WHAT PHINEY WORE // WHAT CORALIE WORE
WEARING: [Josephine] Gap Kids cotton polo neck // milou & pilou skirt // La Coqueta tights and bow // Clarks boots [Coralie] Next dress // La Coqueta tights // Clarks boots
As I wrote a few months ago, finding beautiful vintage and secondhand pieces for Josephine these days is getting harder and harder. And when your girl has a growth spurt and everything is suddenly two inches too short, finding clothes that we'll both love can get expensive. When it was her birthday in January, she was lucky enough to get some money from grandparents and great grandparents, which excited me much more than Phiney! I had had my eye on a few lovely pieces for a while, and now had the funds to go buy them.
I thought I'd share a few things I consider when I'm buying clothes for the girls, in case you too are finding the nice clothes/limited budget balance a tricky one.
*Firstly, I am always on the look out for secondhand and vintage - that's a given. I'm more likely to find stuff in Coralie's size these days (which takes a lot of willpower as she has plenty of Josephine's hand me downs to grow in to, and does she really need any more clothes?!) so if I do find anything in age 4 and above, I snap it up. I found the sweetest 1980s smocked dress with peter pan collar in the charity shop for £2 before Christmas and I did a happy dance right then and there. eBay still serves me well now and then too, but it takes a certain level of dedication I find.
*With the increasing amount of new clothes I'm buying, I really take my time to think about what the girls need and not just what I want to buy. I remember when Josephine was about two having a wardrobe full of beautifully patterned clothes, but none of which matched each other. I've learnt from that mistake and now invest in plain coloured pieces too, that go with everything (mostly in navy blue, denim, brown or white).
*In the summer time, I'm mostly drawn to dresses (so easy to throw on and stay cool in) and for winter I bare in mind that a lot of outdoors time will be spent in waterproof trousers, making bloomers and tights or leggings the better option.
*I buy pieces at the beginning of the season, on the whole, otherwise I find the steady trickle of clothes arriving at the front door (because online shopping still feels detached from spending actual money to me!) gets very expensive. I go through the underbed storage boxes and find the pieces the girl's will have grown into and are seasonally appropriate, and work out what is missing: more tops, more tights, a new pair of bloomers etc.
*Until now, I've bought very little on the highstreet in all honesty, so lucky (and dedicated!) have I been on the secondhand front. However, I always get excited when the new season Next catalogue arrives, and can always find a few pieces that I love in there (and quite a lot that I shudder at tbh!). Often I buy in next year's sizes for Josephine, if I think she has enough dresses etc, so I can still get it in her wardrobe somehow!
*On the whole however, I'd rather support smaller business that shop on the highstreet. They offer the quality I want, the more unusual designs and fabrics and ensures our girls aren't dressed the same as every other child in the playground. Many of these companies have higher p&p (especially those that are overseas) so it's worth factoring that cost, and considering buying multiples in one order if you know you'll be back for more soon.
*Alongside her normal clothes, Josephine also has 'messy' clothes. These are her Pre-school uniform, allotment wear etc. I buy cheap multi-packs of leggings/shorts and long/short sleeved round neck t-shirts and a pair of Phiney-friendly daps (no laces!) and honestly don't care how messy she gets them. Most are stained with stubborn paint, mud, grass and crayon, but it doesn't matter. The last thing I want is for Josephine to feel restricted in what she's wearing - both physically and mentally; I don't want her thinking about not ruining her clothes when she's having fun at nursery. The girls also wear long sleeved bibs at messy mealtimes, when we're at home and out. That way they can slurp spaghetti as much as they want and not have me grimacing at that tomato sauce splattered white top.
*Finally if a piece is more expensive than I would normally buy I always buy it for Josephine. I can justify the price more if I know it'll be handed down to Coralie and both girls will get wear out of it!