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The best places to shop for kids' clothes by age range

The best places to shop for kids' clothes by age range
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  • Kids grow so quickly that buying them nice clothing often seems like an irrational way to spend money, until you see how cute and charming your children look.
  • When shopping, consider every factor at play, including the season, school dress codes, a likely growth spurt, and, of course, their own sense of style.
  • Well-made kids' clothing won't wear out as quickly and can be handed down later.
  • The best places for quality children's clothes are Tea Collection, Gap, J.Crew, and Nordstrom.
  • The best places for affordable children's clothes are at Walmart, Target, Amazon, and JCPenney.

New parents will quickly discover that buying clothes for kids is a fraught affair: On one hand, you want them to look really nice, but on the other, kids often outgrow their clothes within a single season, which means you'll have to spend more money to buy new clothes, while the old ones pile up.

So, how do you strike a balance? My solution is to split the wardrobe into two categories, with the dividing factor being the price. My kids each have a number of high-quality garments suited for holidays, fancy meals out, and other special occasions, coupled with cheap, disposable clothing for art sessions, play dates at the park, or pasta dinners with red sauce. It's no different than how most adults build their wardrobes, frankly.

Splitting between higher-end and budget-friendly retailers allows you to spend wisely, splurging on a few select items while filling in the wardrobe with lower-cost clothes. Of course, there's a tradeoff: High-quality clothing lasts longer than cheaper threads and is unlikely to need replacement before it's outgrown, and vice-versa for lower-quality garb. And, finer garments also make better hand-me-downs, too.

With strategic shopping, your kids can look their best while keeping your budget in the comfort zone. Just plan ahead for the season, the events on the calendar, a school's dress guidelines, your kid's own sense of style, and, of course, any younger siblings or cousins who might extend the lifespan of nicer clothes.

Here are the best places to buy clothes for kids by age range:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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