Friday, 28 March 2014

My guide to shopping for kids clothes in Australia

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I have a wee confession to make - I am a self diagnosed shopaholic for kids clothes!!  I LOVE shopping for kids clothes and I'm sure they have waaay more than they actually need.  I think it's partly because there are just so many cute things out there and my will power is often too pathetic to resist.  It's also because I find it much easier to shop for the kids than I do for myself.

Seeing as I have way more experience in this department than I should admit to, here are a few tips:

  1. If they're under 3/4 years old NEVER take them out shopping with you!  Online ordering is your new best friend.  I have had many a disaster in the mall when I've attempted to go shopping with them - tears, tantrums, vomit and disappearing acts to name a few!!
  2. If they are under 3 (maybe 4 if you're lucky) they generally don't care what they wear, so this is the time for you to go mad!  Eat your heart out on as much cute as you want because it's the only time they'll wear what you choose.
  3. As they get older, take them with you to the shops so that they can have an input into what clothes they wear, but make sure you give them boundaries - you really don't want to be spending $100 on one pair of sparkly pants or a baseball cap!
  4. If you have boys and girls then it's best to take them shopping individually.  Believe me, it is near impossible to focus on both sides of the store at the same time.  At least one of them will be bored and you will start to loose your marbles!
  5. Before buying any clothes (for older children) try to do a bit of research to see what's currently on-trend.  If it's not cool, they simply won't wear it, so don't waste your money!
  6. Get them involved in online shopping too.  They will tell you straight away just by looking at a picture whether they like it or not.
  7. This one goes without saying but 'shop in the sales'.  Online sales are especially good and if you are on the mailing list you will always get email notification of when they start.
I do a lot of my shopping online and have a few favourite sites that I visit over and over again. Most of them are UK websites, but both their delivery to Australia and customer service is so great that I find them better than ordering from Australian sites (no offence Aussies).  

NEXT Direct
  • A fantastic range of on-trend clothes for kids ranging from babies up to teens.
  • Great quality and they wash really well.
  • Free delivery on everything over $30 and returns are to a local Australian address, so its not a huge international postal cost if you need to send anything back.
  • Fast delivery - within 5 days from ordering.
  • They also have a fabulous range of children's bedding as very reasonable prices.
  • It's good to remember that the UK and Australian seasons are opposite but there is a good crossover over in the Autumn and Spring months.
  • Prices are very similar to those in Target and Big W.
Mini Boden
  • A bit more expensive than the Next Direct and prices are in GBP, so you will need to convert to get a $ price.
  • There is a postage cost of $20 for delivery to Australia, which, if doing a big order is worth it (I think).  You could also do a joint order with friends and split the postage.
  • Postage takes around 7-10 days (although often quicker)
  • Amazing quality.  I have had items that have gone through both my girls and my niece and are still perfect.
  • There is a whole lot of cute in this range and it cover boys and girls from babies up to teens.
  • Their sales are AWESOME and well worth signing up to the newsletter email to get notifications.  Again the seasons are opposite to Australia so I tend to buy everything from here in the sales as it works perfectly.
  • Customer service is fantastic.
  • They have the best kids rain jackets ever!
  • They also have a fantastic range of maternity wear.
See Kai Run
  • A New Zealand based company that sell the most adorable kids shoes.
  • The sizes range from babies to age 6.
  • Fantastic quality with a huge range and a whole lot of cute.
  • They also have great sales, so again, well worth signing up for their email notifications.
Marks & Spencer
  • Prices are also in GBP but delivery to Australia is often free, so worth checking in every now and again to make sure you order at the right times.
  • Great for kids basics like underwear, socks, tights, vests, pyjamas and school uniforms.
  • They have a great selection of character clothes (for those Dora, Thomas or Peppa Pig etc lovers out there) as well as kids dress ups.
  • They also have a fantastic kids bedding range at very reasonable prices.
  • They have the best range of maternity bra's on the market (in my opinion).
Monsoon/Accessorize Kids
  • Prices are also in GBP and slightly on the higher end.  
  • Delivery is free if you spend over 75GPB (which is perfect if you're adding in a bit of shopping for yourself too).
  • There is a much bigger girls range than boys range and there is definitely a lot of CUTE here!
  • Accessorize have the cutest range of girls swimmers at very reasonable prices.  Perfect for the Aussie summer, but just remember to order in our Autumn due to the difference in seasons.
Cotton On Kids
  • I have never actually ordered online from Cotton On Kids as we have a branch really near by and it's easier to just take the kids (one at a time) to chose the clothes themselves.  I have written about Cotton On Kids HERE.
The Kidstore
  • I am a huge fan of the Kidstore especially after doing some work for them as they just have the MOST awesome team.  They really are all about the kids and if you visit their website, they have a fun section just for the kids.  They also have a little room full of toys and colouring-in stuff in their stores, which is a real win win situation when shopping with kids.  Too clever!!
  • Although there is GAP in Australia, believe it or not, it is actually cheaper to buy from the US site and have it shipped to Australia.  The postage is free if you spend over $50.
  • I usually only buy from GAP in the sales as they are so good, especially for pyjamas.  It is worth checking in every now and again just to see what they have.
  • They have a great range of maternity wear too.
I may have been a little controversial in the post by offering a shopping guide in Australia to mostly non-Australian sites.  However I get asked so often where I buy my kids clothes that I thought I would share ......... and this is where I shop - from Sydney!!

A few more things I've learnt along the way
  1. It's not always a good idea to buy upfront for the season ahead.  Miss H hated trousers - absolutely refused to wear anything unless it was a dress or a skirt.  So I stocked up in the sales for the following season and when I pulled them out the cupboard a few months later I was was met with "Mummy I hate dresses, I just want jeans!!" Aaargh!
  2. What you think is cool is NOT the same as what they think is cool. 
  3. Let them wear whatever makes them happy (even if you have to dig deep to not convince them that going out with fur boots and a beanie hat on a 40 degree day is not a good idea.) 
What are your favourite kids shops??  Any Aussie ones out there that I'm missing??

Any tips on shopping with/for kids that you want to share??

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  1. Very interesting post about kids clothes. Next is one of the places I go with my daughter. I was sad when the Pumpkin Patch store closed in Brighton. I was a big fan when we lived in Australia.

    1. Ooh yes pumpkin patch is great too although it seems to be so much more expensive here it is in the UK which puts me off a little. xxx

  2. I needed this post as I am the world's worst shopper for clothes. My daughter and I have gone shopping precisely twice and she is nearly 8. I love Boden too but had kind of forgotten them and have never looked for kids clothes there. This is a post to return to!

    1. Ooh I love the kiddies section in Boden - its my favourite!! And they have a sale on now until Sunday too xxx

  3. What brilliant tips and advice. Pinning this! X

  4. Great too! I love kids clothes shopping! Now we have one of each it is even more exciting....I get to go into the GIRLS clothes section now!!! Yay!!!

    Love all the suggestions....M&S have free delivery to Oz at the moment on deliveries over £30....there are some lovely mid season things in there too!!! If you have under 2's look in both baby and boy/girl sections!
    Just a word on Next clothing....if you have children with long bodies then make sure you go up a size. Equally check out the sizing according to their height not age as I have a 3yr old who happily fits into 4-5 sizing due to his height.

    Also another good online shop in the UK is - they deliver for £25 to as you suggested group together to order from them. They have a lovely selection & great sales too.

    I'm going to miss Sainsburys, Tescos & George at Asda when we move to Oz later this year.....might have to stock up

    1. Oh man, I so miss Tesco and Asda too. Although my mum does send stuff too which is great. Great tip for John Lewis, I'd forgotten about them. I didn't know you guys were moving Down Under, how exciting. Where will you be moving too?? xx

  5. Thanks for sharing these tips. I love online shopping. I haven't been the actual shops for about 6 years!

    1. I can so believe you!! It's just too easy to have it delivered isn't it xx

  6. Thanks for the sites I will check them out. I often get really frustrated going into Target/Kmart/BigW only to find my son's size is sold out just after they have hit the shelves (he is in a baby boom year).

    These sites could be just the answer.

    1. I totally know what you mean. There is nothing worse than making the effort with little ones in tow to get to the shops and they don't have what you're after!! So frustrating! Happy shopping x

  7. I've heard Next has a great selection of kids clothes. I'll have to check it out. I am a shopaholic when it comes to buying clothes for the kids too. It's mainly Mix and Target though. It would be nice to try a few of your suggestions and buy them something a little different. You see every second kid in the same outfit these days :) xx

    1. You should definitely look up NEXT it's great!! (for grown ups too). I know what you mean about Target brand, so of them are very cute, but you're totally right when you drop them at Kindy almost every second kid has the same t-shirt! xx

  8. Great post and very helpful. I have a 12 year old daughter and I struggle big time with clothing. She is to big for Witchery 8 to 14 and the clothing at Miss Shop and Sportsgirl can be too old for her. Shopping for kids can be fun but sometimes I struggle. Don't even start me on dressing my 14 year old boy. Great blog too.

    1. Oh man, a 14 year old must be sooo tough!! Try Next and Boden they both have a great range of pre-teen and teen clothes. Good luck xxx

  9. yep, some great ideas here, thanks for sharing xx

  10. A great guide! I have to take Moo with me because she is so fussy now, at just 6!! As for my boys they don't care, PHEW! I prefer to get them to try on. We have two sets of Number One outfits and the rest are just play around :) xx

    1. Just you wait!! Hahah, my Master J never used to care either until he started school. Great idea to have play around clothes as they just get so filthy don't they (well mine do anyway) xx

  11. That cute rainbow skirt has given me a major case of girl envy. I like shopping but man my boys do my head in with their faffing around. :) xx

    1. Believe me girls are worse - you would not believe the faffing!! :))


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