Buying clothes off-season can also be a little bit of work since it does require digging through racks but I find that to be more enjoyable than going to rummage sales. Here are some of my suggestions for buying off season
- Make sure you truly understand the store's sizes and and account for your children's growth spurts.
- Make sure you truly understand what your kids like. Buying ahead was easier for my son than it was for my finicky daughter. I stopped buying off-season for her before I did my son.
- Ask the sales associates if they know when items will be clearanced. If you know when they will mark down items you can eliminate unnecessary trips.
- Go back to your favorite stores fairly frequently and check the clearance racks. If you can sneak away without the kids this isn't as time consuming as it sounds. I would typically do this when I had to drop the kids off for dance or confirmation classes.
- Sign up for e-mails from your favorite stores and pair the offered discounts with the sale prices
- Don't by extremely trendy clothes off-season. There are quite a few 'classic' pieces that can be bought. Save the trendy pieces (if you want them) for the season that they belong in. I find that I can buy a couple pieces of trendy items and the kids would be satisfied.
- Be aware that you may buy things that won't fit when the season comes. Every once in a while a kid will shoot up and you may find some of the pants you bought look like you are preparing for a flood. With that in mind....
- Ask a friend with kids larger and/or smaller than your kids to go in with you. If you have a good friend that you can buy the clothes off or sell the clothes to that don't fit your child and/or your children don't like you will cut down the possibility of an item not being worn.
- Stick the clothes back and don't let your kids know you have them. I find that my kids really enjoyed getting new clothes for school, if they knew the clothes were sitting in the closet it wasn't as big of a thrill for them. I would buy the clothes without them knowing and then pull them out before schoolsaying "Look what I got you". This may be a little bit of bait and switch but it worked for us.
- If you have a friend who can get a discount if they will shop with you. Some friends don't like to do this but if you are close enough I would ask but be prepared with a quid pro quo (i.e. free babysitting, etc). My mom had a 25% discount at a high quality kid's clothing store. It wasn't unusual for me to get $100+ winter jackets for $7 - $15 dollars. I was very sad when my daughter wouldn't wear that brand any more.
Do you have any tips for buying clothes off season?