Ask The Readers: What’s a good price for children’s clothing?

Today’s question is from Amy:

We’ve never spent much on kid’s clothing before since we were blessed with lots of hand-me-downs. However, we are planning to purchase some clothing for our two-year-old daughter at local consignment stores and I’m wondering: what is a reasonable budget for a couple of seasons’ worth of children’s clothing?

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Comments

  1. Jessica says

    Also, check out stores in other areas. Meet up with a friend and hit her target or something. “sizes” often tend to trend in areas

  2. Teena says

    I have a 21 month old son, and I do most of my shopping for him at stores like Chidrens Place, Old Navy, Gymboree, Kohls, and Target. I usually find that I can buy him new clothes on sale for just as cheap as thrift stores. I only shop the clearance racks, and I won’t pay more than $3 for a shirt, or more than $6 for a pair of pants. I also like to buy him hooded sweatshirts (we live in OR and you never know when it’s going to rain) for no more than $5. At places like Childrens Place, make sure you get on their emai list, because then they will send you codes for extra % off. I just happened to be near an outlet mall last weekend, and went into the Osh Kosh store, and they were having an extra 30% off clearance. I was able to get my son long sleeved shirts for $2.09 each, and pants for $4.49! I normally dont even go into that store, but I am glad I checked. You just never know when you are going to find a good deal.

  3. Felicia says

    I aim for about $3 a piece used and about $5-$6 new. My best deals were last year I got 2 summer dresses at JCPenney for 14 cents! The total reg price was almost $50.

  4. Lisa says

    Just my pricing thoughts. I rarely to never buy brand new, unless it’s clearanced and within my consignment sale price range. Which is:

    My daughter(who is 4, turning 5 soon):
    T-Shirts: $1-2
    Shorts: $1-2
    Jeans: $2-3
    Cloth Pants/PJs: $1 or less
    Jackets: IF they’re thick, $5, smaller lightweight ones, no more than $3
    Dresses: $1-4(depending on wear)

    My son(who is a really tall thin 6 year old):
    everything is basically the same price as above EXCEPT PJs/Cloth pants…finding these items at $1 or less is almost impossible. I basically follow a $4 or less rule with him as I am looking in the bigger boys section and often having to buy slim.

    Also, for anyone wondering, I buy nothing but adjustable waist, because both my children are tall and VERY slim. Adjustable waist is much more expensive than a regular pair of slacks with a normal waist, so a good deal on those is priceless! I will not buy shoes used, or unders, but beyond that, anything is fair game!

  5. says

    I have two boys, almost 3 and 1. I’m really only buying for one, since they were both born in May the seasons are the same for the same sizes. I go to a big consignment sale every 3 months to buy clothes for the upcoming season. I try to go early and hit the Goodwill first, but I don’t always have time. We live 1.5 hours from any store other than Walmart, so I don’t even try to do the coupon/sale/clearance rack stocking up at regular stores. I generally spend about $2-3 per shirt and $4-5 per pair of pants. We live in the south so they really only need a heavy jacket for winter, which I’ve gotten for around $8-10. Socks and underwear I buy new at Walmart, and shoes I get on ebay. I spend around $12-18 for a pair of used shoes. Jonathan has extra wide and tall feet and I can only squeeze his feet into the Stride Rite x-wide sizes. I don’t mind spending more on shoes since I know I can resell them for a decent price later. We pretty much never have any good yard sales out here, unfortunately.

  6. Jeri says

    At consignment stores I won’t pay more than $2 for a really cute shirt and $1 for a basic shirt. I can usually get jeans for $3-4, no more than $5. I have no problem finding ones with adjustable waist. For some reason the shorts are the same price (you’d think they would be less – less material). Shoes are usually around $6-9. Since I can get a pair of brand new shoes for my daughter at Wal-Mart for $8, they have to be some really cute shoes for me to even get a pair at Wal-Mart.

  7. Gina says

    Like many others, I shop the clearance racks, especially end of season. But, I have found the most success with Savers (also called Value Village, Unique and Valu Thrift) They sell used, donated clothing and partner with a local charity that receives a percentage of the profits. In my area (northeast US) I have found the store to be clean and well organized. I have found some really good deals on brand name clothing. (Gymboree, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.) I have much better luck there than in consignments and it’s more efficient than driving from tag sale to tag sale. I shop for my daughter, 3, and my two boys, 5 and 7, who are now wearing the same size so I have to double up their wardrobe with items in the same size.

  8. chelsea says

    It all comes down to how picky you are about style and such, but since you said you accepted hand me downs, this will probably work for you. We have three kids age 4 and under, and I mostly shop the clearance racks at Target and Kohls. I am not picky about style- I let my oldest dress herself and as long as its modest and weather-appropriate, I don’t care if she mixes dots and stripes together. My price goal is less than $5 for shirts, pants, whatever article of clothing it is. Thankfully we can stretch the girls summer wardrobe through fall by adding leggings and a sweater to their dresses and skirts. I know some moms pay a little more for quality, and I used to do that too, but I just keep my eyes peeled and occasionally find dirt-cheap prices at places like Baby Gap and Gymboree. But the more I pay for a piece of clothing, the more I care if it gets stained or dirtied. I’ve found peace of mind in paying a couple bucks for a tee and if it gets ruined in a month, who cares.

  9. Tyra says

    Gap outlet is the way to go, I’ve gotten tons of clothes for them from there. usually pay $0.97 apiece. twice a year they do huge clearence sales. the regular gap is great too. I get lots of stuff there for around $3.00 apiece, when pair a sale with the extra 30 or 40% off. Target clothes aren’t even worth the gas money to get there. Plus i resell all my girls clothes on ebay and usually make more than i spent :)

  10. shayla says

    I always shop fir new clothes for my 4husband girls at old navy and gap at the end of the season, for the next season. I buy a size bigger than they are now. Leave the tags on, put them in a Tupperware tub and put them in the attic until that season rolls around. Many times at the end of the season both stores will have 40-50% off sales, which include clearance. This makes each item anywhere from a little less than full price at wal-mart to .75 each. I try to buy classic items and stay away from uber trendy ones that I wouldn’t use the next year. This way I am getting new quality items that can be passed down from my 7 y/o all the way down to my 2 y/ o and they will still have enough life left for me to sell them when the 2 y/o is done.

  11. says

    We shop clearance sales, garage sales and consignment shops. I generally will pay less than $5 per clothing item. Once in a while I will splurge and pay between $5-15. When our daughter was a baby, we would limit clothing to $3/item. Baby items are abundant and cheap 2nd hand!

  12. Amie says

    I’m so glad I checked out this blog today. I am planning to do my first ever used clothing purchase for my boys. I just need a few t-shirts and shorts. I often shop Walmart clearance and buy a season ahead, but I need some summer items since my one year-old is big and has started borrowing his three year-old brother’s clothes. I must admit, I feel a little strange buying used clothes although I accept hand-me-downs. I don’t know what’s up with that. I use combine sales and coupons for almost everything I puchase, track down coupons for services, DIY projects, cut everyone’s hair (not my own though, lol), bake, freezer cook, menu plan, make my own laundry detergent, and do so many other frugal things, but buying my kids’ second hand clothing makes me a little uncomfortable. It was nice to read others’ comments.

    • Beth says

      I as the same way! Once you start buying used you never go back! there’s a weird thrill about finding a baby gap outfit for a buck!

  13. says

    Wow. I, too, am really encouraged at how ‘well’ I’m doing, I guess. :) Praise the Lord for His provision!! I only have one son (a 1 yr old) but so far I have been consistently able to find him clothing for 50 cents – $1 piece. Our Goodwill has weekly $1 racks and the clothing rotates on & off those racks by tag color. Additionally, they have half price days where even those racks are clearanced down to 50 cents. I scour those racks for coming seasons and stock away clothes in the next size/season frequently. I also shop our local consignment sales on the %-off days and can find great deals and some ‘splurges’ on splurge-needed items like shoes, nicer outfits, etc. I consider myself to be quite the clothes snob…so I’m always on the lookout for great dependable brands at great prices.

    I would also actually suggest to have ‘snobbier taste’. Expensive brands really hold their resale value. I have found that I will actually be able to MAKE money by buying used name-brand clothing and then selling them, even after my son has gone through them… AND even after absorbing some loss, because we all know not every piece of clothing can survive. :) Brands that seem to hold their value are Children’s Place/Baby Place, Gap, Gymboree, Carters, Lands End, LL Bean, & Old Navy. I have actually even bought girl pieces & sizes not relevant to our family simply because I know I can make money reselling them…and then turn around and use that money on the clothing I DO need. Hope that helps! :)

  14. erin w says

    my town has big consignment fairs that are great. you will often see barely used clothing for really good prices. sales are run by several (or a lot) of consignors in a large building over a day or a weekend.

    clearance racks are always a great place to look. Like a few others said, try to buy a size ahead and when what you’re looking for is out of season. we love the clearance at old navy, target and kohls. my girls are 3 1/2 and 2 months.

  15. says

    I have been purchasing used children’s clothes for over 4 years now. I have a four year old daughter, 2 year old son and a 10 month old son. The majority of their clothes are bought from garage sales, large used children’s sales (check your town or larger towns around you for these sales), consignment shops, Goodwill, clearance clothes at Target and JcPenny’s.
    I have already bought all of my children’s winter coats for next season for only 2.50 a piece, they are all very nice and name brands. I also bought my 2 year sold 10 winter shirts for next year at Penny’s for 2.00 per piece.
    It is also a good idea to be on the mailing list for consignment shops to see when they have a good sale going on.
    Here is my price guide I use for my children’s clothes:
    Shirts: 2.00-3.00
    Pants: 2,00-5.00
    Shorts: 2.00-3.00
    Dresses: 2.00-6.00
    Shoes: 3.00-7.00
    Coats: 3.00-10.00

    This is just a rough guide, I do go lower than these prices many times.

  16. Jen says

    I love a good bargain—but my best deals for clothing items come from garage sales, church sales or freesales. A lot of people love when you buy multiple items and they will give you a great deal(most of the time). Many times I can pick up items for .50-1.00 per item. I will buy items even if they are too big for my daughter—I have bins that I keep them stock piled for later use. Can’t pass up those deals. They will be put to good use eventually. I will not buy items at garage sales if they cost more than 2.00 – Knowing I will find plenty more at a better price. I also love to find end of the season sales at many variety of stores—I just recently scored 2-piece outfits at Wal Mart for next Fall/Winter for less than 1.25 for the set. Bought 12 sets in different sizes. Some will be gifts too. Last Fall I hit a killer deal at Khols—-all items I bought for myself and daughter was marked 6.00 or less. Then, I also had an extra 30% off. I came home w/a huge bag full of items for nearly nothing. Shopping for bargains is a hit or miss—I have left many sales and stores empty handed- or w/1 or 2 items. That’s why when I see a deal- I will scoop up on it and buy as much as I can. Have fun and just be patient at times. The deals are out there to save lots of $$$$$$$$$.

  17. Sarah T. says

    I’ve gotten so many hand-me-downs, I have no idea what I spend per season per kid. I do buy ahead at yard sales when the clothes are .25/item. I’ll do $1 for older boys’ jeans/coats, but I’m pretty cheap.

    My score last summer was a yard sale in the neighborhood where the gal was selling all of her daughter’s clothes for .25/piece and shoes .10/pair! SCORE! Lots of cute dresses. They’re still too big, but I have 3 girls coming up, so for a quarter a piece, it’s worth stocking up- they’ll fit someone at some point!

    ALSO… as an idea, if you see cheap long sleeved shirts, buy them over the tee shirts- you can always turn them into tee shirts if you need them as such, but if you end up needing long sleeves at that size, you’ll have them.

  18. Melissa says

    I’m impressed that many of you can do so well at consignment shops. Even our Goodwill charges $3 per kids’ item minimum-regardless of the condition, type, or size. What little I have attempted yard sales has proved an over-priced failure also. Once Upon a Child at $2.50-$4.50 per shirt and $3.50-$5.50 per pants is the cheapest I can find. I also tend to find just as good of deals at Gymboree, Target, Children’s Place brand new for the same price.

  19. jerilyn says

    last year I spent roughly $100 on my son’s size 5 wardrobe. I thought that was reasonable as i also got shoes and a winter jacket that will fit for the next year. even more reasonable as most of the clothing will fit his two younger brothers! per piece, I do not pay more than $4 for pants, $2 for a shirt and $15 for a jacket. We buy the shoes new and pay approximately $25 but good shoes are on of our family’s splurge items.

  20. says

    I live in Southern California and consignment shops are expensive. I can find some of the nicer brands that I do like for much cheaper but really here its hard to beat the main stores for their sale prices. Target, Kohls, Carters, Osh Kosh and Childrens Place. Plus I make some of my own from thrifted clothes!

  21. says

    For baby clothes (size 3 and under), I always aimed for $2 used, $4 on clearance. For bigger sizes 4 & 5, I am for $5 used and $8-9 new, but I’m trying to get more premium brands now (Gymboree, Gap, etc.). And I always had a few church type clothes that I paid around $15-20 each for just because I wanted certain things :).

  22. Sarah L says

    We’ve got a 4 year old son, and never been able to get any hand me downs, but I have had tremendous luck at yard sales, usually around 50 cents a piece, upwards to $1, for jeans, that’s worked great for us, up til now. Now he’s in the larger sizes where the only jeans/shirts I’ve been able to find are stained, or ripped. I check out the kids stores like Once Upon a Child, and will gladly pay $5 for jeans or shorts, instead of the $15-20 at Target/Walmart, though I DO get him some t shirts each summer with his favorite charachters on them at Target or Walmart, or Ross, since part of being a little boy is having some super hero shirts, right?

    My mom sends us stuff she finds at the thrift stores in her areas, which is always nice. She has amazing luck, recently sent lego star wars long sleeved shirts, with the tags still on!!

    We have baby #2 on the way, it’s going to be a few months earlier season wise that #1 was, but hoping I can reuse most of the clothes, and fill in the gaps at yard sales. Meantime, I’m getting more careful to buy quality pants (prefer adjustable waists, they seem to last longer) for #1, so that they will still be good for #2.