Written by: Rebekka Kim
I am a mommy of 3 boys and I don't believe in hand-me-downs.
I believe with children, any moment can be a "Kodak moment" and it would bother me if I saw the same outfit reoccurring in all my pictures year after year.
Sounds simple enough, right? Walk into your favorite department store and pick out your coordinating threads from your favorite lines (times 3) and you're all set! In an ideal world: yes... but in the real world: not quite. We are a single income family and I am lucky enough to be at my dream job of being a stay at home mommy with one major pitfall: I LOVE to shop and to add salt to the wound, I LOVE to shop premium.
Shopping is something that I live and breath everyday; not to say that every time I go out, I buy things, but I'm always open to the notion. Being on a budget, yet wanting to enjoy the finer things in life means getting creative, having perseverance to get what you want and doing what it takes to get there.
I'm not saying that this is easy, nor is it for everyone. I have plenty of mom friends who do not believe in spending money on designer lines for things that their kids will outgrow in one season. I wish I could say the same for myself, but I have accepted the fact that this is who I am. I am very detail orientated and it's not necessarily the designer boutique brand that gets my attention, but the quality of materials, workmanship and how the clothing fits. For example, I love denim on my boys, but I am extremely picky about the rise. Just like on adult denim with short rises - I never could understand why children's denim couldn't have short rises like that. I personally think the fit is much more flattering with a shorter rise along with the back pockets that sit down below the bum.
Tees can be challenging too, esp with all these companies making stiff cotton, boxy looking shirts which look more wide than long in some cases. I don't know any child that is shaped this way. Pairing these wide tees on top of skinny jeans - makes for an interesting sight. My ideal tee is a thin, soft cotton that is fitted, tag-less and can be layered with a funky long-sleeve or worn on it's own.
Where does one go for all these awesome finds? Well, I look out for sales and promotions and frequent stores that sell the high end lines without the high end price. A few of my favorites are Nordstrom Rack, Off Fifth (Saks Fifth Avenue), Loehmann's and Neiman Marcus Last Call. The majority of these stores' inventory come from their full retail department stores and they are not seconds or irregulars. I also scour on-line boutiques where I can shop anytime and I don't pay tax and get free shipping to boot! I love finding unique, well made pieces that aren't available at any mass merchandiser.
Okay, so you're wondering how does it all come together? Simple - I resell. I don't do hand-me-downs, premium clothing holds up extremely well and I also take great care of my boys' clothes. At the end of the short time they wear them - they are still in excellent condition and ready to resell to a new home. Boutique clothing is in high demand these days. I find that many parents do like some of the higher lines, but just don't want to pay the prices that come along with them.
I can honestly say that this system has worked for me, as I have been doing this since my first son was born almost 9 years ago. Every season, he and my 2 other boys always have plenty of trendy new threads, making me happy and my reselling to new homes makes hubby happy, all while working within our budget.
Splendid for Kids, Diesel, Joe's Jeans, Lacoste, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Mini Boden, Tea Collection, English Laundry,
Please comment or email me if you have any questions.
As always have a great week and may all your dreams come true. Alma