Guest post by Grace Sanchez MacCall.
While shopping for rain gear last spring, a kind and helpful sales associate gently steered us to the next size up. I thought it was unnecessary because, clearly, that raincoat is the perfect size for my son, and besides he was getting quite impatient!
Rolling up the sleeves of the next size, she said, “If you get this one, you’ll get another season out of it.”
Well, colour me clueless! I suddenly realized I was projecting my own adult shopping needs on my child. I scratched my head wondering why I never thought of it myself. (Visions of my childhood wearing shoes and clothes a little too big came back full force!)
That was then. I’ve learned a few other things since that I’d love to share. Here goes:
Try the next size.
It is absolutely amazing how fast they grow! I’m ashamed to say there are days when my kid looks like the Incredible Hulk, with his shirt sleeves up to his elbows and his flood pants ending at the ankles.
Buy in sets.
You might think that pair of matching pants is a bit pricey, but you’ll find you’ll keep wishing you bought it every time he wears that shirt.
Buy clothes you can layer.
You’ll get extended wear out of the (big-ish) T-shirt if you wear it over a long-sleeved T during the cooler seasons.
Buy basics on sale and store it.
This might not work in terms of anticipating the kid’s shoe size, but it certainly works with clothes.
Save yourself the drive and the frustration of hauling kids around. But before you do, keep these in mind:
- Shop domestically if you can. Be aware of fluctuating exchange rates and possible customs charges.
- Shop the world. Smart mommies have discovered that when summer is over in South Africa or Australia, we’ll just be starting ours, so scoop up some great bargains.
- Check the return policy. Make sure you really want it and can live with the consequences. Return shipping is your responsibility, a standard policy for online retailers. Remember too, that most sale items are non-returnable.
- Stay with tried and true. If you are worried about fit, buy a known brand that you have tried on your kid. Or, if you want to try a new brand, phone or email the retailer/manufacturer for feedback first.
Have fun shopping!
Grace Sanchez MacCall is the founder of TykeThreads.com, a Canadian online source for hip and unique clothing for boys. Her son is always better dressed than she is.