How much clothes do your kids actually need is the perennial question of moms of large families. After all, we need to store the clothes between seasons and keep storing them until every child has used them. Buying new clothes each time a child needed a new size is costly for any family.
While buying clothes ahead on clearance and saving hand me downs are a wonderful frugal strategy for saving money on kids’ clothes, sometimes I’m left wondering if I have too much, or even worse, not enough.
I have 4 boys and one girl. I still have the play clothes, Gymboree and The Gap, my oldest son wore as a baby and toddler which my youngest son, 12 years younger has also worn. I’ve learned that quality counts in boys clothes if you need them to go through several boys. For boys and my girl, I try to keep at least 5 pairs of pants and shorts in each size. I don’t worry about t-shirts since we’re always getting new ones for sports or just because some one thought of my kids.
After talking about school uniforms yesterday, let’s talk about clothes for kids who don’t wear uniforms to school. As I mentioned in my school uniform post, my teenager doesn’t wear a uniform, however, there are clothing guidelines for his high school to ensure the kids don’t wear inappropriate clothes. After all, going to school is a job for kids, and dressing appropriately for the job is a key to success. For school uniforms, I keep three sets of the summer uniform and 3 sets of the winter uniform.
Children’s Clothing List
I found the clothing guidelines below way back in 2007 and for the most part, I’ve stuck to them.
- 6 sets of play clothes (can be more if between seasons)
- 10 pairs of underwear
- 7 pairs of socks
- a small assortment of tights for girls
- 2 warm sweatshirts
- 4-5 pairs of pj’s (I get by with 3-4 pairs)
- 1 pair of church pants (boys) (I use school uniform pants)
- 2 church shirts (boys) (ditto the school uniform shirts)
- 3-5 church dresses (girls) (I use 1 to 2 dresses per season; my daughter doesn’t like to wear dresses.)
- a zip fleece jacket
- a snow coat
- church shoes, sneakers, water shoes (summer), snow boots
I’m adding on:
- a light jacket (sometimes this can do double-duty as a raincoat)
- puddle jumpers (for spring and fall)
- 2 sets of hat and mittens (winter)
- snowpants (winter sledding)
Each time I do my seasonal clothing switch, I review what I have in each size to make sure I have enough clothes for each season. Initially, I had to add to my collection since my older children were born in different seasons. Now, I add when clothes need replacing. I keep a list of needed clothes and sizes on my iPhone to check when I’m shopping sales and clearance racks.
Do you limit the amount of clothes your children have?
Free Printable: Basic Clothing and Shoe List for One Child
Grab a copy of my free printable before you go shopping for clothes for your kids. First, inventory what they have and decide what they’ll need. Then, plan your shopping accordingly. Don’t forget to hit those clearance racks for the bigger sizes for the next season.