Baby clothes, bargain through boutique

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So one thing about having a little kid is that you are never not clothes shopping, at least as far as I can tell. Buzzy changes sizes approximately every three weeks, so we need a constant influx of clothes. We've been very lucky so far to have met almost all of our clothing needs with hand-me-downs, but we may soon be coming to the end of that (that's what happens when your kid is off-the-charts large). Obviously, my first choice is to thrift all of his clothes, but I know we'll be buying some new stuff as well, and even thrifted, I do look at brands. And, over the course of just three months, I've developed some definite brand preferences. Since these preferences run the gamut from bargain to boutique, I thought I'd share them with you.

Bargain

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Small Wonders Infant Boy's Hat, T-Shirt, and Pants--Tractor, $16.99
I mentioned this in a previous post, but for good, cheap baby clothes, I don't think you can beat K-Mart (note that this does NOT hold true for their bigger kids clothes, which look, at least from what I can tell, to be horrendous). Specifically, there are two lines, Small Wonders and Miniville, that we've had great success with. Our K-Mart clothes have so far all been hand-me-downs, so they've been through a set of twins before Buzzy, and everything has held up spectacularly well. At full price, the outfits, like the one above, aren't THAT cheap, but sales come often and clearance stuff gets very cheap. Basics are also really inexpensive, with good quality onesies costing only a few dollars and really cute sweatshirts and pants available for $5-$7.

Another spectacular bargain is one I have to thank my friend Jenny for turning me onto--YogaColors. YogaColors is the same stuff as American Apparel (the tag even says American Apparel), at a fraction of the price. I've mentioned our love for American Apparel's baby karate pants before--YogaColors has the exact same thing, in all the same colors, for $5-$6/pair. They also have American Apparel's baby lap tees for $5.

Mid-range

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Carter's Puppy Love 3-Piece Cardigan Set, $15

Carter's, I think, is the standard by which all other baby clothes should be measured. They're a classic for a reason. Reasonably priced (and with wonderful sales), good quality, and such cute stuff. I love how many of their little boys' lines are animal-themed, and I love that they are lines, with lots of mix-and-match stuff. We got a very generous big box of the Puppy Love line, shown above, as a gift and I have used the heck out of it--everything in it goes with everything else, and it makes it so easy--especially when traveling. My only complaint about Carter's is their silly reliance on shirts that say things like "Mommy's All-Star" or "Daddy's Best Bud"--we avoid those. Another great thing about Carter's is availability--besides Carter's stores and Carter's outlet stores, their stuff is also found in all of my local discount stores (TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Burlington), and, I recently found out, at Fred Meyer in the PNW. There is also the less expensive Carter's line at Target, though I am less of a fan of that one.

Higher End

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Tea Collection Baby Boy's Infant Hockey Bot Five Piece Set, $128

There are a lot of higher end baby brands, and a lot of them have really great stuff--for a really high price. I can't imagine paying full price for any of it, honestly. However, there are definitely brands that I look for at thrift stores, on Zulilly, etc. Tea Collection is probably the foremost among these. I love the aesthetic of the collection--lots of retro feeling stuff, patterns, fun graphics. The pants are a bit small-waisted, but I think Buzzy is already thinning out through the middle, so I don't think that is going to be a problem. Tea Collection also has really beautiful boxed layette stuff--great for gifts.

Another higher end line I love is BabySoy, specifically the fantastic animal-themed Janey Baby line. Again, great for gifts, and they're my go-to for friends with new babies.

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Zutano Baby-Boys Infant Foxtrot Hoodie Screen Long Sleeve Tee And Pant Set, $81.50

Finally, I have to mention Zutano. I love Zutano. Bright colors, cute patterns, soft cotton--just about perfect. The sizing is whacked out, though--the lower end of the range is really small, and then it starts running large.

Who have I missed? I'm thus far underwhelmed by Gymboree, Children's Place, and Target's baby clothes. Any other great brands I should check out?

6 Comments

When he gets a bit bigger (so, ya know, next Tuesday) look at OshKosh. It's Carter's owned, so great quality. I find the OshKosh pjs to be nicer quality. And they have lots of fits. 90% of of my kids' stuff is from OshKosh.

Mini-Boden, but only on super-sale, second-hand, etc. They have really cute, animal themed stuff, and wear VERY well. I can also buy pink and purple things for the boys that don't have glitter or ruffles on them, which is nice, since purple is a popular color right now.

Baby Gap is hit-or-miss for us. My favorites seem consistently to be Zutano, Tea, and Mini-Boden.

We also find Baby Gap hit and miss for boys. The palette is VERY dark, which I don't like, but it does wear well, the fabrics are nice, and you can hit some really super sales (regular prices are high, IMO). I don't buy as much boy stuff there as girls' (I had a ton of baby Gap with #1) but we have some, generally more basic items.

I've also been underwhelmed by Target, but the "just one you" Carter's line has all-cotton PJs at a low price--so many of the cheaper ones are poly that does not wear well, so keep it in mind when he graduates from sleepers to pajamas.

I keep meaning to try Mini Boden. I hate stalking sales (Gap sends to my inbox), so wind up paying full price for the expensive stuff and resenting it.

Someone recommended Naartjie to me, but I was underwhelmed by the boys' clothes when I looked.

Funnily enough I was just whining about boys' clothes.

Janie and Jack are very solid and hold up well used. Jacadi, Oilily, and other European brands often show up in thrift stores locally, and are very high-quality. Cotton Caboodle is a PNW local brand of cotton basics that we loved -- their outlet store in Seattle is dirt cheap.

speesees is fantastic. In addition to those you list above, we like hanna andersson, babystyle, bon bebe, mini boden and baby boden. for outerwear, ll bean, columbia and lands' end are our go-tos when possible.

Thanks for the yoga colors tip--hadn't figured that one out yet.

yay kmart and yogacolors.

bigger kids: lands end overstocks. :)

I love that i am your baby clothes reference.

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