How to get your child a summer wardrobe without breaking the bank

Top €4, Heatons. Denim dress, from €9.50, Next. Denim jeans with braces, €11, Penneys.

Carolyn Moore says there’s no reason why updating your child’s summer wardrobe should cost the earth if you are practical and invest in a few essential pieces.

The summer break is on the horizon, and with it comes the headache of booking holidays, planning activities, and may be an additional outlay on childcare. 

It can be a costly time of year but, armed with a plan of action, there’s no reason why your child’s summer wardrobe should contribute to the financial strain.

1. Take stock before you shop

We all know the irresistible urge of a Penneys splurge, but we also know it’s easy to spend more than we intended on things we didn’t need. 

With good priced summer separates available from Penneys, Dunnes and Heatons from as little as €4, we could easily make this mistake when shopping for kids, so before you rush to the checkout, take the time to assess what they need.

2. Have limits

When it comes to clothes, there is a limit to what we realistically need or wear. 

Adding endless bargain buys to our wardrobes doesn’t necessarily increase the amount of clothes we wear, and the same is true for our kids.

Unnecessary purchases are a waste of money, so think about shopping to replace items they’ve worn out or outgrown, rather than shopping for the sake of shopping. 

For boys or girls, a twin pack of joggers (€10, Heatons), a pair of jeans (from €10, Penneys), and some cotton hoodies (from €8, Dunnes) can be the backbone of a summer wardrobe, teamed with shirts, t-shirts and tops.

COOL CUTS: Printed jumpsuit, €13; chino shorts, €10; anchor shirt, €10, all from Heatons Spring Summer ’16 Kids Collection.
COOL CUTS: Printed jumpsuit, €13; chino shorts, €10; anchor shirt, €10, all from Heatons Spring Summer ’16 Kids Collection.

3. Bargain hunt

Look out for great deals. 

Boots currently has a buy-one-get- one-half-price offer on all kids clothes, which makes their SPF 40 Sunsafe swimwear (from €18) excellent value if you’re buying for more than one child.

Yellow rain mac, from €18, Dunnes Stores.
Yellow rain mac, from €18, Dunnes Stores.

4. Think practically

What will your child get more wear out of this summer, a trendy blazer or a rain proof mac? 

If you’re on a budget, spend first on those items you know you’ll reach for every day. 

A light raincoat is essential, and wellies will save wear and tear on light summer shoes. 

Tesco has fun kids’ wellies from €11; while Dunnes has a selection from €15.

Sailboat wellies, from €17.50, Next.
Sailboat wellies, from €17.50, Next.

5. Look to the future

If you have, or plan to have, more than one child, think about buying items that will stand the test of time and make good hand-me- downs. 

Look for clothes that are not just gender neutral, but neutral generally, and not too trend-led. 

Simple styles in primary colours will have longevity and versatility when it comes to passing them on.

6. What’s the occasion?

Don’t stress over occasionwear. 

Boys don’t need three-piece suits, and girls don’t need the full princess treatment. 

Anything smarter than normal will feel dressed up for them, so for boys team a smart coloured chino (€9.99, H&M) with a shirt and bow-tie set (€12.99, H&M); and for girls, put a pretty prom-style dress (in cotton €12, Tesco, or €15, Penneys; in lace from €14.99, H&M) with some sparkly ballerina pumps (€8, Tesco).

7. Let kids be kids

You might opt for style over comfort, but your kids should not have to sacrifice having fun so they can rock the latest skinny jeans. 

Let them enjoy their clothes, and if they like to rough and tumble, don’t opt for anything you’re going to be precious about.


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