How Much Do You Spend on Clothing for Your Kids Each Year?

Updated on March 20, 2012
L.M. asks from Denver, CO
16 answers

I'm just wondering what you spend on clothing for your kids each year? I have a 4 year old boy and 7 year old girl who seem to outgrow most of their clothing every year. To date, I have been buying most of their clothes at second hand stores or on the clearance racks at places like Target or Walmart. However, as they get older, I am finding the quality of clothing at the second hand stores isn't as good (i.e., more worn, less selection, etc.) and that my daughter is already asking for some name brand clothing. I am thinking I'm going to have to start spending more on retail clothing, but what is reasonable?

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answers from Phoenix on

We wear uniforms most of the year which is nice. Come Spring we stock up for the summer trends with the new size. I guess about $200 each kid for that. Uniforms are pricy but they seem to last about 2 years and many people trade as we all move into diff sizes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I have no idea. I do buy quite a bit for both of mne. However, I buy mostly from stores like Once Upon a Child, so I do get good value for the money. I am on their email list, so I always get notifications of their sales. So I will go to their sales and spend $50-100 or more here and there. I do worry about things like this son has torn the knees out of 2 pairs of pants in the last week or so :)

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answers from Richmond on

Little to nothing or I earn some money back! I always take the old clothes to second hand stores, get store credit, turn around and buy new stuff, and sometime's walk out with even more money in my pocket!

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answers from Washington DC on

I also have a 4 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. I seem to spend around $300-$400 total 2 times a year. Once for spring/summer clothes and the other time for fall and winter clothes. I usually shop at the childrens place (very good prices), H&M or once in a while I will go to naartjie. My kids grow like weeds!

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answers from Chicago on

I typically buy clothes from JCPenny or Sears (I like Penny's better mostly) and for underwear, socks, pj's I go to Walmart or Target and shoes I buy his MAIN shoe for the year at Stride Rite and any special event shoe or "alternate" shoe at Target. His winter "set" here in snowville so far I have gotten to last 2 yrs and I *might* get a third year out of - but Grandma buys that so not a worry I have :). Over all in a year - depending on his growth and how much I bought "big" the year before when a good sale/selection was available ###-###-#### for EVERYTHING.
Keep in mind that my sons' grandmother enjoys taking him out and often buys him something AND I only have one so I don't mind spending a little more on him.

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answers from Cleveland on

i dont track but id guess on average 250-300/yr

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answers from Tulsa on

$1200 counting school uniforms, a few church dresses, her usual Target T's and leggings, a coat, and several pairs of shoes. She tears her shoes up playing at recess. We don't do designer and have no one giving us anything though I would accept it.

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answers from Chicago on

We have not spent much. I have a few friends who have passed down clothes for my son - in fact a few days ago one went through her 7 year olds closet and gave my 5 year old a whole wardrobe of summer clothes - some even Ralph Lauren - so he will be stylin' without the hardship on our wallet!
I get a lot of hand-me-downs for my daughter as well as I have a friend with 2 daughters just a year older than mine and a cousin who has two daughters a few years older.

Where we spend money is shoes - mainly in the summer - as the kids will be out on their ride-on toys or at the park or whatever and inevitibly they will BOTH drag holes in the toes of their shoes at the same time! For awhile I was buying shoes at Target b/c they are inexpensive however I'd purchase 3 pair for each in one summer!! So, we now purchase from StrideRite for sturdier shoes.



answers from Cleveland on

great question, i have a family member with a shopping compulsion that gives us big boxes of clothes 2 x a year that were bought off season clearance, the prob is they are all separates and DD is getting to the point where she wants a coordinated outfit. so i need to plan for this myself. I'llbe lookoing for your anwers.

ok i'm back and i want to figure this out and put a reasonable amount to it. Price point for lack of a better word. Like how much is a reasonable price for say jeans.

for my kids
I would want per season ( I live up north so jeans in winter shorts in summer)
alteast 5 pairs of jeans or for my DD 3 jeans and 4 leggings
5 nice tops and 5 play tops
3 church outfits these tend to be per the 4 seasons so 3 fall, 3 christmasy, 3 not christmasy but not fall, but still warm, and 3 for the summer. of course DD has more sundresses than that and Ds has less variety. sorry i digress
Then socks undies, pj's coats, shoes

So shoes Say $20 per pair 4 per year that would be close to $100
Pj's $10 6 per year $60 + shorts $5 x5 $25 = Close to $100
Jeans $20 $100
Shirts $5-$10 say $10 and 10 per year $100
Dressy outfits $40 Christmas and Easter $80
Coats $50 Winter and Light spring/fall $100

So is around $600 Accurate

I'm guessing if you are buying complete outfits that can't be interchanged as much you would Pay more number one and also need to buy more But how cute they would be.

I"d love for someone to let me know if those price points seem right to you. I know i'm just estimating and that when Old Navy has sales you can get jeans for $12 but then they get holes in them and you end up needing to replace and buy more. so i'm sort of factoring in that these are mid road prices and not second hand or super super sale prices.


answers from Dallas on

Very little. I have two boys, almost 8 and 14, and they care nothing about name brands. My oldest is extremely picky, but he likes Target's clothes best because of the way they fit. My youngest is picky about colors, but Target has lots of colors. ;)

My oldest is also easy on clothes, so we have lots of clothes to hand down to our youngest, and they're so far apart in age that our youngest doesn't remember ever seeing our oldest wearing the clothes, so they seem brand new to him. It's a win-win situation! :)



answers from Washington DC on

I don't track it, but as little as possible. I trade some clothes with friends and family and freecycle, buy some at thrift stores or consignment stores and on clearance at the end of the season, and try to use coupons (her Easter shoes were $9 with coupon at Payless). She'll always have enough, but I try to save where I can. If she asks for a name brand, sit down with her about it. Maybe she can have that name brand shirt or jeans if she has no-name other things, or if she can find it on sale or she can have 1 outfit from that store, but gets fewer things overall. Don't discount other stores. Kohl's has sales, too, and I often find DD's dresses either there or Macy's or Penny's. A few years back I got some very cute Carter's outfits at Penny's for not a whole lot for my cousin's babies. I also fished around in the "it's fall/winter so it's 60% off" bin for DD for tights and leggings for the future at Gymboree.



answers from Seattle on

Try consignment stores for the brands, or go to a wealthier neighborhood thrift store (preferably a non profit one). Also, this is good time to teach her about money and the reasons why name brands cost more (they pay for advertising and models etc.) and she can pay the difference if it is that important to her. Boys go through clothes alot harder then girls. Craigs List is also good. Tell all your friends you are looking for hand me downs too. They will pitch in...



answers from Pittsburgh on

Ugh. Can't give you a dollar amount but I can tell you it's TWICE as much as I would like!
My kid outgrows his new summer shorts by July or August, so we need to buy more to get him through Sept. And the pants from the beginning of the school year are always too small/short by March! Grrrrrrr.......
(Of course, I'm not complaining about a healthy, growing kid--just the spurt timing!)



answers from Amarillo on

I can't answer the amount. When my daughter was school aged I asked her if she wanted me to make her clothes. She said yes and I made them so that the could be coordinated with any other skirt/shirt/pants in the wardrobe. So having made seven outfits she could have 20 something. There was even a sweater and a sweater dress I hand knitted. When I asked again for the next year she said no because her clothes did not fit in with the others.

Years later she wishes she could get me to make her something.

My son was one that was bigger than he was taller at one point so I made his jeans with about 6 inch hems. The hems would be taken down after the beginning of the spring semester and he would wear them to finish out the school year. These jeans were then turned into jeans for the summer.

So each child would have about $800 spent on them over the course of the year.

Buying clothes would be something that we would start with end of season sales. It's nice to get a downfilled coat ($120) for $5. We were in Canada at the time. Fashions that were going to be popular were also sent to the region we lived in and the women would try them and what did not get picked up were not sent out to the world. So we were always 2 to 3 years ahead of the curve.

The other S.



answers from Denver on

I would say we spend very little on the clothes for our kids. We get almost everything at second hand, hand me down, or consignment. For all four of our kids (1,3, 6, and 12) I think we dish out maybe $300 a year. Keep in mind that focus on my oldest boy and my oldest girl as to what I get for them and then take premium care of those clothes to hand down to the youngest boy and girl. I also turn in bags of clothes to consignment and get LOTS of hand me downs from our friends kids. We have lucked out to be older parents with younger kids so everyone has something to give to us.

Now if you had asked about shoes, that is an entirely different story. I do buy expensive shoes for my kids. I cannot stand the idea of hand me down or 2nd hand shoes. I also have learned that cheap shoes ALWAYS fall apart faster. So good shoes it is.

I think you might have to hit a few different 2nd hand or consignment stores. I ind that most of them are pretty crappy with very little quality stuff. I go to one in my area that seems to always have great clothes and I figure out days and times they are putting new stuff out so I get first pick. I also have a favorite consignment store by my house that really has great quality.

Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I don't actually track what I spend on my daughter's clothes. She's 10 now and still pretty easy to dress. She likes comfortable things in bright colors and is happy with Target blue jeans and discounted tops from JCPenney, Kohls, Target or Old Navy. I buy enough outfits to make it through a week or so and replace as needed. So far she has not asked for one thing that was brand name or trendy. That may change by middle school, and then I'll be spending a bit more. Now that her shoe size is a woman's 7, shoes are no longer inexpensive!

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