Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to Buy Name Brand Kids Clothes & Still Stick to Your Budget

Love An Expensive Clothing Brand But Don't Love the Price?

Just a little compromise can still give you a lotta look!

I love the Tea Collection clothing lines. I love the styles, and I love the way the fabrics hold up. Even after going through a lot of wear with both girls, the shape and colors of the pieces still look great. Which is why I always like to have one or two Tea Collection dresses in my girls' wardrobes for back-to-school time.
Tea Collection
Great Wall Striped Dress
And even though it's a bit pricey, I'm comfortable spending around $30 for a dress that I know is going to last (especially when it can be handed down to B2!), but I just can't rationalize spending $24 on a pair of leggings to go with it.  Hey, call me cheap, but to spend almost $60 on a single outfit for a little kid is just too much for me.  So, I fake it.

I always buy from Tea when there is a promo code (currently, there's a 10% code right on their site, but the code bejing15 will save you 15% for a limited time, although I think it may only be for first-time Tea buyers).  Then, I stock up on inexpensive leggings to pair with the adorable dresses, and, VOILA! No one knows the difference. Don't get me wrong, the "generic" leggings are quite as adorable as the originals, but I can stand that. I'd also consider the Tea quality to be a little better than the "generic", but again, it's not enough to get me to spend over four times the price for a pair of leggings that will most certainly get abused.

Tea Collection
Yangzi Floral Shirtdress

So where do I get these "generic" leggings? Well, Walmart's leggings are actually my number one source because you can get toddler sizes (Granimals: to 5T) for $3.88 or girls sizes (Faded Glory) for $4.97. I have to admit, I'm not the biggest Walmart fan, but in this case, it really helps me save money on my back-to-school shopping, so I go with it.  Target also has them pretty cheap; I think they're regularly $7.00 for the Circo leggings (although right now they're on sale for $6.00, and you can catch them on clearance for even less than that sometimes). H&M has a lot of colors and styles, but in my experience, the quality of H&M's kids leggings is lacking (last year B1 got a huge hole in hers after one wear).

Faded Glory Leggings

And, really, that's it. My little secret. And it's just tricks like that that help me keep my kids looks stylish without breaking the bank. Hence the whole "thrifter in disguise" thing.

And no, the Tea dresses aren't as inexpensive as my go-to H&M play dresses (which is why I call them play dresses), but they're so much more versatile (and much better made). They girls will wear them for school, birthday parties, and even holidays (perfect for Thanksgiving dinner; I've never liked buying entirely new outfits for one day). Throw a cardigan over the dress or a long-sleeved tee-shirt under it and they can even wear them through the winter months. 

Well, maybe I'm not emotionally ready for back-to-school, but at least I've got two less wardrobes to worry about!

Tea Collection
Modern Dot Bubble Dress

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