I’ve come close to peeing my pants a lot this week. I could barely contain my excitement when Rinn came home on Sunday and I’ve just come to find out that an H&M is going into Branson Landing! A H&M a mere twenty minutes from my house? What’s it that all the cool kids say? Hashtag, blessed.
The chances of me being complimented on my outfit: slim, but that’s because I’m usually trying to make sweatpants look chic and if I’m wearing a real bra it’s because all of comfy bralettes are tied up in a laundry cycle. Rinn on the other hand has never made a public appearance where his style wasn’t the center of attention, or at the very least audibly admired. You have your usual culprits; elderly women at the grocery store, other preschool moms, neighbors driving down the street who actually stop their car and ask you to pet...wait that’s for Tui. … I’m pretty much the only person in my posse who isn’t constantly told they’re handsome, pretty, too-cool or “just the cutest damn thing.” I would still be relishing the time a woman stopped me at Wal-Mart four months ago to tell me “you have great arms! but I was weirded out when she then asked me to “flex” for her and now I remember it in a state of confusion and possible fright.
I’m not bothered by this. As I’ve said before if I cared more about appearance beyond “am I comfortable?” my boyfriend wouldn’t actually poke my leg when I’m wearing jeans just to make sure he isn’t seeing a mirage as he did this afternoon. Rather I take a great amount of pride in the fact that I’ve somehow mastered male fashion. Especially when you consider that while growing up my dad regularly tucked his sweatshirt into his belted jeans and I spent almost ten years dating a guy off-and-on who sometimes wore his mom’s cowl necked sweaters to school. It’s not as if I had a wealth of inspiration and experience from which to draw from when I found out I was having a boy.
So how did Rinn end up so cool? (Besides the fact that some people are just prewired to be awesome because they’re privileged with an exceptional set of chromosomes of course.)
I employed two tools in creating his look: Pinterest and Alonso Mateo, who I originally met through Pinterest. Look him up. Follow him and his enviably gorgeous mother Luisa Fernanda Espinosa on Instagram (luisafere) and you’ll immediately recognize his haircut. What? You think I woke up one day and said You know what, Rinn would look great with a trendy undercut! No. I didn’t even know what an undercut was and my mother owned a hair salon for much of my formative years. In my wildest dreams Rinn and I will grow up to be half as posh as those two. Someday when I get over my fear of real pants and I’m not abusing my feet via dancing or I somehow manage to get paid to wear heels off of a stage, we will get there. Until then Rinn will just have to carry the team.
Either way, rather than hoarding all my good small-person fashion sense I thought I’d share with you my not-so secret secret. Pinterest, you can follow my “Rinn” board HERE. I know what you’re thinking: “But that’s only half the battle. I have a Pinterest but most of those pins don’t tell you where to buy these clothes and if they do it’s usually a link to Neiman Marcus where you can get the boots featured in the photo for a whopping $445.” Afterwards you google search “how to sell viable organs on the black market” and start pushing your child towards careers that don’t require a college degree.
So here is my list of my favorite retailers that won’t bankrupt you or leave you bleeding out on an operating table in Tijuana:
Obviously, you didn’t think I was going to piss my pants over them getting a real brick-and-mortar store within driving distance and not put them on the list did you? The best place for reasonably priced basics (which often come in multipacks) that wash up wonderfully and shoes that your child will definitely outgrow before they outwear. Always peruse their sale section and sign up for their email and snail-mail lists to get great promotional pricing and coupons, even 20% off your first item of your choice which you can use on these dapper suit separates. I bought each of these pieces last year for Rinn to wear in our Christmas Card photoshoot and they continue to hold up, even the blazer which he wore almost daily at the beginning of the year when thought he was George Strait.
I’m a big fan of their slim fit jeans. They’re not scary skinny. Your child is still able to put on their own pants without the aid of a fishing line or lubricant and they have an adjustable waist which means you can buy them a size larger; cinch them up and cuff the ankles and ta-da! you have pants that last more than a single season. Oshkosh is also a perfect place for graphic tees that don’t elicit eye rolls or transform your child into a walking billboard for a recently trending cartoon or character. And their button-downs make me swoon, roll up the sleeves once or twice and you have a dashing young man on your hands.
Keeping it in the Oshkosh family I buy a majority of Rinn’s pajamas from Carter’s. They’re not nearly as posh as his day wear but they have a comfy, soft waistband and have withstood nighttime accidents and abuse from a washing machine that has a tendency to destroy or eat most other things.
They has definitely stepped up their game recently with their Cat & Jack line. Great for plain v-neck t-shirts and trendier pieces (if you shop the sale rack) that you might find in a boutique. They also frequently carry a line of graphic tees featuring epic bands that your children might not know but looking at a Nirvana baseball tee is a lot better than looking at anything with Caillou on it.
The overall rule here is make every attempt possible at not paying full price. I can remember only one occasion that I paid full price for an outfit and it was on the one he came home from the hospital in five and a half years ago, a cable knit full-length onsie. He wore it twice, instead of a snap crotch it had a million and a half tiny buttons and being new to the mom scene I didn’t realize that was an anxiety attack waiting to happen. It was like trying to put a button down shirt on a squirrel.
Since that struggle I diligently shop sale and clearance sections, always buying for next season during the end of the current season (meaning buy for summer of 2018 now and order a size up obviously). I sign up for email lists for coupons and promotional pricing on those things that aren’t on sale and check Amazon for almost everything. Like his Ray-Bans. Along with that impossible onesie, they were one of the first items I bought after watching an episode of Ellen one afternoon while I was 8 months pregnant. She and a guest talked about the dangers of exposing your children’s eyes to sunlight and I wasn’t about to let the sun burn my baby’s retinas. Also I couldn’t stop daydreaming about how cute a baby would look in Wayfarers. I was right. At almost $50 this seems outrageous but we’ve only need two pair over the last five and a half years, and if I’m being honest the first pair only needed to be replaced because I’m irresponsible and let them get beat up in the bottom of my purse instead of putting them back in their protective case. Sometimes I’m still a child myself.
So there you have it; my tips, tricks and top retailers for dressing children. If you have suggestions for this list or additional questions about clothing your kids, please contact me at email@example.com. If you have questions on how to dress yourself I suggest seeking help elsewhere because I’ll just send you a bunch of links to loungewear.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided, at no cost to you. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t myself used or fangirled over.