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clothing your kids on any budget

Clothing your Kids on any Budget

FAM, kids By July 2, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Every parent knows the constant challenge of trying to clothe growing kids – especially as the seasons change.  You finally assemble a basic wardrobe, and suddenly the clothes are too hot or too cold.  Add style-conscious older kids to the mix, and clothing your kids on any budget can seem like an impossible task.

Here are 7 tips for keeping clothing costs down, while opening kids’ minds to a world of clothing possibilities:

Build a basic wardrobe: You don’t need a dozen of everything to make sure kids are covered.  Children shoot up so quickly that most outgrow the clothes long before they wear out.  A few well-made pairs of pants, a few tops, a hoodie or jacket, and you’re set.

Borrow expensive items: Resist buying items like suits, ties, formal shoes, leather belts, dress pants or formal dresses for events like weddings (they often get only one wearing anyway.) Find a family with children the same size, and ask to borrow the item for a day.  The photos will look just as sweet!

Organize a clothes-swap:  Many kids dread hand-me-down bags from their cousins or neighbors, as items are often the wrong size or not to their taste.  But four or five families together can come up with a few things for everyone.

Consider alterations: If you don’t sew, too-big clothing from clothes swaps or hand-me-down bags can be altered at your local dry-cleaners for a fraction of the price of buying the same item new.

Buy second-hand: Most of the children’s clothing in places like Value Village is nearly new, the selection is vast, and the price is a fraction of what you’d spend for retail.  Some stores give you a discount for donating your used clothing before you shop, bringing the cost down further.

Split the difference: Your child may be averse to wearing someone else’s cast-offs, so meet them halfway.  Perhaps you buy that new jacket they’ve been wanting elsewhere, in exchange for second-hand shopping for the rest.

Weave in the learning:  How many pounds of used clothes end up in landfill sites each year?  Do we really know who makes the clothes we buy at the shopping mall, and what conditions they work under?  Kids may be ready to consider second hand once they know (visit to learn more).

Disclosure: This post was made possible through World Vision Canada’s #NoChildforSale campaign.

style advice for busy moms

Michelle Addison’s Style Advice for Busy Moms

LIVE, nourish By September 21, 2012 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Michelle Addison has impeccable style and perfect advice for busy Moms.  After cultivating experience in the fashion and film industry she has become one of Vancouver’s fashion experts.  Her ability to decipher trends, convey style, and trim closets down to the essential key pieces, led to a thriving personal styling career.  Addison lives in Vancouver with her husband Nick and her two year old daughter Stella.  UrbanMommies was granted an exclusive interview.

UM:  You mention that individuals are their own brands.  If a Mom stays at home, how would you style her?  Because we know that she’s still an individual with her own branded style.

MA: I would style a stay-at-home mom with the priority of “has to be easy to wear”,  non complicated style is best when being a full-time mom. I was a stay-at-home home for a year and mainly wore things I could sit cross-legged in!! Often women come to me and say “i want to be stylish but don’t want to put in the time” I would suggest eliminating all threatening items: ugly shoes disguised as really comfortable, pregnancy items that don’t apply when not pregnant,  lululemon stretch pants worn as a fashion trend etc. Having a great wardrobe that all works together makes getting dressed in the morning easy. Eliminating the bad and only keeping the good help with this process…as you don’t have “the bad” as go-to’s.

UM: My closet is filled with amazing pieces that I never have time to ‘style’ myself (without paying a nanny a fortune in childcare).  How would you help a busy mom ‘shop’ and style her closet and put quick outfits together?  Polaroids?  Lookbooks?

MA: I work by appointment at The Bay downtown. It’s so easy to book an appointment, come down, spend a couple hours(like, 1-2) and come away with a whole selection of items that all work together, fit properly and are fully endorsed by someone who may pay a little more attention to fashion that you might. I also have a package called “tied together” that allows me to come over to your house and put some outfits together with items you already have and take pictures so you remember what goes with what. I send you a little book so you can have it on hand for your reference. This comes in handy at fashion week…barring that :)… work trips, or holidays, or everyday suggestions. This takes around an hour and a half…just enough time for your kids to go to the park and back.

UM: Is it necessary to revamp a closet every season?  How can you work with a stylist to help you do this in the most cost-effective way?

MA: It  isn’t necessary to revamp your “entire” closet every season. My philosophy is cleanse, build the basics and insert a few trends each season. Working with a stylist can save you thousands on making ill-purchases that you never wear. When working with a client, I have the benefit of knowing their personal style and recommending pieces each season that go with what they already have. Shopping seasonally is great for saving money and time. Women in their thirties can start building quality wardrobes that will last a decade by adding a few investment pieces each season. A great coat, a good purse, a classic boot etc.