It appears he’s telling her to “simmer down”. Harlow’s dress is c/o Hucklebones
snow day chic (Zara $69.90 CAD) . timeless warmth (Little Fashion Gallery $127.00 USD) . snowball funky (Old Navy $39.94 USD) . rugged sport (Zara $69.90) . like dad (Crewcuts $178 USD) . pretty warm (Little Vida $210 USD) . timeless (Crewcuts $168 USD) . snow day cool (The Gap $49.95 USD) . classic (Zara $69.90 USD)
I had originally planned to do two of these posts, one for girls and one for boys – but after searching around (as usual) I didn’t really dig to many of the girls coats out there. So instead just combined all my favorite kids winter coats into one super warm stylish post.
Shopping for winter coats is tough, if you are “lucky” enough to experience winter you are probably stuck wearing a heavy coat for about 3-4 months out of the year. Over the years I have developed my own personal (and very simple) criteria when shopping for winter coats (generally the same goes for when I’m buying coats for Chris and I):
- Warmth and this does not come cheap, and in our Canadian winters it is worth it to get a really warm coat and not have a sick kiddo all season long (or sick mom or dad).
- Timeless style, I need to be able to buy it large then hopefully (this plan will sometimes be foiled by giant growth spurts) they can wear it for more then one year (and possibly handed down to a sibling) – if it’s not timeless I can usually find something wrong with it the second year and find a reason to buy new again. King currently owns two winter coats that he has worn for the past 2 winters (this year will make 3), we got really lucky I think.
The above are my favorite kiddo winter jackets on the market, some are a bit out of my price range but you can bet your booty I will be keeping an eye on them and hopefully snatch one up come sale season. Some are great for everyday (mostly the Wool styles, which if really well made can be crazy warm), and some for play/everyday. Also on a side note, snow pants I always buy a great warm winter coat and usually skimp out on snow pants – quality is not too different between stores and they wear the pants way less so why spend more.
In my humble opinion the best way the extend the life of kids clothes, is to hand them down when each kiddo is done with it. Pass them down to a sibling, a cousin or even a friend – being able to share clothes and pass them on, giving them a whole new life span is the ultimate way to extend the life of little clothes. We personally love hand me downs (giving and receiving), over half of my daughters closet is composed of items her brother once wore (or his adorable little friend). Generally when I shop, I keep the hand-me-down mentality in mind, which has helped me streeeeeeeetch my dollar and lower even more possible excess shopping. So I thought, heck why not share some of my cheapo, I mean frugal tips – how I shop for clothes that can be handed down.
COATS When buying big ticket items like coats, I try to really stick with classic or more unisex styles. Since my son is older I buy him a coat in a style that his sister will also be able to wear in a year or two. When it comes to outerwear I always buy it a size or two too big, they can then grow into it as they wear it – and sometimes get a year or more of wear out of it (and then hand it down). And I always buy at end of season sales, winter coats are pricey so I try to avoid the wallet hit by buying on sale – generally most of my kids outerwear is a year old because I try to shop sales.
TEES I think I naturally gravitate towards styles that work for both genders, mostly I stick to classic styles or prints that are timeless or unisex. I often buy King tops from the boys section that I would have bought Harlow anyways, if it had come in her size. When the top fits a bit too big for little Harlow’s girly frame; I layer it, roll up the sleeves, or tuck it in – changing up how itvis worn is one way I try to make hand-me-downs new again.
BOOTS and SHOES Buy unisex styles and colors, especially when it comes to winter boots. Those bad boys are not cheap, but if you can get a few kids to wear the same pair of boots, the price is not too bad. Sometimes, when Harlow gets a hold of King’s old boots, to make them new I sub the laces with a fun color OR I have been known to paint or dye shoes. Shoes are another item I like to buy larger and on sale, I rarely ever buy shoes that will fit them NOW (buying shoes they need now makes it hard to buy on sale) – I keep my eyes open for sale shoes and buy large so they always have shoes to grow into.
PANTS Buy pants for boys from the girls section, as long as there is no girly stitching, embroidery or rhinestone action no one will be able to tell and sometimes they fit way better anyways. Then in a couple years (after you have extended their life) they can be handed down to a little girl (in our case little sister Harlow). Also when it comes to boys jeans (I have talked about this one before, here), they make the BEST brother jeans (my name for kiddo “boyfriend jeans”) when handed down to little girls. When it comes to buying jeans I stick to a couple stores, I find even in the land of kiddo jeans every store has a different fit that fits every little differently. So it may take some shopping around to find the right fit, then you can keep your eyes open for sales.
SHIRTS Button downs are the best for being handed down, you can extend the life pretty great for your boy and they also have so much versatility when handed down to little girls. A simple denim or chambray shirt, plaid or striped shirt are all so very classic and unisex to begin with it makes it an easy switch to take them from a little boys closet to a little girls. To make shirt hand-me-downs new, I like to belt them, layer them under sweaters, layer them under dresses, layer over slips, or roll up the sleeves a bit.
ACCESSORIES Buy unisex when possible; backpacks, hats, touques, belts, cardigans, even ties and bow ties. My kids share hats, backpacks, belts, and suspenders – so I only have to buy ONE. Bow ties when they get too small, I have in the past cut them and turned them into little hair clips. Sometimes if an item is really boyish (especially when Harlow was a tiny baby), I added little embellishments to make them new for her; a simple bow, colorful stitching, or I just pair them with a girly item (like hot pink sneakers).
The first 11 months of King’s life I had not a thought in my head that his clothes would one day be handed down to a sibling, so at first I just got really lucky that I gravitated towards classic or unisex items. But once we learnt of a coming sibling I changed how I shopped, and literally started shopping for items that could be handed down later – of course I don’t apply this to every item but generally it is one of the first things I think of when looking at an item for my kids.
These tips will work if you have an older daughter and a younger son (buy her boys items, style them girly and hand them down later). Also even if your little has younger cousins or your friends have younger babies – everyone loves hand-me-downs!
It’s been a while since I shared some of my cheapskate tips, so it’s probably about time I shared a few more? You know those cute little cardigans, adorable baby headbands or your fav little jeans that got tooo short or a hole in the knee? Don’t pack them away – or maybe pull them out of storage if you already did!
I used to make Harlow baby headbands, so we have a ton – her head is way to big for them now (giant toddler brains) but she still wears them all the time (well not the newborn ones). She either steps in them and we pull it up like a pair of pants, or we pull it over her head – it’s stretchy so not restricting or uncomfy at all and super cute, right? Or buy a couple new headbands and get double the use out of them right now.
When a pair of jeans rips or just gets too short in the legs (too short for any of these tips even) but the waist still fits – I always try to cut the shorts as long as possible. Then we roll em up, so as they grow we can just keep unrolling and eventually they will fit like an actual cut off. Or when buying new shorts, I buy them a bit big – tighten the inside waist and roll them up!
The denim cutoffs from the top.
This cute little cardigan Harlow is wearing is actually a size 3-6 months, she is 29 months old. It used to fit like a long sleeve, perfect length cardy – now it’s a cute 3/4 length sleeve cropped cardigan. We do this a lot for some of her most adorable baby cardigans.
The snow leopard cardigan from the top.
Hopefully the next Styled To Last post won’t take so long for me to post! Which is your favorite tip from this edition?
I love me some good old basics on my boy; striped or plain tees, plaid or denim shirt, maybe even a polo on a rare (actually pretty rare, we just aren’t polo people I guess) occasion. I also love to buy him fun graphic tees because well, I still like to wear em’ (dressing like I’m still a teen is all the rage, if you want to still get carded at the liquor store) and they are fun – King also loves a good ‘silly’ tee. After almost 4 years (yup that boy of mine is ALMOST four) of buying tees for him I have developed a few favorite places to hunt them down. SO why not share my not so secret, hot spots for a good ol’ graphic tee that maybe mom or dad might wish they could wear themselves or wish they wore as a kiddo.
- Crewcuts – The graphics are usually pretty rad, and the quality of these tees is awesome. The prices, well not so great…but hold off buying – their sales can be pretty good for the one or two tees you adore.
- Threadless Kids – Usually pretty funny, and printed on American apparel tees. They have sales all the time sometimes as low as $5 a tee!
- Zara – Lately they have some super awesome tees, the quality is not my favorite but the graphics make up for it. If you can wait for their end of season sale most likely you can get the tees you love at half price or less.
- American Apparel – Not just basics, sometimes they have fun graphic tees. And this specific letter tee is one every kiddo just needs to own.
- Little Vida – They carry the brands I always wished I could buy my kiddos, and for boys graphic tees thy have a pretty great selection (Scotch Shrunk, bobo choses, Stella McCartney). Right now most of their stuff is on sale, a great time to grab a super awesome tee.
- 77kids – Fun, a little bit rocker, sometimes they have retro sports tees.
Also, not pictured because their sites didn’t show too much at the time: Gap Kids (awesome quality, always), Old Navy (some fun retro pop culture tees), Joe Fresh (they are killing it this fall season) and H&M (always a gem hidden in there).
What is your favorite place to buy boys graphic tees?
I wanted to thank you all for your amazing comments, emails and tweets about my post on Friday. Not sure why I was nervous to post it, but you all made me feel even better about what I do here – I even changed my about page a bit to reflect WHY I write about kids style in the way I do. Thank you all so very much! Also, because sometimes it’s fun to state the absolute obvious – I made some changes on the blog over the weekend, I still have a tiny few things left to do (and probably change up the header again) but what do you think?
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