Do you get what you pay for when shopping for kids?
Ever since the birth of the first of my two boys there has been a burning subject of debate in our household and that is how much we should spend on the clothes we buy for our kids. As they’re getting older – our eldest is just approaching 5 years old – it is becoming even more difficult to weigh up quality and price because the clothes we buy these days are worn for a lot longer than they were when our boys were fast growing toddlers. Even so, from our experience when it comes to kids clothing the price or brand of an item doesn’t really seem to reflect the quality as much as it does for the clothes we buy as adults. Take these couple of examples.
Exhibit A – A Coat from Next
I’ve always viewed the kid’s clothes from Next to be of a pretty decent quality and for what you pay for them they really should be. Recently though we spent around £30 on a winter coat for one of our boys expecting it to easily last the whole winter. After just a few weeks at school however my boy came home – after having played a bit of rough and tumble in the playground with his new school friends – with a broken zip. Apparently they were playing a game where they were all trying to get each other’s coats off and inevitably this led to a broken zip or two. As it was a reasonably priced coat and we have a few relatives who are handy with a sewing needle my wife decided to fix the zip, which ended up taking a few hours. Anyway my eldest trotted off to school warm and happy again the following day. After about 3 weeks though he came home from school one day with another broken zip! This time the part of the zip that keeps it all held together had crumbled and we had to prise it off over my boy’s head, something he wasn’t best pleased about. This time we decided it just wasn’t worth fixing it again and we turned to a coat that had been recently passed on from a relative which has lasted him up until now. I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that you can spend a lot of money on fancy brand name items but at the end of the day kids will be kids and accidents will happen, so is it really worth spending a fortune or are you better off going for something a little cheaper that can be replaced when it gets ripped from your child’s back in a well natured schoolyard game?
Exhibit B – Kid’s Shoes
We recently also came across something with my youngest boy. For some reason my youngest seems to walk very heavily on his heels – you can hear him coming a mile away! This really doesn’t bode well for his trainers and they seem to wear out very quickly on the heel, especially when the trainers are of a cheap quality but also when they are a more expensive brand. This presents us with a bit of a dilemma really, do we invest in a very expensive pair of shoes in the hope that they won’t wear through even though previous expensive pairs have? Or do we go for a cheaper pair of kids shoes and just regularly replace them? When I say he wears through them quickly though I really do mean quickly, his last pair lasted just three weeks!
When all said and done then I just think that all parents will not hesitate to agree that kids are blinking expensive, that’s just a fact of life we parents have to deal with. As for whether or not you get what you pay for when it comes to kids clothes I’m guessing everyone will have their own opinion on that one. Personally I don’t like to overspend because things just seem to get wrecked so quickly, especially with having two boys. There is certainly a difference in quality between the more expensive brands and the cheaper ones but whether the extra cost justifies itself when you consider just the two examples mentioned above, well I’m just not sure on that one.
What do you think? Is it worth spending more to buy quality clothes for young children or do you think it’s just a waste of money when you consider how quickly the clothes seem to get ruined?