View Full Version : Toddler UNREALITY Layette

05-19-2004, 03:04 PM
OK, to all you moms of toddlers, here's a question. How do you stand to put your toddler in anything but super-cheap clothes in the summertime? Shelby has some of the CUTEST stuff from Hanna and Gymboree - but omigod what we are doing to our clothes as we play outside, learn to eat (even with big bibs), play in the sand, play in the kitchen sink, etc. etc. You should see her Hanna print capris - what a mess. I bought the Hanna stuff that looked like playwear, intending for her to wear it on a regular basis. But it's hurting me to put her in it. I don't even want to think about some of the Gymbo shorts outfits. I find myself reaching for the Circo stuff all the time now b/c if it falls apart I don't care as much b/c it was $3-$4.

So the way I look at it, everything in a toddler's summer wardrobe should cost less than $5 per item, with the exception of church and/or birthday party outfits, of which we have three. So I feel like I overspent given what we have and what she's doing to her clothes. Yes, I oxyclean ad nauseum, but the clothes are going to be so beaten up that I won't be able to pass them down to Sydney for next year - and I thought that was the whole point of Hanna and some Gymbo?

Given this whole toddler thing, why is everyone still so excited about Hanna and Gymbo? I love their stuff, but it kills me to watch what she does to her clothes. And if I only need a few super-cute pieces, again, how does everyone stay so excited about these brands?

I'd love to know what you do with your toddler, and if you do stay excited about the higher-priced brands (yes, even with coupon codes, deals, and steals, they are still higher-priced)? Thanks for your perspective in advance...

Mama to DDs Shelby 09/19/02 and Sydney 10/16/03

kelly ann
05-19-2004, 03:27 PM

I am feeling the same way lately. I just got into the whole Hanna craze and I have been even buying some Gymbo. However, we are getting outside more with the nice weather and DS is dirty before I even have the chance to chase him down and get him in the car. We just bought a very cheap pair of shorts and tee at TRU/KRU ($3 each) for playing in the dirt with me. However, I am with you now...I think I have the numbers mixed up. It should have been mostly cheap KRU/TRU branded clothes and one or two Hanna/Gymbo outfits.

05-19-2004, 04:40 PM
I love Gymboree and Gap and other brands, but when we're going to the park or gardening, Gabrielle's wearing DENIM! LOL That way she can trash a pair of $.50 garage sale found shorts or skort and save the cute Gymbo bloomers for days when we're doing errands or doing INSIDE things..... :D

05-19-2004, 04:48 PM
ITA. Although I've never been a Hannah or Gymbo shopper, her clothes were pricier than they should have been. I learned the hard way last year when Charlotte trashed a good deal of her clothes and the $30 pair of canvas Nike sneakers that lasted all of one month! I have 5 good outfits that I save for parties and occasions. The rest are GAP sale items, Target Circo Brand, Walmart brand (drawing a blank on the name but really like the quality), and stuff from Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross, etc...

I honestly expect very little to get handed down to Claire from this summer. The denim will make it but I can see everything else getting beat.

05-19-2004, 07:43 PM
Perhaps my toddlers are not as messy as yours but I find that Land's End, Gymboree and Hanna wash very well. In fact my DS decided to sit in the mud and eat mud pies.... YUCK! What a mess! And he was wearing his brand new Hanna bold striped romper. Since it was so heavily soiled I had to wash it twice but it all came out and the outfit still feels/looks like new.

Now I can't pass down clothes, so I just figure if they are trashed by the time the child has grown out of them then I've gotten my money's worth. Circo clothes often look trashed after a few washings (even if they haven't really been messed up) and then I hate to put my kids in them. I started letting DD wear these nicer clothes to preschool and it's great: she looks cute and comes home with nothing on them that can't be washed off.

05-19-2004, 09:43 PM
LOL at your thread title. :) For summertime playwear I basically dress Arielle in Carters, TCP, Lands End, and the occasional Gap or Old Navy item (though I haven't bought from Old Navy in a while because I think it's overpriced for the quality). For nicer wear I have dresses/skirts from Gymboree, Lands End, or Gap, or department stores (where I got lots of credits from baby gifts for Daliya that I didn't need since she and Arielle are on the same timeline!:) ) Although I've never gotten anything from Hanna before (yet!), I do have a pair of pants and two t shirts from Gymboree and I was worried about her getting dirty in them at the playground or wherever, but so far all stains have come out. One shirt is actually white and MIL forgot to put a bib on her and gave her strawberries last week (grrrr), but YAY the stains came out!

I bought a bunch of Circo and Target items last summer thinking that was the best way to go. But the Circo ones shrunk terribly and the Old Navy look so worn and stretched out now, so I can't hand anything down to Daliya next year. So as much as I cringe when Arielle falls in a pile of dirt in her nice LE clothes, I think I have a better chance of handing them down this way!

Mom to Arielle, 10/30/01
and Daliya, 10/27/03

05-19-2004, 11:39 PM
Thank you!! OK, so I guess it's a catch 22 in a way. If you don't pay for the quality up front, then the stuff has serious potential to wear out (a la everyone's experiences with Circo, Old Navy, and my personal fav, Sesame Street from KMart). But if you do pay for the quality up front, just buyer beware that the summer stuff will indeed last all summer, but it may not make it to a second child. Hence - the lesson is, buy only what you love!! OK that helps. My downfall is that I want her to look super-cute ALL THE TIME, so I don't generally compromise on the cute factor, even if it is cheap. And I really dig the Hanna and Gymbo stuff. Although I have learned some Hanna lessons - not all Hannas are created equally, but that's another thread for another time LOL!!

Your replies make me feel a little better - but I will say that next year I will buy a little differently for Sydney's summer wardrobe as a toddler - more along the lines of kelly ann's response.

OK, now I'm thinking out loud here...I wonder if there's that big of a difference for winter? I have some absolutely awesome Gymbo Whale Watching and Indian Summer stuff in 3T that I am dying to put her in, but I'm not nearly as afraid of trashing the winter stuff...anyway, I'm hijacking my own thread here...

Thanks a bunch. Would love to hear more if anyone passes by....

Mama to DDs Shelby 09/19/02 and Sydney 10/16/03

kelly ann
05-20-2004, 01:14 AM

I hoping that there will be a little less wear and tear in the winter time - they can't really go outside rolling around in the dirt when it is so cold. At least I hope so because DS winter wardrobe is already in the closet. Of course, I did get the stuff at good prices so hopefully I will not be frustrated when it gets stained.

BTW, I just spent 30 minutes tonight try to scrub out tomato sauce from a Little Me outfit...no such luck :( He has worn it only twice!!! I guess he has another outfit to go with the cheap TRU/KRU outfit.

One more thing - I am a chicago mama too! I think the new Hanna store in Woodfield is open. Not that we should be buying more of those clothes based on this thread ;)

05-20-2004, 01:32 AM
Up until this point, DS has had a fabulous wardrobe. I love dressing him. But not so much anymore since he makes a wreck of himself now! I invested not much money into a play wardrobe that consists of circo shorts and tees. I also have some other items I bought at a local consignment sale (including a cute pair of Hanna denim shortalls). We have some very nice items he will wear to church, birthday parties, etc.. but I don't think it is worth me spending a fortune on items that look like they have gone through a war at the end of the day. Now we have been in shorts here for over a month and he has worn the circo clothes quite a few times. And I have washed them numerous times. All have held up well and haven't shrunk or gotten ruined in the wash. Perhaps they upped their quality this year?

I also like the Children's Place a lot but they have some quality inconsistencies. But it is still great to grab some of their items at the low prices they offer.

I think the winter will be better...at least I hope so! But it doesn't get too cold around here...I may be in trouble!

05-20-2004, 07:57 AM
Winter clothes don't get trashed NEARLY as bad! The big winter clothes problems are stained sleeves from eating and perhaps worn out knees from crawling around on the carpet. :D

05-20-2004, 10:54 AM
Hmm. Maybe its me, but I find the Target Circo stuff holds up really well. I will say that I think their cotton knit stuff is better than the wovem cotton stuff. But I got a pair of khaki shorts there last year that she wore ALL last summer and that she will wear all this summer too. I also find that Lands End washes well and holds up well. Frankly, I don't let her play in the dirt in her Hanna stuff!

So for us, her preschool/playground wear is Target or Lands End, with a little Old Navy stuff too. Her nicer outfits and outfits for less dirt-filled outings are Gymboree and Hanna. :)


05-20-2004, 03:06 PM
I think you're pretty safe with winter-wear. In my experience things don't get nearly as dirty since even when the kids play outside they're in jackets (and perhaps snowpants) and the ground is usually solid! At least that's been my experience. Also, Arielle preferred to stay home a lot of the time anyhow this past winter. I had a hard time actually getting her to take walks/play outside when it wasn't too cold! Guess she just doesn't like the cold like her mommy. :)

as for messy indoor activities, when we do painting or "sink" activities (washing dishes, etc) I just take off her shirt and/or give her a smock so clothes have a better chance at staying clean.

BTW, if you're looking for a good winter jacket for either/both girls I really love LE outerwear. I've used both the buntings and squall parkas and they wash perfectly and are very warm.

Mom to Arielle, 10/30/01
and Daliya, 10/27/03

pamela mom of 3
05-20-2004, 03:51 PM
You should see my three and two are not toddlers }(

Well i've tried the cheaper clothes route and they fell apart which ticked me off to no end! Plus some of the stuff is rough so if i didn't like the "feel" of it why would i put it on my child kwim?

I'm sure their are different levels of quality out there, but just going by some things i have tried they fade, shrink and don't wash as well as the higher end labels, plus they aged if that makes any sense at all, they just seemed old & cheap after awhile.

You know it did used to bug me, and sometimes i will go..grrrr when i see that mud up the back, or the grass stained knee but on the whole i admit i have relaxed. The clothing is comfortable and looks nice even if the odd stain is about, i do try to stick to darker colors and if i know their is a super messy project under way, select outfits that would have less risk etc.

What does my toddler do? LOL play in dirt, yeah i'm serious...he finds all the wet spots and the mud/dirt/gravel/sand to play in...that is what he loves to do. If we paint or color it's always washable products, if it's a really messy meal off comes the shirt or all the clothes...he has always hated bibs, so i went this route with him instead.

I also will add i almost always buy on sale, i do try to pass things from my eldest dd to my middle one, but i have found as they get older kids wear stuff out!

So i guess obviously i have no real answer, you go with what you feel comfortable with..above are my reasons for my choices, GL! :)

~Pamela Mom Of 3


05-20-2004, 05:53 PM
:-) I've noticed I'm doing much more Target shopping for clothes than Gymbo these past 3 months. If we're going out (shopping, play group, gymboree play, etc) then I put her in something "nicer" but for all other times it's usually a Target outfit (which I am loving!)

We're also going through AT LEAST 2 outfits a day (due to outdoor play, self feeding, trips to the water park and art projects), so her closet is stocked with super cheap Target outfits because we just can't afford to spend $20 per outfit on 20 outfits.


05-21-2004, 08:20 AM
The other thing I do, is pair a cute Gap or Gymboree shirt with a pair of denim bottoms. That way she can sit in the dirt and I don't have to worry about her bloomers or light colored bottoms getting trashed, but she still looks cute! :D

05-21-2004, 11:11 AM
kelly ann -
Check your e-mail! :)

Mary & Lane 4/6/03
[link:www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=67b0de21b370a2992536|Birthday Pics!!]

05-22-2004, 04:34 AM
as a mother of two girls i am a devoted gymboree fan for which i never pay full price. those clothes i save for when we go shopping, special occasions,etc. for playing in the back yard it is target brands, walmart, marshalls, tjmaxx, tcp. also, i frequently find very good buys at lord and taylor when i use the 15% or 20% off sale prices coupons they email me. my limit for "play" clothes is $10 and under.
diana and abigail 4/23/01 and emma 1/13/04

05-22-2004, 05:04 PM
My two boys wear 99% brand name stuff -- mostly Gymboree, Old Navy & Lands End. I buy it on clearance as much as possible and don't spend much more than $5/item. Granted, I have boys and there are far fewer cute choices than for girls. I buy a season ahead of time and put them away for the following year. I'm pretty good at guessing their future sizes, and if I mess up and get something that is too small, I can consign it with the tags still on and make usually at least what I paid for it.

I have also found that the better brands wash really well. I've had Gymboree stuff that my oldest has gotten completely stained & filthy and they've come out of the wash looking like new. I have a high efficiency washer (Whirlpool Calypso) and it gets out so many stains that my previous washer wouldn't touch. I have Gymbo outfits that have been passed around between my friends and are on their third or fourth child and still look great.

Sarah......mom to Jason (5/25/00) & Devin (5/12/03)

05-24-2004, 03:24 PM
I live in the Cleveland area and have always been able to outfit my 2 year old with clothing bought at "mom club" sales. The newspaper always lists the upcoming sales and I have been to a few this spring, spending maybe $25 each time and leaving with a huge amount of nice clothing.

The way I figure it, I can buy a used Gymboree outfit for a few bucks if it is in good condition and I don't worry about dd playing outside. I can even buy "party" clothes because the previous owner of the dress only wore it to parties also, probably 1 or 2 times.

I agree with everybody that the Target brand Circa doesn't hold up. I hate to waste money on cheap clothes that can only be worn a few times.

Garage sales can sometimes be fruitful, but all in all the mom's club sales are awesome because there's not alot of the other junk, just kid's clothing.

05-31-2004, 11:01 PM
"Maybe its me, but I find the Target Circo stuff holds up really well."

ITA! I've bought Circo playclothes for the past three years and they've held up wonderfully for me--no abnormal shrinking or fading. Sure, her 3T khaki and denim capris that Kathleen lived in all last summer were a little snug by the end of the summer, but she was growing. And I put them away to pass them down to Ellen, who is wearing some 12-18m Circo dresses this summer that were Kathleen's and are still in great condition. And these were the dresses that Kathleen wore to school and got really dirty in.

Perhaps my kids aren't as messy as others. :) But overall, I'm really happy with the Circo line.

06-15-2004, 05:16 AM
I love this thread!

As the mom of two boys (also Chicago, Becky!), I am always interested in how to get loads of inexpensive clothes. I have found that the cotton knit stuff at Target does shrink fairly quickly, though if I buy the regular boys' T-shirts they do okay.

My older son (age 4) is going to "summer camp" at his preschool this summer, and we were told during orientation to go to Target and anywhere cheap and just buy loads of clothes we can expect to lose or get totally dirty. I am ALL OVER this idea for the summer, but surprisingly the stuff that's lasted through all sorts of toddler torture has been the basic cotton knit stuff from Old Navy.

My advice is to look for sales at ON, and buy as many as you can in your childrens' sizes. I usually err on the larger size, so things can transition seasons (for example, Jake is wearing the 4Ts that I bought last summer, and they fit okay for now, though he's going to need 5s soon). My mother often finds incredible sales at Marshall Fields, and that stuff is pretty reliable.

Also... I load up on the 4th of July tees and shorts you can get at Target & Old Navy.

Enjoy your summer!
Jacob 01/2000
Daniel 08/2002

06-23-2004, 10:41 PM
I buy a lot of Land's End, and I too buy it ahead a season on clearance. I also shop the used baby stores - I don't worry too much about stains, because I know we'll be adding our own. ;)

I have mixed results with Circo/Target. Some of the knit stuff holds up well and is quite cute. I've also had good luck with pants. Other times I go in the store and run away screaming because all the styles are so creepy.

I also like Sears' house line (TKS basics) of knit wear. It holds up as well as anything else, and is a great price.

06-24-2004, 03:47 PM
He mostly wears his nice stuff, and I use bibs at meals (he's 2 1/2 and a very neat eater). If we are doing something I expect to be messy then he wears something from Target or the like. I just cross my fingers and try shout or zout on the stains. And *gasp* some of his hanna is stained. Oh well...I guess #2 will have nicer get-dirty clothing. LOL.