clothing shopping ugggggggggh.

Well, after procrastinating for the last one million months, I finally went and bought clothing for the kids.  I have been switching out their seasonal clothing, washing everything, going through their clothing bins, getting rid of anything unused or in bad shape, and inventorying what all we need at this point.  It seriously took me like six weeks to gear up for this shopping trip, and it was time.  The kids all needed summer clothes to some extent, but especially Atticus, who only had one pair of shorts that fit him, and that were needing to be washed 2-3 times per week to keep up with how quickly they were getting muddy or otherwise unpresentable-to-the-public.  It was time.

Todd was at a leaders' retreat Friday night through Saturday, so Saturday morning I braved the stores by myself with the kids.  First, we stopped at consignment to sell back some stuff that hasn't gotten much use.  I caved to the pressure to buy Atticus a pair of khaki shorts there that he had fallen in love with.  I was all, "They look decent.  They're a decent brand.  They cost three bucks.  Sure."  And then we got to the car, I let him try them on, and the zipper all-out broke as he was zipping them up.  And I was like, BURNED AGAIN! NO MORE CONSIGNMENT STORE CLOTHING!  (Not that I'm opposed to buying used, we've just implemented a general policy of investing in new clothes - I'll tell you why tomorrow.)  I mean, they had only cost three bucks, so that was nice, but still.  It was a bummer that we hadn't even owned them for ten minutes when they broke.

So we headed over to Old Navy next, where I knocked out most of my list, which now included a replacement pair of khaki shorts. 

After getting what we could there, we headed to Target to fill in the gaps of things we weren't able to find at Old Navy.  This week, Todd will make a run to the Gap Outlet store to fill in the last few straggler needs.  And then all the kids should be prepared until at least fall.

We definitely survived the outing, and there wasn't a single meltdown.  (I'm really the only one at risk of melting down in these scenarios; the kids are much more mature.)  I didn't exactly set myself up for complete success, either - I had only taken the double stroller, so while Rocco and Laurelai were contained, I still had three moving pieces to keep track of.  Looking back, I should have put Finn and Laur in the double stroller, and put Rocco in the Ergo on my back, or let Penelope push him in the umbrella stroller.  I now know for next time.  The kids did so great, but there are so many of them, and anything that requires concentration is difficult to accomplish when I'm so distracted making sure they're all accounted for.  But it really did go well, all things considered.

Later this week, I'll tell you why we don't typically choose to buy second-hand anymore, even though we used to purchase used clothing almost exclusively.  I'll share with you why (and how) we typically manage to only go shopping once a year for all the kids' clothing - and then we're done shopping until the next year.  And lastly, I'll show you my master list of yearly clothing needs for each kid, and how I use it to streamline organizing my storage bins and my purchases.  So stick around this week if you're at all curious about any of this!


Lissa said...

I'd be curious to know your philosophy about whether one ought to have fewer pieces of clothing amounting to less laundry overall or more clothing so that you're not having to do laundry just to produce one outfit, if that distinction makes sense. This might sound like a lot, but with four children I currently feel like we need about 15 of every item in order to not have to pull clothes out of the dryer just to get dressed. When I have more than that, I purge. Of course, mom has significantly less clothing than any of the children but I think that's kind of how that goes. :-)

Lissa said...

Also, when we just had one, we forsaw the expense of clothing and knew we wanted a bigger family and got a Gap credit card that we've always paid on - so it's never bitten us in the bum - and we see it as a way of being shrewd and have with almost no exceptions never spent actual money on children's clothing unless we wanted to, because of it. We use the card to buy regular purchases like groceries and gas and then accumulate rewards to buy clothes for our family.

todd said...

i love this time of year. i love seeing the bigs in new digs and the littles getting to wear clothes i remember their siblings previously wearing.