In- I used to be a fashion buyer so I plan my children’s wardrobes.

We get lots of lovely comments about the children’s clothing. We dress them brightly on the whole. In general this helps when you have children who are a flight risk or when you are running through a forest and you need to spot them quickly and easily. I can honestly say that it’s rare I see two five year old boys that are dressed head to toe in red. Usually its just T; he has grown out of this a little bit. As he got older I thought he would ask for more characters however he hasn’t; he knows that they should only be on pyjamas!

It’s a Friday and it’s August and I’m typing this up. I am reviewing T’s wardrobe and checking he has everything he needs for the coming season; this is one of my #daddyfriday activities as it’s something I enjoy. I plan their wardrobes by looking at what still fits them and then adding on top what I think they need to compliment the existing clothing or adding in what is missing. I basically start with a massive pile of clothing and work my way thru. I do this, as having two children of different genders means clothing can be expensive and I would rather plough any spare cash into days out or activities. G uses some hand me downs from T but not as many as she used to. When I review their clothes I start with underwear and socks. Do they have enough so I am not washing and drying them every-day? One pair would be ridiculous; twenty-eight pairs would also be ridiculous. Two weeks worth is good as it allows for buying two packs of seven and be done with it for the year.

Autumn/Winter to me means long sleeved t-shirts; T had four raglan Little Bird tops with prints on them and one plain version, so I know he doesn’t need any more raglan t-shirts. Raglans are also known as baseball tees and the t-shirts that Charlie wears in Charlie and Lola. What was missing from T’s tops was a stripe or an all over print. I decided to go with stripes. What I got wrong last Autumn Winter was the amount of clothing T would need now he is at school. Turns out not loads. I thought he would be coming home and changing into a whole new outfit however that’s very rare and who needs the washing. So in the week he lives in his uniform and pyjamas and the weekends he is in his casual clothing. That two day weekend means he could potentially get away with only two outfits however my kids spill stuff down themselves all the time so it is best to double that. The minimum I plan is seven tops and four bottoms plus jogging bottoms for lounging around in or being ill (I hate them but I now just buy one pair to do a job). Now that I have had the epiphany that less is more, I also have bought more from brands like Boden. I like their styling and I think their clothing is good quality. The fit seems to be generous and lasts all year round. I do find it expensive so I buy it a season behind in the end of season sale, I then stash them away for the next year; I’m the Queen of Stashing. The striped, long sleeved t-shirts I bought in orange and in a green colour way, feel lovely, look vibrant and look good quality. T loved them as he loves stripes.

Trousers are up next. I then look at all the t-shirts and consider what bottoms are needed and in which colours. T always has a pair of jeans, slim fit and in a vintage wash. HM kids are excellent for them. They have adjustable waistbands and some quirky detailing. They are reasonable price for kids clothing and they do last, even with a child who slides on his knees and cycles lots. I only buy one pair. In fact this season all the bottoms were from HM kids. T loves a pair of cord trousers in the winter and especially loves red. I then added the petrol blue cord that I think would work well with blues, greens and grey. Lastly I like to include a pair of chinos for autumn and for late spring. This year I chose khaki as it’s a more fashionable neutral and works well with all the colours. I have added in lots of khaki to my own wardrobe this year too.

Knitwear is up; T always has a pair of hoodies, one navy and one in a bright. His choice not mine. I would have two bright ones. This year he chose a bright green, which is lovely. He then still had a red fairisle jumper from Little Bird that still fits him. It was his Christmas Jumper that he loved so much; he also has a sweatshirt with striped front and solid sleeves that again goes with everything. I purchased a new knitted jumper with rainbow stripe to the chest and lastly I dug into the archive and pulled out the green marionette sweatshirt from Little Bird a couple of Christmases ago. BNWT (brand new with tags) and had been squirrelled away at the top of my wardrobe in a vacuum packed bag. Gold.

Lastly I consider third layers like jackets and coats. I plan a school coat, rain mac and a casual winter coat. This years school coat is a Regatta Khaki coat with orange trim given to us by a friend, her son wore it once and then grew overnight into the next size, the rain mac is bright red from HMkids and a bargain at £19.99 with fleece lining and reflective trims. T desperately wanted a parka last year and we could not find the right one in his size. I had my eye on a Zara branded one but it sold out so fast. This year I have bought all the coats at the beginning of the season so I actually can have their sizes. Please do not have a growth spurt.

I have a checklist pdf if you want to download. One for summer and one for winter. Help yourself.

Let me know if I have missed something or if you think it is all too much. I have noticed that I do spend so much less doing it this way. I have included a photo of the way I label all the kids clothing. I don’t use fabric pens as they wash off, I don’t sew labels in, as I do not have time, I use a Stamptasic label stamp with Japanese textile ink. I have used one of these for the last 3 years and it means labelling all the kids clothing for school or the next season takes minutes instead of hours. They make you a personalised stamp and you order an inkpad. In 3 years I have never seen it wash off. They also give you a repeat order discount of 15% so when we had G I ordered her one too. Game changer.

Shoes are a whole other ball game. T goes to a slipper school so we don’t have to send him in black school shoes. He changes into slippers or slipper socks when he is inside at school. The school prefer them to have wellies for playtime but T’s feet get so warm in them. I send him in canvas pumps for a dry day and wellies if wet. Shoes for the weekend are Converse high top trainers or canvas pumps. Last year T did have a Clarks pair of leather high top trainers that definitely would consider buying in a tan. This is my next search. G’s is up next.

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