Want an eco-friendly, budget friendly solution to keeping your child’s clothing costs in check?  Buy big!  I’ve found that buying clothes a size or two (or four!) bigger for my son works in a myriad of ways. 

  • Bigger pants accommodate cloth diapers. When he was smaller, we just rolled up the cuffs a bit.  Now that he’s potty training, they will be able to fit him for at least another six months with plenty of room around the waist!  Check out Rebecca’s post on managing cloth diaper bulk for more ideas.  
  • Used clothing has often shrunk after several washings.  Now when I search for secondhand duds at thrift stores, I’ll often buy 4T-6T shirts.  They fit him fine after I roll up the sleeves a bit.  They’ll last him at least a year and I won’t have to worry about shrinkage since they’ve already been washed several times.
  • They’re cute!  Seriously, when my son is all dressed in his baggy clothes he’s really quite adorable and I know they’ll last him much longer than perfectly tailored garments.  The outfit to the right cost less than four dollars total and each piece was a few sizes too big for my two year old.  With a few rolls of the sleeves and pant legs, it works perfectly!

I’d imagine this might be tougher to pull off with some girl’s garments, but since I have no experience in that area I’d love to hear from you.  Do you find ways to buy big and stretch the time that your child can wear his or her clothes?  It’s a great way to save money, save shopping time, and save a few more clothes from having to be manufactured.