I have this friend who has been chin-deep in work lately, so much so that the occasional one-line email from her feels like a feast. So you can imagine my delight when I got a full-length email from her! But then I realized it was an advice question. Hmph. But we’ll look at it anyway, because I love her, and it’s a good question.
I’ve lost my best source for hand-me-downs for daughter Maisy, and she just SHOT UP like a weed, rendering last years clothes ALL useless. Yesterday I made the mistake of going shopping for 5 year old girl clothes at a few inexpensive places. Apparently, if you want clothes that don’t cost a MINT, you have to be willing to pimp your kindergartner out like a Pussycat Doll. No, thank you.
Maisy is girly girl, and she wants to wear play dresses and skorts in fun, frilly colors. Fine. I want her to wear age appropriate things. The girls clothes at Hanna Anderson and Gymboree are exactly right in STYLE, but LORDY I can’t spend 30 – 40 bucks per dress without having an aneurysm. She will wear them for one season! Where can I find decently priced play dresses that are affordable, but still comfortable, fun, and LITTLE GIRL looking?
I adore Maisy and don’t want her all hooched out, so I got on this right away.
When I started looking around, I discovered something disturbing. There are waaaaay fewer dresses out there now than what I remember from when my daughter was Maisy’s age. I don’t know if dresses are consider just not “in” right now or what, but Joss was right that Hanna Andersson is still the mecca of age-appropriate little girl play dresses. Though who wants to sell a kidney every time you want a new dress for your kid? (That gets really complicated after the first one, anyway.)
We can always count on Old Navy to come through with something, although you do have to watch out for the little hoochie outfits there, too, sometimes. But check out their little stripey dresses for this year. Very cute, and affordably priced.
I had very little luck at Target online, but they generally have a greater selection in the store. While I do recall a dearth of play dresses from my last trip there, they can be counted on for an array of cotton scooters and skorts in various colors. And the price is certainly right, there.
Even my perennial favorites, LL Bean and Lands’ End, do not have the selection I recall from previous years, and the prices are… well, they’re not fabulous. It’s the wrong season to be getting clearance deals on Spring clothing, obviously.
I know some folks who’ve had good luck with Webclothes, but I’ve found their inventory to be very hit-or-miss. I see no interesting dresses there right now, although they do have a few cheap skorts.
Another favorite of mine, The Children’s Place, is sadly lacking for cute dresses this year. I’m disappointed. Clearly it’s because they turned me down for their affiliate program. The whole place is just going downhill, now.
You all know my strategy: I shop consignment and thrift, mostly, and cross my fingers. eBay might be another good source, but Joshilyn is busy and likely does not want to be either out pawing through thrift shops or waiting on auctions. Any other suggestions for adorable Hanna- and Gymboree-esque play dresses at affordable prices?