I have three girls. My eldest is at school and wears uniform so has little choice in what she puts on in the morning during the week. However, I have a daily battle with my three-year-old twins. I was a bit of a tomboy at their age and only ever wanted to wear trousers. They on the other hand want to wear ‘beautiful dresses’ every day. We can often have a 20 minute meltdown if it’s a day I’m putting them in trousers, leggings or shorts for pre-school. I ‘win’ in the end, but it’s a rather hollow victory and certainly not a great addition to the morning routine.
All of the dresses I’d been buying until recently were fairly pricey from places such as Boden, Petit Bateau and, luckily due to my husband travelling to the States, Ralph Lauren (much, much cheaper than in the UK). John Lewis is also another port of call. It tends to be cheaper than the aforementioned but can still be quite pricey, although they have a childrenswear clearance on at the moment. They’re all lovely clothes but not necessarily the clobber I want them to do painting in at pre-school or wear to messy play.
I also have this thing where I like to buy each child the same number of clothes each – although I’ve started to sneakily buy my eldest the same thing in two colours so that she can eventually pass them down to her sisters. As you can imagine x 3 gets pretty expensive and there never seem to be enough dresses for every day use.
I then had an epiphany on discovering Boots’ Mini Club and H&M Kids. Boots always do loads of offers; currently they’re doing two for £8 and half price on a variety of lines, including cropped leggings, tunics, dresses, shorts and T-shirts and trousers. I bought a number of tunics and a variety of leggings, which all mix and match. Then there’s H&M: it’s clothing is always really well-priced. Right now they are doing girls dresses aged from one to eight years for £2.99!! I’ve stocked up on loads of the £2.99 dresses, and then some shorts and other dresses, which are still a modestly priced £5.99. The girls are absolutely elated, I don’t have to wash favourite clothes every other day and I can save the more expensive items for special occasions. It means we can compromise by alternating between dresses and shorts/leggings/trousers. Win win.