Dressing up your kid is one of the best perks of parenthood. Unfortunately, many parents are so cash-strapped after dropping major bucks on car seats, diapers, formula and day care that shelling out more dough for designer baby and kids' clothes is not an option. As a result, consignment sales have become the go-to resource for parents seeking discounted designer children's clothes.
There are plenty of established consignment shops, but larger sales are often held several times a year in any given area. These sales are run by independent organizers and stocked with toys, clothes and equipment from parents looking to clean out their kids' closets. Of course, the stuff you pick up at these sales is generally used and last season at the very least, but they're required to be in great condition. Plus, some items actually still have the tags on, making them an even better bargain. To find a consignment sale in your area, keep an eye out for advertisements and flyers around town. Most stores don't have a big budgets for ads, but they do have a large selection.
Remember those online outlets we discussed earlier? Yep, they have them for children's duds, too. So before you head out to the mall, consider ordering some staples online, like shoes, socks, hats, coats and pants. Kids are easier to size than adults, so shopping online usually isn't a problem because they don't have to try everything on.
Off-season shopping is ideal for children because it's incredibly easy to buy things ahead of time. For example, if your son is in a 3T now, he's likely to be a 4T around the same time next year. So take a few minutes to peruse the discount racks and stock up for next season.
If you truly covet in-season designer duds for your child, consider supplementing your income with a part-time job at your favorite store. Most retailers offer significant discounts -- sometimes as much as 30 to 40 percent -- to employees. For a few hours of retail work per week, your child could be mistaken for a runway model (or just look extra cute)!
It's perfectly possible to stay in style and on budget. After all, it's the label that matters, not how much you paid for it!