Girls | 4-12 Years

Girl Clothes: The Secrets to Buying Pieces She'll Love

Putting together a child’s wardrobe is equal parts science and art. Much like your own wardrobe, she’ll need basic items, dress clothes, and pops of personality to make getting dressed fun. With some planning and teamwork, you can create a closet of possibilities that you’ll both be excited about.

Assess your stock. Heading into each season, look at what she has and what she needs. Some pieces transition through a few seasons, like leggings and T-shirts. But you don’t want to be caught on that first cold autumn day without long sleeves and a warm coat.

Measure her. If you don’t have a measuring tape, use a piece of ribbon to wrap around and then measure it against a yardstick or tape measure. Since brands vary widely in sizing, this is the most accurate way to order items that will fit. Reviews can also be helpful in letting you know if something runs true-to-size. When in doubt, buy a size up. She is sure to grow into it.

Get her input. Talk over your shopping list and plan with her. Odds are she has a favorite color. This is going to be your rock when it comes to pulling it all together. You can even filter your search by color on She may have specific ideas of styles she likes or clothes she finds uncomfortable.

Check the foundation. Make sure her socks and underwear fit well; she will quickly outgrow them or wear them out.

Start with the basics. Play clothes will likely make up the bulk of her wardrobe, so take what she likes to wear (leggings, jeans, sweats, dresses, etc.) and build a solid base layer of these pieces. Rely on her preferred color scheme so that they will work together. Buying basics from a specific brand (or sister brands) creates a capsule wardrobe since they tend to work off seasonal palettes.

Layering and mix-and-match are on trend now. This gives her wardrobe a lot more flexibility, allowing her to stretch those tees into the winter with a hoodie or sweater. And if the only clean leggings she has are polka-dot, she can match it with a striped tunic and be on point. Mercifully, this reduces a lot of the those-don’t-go-together battles of old.

Let her preferences and personality shine through. Does she love Hello Kitty or Frozen? Character tees and funkier prints will probably be the things she loves most. Kids are more likely to wear things they help pick out.

Consider comfort and ease of use. By age 3 or 4, most kids dress themselves. They will also need to get bottoms on and off easily to use the bathroom and may even need to change clothes at extracurricular activities. The more she can do herself, the more independence you foster.

Don’t forget the accessories. More than just extras, some accessories are staples for the season. When you're maximizing your outdoor and beach time in the summer, you won't want to be without sunglasses. Come fall, a new backpack and umbrella are musts for back-to-school. And when it starts getting chilly, find a cute winter hat that she'll be excited to wear.

Make it to laundry day. Invest in a week’s worth of the things she wears all the time, such as t-shirts and leggings, so that you're never caught shorthanded during a hectic morning. This is what the Internet was meant for: buy them in every color.

Don’t skimp on the PJs. Quality goes a long way with sleepwear. Comfortable pajamas will last longer and fit better, and, best of all, help ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.