Summer Clothing Prep Guide for Parents:

Child happily being tossed into air

Summer is here, and with the new season comes the need for new clothing for the family. As parents, we all know that keeping kids comfy and cool during the summer months is an absolute must. An overheated kid can quickly end the fun and make for a pretty rough day for everyone involved.

The good news is that outfitting your family for the summer doesn’t have to be expensive. Whether you plan on spending the summer exploring the backyard, taking the entire family on vacation, spending time at the beach or engaging in any other summertime activities, there are numerous options for cool and comfortable clothing for the entire family.

Consider Fabric Composition

Before you start buying clothes, think about what fabrics are best for the summer months. When it comes to keeping kids cool, cotton and cotton/polyester blends are the way to go. You’ll find that 100 percent cotton is soft, making it perfect for kids’ sensitive skin. This natural fabric is also breathable and absorbs sweat from the skin, helping kids stay cool. If you want an option that is really going to keep your kids cool and free of sweat, give moisture-wicking shirts a try, which is made with special technology that absorbs liquids to keep you dry all day long!

Polyester, which is a synthetic fiber, is typically priced lower than cotton, and it offers exceptional resistance to abrasion and tears. It is not a particularly breathable fabric, though, and it does not absorb moisture. Dressing your child in polyester during the summer months is likely to result in a cranky, sweaty, overheated kid. If you want to enjoy the season with minimal meltdowns, avoid the temptation of cheap polyester kids’ clothes.

Cotton and polyester blends combine the comfort of cotton with the durability and convenience of polyester. They are stronger than 100 percent cotton, meaning they are more likely to withstand your kids’ romping and adventures. Cotton/polyester blend t-shirts and other garments are also more wrinkle-resistant. They are not quite as breathable as cotton, though, so if you’re going to be spending a large part of your summer outdoors in high temperatures, 100 percent cotton may still be your best bet.

Know Where to Shop

Depending on where you shop, the price of kids’ clothes can be downright outrageous — unless you catch a good sale. Before you head to the mall, check out your local thrift store. Kids outgrow clothing quickly, and it’s often impossible to find nearly new apparel hanging on the racks of thrift stores. If thrifting isn’t quite your style, resale shops like Once Upon a Child are also perfect for finding great prices on must-have items.

If you are looking for high-quality, designer clothing, try your local discount retailers. Stores like TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshall’s sell upscale clothing at a fraction of the normal retail price, and they are a great place to outfit your family in the latest styles, without breaking the bank. Check out their clearance racks for even more savings.

Start With the Basics

Trying to outfit your kids for an entire season when you’re working on a limited budget can seem overwhelming. Starting with the basics is the best way to get most of what you need easily. Every summer wardrobe requires a few basic essentials like t-shirts, tank tops, and shorts.

Rather than paying a premium for individual t-shirts, shopping in bulk can save you a lot of money (and time). Inexpensive t-shirts in bulk are widely available from leading brands like Gildan, Fruit of the Loom, Next Level and many others, and they come in a vast assortment of styles and colors. From basic white or black crew necks to V-necks, athletic shirts, tank tops and more in a rainbow of colors — including tie-dye — bulk blank t-shirts provide exceptional value, and they are the perfect staple for any summer wardrobe.

Baby Boy with Blue Collard Shirt and Hat

Blank t-shirts and tank tops also come in multiple fabric choices to help keep your little ones cool and comfortable during any summer activity. Buying in bulk saves you a substantial amount of money, and doing so ensures that you will have plenty of tops on hand to get through the entire summer.

When shopping for shorts and other bottoms, opt for neutral options like denim or khaki, rather than bright colors. If the bottoms are neutral, they will coordinate with any top. This prevents you from needing to invest in entire matching outfits.

Create a Capsule Wardrobe

A “capsule wardrobe” is a collection of clothing items that can all be worn together. This goes along with the idea of buying basic shorts and summer pants that are neutral and will match just about any top. When shopping for a capsule wardrobe, only choose clothing items that can be worn together.

Choosing similar colors and patterns ensures that there won’t be any “oddball” items that require a specific item to match. In addition to keeping your costs at a minimum, choosing clothes that all coordinate with each other makes it much easier for little ones to put together their own outfits — and look presentable.

Use Cashback Apps and Websites

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get some of the money you spend on kids’ clothes back? With cashback apps and websites, you can. If you are shopping online, check out Ebates. This popular website often offers percentage-based rebates for online retailers. The savings isn’t instant, but you can earn a percentage of your total purchase price back.

Apps like Ibotta are beneficial for both online and in-store shoppers. Some of Ibotta’s offers for mobile shoppers are unbeatable. Before you go shopping, check your apps and websites to see if there are any current offers you can take advantage of.

Toddler Girl with Blue Dress and Pink Bonnet

Take Your Time

Finding the best deals do take a bit of time, but doing so pays off in the end. Rather than buying an entire wardrobe at the store closest to your home, take the time to research any sales that may be going on in your area or online.

There are several websites and social media groups that are dedicated entirely to helping parents find the best deals on the products their kids need. Once you find the right apparel choices for your family, make sure you take proper care of each piece to extend its lifetime. Spend a little extra time to do your research, and keeping your kids cool and comfy all summer long without breaking the bank will be a breeze!

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