Tips on Dressing Little Girls

My daughter wears dresses only, so this post is discussing just skirts/dresses/tops/coats, etc.  I've received a lot of questions on this topic, so I thought it would be a help to others to share how I do it.

I thought I would give some tips and ideas for those with girls in dressing them and were you can find good clothing and how to get the most use out of your daughter's clothing.  I plan on making my daughter's clothes hopefully in the future but up until then I have been buying most of her clothes at Gymboree and ebay.  You may say "why spend all that money for Gymboree clothes?"  Well, I've have learned that higher quality clothing lasts longer than say clothing from Wal-mart that barely lasts a year! 

Here is how I shop for my daughter:
  • Buy clothing 1-3 sizes too big, depending on length
  • Make sure you have tights and shoes and accessories to match
  • Feel the fabric - you can tell if it is sturdy and will not fade easily
The reason I buy my daughter's clothes big is because I want them to last a few years.  For instance, I bought her several lines from Gymboree when she was 2 and she wore those outfits up until she turned 5!  They didn't fade and now that she has outgrown them, I'm saving them for our next little girl.  All I had to do was buy the bigger tights and shoes on ebay.  This winter, because she has grown out of a lot of things, it was time to purchase a large amount of clothes and I got them all mostly in size 10/12, even though 7/8 is more her size right now.  I expect the clothes we bought will last her 3 winters, along with the coats I purchased.  It has worked for us since she was 2 years old!

I'm so impressed with the high quality in Gymboree's clothing and how it has stood up to many a washing and even after 2 1/2 years use, it can be used again for the next child and still looks almost new!  That to me is worth the investment.  With some of her corduroy items, they fade quicker than any other fabric I've had and I use Rit dyes to bring them back to their rich color.

The only problem we have had with buying larger sizes in dresses is the first year of wearing them.  For instance, this year - the size 12's are very big on her but I simply use a fabric fit clip in the back to cinch the waist and then roll under the sleeves.  The coats that she has worn since she was 3 are now too small, so I had to purchase those as well and know they will give us at least 3 winters worth of use!

Since my daughter is homeschooled, I don't have to buy her school clothes.  I buy her church clothes, since we go 4-5 times a week and then I buy her a few "going out to the store" clothes and then play clothes usually come from the second hand store. I hate going in "kook" stores and they always make me sneeze and itch all over but I do maybe once a year go to Value Village and get some used clothes for my daughter's play clothes (playing outside, vacations, etc) and wash them really good.  I'm itching right now just thinking of Value Village LOL!!!!!!  =0 However, I'm thankful that we have such places for those times we have been in need in past years and it was a blessing to have those stores.

Taking care of the clothes: I wash them all on delicate in cold water and hang some to dry and for others, I put them in the dryer on delicate/low. For stains, I use Tide-2-Go pen or shout gel.

I try and make sure I don't buy anything that she doesn't have shoes that match.  However, black shoes match almost anything - but there have been some outfits I really couldn't see going with even black shoes or any other she had and so I didn't purchase them. 

My daughter wears a lot of tights, but in the summer months when she doesn't wear tights under her dresses/skirts, she has some stretchy or cotton shorts underneath when playing.  I've seen the Duggar girls when they play sports have those stretch biker shorts to the knees and those work really well for girls when riding their bikes, playing outside, playgrounds, etc.

I like to earn Gymbucks, if you are unfamiliar with this program, it is basically buying items during the time to earn Gymbucks and then spending those Gymbucks during redemption week.  If you purchase $100 worth during the earning period, you get $50 in Gymbucks.  So when the week comes to redeem those Gymbucks - you get $100 worth of stuff for just $50!  It works really well for us and I got $100 worth of free clothes last week.  I also do the Gymboree Rewards.  I normally earn the Gymbucks at the Gymboree Outlet and then you can only spend them at the regular Gymboree store.  The outlet is cheaper than the regular store.  The great thing about Gymboree is that they match everything for you!  Each line is interchangeable and everything matches, so you just have to pick out what outfit you want.