Raising a family is incredibly rewarding, watching every day as our little ones grow into people that we can be proud of. In a flash, they shoot up in height, meaning that we’re constantly ordering new clothes to keep up with them as they grow. It’s hard to accommodate for their bigger feet, longer arms, and taller legs.
And while picking out outfits and developing their sense of style is enjoyable, the cost of raising a child is astounding when looking at the bigger picture. The basic cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old is £71,611 for a coupled family and £97,862 for a lone-parent family.
Cutting back on our clothing consumption has obvious benefits for both our finances and the environment. Longevity is the key to getting the most out of your kid’s clothes. But there’s more to sustainable clothing than simply handing down old clothes to younger family and friends.
The secret to getting the most out of your kid’s clothes rests in quality and style.
A kid’s capsule wardrobe
It may feel like kids can grow out of their clothes faster than you can buy them, but simply handing down out-grown clothing to younger family members may be a futile task. Young fashion moves in much the same way as adult fashion, trends change, and new clothes are bought. In fact, you may find yourself buying for yourself as frequently as your young ones. By the time clothes are ready to be worn by someone younger or smaller, you may find that they’re unsuitable for style or season.
However, Capsule wardrobes, the latest adult clothing trend, may be the solution to making kids’ clothes and hand-me-downs last even longer. Capsule wardrobes, which are designed to stay in style, favour high-quality and timeless apparel that can be worn throughout the seasons, year after year.
The popularity of capsule wardrobes has been proven by TikTok, where views in September for #CapsuleWardrobe totalled 50.5 million views. Four months on, and views now surpass 106.4 million — an increase of more than 110 per cent.
In 2022, we’re expected to shop more timeless pastel and beige products in materials such as cotton and wool to achieve a timeless aesthetic.
But can this trend be translated into a boys or girls’ top and other apparel for children? Simply put: yes. While a single child may not possess the capsule wardrobe for long as they grow, timeless choices mean that more children can enjoy classic stylings as they’re handed down.
Quality is key
Quality is essential for getting the most out of your kids’ clothes. Grazed knees and muddy elbows are important parts of being a kid; stronger clothes will not only help protect children but also ensure that the clothes are still wearable after a good wash.
Organic cotton is a great choice for children’s clothing. This is because organic cotton has longer fibres, creating a stronger connection to each other. For this reason, organic cotton is generally more durable and has more chance of surviving a tumble in the park. Longer fibres also mean that the material feels softer and is less abrasive on the skin – an additional benefit for children with sensitive skin.
Plus, organic cotton is also hypoallergenic. This means it can cause fewer allergic reactions and is more suitable to wear for those with skin problems, irritations, and even asthma. It’s also softer than regular fibres, so your children will feel more comfortable and healthier in their clothes.
Parents can also find high-quality clothing that is designed with children in mind. Trousers with reinforced knees help to prolong the garment’s life and may help protect any little scrapes.
If it hasn’t already been mentioned, kids grow up quick. And the simple way to get the most use out of your kids’ clothes is by anticipating their growth and buying clothes they can grow into.
Of course, we don’t want them swimming in oversized jumpers, nor should we buy something which clearly won’t fit by next month. But there are clothes that can be bought in advance from which you can get continued use.
For girls, t-shirt dresses can transition into tunics, getting two items out of one over time. Boys’ jeans can easily be rolled up and held with a belt when first bought, and there’s no harm in modifying them into shorts when they eventually rise too far above the ankle.
Other clothing items that should be considered for that all-important longevity are adjustable styles. Trousers and shorts with elastic or adjustable waists improve comfort and can be used for longer —both as your children grow and as quality hand-me-downs.
Communication with other parents that have children at similar ages means that you can easily trade clothes, meaning kids can enjoy both new and hand-me-down clothes that still feel as good as the day they were bought. Donating your clothes can also extend their life and use for other families.