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Dress Your Child for Less
by Elizabeth Beck
08/06/04
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“ When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” Proverbs 31:21 NIV


Dress Your Child For Less

Summer is winding down and school will be starting in a couple of weeks. Our children have outgrown most of their fall and winter clothes and sometimes they can look too worn. Trying on old clothes is a hassle, especially if you have younger children and buying a new wardrobe each year can hurt the wallet. Try these helpful tips on for size.

1. As the need for warmer clothes arrives, try on the least worn clothing items first. You know the ones. They are the forgotten at the back of the drawer or closet. Dig these out to wear first. They will probably be the best looking ones. Put them in the dryer for a few minutes to get the dust off and wrinkles out. As you put these clothes on, look for little things that could easily be fixed like loose buttons or dangly strings. Check the hems for any unraveling. Ask yourself if you can get a few more wears out of the clothing.

2. Does some of the jeans look a little shabby? Spruce them up by adding cute iron on patches to any worn spots. Your local fabric or craft store will have an abundant supply or various patches that children adore from dinosaurs and airplanes for boys to ladybugs and sparkly flowers for girls. My favorite is adding cute butterflies to the back pockets or making a scene down one pant leg with bugs, ants and caterpillars.

3. Are the jeans not quite long enough but otherwise in good condition? Add on fabric at the bottom to make it flare or my favorite, add a vintage looking fabric at the bottom to give it a whole new look.

4. Do some of the shirts have stains? Don’t worry! The layered look is in style. Another fabulous solution is to dye the shirt to the color of the stain. You will have a new shirt for just pennies! If you don’t want to fuss with messy dyes, give your child an iron on the he can design himself with crayons or markers and iron it on for him. Children love to wear clothing they “design” themselves.

5. Swap clothes with family and friends. Make sure the items you receive will not be wanted back. This keeps bad feelings at bay if an article of clothing gets ruined from rough play or stained. Organize a “swap”. Meet in a centralized location with several families and friends. Keep clothing separated by family and let the swapping begin!

6. Consignment! Consignment! Consignment! Do I really need to say anymore? Consignment stores are a great place to find gently used clothing for cheap and makes this a very frugal option.

7. Consign your own gently used items that can no longer be worn! Check with your local consignment store for requirements and rules. I have found the best ones are the ones that give you 60% of the profit! Beware of the consignment stores that pay you upfront. Look for the consignment stores that pay you as your clothes sale. You get more money for your clothing if you ride out the season.

8. Try to use only the money you make from consigning to buy new clothes. If you use this as your budget guide you won’t spend unnecessarily on items not really needed.

9. Shop for school clothes on the tax free days. What you can buy on these days varies from state to state so check with your city’s Chamber of Commerce to find out the regulations.

10. Shop at the bargain stores! I have found many name brand clothes with minute problems like an upside down tag, that can’t be sold in retail stores for little cost. Shop here for great prices. However, keep your eyes open for stitching problems that can cause the fabric to unravel. This may not be worth buying.

Written By Elizabeth Beck

Elizabeth Beck is the wife of John Beck She is a Home Manager and mother of three ages 4, 2, and 7 months. She resides in Rock Hill, SC. You can send comments about this article to: thebecksjess@wmconnect.com






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