Fall is fast approaching, here in the northern hemisphere, and that means a change of wardrobe. With children, it is almost essential to procure a larger size clothing every year. Even with hand-me downs, we still need to make sure that there is enough clothing to go round. I find that it is best to keep a week's worth of clothing for every member of the house, and that it is important to try on and inventory the clothing as the seasons are changing. I've had a time or two where I didn't do an inventory and had a child with no shorts when summer arrived, or with no jacket when a crisp autumn morning came along. I'm also very particular about my children staying warm and looking nice. So, I've developed the following list to use as a guideline when making sure the kids have enough clothing every year, without having too much or spending a fortune.
Each child should have:
2 Cotton Sweaters
2-3 Wool Sweaters
7 Pants or 3-4 Wool Longies (if still diapered)
7 Long Sleeve T Shirts
2 Dress Shirts (usually lighter weight fabric, can be worn over a solid color T)
7 Pair Socks (colors to coordinate with shirts)
7 Pair Underpants
5-7 Pair Pajamas
1 Pair Wool Slippers
1 Pair Snow Boots
1 Pair Rain Boots, optional
1 Pair Dress Shoes
1 Pair Play Shoes
1 Pair Mittens
1 Warm Earflap Hat
The Bean also usually has 2-3 jumpers. The kids also usually have a few sweater vests, just because they love them. The Bug is occasionally into wearing a flannel over a T shirt.
To keep the costs low, I tend to buy fairly gender neutral clothing, and save it for the smaller children. The Bug tends to be 1 size behind the Bean, so he often ends up with her clothes from the year before. I make their wool sweaters, slippers, hats, mittens, and scarves. I try to make most of these items sized so that they will last 2 years. I also sew a lot of their clothing - their favorites are corduroy pants with flannel lining. The pants are a pretty basic pattern with an elastic waist so that it easily grows with them, and they can put them on and off themselves. The pants, Ts and cotton sweaters that I don't make usually come from thrift stores and garage sales. The only things we buy new are shoes, socks and underpants (for the Bean. I make boxers for the Bug).
I try to pick a palette to work from that all of the clothing works with. I aim for basic pieces without a lot of logos or pictures. That way, most shirts will match most pants, and our odds of having crazy toddler outfits is pretty low.
At this point, I think that we are all set and ready for the approaching cool weather!