By Sarah Deveau

A lifelong thrifter, when I discovered I was pregnant with my first child I was thrilled to be delivering in the spring. A May baby meant being able to scour garage sales for most of her wardrobe. I often bought a few sizes ahead of what she wore, predicting what size she would fit into during which season.

Any veteran mom will instantly know the problem I eventually encountered – children often don’t wear the size they’re supposed to at the age they’re supposed to!

I ended up with tank tops that fit in January and fur-lined hoodies that fit in June. While the heavier items could be used for camping, or passed on to the next daughters with the hope they’d fit into it in the right season, I was determined to get more wear out of those skirts, t shirts and tank tops.

Some of the following tips helped me extend the life of her summer items into winter.
• Layering is the answer! Layer tank tops over long sleeved shirts, skirts over footless tights, shorts over leggings.
• Institute a play wardrobe. When my daughters some home from school they switch out of their nicer clothing into a more summery wardrobe – t-shirts and shorts are more comfortable for running around the house anyway, and it saves the wear and tear on the more costly winter clothing.
• Babies can wear summery onesies year-round if they’re paired with BabyLegs, and older kids can pair them with t-shirts and tank tops as arm warmers.
• Summery dresses can be paired with shrugs to warm bare arms.

What about the kid that refuses to give up on summer and eschews pants for bare legs in summer dresses or shorts? This might come down to your parenting philosophy. At three, my middle daughter insisted on wearing only flouncy Easter dresses. She’d agree to snow pants if the temperature dropped below -10 or so, but otherwise – no pants, no tights, no socks. It wasn’t a hill I wanted to die on, and I figured if she was bothered by the cold she’d eventually change her mind. She did – two and a half years later, having not worn pants for even one single day. You can try taking a harder line than I did, or shop together to find weather appropriate clothes they’ll actually wear.
Kate 003