As a follow to our most recent post about minimizing the clothes your children wear, I would now like to talk about how we choose the brands and styles of clothing for our children.
We are firm believers in keeping children away from branding, logos and character clothing. My child is not a walking advertisement for your company or product. That is my main requirement when I look for clothing. If it has a logo or character we ditch it immediately.
I am constantly looking for brands that are plain, free of logos, characters and wording (such as Mommy's Little Girl, Baby Boy, Boys are Strong, etc). We like to keep our clothes clean and basic.
We also like to choose clothing that is gender neutral and can be matched with several other pieces easily. Colours such as grey, black, purple and blue are popular among our choices. We try to avoid white since it gets dirty really quickly and doesn't clean as well (which in turn leads to less replacing and new purchases). Natural cleaners just don't work as well as chemical ones - though I am not surprised one bit, it does make cleaning clothes more challenging with 4 kids. Though if you are looking for a great stain remover, the Buncha Farmers does work magic (even on old stains!)
Cotton or organic cotton are high on our list of preferred fabrics. Whenever possible we try to avoid polyester. Polyester is not breathable and does not wear well (pilling happens, seams fall out). We also love merino wool and wool - extremely durable and breathable. Merino wool's breathability makes it the perfect all season wear. Layer it under clothing or use it in the summer as UV protector.
Pieces that are multi functional are also popular for us. For example, dresses that turn into shirts, pants that grow with kids (harems and maxaloones), leggings that can be folded.
There are several brands that we really love:
1) Pure Colour Baby - Locally made in Kingston, organic cotton and grow with me styles. Perfect for babies and children. Available in our shop. We love the grow with me harems and maxaloones.
2) Mini Mioche - Made in Toronto, organic cotton and gender neutral.
3) Land's End - Made in China, large corporation BUT they do have some great quality, basic pieces that hold up extremely well over time. When doing research for commercial brands that hold up this one by far came out on top from reviewers. I personally notice a huge difference in quality compared to Old Navy, Gap, Osh Kosh and Gymboree. The cotton is thicker and more durable. They have a line of boys pants that are called Iron Knee which we absolutely LOVE. The knees are reinforced so they do not rip or fall apart as easily. I can attest that this is 100% true! Many of their clothing also comes in 2 sizes (example: Size 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 8/9). This is a huge advantage since the kids can then wear their pants for 2 winters.
4) Wee Woollies - Merino wool pyjamas and under wear.
Stay tuned for our next post on second hand clothing and why we are careful about what we buy second hand!