Smart sizing saves money on toddler clothes

From Kittenpie, just in time for springtime clothes shopping:

A money-saver if you're not too much the fashionista:

Last year I was looking at cute skorts at Gap when a sales associate pointed something out to me – the waistband on a size three is the same as on a size 2, it's just the length that is different. Turns out they pretty much just get taller, not really overall much bigger, and most of that length is in their legs. So I've bought my size 2 kid her skirts and tops in size 3, so they'll just get a bit shorter as she grows into them, but it's a matter of a couple of inches, so they are not too long now. Meaning I really only have to get her new pants as she grows, and a few odds and sods. I even got her winter coat in a three and her snow pants in a 2 separately, so next year I might just have to buy snow pants! Nice savings, particularly if your kid (like mine) wears pretty basic stuff that's not so in style as to go out of it again by next year.


  1. kt says

    Sweet – anyone havetips on doing this with boys clothing? It sounds like it would work with shirts, at least? Are there any brands that work out better?

  2. Kristi says

    I’ve been thinking about the same thing in reverse — in other words, I’ve kept her shorts and skorts from last summer expecting that they’ll probably still fit her this summer, especially early on, because she’s still a skinny lil’ thang, but her legs are longer. Unfortunately, she was already outgrowing the matching shirts last summer due to her long torso — I always have to buy shirts 1-2 sizes bigger than pants!

  3. InTheFastLane says

    I just did this with my youngest’s pants. He is so skinny that even the elastic built into the 18-24 month pants wasn’t enough for them to stay up. He has already learned how to pull his pants up on his own because they are forever sliding down his non-existent behind.

    Anyway, i noticed that Old Navy puts those expandable waists in their pants that are 2T and up. So, i just tested out one pair. And it was a success. We have to cuff the legs once, but i think the waists are actually smaller than the 18 to 24s, so that, in addition to the adjustable waist, made for the best fitting pair of pants we have had in months.

  4. ChristieNY says

    Great idea! I bought my 3 year old his raincoat in a bigger size last year and rolled the sleeve, but bought proper fitting (matching) rain boots. This year I just unrolled the sleeve and only had to purchase bigger boots that matched as well. Big savings not having to buy a new raincoat!

  5. Heather says

    This continues as they grow–I can’t remember which right off the top of my head but if you check the waste bands, arm length, etc you will be able to tell which things are only slightly different. Alsoo note that when they move out of diapers the waste bands get smaller again. My skinny 7 year old wears shorts and bloomers under her skirts because she loves to whear skirts but hates being told how to sit. I often pick up 3t and 4t baby bloomers for her to put under her skirts. They fit her even though she wears a 7-8 in pants.

  6. Karen says


    It works for my almost-3-year-old boy with short-sleeved shirts, tank tops, pajamas, (elastic-waist) shorts, pants with elastic waists and cuffs (sweat pants & pajama pants), bathrobe…that’s all I can think of. We have hand-me-downs from his cousins that are way too big, but he likes wearing their size 8 t-shirts as a “dress.” On weekends, I often put him in one of those with no diaper. That way he’s not freezing, but he is encouraged to use his little toilet.

  7. Lynn says

    This works season-to-season, but not year-to-year since my daughter has grown too much each year to re-wear anything. In the past year my 32 month old has worn 18-24 mos, 2T, and a 3T. Now I’m buying 4T for the Spring & Summer clothes because she’s almost 40 inches tall. Shirts, pants, shorts, and dresses are all too short and tight from last year since they grow all over, not just the legs. Shirts are belly-baring, not just short in the sleeves…

    I agree that clothing like coats and boots can be bought much larger though. It’s easy to cuff the sleeves and layer with extra socks until they fit. I did this with her winter coat, snow pants, and snow boots.