous little personality decide their style and shop according to this. If your daughter refuses to wear skirts then don’t buy them. If your son has a love of tigers trawl the net for tiger tops or pick up a few iron on decals at the craft store and create your own.

Keep your eye out for sales

Particularly if you are on a budget. Large department stores like Myer and Target will regularly have percentage off sales which you can take advantage of. Most online stores will have a newsletter you can sign up to where you will receive notifications of sales events to pick up some great items at much lower prices.

Don’t buy too far in advance

Buying items for the future may be a great way to get ahead of the game. However, if you buy too far in advance you may find that the kids don’t end up wearing the pieces you have bought for them because they have outgrown them or you have forgotten you even bought them. Stick to a shorter time frame and try and plan ahead for any holidays where you may be crossing over the seasons.

Regularly clean out the wardrobe

I have a quarterly wardrobe clean out to rid my wardrobe of any unwanted items. As kids grow so fast it is important to clean out their wardrobe and remove any items that no longer fit them. This way you will know exactly what they have that fits them right now and can make the most of those pieces. Don’t throw out unwanted items! You can either pass them on to a family member or friend with a child who would fit them, try your hand at selling them on eBay or gumtree or pass them on to a local charity who will put them to good use.

Have you spent a lot of money on your child’s wardrobe? What are your tips for building a stylish wardrobe on a budget?


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