Product Reviews Bedding & Bath
What the heck is a “Onesie”? How many clothes does your baby need? How come such little clothes have such big price tags? Let’s unravel these mysteries, starting with our top baby clothes brand picks below.
What clothing brands are best? Well, there is no one correct answer. An outfit that’s perfect for day care (that is, to be trashed
in Junior’s first painting experiment) is different from an outfit for a weekend outing with friends. And dress-up occasions may require an entirely different set of clothing criteria. Hence, we’ve divided our clothing brand recommendations into three areas: good (day care), better (weekend wear) and best (special occasions). While some brands make items in two or even three categories, here’s how we see it:
Good. For everyday comfort (and day-care situations), basic brands like Carter’s, Little Me, and OshKosh are your best bets. We also like the basics (when on sale) at Baby Gap (Gap Kids) for daycare wardrobes. For great price to value, take a look at Old Navy and Target.
Better. What if you have a miniature golf outing planned with friends? Or a visit to Grandma’s house? The brands of better-made casual wear we like best include Baby Gap, Flapdoodles, and Gymboree. Also recommended: Jake and Me, MulberriBush, and Wes and Willy. For online sites, we like the clothes in Hanna Andersson and MiniBoden as good brands, especially on sale.
Best. Holidays and other special occasions call for special outfits. We like Chez Ami, and the dressier items at Baby Gap. Of course, department stores are great sources for these outfits, as are consignment shops. As for catalogs, check out Wooden Soldier.
What do you need for your baby's layette? What are the best outlet stores for baby clothes? Check out this PDF from the BABY BARGAINS book with detailed advice on how to save on your baby's layette.
Walk into any department store and you’ll see a blizzard of brand names for baby clothes. Which ones stand up to frequent washings? Which ones have snaps that stay snapped? Which are a good value for the dollar? We asked our readers to divide their favorite clothing brands/stores into three categories: best bets, good but not great and skip it.
The Best Bets tend to be clothes that were not only stylish but also held up in the wash. The fabric was usually softer and pilled less. Customer service also comes into play with the best brands. Hanna Andersson is a great example of a company that bends over backwards for their customers. Gymboree, on the other hand, seems to be less satisfactory for many parents, souring them on the brand. Keep in mind, some brands are pricey, so look for sales and second hand deals. Or just point Grandma to these sites!
Good but not Great clothes were pretty good, just not as soft or as stylish as Best Bets. The Skip-It brands were most likely the poorest quality: they shrunk in the wash, pilled up or fell apart. Inconsistent sizing was also a problem with brands like Babies R Us’ Koala Kids.
Some of these brands sell direct; others just through retailers.
A EXCELLENT-our top pick!
B GOOD-above average quality, prices, and creativity.
C FAIR-could stand some improvement.
D POOR-yuck! Could stand some major improvement.