I never thought that I would be the mom that matched my daughter every time that we went out. As soon as I found out that we were having a girl, that all changed. I couldn’t help but sift through all the adorable Mommy and Me boards on pinterest, but I quickly found that there are limited places that actually offer perfectly matching outfits. That’s changed since 2014, but at the time matching with Elliot required a bit more searching. Now there are plenty a boutique that have co-ord outfits, but it can get pricey and isn’t particularly realistic to have every outfit in your closet match your daughter or son. Here are some tips that have helped me with my OCD of not at least coordinating, but trying to be smart about pieces and money spent.
Choose a color palette. Each season, there are going to be on trend colors or a color that you gravitate to. For an easy example, during the holiday season red is a color that everyone wears a lot of. The last few seasons, I’ve personally been loving golden yellow and find that it is almost a neutral, matching with any color that I choose. For me, that color has also been great because I have been able to reuse staple items (leggings, cardigans, etc.) across seasons which is also a budget saver!
Invest. The first year of my daughter’s life I couldn’t control myself. The excitement of buying tiny pieces of clothing matched with not following my own current rules led to excess of everything. Over the (almost) four years I’ve learned that my daughter re-wears her favorites and a lot of what is in the closet goes untouched. It’s painful to clean out at the end of a season and have clothing that doesn’t fit her anymore with the tags still on. Choose a few items that you love and your child loves and get fancy with different accessories of changeable pieces. My daughter has a dress that she almost always wants to wear. I’m talking, it gets pulled out of the dirty hamper by her because she can’t contain herself. I change up the look by adding leggings, a sweater or a blazer; maybe even a sneaker and top knot one day and a ballet flat and headband the next. Don’t be afraid to use accessories for your child just as you would yourself.
Gender neutral shoes. This is one that I have always followed for shoe items like sneakers, wellies and flip flops. I end up getting more wear out of them for Elliot because they are simple in color and go with everything. The bonus is that I now have black Nike sneakers, white converse sneakers and navy blue rain boots for Clark to wear as he grows into them (for whatever reason baby shoes are almost as expensive as adult shoes so this is an awesome saver!). Each season I select a dress shoe for elliot that usually ends up being pink or metallic, but goes with everything. If they’re in good shape, I save with fingers crossed that we have another girl!
Shop the children’s section. This is a tip that may get an eye roll at first, but hear me out: if you want to get matching items stores like Target often carry similar items in the toddler and children’s section. Same goes for shoes. An adult like seven shoe is the same as a youth five. The measurements of a XXL kids are comparable to 4/6 adults. It may not work, but it’s worth a shot.
Comfort and Coverage. This is something that I have observed in buying things for Elliot and noticing the things that are almost always her preference . Some brands, quite simply, don’t cover your kid as well or take into consideration their tiny little body shapes. My favorite example of this are Hanna Andersson underwear verses Old Navy underwear ; I shop both stores frequently, but quite frankly will not buy my daughter unders from anywhere other than Hanna. When your littles get old enough, ultimately you have to incorporate them in the process because if something doesn't feel right on them, you’ll end up wasting your money and likely losing your sanity!