Monday, October 3, 2011

Upping the ROI on baby clothes

I think it's pretty safe to say that spending a lot of money on baby clothes is not a sound investment. Even under the best of circumstances, when the item manages to escape in one piece from the barrage of food, dirt, teeth, prying fingers and various other indignities heaped upon it by a curious child, it is only going to last for a preset period of time. It says it right on the label! Can you imagine buying clothes for yourself if you knew that they wouldn't fit after three months? Sadly, that probably is the case with some of my purchases in recent months. Note to self--do not go shopping after completing insanity workouts and then going awol on the program. Moving on.

So, even though baby clothes aren't financially sound, I can't help wanting my kid to look super fly. The majority of the clothes that Mr. Monk wore for the first year of his life were gifts. I've only recently started doing any shopping. My primary rule is that I can't spend more on a cardigan for him than I'd spend for myself. Ok, maybe that isn't the best barometer, but I did notice quite a few baby sweaters costing close to $100. This morning I pulled out a recent purchase for the (not so) wee one and was utterly confused to find him looking like Mr. Hulk in his new green henley. We had ourselves a situation. Now, my kid is decidedly unchubby so I was totally confused as to why this shirt wouldn't fit when I only bought things in the 12-18 months size. Could it run that small? When I checked the inside label, I saw that it was only 6-12 and must have been mismarked on the price tag. Grrr. Having washed it pre-wear, I couldn't return it. And that, my friends, is what I call a waste.

The one comfort I have is knowing that all of these clothes have a definite second life with my nephew. He may be 3,000 miles away in New York and 6 months younger, but he'll be rocking some of Mr. Monk's Cali gear for as long as he'll tolerate it. Pretty sweet that my sister never has to do any shopping, eh? Straight into the box goes the new green shirt, post-breakfast trouncing of oatmeal, beet juice and yogurt.

If you're looking for a way to reincarnate your kids' clothing, check out Loved Twice. This organization specifically collects newborn-one year clothes for itty bitty babies in need. Donating your items helps new mamas feel good and their babies look good. There is nothing more important than keeping a baby safe, fed and clothed. While based in northern California, Loved Twice works with agencies all over the US to that kids in other states can enjoy your most cherished (and mistaken) purchases. The site also has its own buy one, give one program. Time to clean out that closet...


  1. Oh my goodness, baby and kid clothes are my biggest weakness. We did get a ton of clothes as gifts for my first daughter, and then my friend Sarah gave us tons of big-girl clothes (she has a daughter too, about a year and a half older than my oldest, and is only having one child so she gives us EVERYTHING her girl outgrows--SCORE!!), so we have zillions of cute things, but I STILL can't resist buying clothes every now and then. is a big problem for me. LOL. :)

    But I do plan on someday getting my act together and taking all these beautiful clothes to a consignment shop, or else just donating them. Someone else will someday benefit from all these things! Because my kids are dressed to the nines, thanks to everyone else (and thanks in part to my addiction to buying a few cute things here and there)! LOVE BABY CLOTHES. LOVE.


  2. Hah, Jo, there is just too much temptation out there! I am assuming you wash everything twice before putting it on??

  3. I totally agree with you. I went from having bins FULL of hand-me-downs for a newborn to only a few items for a 12-18 month old. I definitely live for the Target clearance racks and we try to visit Goodwill at least once a week. I've found a couple cute long sleeve shirts, a pair of sneakers and baby gap jacket that doesn't fit him now but I hope it will fit by the end of the season or hopefully next year at this time.

  4. it really is ridiculous how quickly they grow out of clothes. EBN has so many adorable duds that she never got a chance to wear. i'm even getting a bit worried that she'll grow out of the dress i bought her to wear to her birthday party....before we make it to the one year mark!

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