On a recent shopping trip to Target, I stopped to admire the beautiful holiday dresses for little girls. Frilly and flouncy, these were sure to look adorable on any girl who put them on. Then I wondered to myself: Would these dresses ever be worn more than once or twice? While they're most definitely cute, they aren't the most practical option, and aren't the best choice when it comes to saving money. Here are a few things for thrifty moms to consider before buying holiday clothing this year:
1. Consider holiday separates that can be worn after Christmas. Although these items cost a little bit more than the dress itself when purchased separately, they're sure to get a lot more wear. A sweater and skirt (pictured above) may be a good choice.
2. Figure in the cost of accessories. Will you need to buy tights, shoes or hair accessories to go with the look? Sometimes the cost of the extras is more than the outfit itself. Instead, plan a look around the accessories you already have.
3. Christmas is the perfect time to shop resale stores like Once Upon a Child. Why? Most holiday apparel never gets worn enough to actually wear out, so you're likely to find used clothing that's practically new at a fraction of the price.
4. Swap clothes by relying on your network of friends to locate a holiday outfit. Opt for a no-pressure tactic such as putting a request out on your Facebook page. Or, place an ISO (in search of) post on our Bartering Board Forum. If someone responds, great! If not, you're not out anything. Be sure to offer something in return if someone does respond to your request.
5. Wear what you have (Gasp!). Contrary to popular opinion, the fashion police will not hunt you down if you don't buy your kids a new outfit especially for the holidays. Chances are you are the only one who will know if you dress little Emma or Max in the same outfit they wore at easter or for their back-to-school photos (provided that it still fits).