I’m extremely passionate about little girls’ clothing. 😆 It’s just so much fun—and Emma and Lucy are into it, haha.
Today I’m sharing my preppy fall favorites for minis. By no means is it an exhaustive list; just some products we’ve owned and loved for years and others I have my eye on!
Before we get to that, though, here are my most valuable takeaways from buying kids’ clothing:
- Always size up. ALWAYS. Thou shalt not buy 4T clothing for a four-year-old. Thou shalt buy 5T or 6T depending on said four-year-old’s stature. Emma, for example, has always been high up there on the percentile chart. At the moment, she’s four years old and I buy a 5/6 and sometimes a 6/7 depending on the brand. Roll those sleeves and embrace the “flowy” look! Get a few years’ wear out of products and get the most of your hard-earned money.
- Remember the importance of play. I would love to exclusively dress my girls in gorgeous smocked dresses! And sometimes I do buy them for special occasions. :) But I’ve found that they’re far happier when they’re wearing comfy and seasonally appropriate clothing that they like and can really play in. Emma actually requests to wear a dress every day, so I look for them in knits, flannel, fleece, super-soft soft denim, and velour—and pair them with cozy leggings or footless tights. I also give her choices at night when we pick out her outfit for the following day, and then I take note of what she likes best for future purchases.
- Know where to save. I buy about half of Emma and Lucy’s clothing from stores like Old Navy, Gap, J.Crew Factory and Carter’s, just to name a few. Socks, underwear, leggings, jeggings, solid basics, onesies, whatever—all the staples that typically don’t make it to the next child anyway because of the normal wear and tear that kids put on clothing. I love these brands. The sales are fantastic, I know what to expect at this point, and they always have some adorable or trendier pieces that bring some life to the girls’ wardrobe without breaking the bank. I also don’t cry if something gets destroyed or lost. ;)
- Know where to invest. That said, I do sometimes pay up for high-use products—such as waterproof Uggs (SO necessary in Chicago) and Patagonia jackets—because they hold up extraordinarily well, and we can get several years’ wear out of them if I get the sizing right. They can also be passed down to Lucy, thus extending their wear even more, which saves me a lot of time and money in the long run. Quality over quantity and buy nice instead of twice, if you will. Of course, this works really well for me because I have two girls, and it would certainly be a little more challenging if I had a boy and a girl! Finally, I’ll admit that I occasionally splurge on special occasion wear or things I fall in love with. (Ralph Lauren, Boden, crewcuts, Joules, Lilly Pulitzer, Janie & Jack, Patagonia, Ugg and Vineyard Vines are my weaknesses. But I’ve been lucky enough to work with these brands over the years, so that’s been helpful. 🙈 I’m very grateful!) For any “investment,” though, I try to wait for sales and/or comb the internet for coupon codes. (Btw: Some of my favorite super preppy—but often super pricey—companies include Maisonette, Bella Bliss and Little English. Kids’ brands I’m just now getting into include Zara which is SO CUTE and Hannah Andersson.)
- Create an organizational system and keep up with it. In our first home, Emma’s closet was a mess. It was overflowing with clothing—some of which fit and some of which didn’t. To be honest, I’m not sure why it took me so long to do something about it; I guess I was just really overwhelmed, trying to pull off being a stay-at-home mom who also works full-time from home. (So cute that I thought that was possible. 😂) My friend Barbie was the person who told me that I needed to invest in storage tubs or bins and label them by size and gender. (For example, 0-24 months GIRL, 2T-3T GIRL, 4T-5T GIRL… and so on and so forth.) Such a simple concept, but such a game-changer. At the end of every season, I evaluate the girls’ clothing. If it’s in good shape but doesn’t fit, it goes into a bin. If it’s something that we don’t get a lot of use out of or is showing wear, it goes into the donation bag. I actually just pulled out the 2T-3T GIRL bin and went “shopping” for Lucy. Some things are too big for her right now, but others are spot on and work perfectly. It’s also very sentimental! I have vivid memories of little Emma in so much of the clothing. <3
- Buy Oxyclean. This is the stuff we use. (It’s safe to use on whites!) Before I found it, I deemed a good amount of stuff “beyond repair” on a regular basis. I just couldn’t get the stains out. But lo! This stuff is magic. You’re welcome, haha.
Preppy Little Girls’ Fall Wardrobe
1. Cable-knit tights / 2. Chambray shirt / 3. Plaid skirt dress / 4. Chenille sweater / 5. Long-sleeved striped t-shirt / 6. Ruffle coat / 7. Kiltie loafers / 8. Rugby dress / 9. Blackwatch plaid cowl neck dress / 10. Patagonia down jacket / 11. Striped sweater / 12. Velvet leggings / 13. Black Dog sweatshirt / 14. Corduroy leggings / 15. Nightgowns / 16. Leopard sweater / 17. Scalloped boots / 18. Cable-knit sweater / 19. Floral dress / 20. Plaid baby dress / 21. Patagonia down vest / 22. Corduroy jumper / 23. Masks / 24. Patagonia Nano Puff jacket / 25. Unicorn slippers / 26. Chambray dress / 27. Dudley Stephens Crewnecks and Turtlenecks / 28. Cable-knit sweater dress / 29. Tartan dress / 30. Vineyard Vines Pink Shep Shirt / 31. Dachshund sweater / 32. Leopard vest / 33. Blackwatch plaid jumper / 34. Bow coat / 35. Waxed Barbour jacket / 36. Bunny scarf / 37. Koolaburra bow boots / 38. Joules dachshund jumper (So much other dog– and dachshund-themed clothing!) / 39. Boden play dresses / 40. Buffalo plaid dress (Here’s the toddler version, which is even cuter.) / 41. Cable-knit leggings (Here’s the baby version.) / 42. Quilted Barbour jacket / 43. Bear hat / 44. Long-sleeved bow shirt / 45. Boden play dresses / 46. Vineyard Vines sherpa vest / 47. Ballerina print leggings / 48. Corduroy jumper with pockets / 49. Faux fur vest / 50. Utility jacket (Here’s another option for Baby. The Gap has an even nicer one but it’s pricey.) / 51. Waterproof Uggs / 52. Vineyard Vines Navy Shep Shirt (Here’s the baby version.)
Have you found anything downright adorable for babies/kids lately? *Please share* in the comments below because I’d love to put together a reader-recommended post! (Girls’ and boys’ products welcome. Note: I’m not an expert in little boys’ clothing, but I’m working on a post! So stay tuned.)