It’s fun to dress your kids in the latest teen styles, and as they get a little older they will likely appreciate it, but it can be an expensive proposition. Stores like Abercrombie & Fitch and J.Crew aren’t cheap, and with growth spurts and lots of physical activity, kid’s clothes don’t have much of a shelf life. So what’s a hip parent without a huge budget to do? Well, most of the hot stores at the mall also have an online presence, and with some savvy research and a bit of patience you can look to the best sites for kids clothes to find great deals to stock your kids’ closet with the latest trends.
Save on shopping at The Gap
Perhaps the first to capitalize on little kids and teen fashion was The Gap. It has an infant and toddler line under the brand Baby Gap and a huge children’s online presence with Gap Kids. And while slightly less expensive than their adult counterparts, the newest skinny jeans can run to almost $35 and a classic Gap hoody retails for more than $30. Gap Kids has a great durable uniform line, but it’s not inexpensive either. The company even teams with designers like Diane von Furstenberg selling dresses that can run to $50. But there are some great ways to save.
The Gap also owns Old Navy and you can order from both stores (along with Piperlime for kid’s shoes and Banana Republic which runs small and may work for tweens) and have them ship your order together. Old Navy’s quality may not be as good as The Gap’s, but the styling is similar. For basics like socks, underwear and t-shirts you can save just by switching stores before check out. The Gap also offers free shipping on orders over $100 and free returns, which is important when shopping online, especially for growing children. Gap Kids has a sale section, and because it turns over their inventory so often, discounts on almost-new styles are common.
Trendy kids clothes at Aeropostale P.S.
If you want fashionable looks for boys and girls, and even bigger discounts, Aeropostle has a line called P.S., which caters to children and tweens. The prices for new items can be even steeper than The Gap’s with, for example, leggings that run to $50 and boy’s jeans run at about $45, but P.S. offers much deeper discounts than Gap Kids. Five-dollar polos and trendy new styles of girl’s jeans for about $10 are easy finds online. Shipping is a flat $5 and a rewards club earns you discounts. If you sign up for e-mail newsletters, you’ll likely score both a single-use free shipping or discount code, along with sale alerts that seem to come daily.
Find deep discounts on Abercrombie.com
Abercrombie & Fitch may be the ultimate in exclusive teen fashion. And it is, of course, more expensive than the other stores, but of the three brands it also has the steepest discounts online. Flagship-store exclusive items are online as well. For its kids line, jeans can sell for over $60, even basic shirts can top $40 and its outwear crosses the $100 mark regularly. That said, the website has both a sale and a clearance section, both of which are unusually well-stocked in terms of size and color options compared to other online stores where pickings get much slimmer as the prices drop. On sale, Abercrombie Kids jeans can drop down to $30 even $20 for current styles, and on clearance some styles drop to $15. Boys T-shirts are easy to pick up for under $10, with even steeper discounts on off-season clothing.
Just be careful with Abercrombie Kids online when your kids can’t try thing on. Its styles run long and slender, and the company makes no bones about saying that it’s intentional. There is not much for shorter or heavier kids, while other stores have extensive slim and husky/plus sizes (along with extra slim) in the same styles and generally at the same price points as their main lines, which is roomier than Abercrombie’s to begin with.
Best sites for kids clothes
Of course this list is not all-inclusive. Land’s End, J. Crew, Forever 21 and just about every other brick and mortar mall store has an online presence, and most now have a either a dedicated kid’s line or a kid’s section. Stores that don’t necessarily have youth sizing still often have clothes that will fit tweens. Unfortunately American Eagle shuttered its 77 Kids line, but it’s regular line starts at XS/28 for guys and (X)XS/00 for gals.
If you are willing to shop a little off season and do a bit of research your older kids and tweens can style themselves like their teen idols without breaking parental budgets. At least that been my experience.
If you have shopped at any of these stores for yourself or for your kids, we encourage you to write reviews, so other readers can benefit from your experience, too.