Do overloaded clothing racks overwhelm you? Trust the word – you are not alone! Parents across the world have a common pain point and this isn’t about the struggle to keep the romance in their lives alive. We are talking about the dilemma of picking the perfect clothes for kids. Roaming around shopping aisle is like a maze with each brand trying to grab some spotlight and the situation is only getting worse. Expect boutique brands, newly launched stores, super-luxe fashion lines, and uber-class styles that are hard to define.
The kids’ apparel market is predicted to grow from nearly 730 billion Indian rupees in 2018 to nearly 1.6 trillion rupees in 2028 across the country. The kids wear segment accounted for approximately 20 percent of the total apparel market in 2018Source: Statista Research Department, 2019
It seems kids wear is more challenging than home décor, gardening tools, car accessories, or any other product category, in fact more puzzling than household groceries. With more e-commerce platforms competing for your attention, narrowing down the choices seems impossible. Parents have shared anxiety, that sense of uncertainty, pricing confusion, and mostly, less-informed choices when shopping kids’ clothes. Building a proper wardrobe for kids require careful contemplation. Choosing from diverse brands, styles, and colours apart from identifying apparels that offer comfort, protection & freedom of movement is baffling.
The propensity for brands in kids wear has transcended the boundaries of the metro and Tier I cities and have now percolated deep into Tier II and III cities like Dehradun, Ludhiana, Pune, Nashik, Indore, Varanasi, etc., as well.Source: Indiaretailing.com, 2019
Read through the blog for some common problems parents face in this domain and how the problem can be resolved. Relax, this isn’t an editorial on parenting advice but it simply shares some real-life tricks to find a way out of common problems…
Consider the following when struggling to find the right match:
– Ditch the standard when finding the right size
First rule of the game – don’t believe in one size chart. Why? Because there is none. With more overseas labels getting into the Indian fashion landscape, even for kids, the sizing parameters tend to differ. These variations can make the most expensive pair of shoes feel horribly tight. You need to do some homework here. Team-up with other parents and make some graphical snapshots of sizing charts for some preferred brands. When you are shopping in-store, take a minute to talk about brand-wise sizing comparisons as the sales staff is most likely to know if a certain brand should be bought in a bigger size.
– Comfortable & well fitted wins over stylish on all days
That pair of leather boots in your winter wardrobe that is hardly worn because of poor heel support is not the example to quote here. You have to shop for practicality. Kids wear is more about independence for active play. Clothes that provide a decent fit and don’t need to be repeatedly upheld or adjusted are better than outright stylish clothes that look better in advertorials. Don’t trust all the branding literatures used by kids wear brands. They tend to oversell the kid-compatibility part. No apparel is going to hold its own if your kid is going to constantly scrape knees on a playground. Assume the natural wear & tear. However, you should spend on softer fabrics, clothes that are easier to clean and have some stretchability and features like easy-drying.
– Are you reading too deep into organic or sustainable clothing?
Since kid’s clothing is a frequent investment, we tend to look out for something which is pocket-friendly and of fine quality—this is why we wait for seasonal discounts and offers. The question that constantly nags some parents is about buying the best and the parameters are very different across each family. These days, there is a push for sustainable, green, eco-friendly, organic, and even vegan clothing. Ads asking you to choose kids wear that helps to keep the planet green don’t confess about everything that went into the manufacturing process. Rather think about the clothes the kid will easily outgrow. Being a conscious consumer is important and if you can make your purchases last longer, meet more cloth-wearing demands, for a longer time, you would have contributed. So, while the clothes can be without the tag of being planet-friendly, you can be a more conscious consumer by sharing them with the underprivileged once your kid has outgrown one.
– Host a fashion show. Family fun time that can provide shopping clues
It is time to scientifically dissect away all doubts. However, the approach is not that science-based. Have you ever seen an impromptu fashion show at a college fest? You need to host something similar. The idea is to make your kid try different types of clothes, even the ones you have borrowed from friends and cousins. Make it a group event and involve some more parents. While the kids are posing, make your notes. You should focus on the best shades, avoidable & essential accessories, things to try, bare essentials, the avoidable with inflated price tags, and things that your kid cannot handle. This is the time to create a no-go list, i.e. a list of all the things your kid shouldn’t wear unless it is an emergency. For instance, some kids just cannot handle headwear like summer bandanas or caps.
– Don’t go overboard | Don’t over- analyse | Sometimes, let kids decide!
You have probably gone over the edge if another, planned shopping trip for kid’s clothes sends you searching for valium. Avoid these perform-or-die type of scenarios by relaxing. Talk yourself into the fact that with kids, some mistakes are unavoidable. Their dressing sensibilities and everyday habits are sporadic enough to challenge the brains working at NASA. You will always finds clothes that seem a great fit for your kid but once worn, just don’t justify the price. What seems cute on your child’s friend might not turn your darling into the most loved kid on the block. Lastly, when you cannot think of something better, let the kid decide. As long as it is nothing too mischievous or borderline criminal, just go with it.
Concluding Thoughts: Buying Multi-dimensional Clothing Helps
Follow the simple rule – IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT, DON’T BUY IT! But also pay heed to the fact that kids are most likely to be negligent when left unsupervised. So, try to buy some protection along with style and comfort. This is about insect protection since mosquitoes have been sending the kids back home from school for years despite so many body roll-ons, creams, and sprays. A safe and more effective alternative has recently come into the market but it might have missed your radar. BugShield Clothing uses a special type of fabric treatment, referred to as Insect Shield technology, to ensure its clothes have inbuilt insect-repelling performance, lasting up to 70 laundry cycles. With no reported side-effects, these apparels score high on comfort and style.
She is adored for her witty comebacks and undying commitment towards sarcasm. Dark humor comes easy to her and so does interactive writing. She is acing life and adulting the same way everyone else is—by relying on caffeine, science fiction movies and sitcoms. PS: She loves Japanese Manga and Classic Literature.