Spring Fashion Shopping for Less

Long term readers know that my price to pay for clothes for my children is $5 per item or less in average.  I am able to do this by shopping for off season clothes online and in stores.  And of course I always hunt garage sales for clothes in good condition.

However, now that my oldest is six I am noticing that paying $5 per item is getting harder to accomplish.  At the end of last summer I was unable to find any deals on shorts for his size.  I also was not able to get him any summer pjs for less than $7.99 which is what I was used to paying.

With the weather getting warmer, and the fact that he is no longer fitting in shorts from last year, I was forced to do some shopping for him.  But where could I go to get cheap clothes for him?  To Walmart and Target I headed.

At Walmart I was able to buy Faded Glory shorts for my son summer for $5 a piece.  One stretch cotton short was $4. I also bought him two pairs of nice Wrangler shorts for $12.99.   One pair of pool trunks was $8.  I was very unhappy though because the selection of pajamas was VERY limited, and I could not find any that were his size, plus they were way more than what I wanted to pay: $12.

Then I headed to Target because I did need to get him pajamas.  Just for comparison, Target sells Circo shorts (comparable to Faded Glory in my opinion) for $7.99 each.  They also sold Wrangler shorts for $12.99.  But pool trunks were $11.99.  The pajamas were even more expensive: $14.99, but they did have one set that was his size.  I had to bite the bullet and buy him one set to hold him over.  I think what I will do is buy them online.  The set I want is $10.97 shipped at Walmart.com.

So, those are the results of my clothes shopping for my kids.  I think the lesson I learned here is that there are a TON of boys out there size 8 or stores do not keep enough inventory of sleepwear for that size.  Thank goodness for online shopping, saves me time and gas!

PS.  I had made a video with my son modeling his shorts and my toddler modeling some cute PJs I got her and it was a total bust!.  Oh well, better luck next time!

Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation in return for my time and effort spent creating this post. My participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are always my own.

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  • Krista C

    My son is now 7, and I ran into this problem last summer. I resolved it by forgoing traditional pjs for him altogether, and opting for boys boxer shorts (as in the underwear) matched with packaged boys white crewneck undershirts. Cheap and easy!


    Target has wonderful clearance in the boy’s section in my area right now. I snagged 2 pairs of shorts, 5 t-shirts & 2 polos for $30 last week. The shirts were $2.50-3.50 on clearance & the shorts were on sale for $5. Check it out if you’re in Target soon.

  • Devon P

    Target has some great clearance, but really, I buy there only for their play stuff and graphic tees, mainly. I don’t consider myself a clothes snob, but quality is important with three boys who will either be handing down or sharing each other’s stuff as they’re close in age. I don’t buy Walmart unless it’s licensed team apparel, etc. It’s just…cheap. It looks cute for a couple of wearings and then it gets pill-y and faded and then I have to rag it. It might not be a concern for an older boy who’ll just tear and outgrow his shorts fast, but other stuff…eh.

    I’d much rather spend $5 for a gently worn label item than $5 for new Circo or Faded Glory. It’s kinda like buying a brand new car. You spend all that money and the second the tires hit the highway, you’re out a ton. I can wash Polo or Gap or Gymbo or even TCP several times and it still looks decent. Do the same to that brand new (but cheaper quality) stuff and it’s noticeably worn and looks tired.

    We’re not rich people, but to me clothing is important because we can still look presentable. I commend the $5 limit because I completely follow that line of thinking. I just chose to put that money into the registers at Ross or the local consignment shop (with high standards) than Walmart. Ultimately, it’s a better value because even used, you can wear the stuff longer and occasionally even resell for a couple bucks.

  • merle

    My best deals are now at Old Navy. Between the sales and the clearance mark downs, like the 40% off clearance this weekend, I can OUTFIT my two girls (ages 8 and 11) for $10 or less – that’s two pieces. We do so well there, including the rewards dollars they send you when you spend $100 or the coupons they often have in their circulars, that at least 75% of their wardrobes are from ON! Best of all, it’s a “cool” store to shop in for the girls.

  • Kathy

    I stopped buying my boys the PJ sets at that age. They were hard to find in their size and way too expensive. We swiched to what they call “Daddy pajamas”. I buy them pajama pants at JCPenny, Old Navy, etc whenever they are on clearance. We then buy plain colored short and long sleeve t-shirs to mix and match them for our pajamas. They think they are big like daddy, I am not buying such expensive pajamas and I seem to be able to find them on sale througout the year.

    • You guys are so smart! I do not know why I didn’t think of that first! I am not a big fan of character clothing anyways, so this works very well for me.

      Do you do that even for the winter? just use flannel pants?


  • Joy

    I have three boys (twins who are almost 9 and the oldest is almost 12). Yes, clothing is def. more expensive or limited in sizes than when they were 5 and under. There’s nothing more frustrating than going into a store and seeing the girls’ section with more inventory and cheaper prices than the boys’ section.

    As far as pajamas go, my oldest gave up wearing them last year. He usually just wears a shirt and knit shorts or sweat pants to bed. Children’s Place does make really nice 100% cotton pajamas that go up to size 14 though. And they are non-character! Sometimes you can catch them on sale or clearance and combine with a coupon. I just bought a pair in size 8 two weeks ago for $7.99. They are winter but my boys can still wear the pants with just a plain white T. I am not a fan of polyester PJs.

    My boys wear a mixture of clothes from everywhere (thrift store, garage sales, Kohl’s, Walmart, Target, SEARS, Gymboree, Children’s Place, JcPenney, Gap outlet, etc.). The key is to shop end of season clearance or combine sales with coupons. Put yourself on store mailing lists. My price point is under $5 as well unless it’s long pants, jackets or shoes. I bought a pair of the $12.99 Wrangler plaid shorts for oldest ds the other day, too. Finding shorts with snaps after size 7 is very rare. So I snatched a pair of these up. My boys hate buttons. I plan to go back and get more soon.

    I also got lucky end of season last year at SEARS and bought a ton of cute plaid shorts for $2 or less for the twins. Luckily, they still can wear a size 6 or 7. But I also bought size 8 for future.

    • Joy

      I forgot to add that my sil thinks I spend a fortune on my boys’ clothes but I really don’t. She doesn’t understand how I was able to afford Gap fleece hoodies for my boys last year. What she doesn’t know is I only paid $12 for them at the outlet mall. Her son gets most of my boys hand-me-downs, esp. the more dressier outfits.

      Same with Gymboree. Gymboree is affordable if you hit the clearance rack with a coupon. My boys have tanks tops from there for this year that I paid $2 or less for at end of season.

  • Tammi

    I find K-mart has the best clearance for older kids. I bought my son (10 years old) jeans for $1.20 last year. Although that is a rare find, I just bought myself jeans for $5 about a month ago. I don’t think K-mart outlets their clothes as quickly as Walmart so they mark them down much further. I also get my t-shits at my local Dollar Tree. I think they by them outlet from places like Walmart. They are not always in stock, so when they are I by all of the ones my family can use for just $1 each.

  • Tracey

    Mercedes – That’s funny. I’ve been going through the same thing with my son this week. I also gave in and bought one pair of the 14.99 pj’s from Target . Walmart was disappointing. They didn’t have anything for him or my daughter. I got some good ideas reading the comments!