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On Buying Toddler Clothes

fruit-clothes.pngOne problem with having a toddler is that there’s so much you can buy them, and it’s so easy to be tempted by all of it. Or to resist 98% of the time, but then cave and still end up having spent hundreds of dollars on sweaters and toothbrushes and sunglasses and shoes. And trampolines and socks and stuffed dragons. It’s just that my daughter likes everything right now, and it makes me feel good to give her something that she likes. Really it’s just the clothes that torment me. She loves new clothes and will put on anything that’s new to her, including all the fabulous hand-me-downs we get. But Mother magazine sometimes hits that 2% sweet (rotten) spot. A couple weeks ago, it got me to buy a little apple sweater, which I love, but which I regret buying in her size (2T) and not in a size that she’d grow into (3T), because it’s basically already too small, which is absurd because it cost $50 (on sale plus shipping and tax). I also put like $200 worth of clothing (on sale!) from Petit Pilou into a digital shopping cart before abruptly closing the tab and shutting off my phone. But I bet if I open it up again it will still be there. The pineapple dresses were really what got me.

Maybe I just want to dress all in fruit myself, and it pleases me to live through my daughter, since she seems to enjoy it as well. Hanna Andersson has some wonderful fruit clothing, since I’m on the topic. We have their strawberry socks, swimsuit, and hat.

If anyone knows of any running clothes with cool fruit patterns, please let me know. I’ve been hoping Janji will bust out with something good (their other patterns are often excellent), and although it would be cool if Tracksmith did something fruity, it would probably be tasteful and realistic, when I’m looking for something neon and extreme. Something cheerful. I hope Santa is listening.

Discussion  18 comments

Matt G

Toddler clothes have way cooler prints and patterns than any adult clothing.

They can only wear it for such a short time that it's hard to justify a lot of it. My littlest one doubled in size overnight and he went from 9 month to 18 month clothes. He wore 12 month stuff for like a week.

Edith ZimmermanMOD

Exactly. It's so cool and so fleeting.

Lisa S.

I haunted sales and always bought a size or two up, and then just had it in the closet when she was ready. But it's SOOO easy to want everything because it's so cute! And now she's a teen and won't wear anything that I pick out, and only wants to be in hoodies all the time (really! Hoodies over dresses! Hoodies over everything!). But it's fun while it lasts.

Edith ZimmermanMOD

My daughter is only 2 but also loves the hoodies! Or “hoo-dee” as she calls them. I’m trying to savor before she starts rejecting everything!

Lisa S.

Aww -- I love "hoo-dee"! That's so cute!

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My brother & partner just had their first child, and he keeps buying tiny soccer kits for his son. Online shopping is dangerous for parents with young children!

Edith ZimmermanMOD


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Erin B.

I'm a fan of Farm Rio for adult fruit themed clothes and ThredUp for second hand child clothes that are sometimes fruit themed. :)


I have a small box of clothes from when my children were little - my daughter, now 14, still likes to look at it from time to time and reminisce 🥹. Most of it is from Boden which has adorable kids' clothes, and they also sometimes (too rarely!) make fruit and animal sweaters for adults

Edith ZimmermanMOD

The Boden stuff can be really wonderful. We got a beautiful unicorn hand-me-down snowsuit right as my daughter was outgrowing it, and one of the first thoughts I had when we found out we were having a second girl was that we could use that snowsuit again.

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Erica E

I channeled my daughter when I bought a swimsuit with strawberries all over it. I’m trying to channel kids clothes to get more joy in my fashion in general.

Edith ZimmermanMOD

Yessssssss, strawberry swimsuit - brilliant.

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As a runner myself I always found BOA Running shorts and Chicknleg running shorts to have fun patterns. Last I checked both had at least a strawberry pattern to meet your fruit needs.

Edith ZimmermanMOD

And they’re ON SALE! Thank you!!!

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For my daughter's first 7 years, I bought lightly or never used clothing bundles on eBay (10-25 pieces). Even with having to ship them to us internationally, we would save hundreds of dollars on clothes that often came with the tag on! The styles were brilliant, often from the trendiest kiddo brands, and more often than not, had a fun cohesive theme or at least were seasonally paired. This does take away the fun of online shopping in some ways, but it also meant that I never ever patrolled those sites, releasing me from the impulse angst.

Of course, I then spent a lot of my savings on baby slings to match our outfits. ;)

Edith ZimmermanMOD

What a genius idea! (For both buyer and seller!)

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Steven M

We have an amazing resale store in Philly called Nesting House. Whenever my toddler is outgrowing clothes I bring all the good old clothes over for them to put up for sale and then buy fresh ones for no more than $5 a piece. Because the things I bring in often sell I get a small credit and often end up spending no more than $10 every time I go and walk away with an armful. Don't know if there's a store like it near you but it's worth looking.

Edith ZimmermanMOD

There was a store like this where I used to live, in Brooklyn, and at the time I was like "consignment? For toddlers??" But now I 100,000% get it and wish I could drop in every week! I just googled and it looks like there's a similar type of store about an hour from where I now live. Maybe worth a weekend trip. Thanks!

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