As a parent, it is normal that we want to give the best to our children. As much as possible, we want to assure our kids’ future and provide them with security and stability as they grow up. But does giving the best for your child means buying the trendiest, most fashionable yet most expensive clothes too?
Apparently, the kiddie clothing business is booming and gone are the days when the fashion industry targets only the adults. You’ve seen Suri Cruise and other Hollywood babies that wear Burberry, Versace and Dolce and Gabbana for their “everyday outfit.” Aside from this Hollywood kids, even those kids who are born from affluent families wear designer.
How are designer clothes and kids related?
According to Elizabeth Berger, a child psychiatrist and author of Raising Kids with Character, designer clothes for kids is a status symbol for parents who can afford it. For kids, they don’t really care about who they are wearing. Clothes are just clothes and they won’t care if they splash a paint or mud on it. It is only when they grow up where they will realize that clothes are “status symbols” that conveys wealth and power.
Here in Manila, kiddie stores such as Mothercare, Zara, Mango, Guess Kids, and Osh Kosh can be seen in major malls. Foreign brands such as H&M, Melissa, and Cotton On Kids are slowly penetrating the Philippine market. Kids’ clothes and shoes can cost P800 to thousands, depending on the design and style.
In fact, my kids’ clothes and shoes are even more expensive than mine! Every time I go to the mall, it takes a lot of resistance and convincing to NOT buy the cutest shoes and clothes for my girls. Thankfully, my husband, who is actually the frugal one between us, always comes with me to contradict my impulse buying.
I have to be honest. When I gave birth to my eldest, I wanted all her clothes to come from Mothercare. I bought her sets of frogsuits and clothes that costs thousands of pesos, only to realize that she only wore it once – before she turned two months.
For her baptism, I bought a white dress and shoes from the same store, spending almost P2,000 for the outfit alone. As my eldest grows up, my mom also buys her expensive shoes from Pabder and Mini Melissa (which are too cute, by the way) where each shoes costs minimum of P1,999.00. And because I like the shoes too, I did not even stop my mom from buying.
I am much wiser now that I have my second baby. I realized that there is no point of buying something expensive, especially when these clothes can be worn for only a few months. Some will say that expensive ones are more durable but this is not applicable to all brands. Plus, most of my eldest’s clothes were outgrown and just stuck inside the cabinet. When it comes to my second child, I just re-used the clothes and refrained from buying expensive ones, UNLESS it is needed.
Does this mean designer or expensive clothes for kids are not okay?
Not necessarily. I don’t believe in depriving my kids with something especially when I know they need it and I can afford it. Plus, I prefer them wearing really nice clothes during special occasions.
However, here are some things that every parent should know and think about before they buy something expensive.
- Ask yourself first if the kid really needs it. I don’t buy (and never plan on buying) designer clothes for my kids. But I can buy them expensive clothes especially when they have a party or event to attend to. Otherwise, I just stick to department stores. They won’t care anyway.
- Consider special occasions. I think buying something nice and a bit pricey especially for the kids’ birthday or Christmas is okay. Otherwise, save yourself some cash and be happy with department stores or thrift shops.
- Choose the brand wisely. Not all expensive clothes means they are made of high quality. When I am shopping for kids’ clothes and shoes, I only check out high quality brands. In my experience, Mini Melissa and Pabder shoes are really durable and lasted long. I was able to sell the shoes after. When it comes to clothes, Mothercare, Gap and Carter’s are still my top choice. (As of 2020, H&M, Uniqlo, Melissa, and Saltwater sandals are my go-to shops for my kids.)
- Stick to a budget. So you finally decided that yes, your child needs a somewhat pricey dress. Just make sure you’ll buy one and only one. When we need to attend a party, my husband allows me to buy new clothes for my girls. However, I have to make sure (and try really hard) to just buy two sets of clothes for that occasion and that’s it. Budget is a must because we don’t want to go overboard.
- Give room for allowance. This has been my biggest mistake when shopping for my eldest. My tot grows up fast that she gets to wear her clothes only once. After two months, the clothes won’t fit her anymore. So I finally learned my lesson and bought clothes which my kids can wear longer.
- Pay in cash. This is the most important tip you have to keep in mind. For the nth time, do not buy something when you don’t have the money to pay for it – and credit card is not considered as money. After all, what’s the point of buying something expensive for your kids when you’ll only find yourself problematic when the billing statement comes at the end of the month?
Clothing is a necessity but do you really have to dress your kid like Suri Cruise? When it comes to designer or expensive clothes, stop, think twice and ask yourself first if your kids really need it. If you hesitated, then don’t buy. After all, kids’ won’t remember that once upon a time, they wore Karl Lagerfeld, unless you tell them.
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.