By Veronna Damani
Raising a child is a hard (and expensive) affair. And at the rate they grow up, shopping for them can be quite a daunting task. Then again, given the number of brands, styles and other options out there, the whole process can seem quite overwhelming. So we’ve decided to make your life a little easier:
Never ever compromise on the fabric. It is directly touching your little one’s skin and you want to be absolutely sure that it doesn’t cause any sort of reaction. Look for certified organic cottons (especially for newborns up to the age of nine months), cottons and cotton-based blends, soft linens. Keep in mind the more breathable the fabric the better. Also, you don’t want to invest in fabrics that can shrink because what’s the point of buying something that becomes tight with just a couple washes.
Babies and kids tend to outgrow their clothes so fast, sometimes within as short a time span as a couple months. Insider tip: don’t invest in too many clothes of the same size. For example, when it comes to transitional clothes (those that you would probably wear across various seasons) always try to size up. This ensures longevity of the garment. For regular wear or more of daily wear — you can pick pieces true to size and age. Refer to brand sizing charts, especially when shopping online. It is good to know the basic measurements of your child when shopping online to give you a better idea.
Comfort and functionality
Comfort is key and looking at the practicality of a garment is a smart approach. Let’s break this down. A child needs to be able to play, run around and basically move with complete ease in their garments. So comfortable clothing is almost like a necessity. Functional clothing is clothing that is practical; invest in pieces that are easily adjustable, with straps that elongate, elastic waists, etc. Garments that are easy to put on and take off, tops that have snap buttons at the shoulder or outfits with snap buttons on the bottom that allow for diaper changing with infants.
When it comes to everyday playwear, consider some less expensive options. Understand that these clothes are going to face the most wear and tear and you don’t want to be spending too much on it. Shop for basics — tees, shorts, tights and tracks — pieces that are not fussy with their wash care and easy on the pocket as well.
As a style conscious parent it is easy to be either overwhelmed or intimidated with keeping up with trends. As a stylist my advice is: Don’t overdo trends or try to constantly keep up. See what works for your child and you. What speaks to you and your little one. Timeless designs are versatile and wardrobe keepers. That in no way means you must not invest in a few trendy statement pieces. Keep in mind your child’s daily activities and schedule while shopping. Styles and trends are evolving and changing faster than ever and simple, timeless designs will add more value to your little one’s wardrobe long term.
This is a big no. Always look for garments that are easy to look after. The wash-care is crucial. Quick to dry and hand/machine wash garments are ideal. Those that require excessive care when washing or require being dry-cleaned every time will only add to your expenses. Read the garment labels when making a purchase, especially online.
We live in world wherein it is so important not only for us to be environmentally and socially conscious, but to teach the same to our children. One way of doing this is to support brands and labels that are making an attempt to adopt aspects of sustainability. Practice small things like purchasing garments made in sustainable fabrics, purchasing items that have been repurposed or simply donating your used clothes further to someone who might need it. Only when we come together can we really raise a generation that is more mindful.
Parenthood is tough and no amount of information ever seems to make you feel prepared enough. But here we are still trying. Hope this helps!
(The writer is founder, Veronna.)