Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Building a Budget-Friendly Fall Wardrobe: Little Ladies Edition

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Posted this to IG last week. Fall is coming!

I’m not sure if you’re starting to feel a little chill in the air where you are, but here in Virginia autumn is starting to creep in a little early. I’ve already seen leaves starting to fall! With the kids heading back to school, I think it’s safe to say that summer’s rolling out. And, y’all, the approach of fall has me giddy. I am completely in love with everything autumn—colorful trees, football, all things pumpkin, and of course, the clothes.

It’s time to start trading in Sadie’s sandals and swimsuits for sweaters and scarves. Hooray!  

I’m not going to lie: one of my favorite parts of having a daughter is the shopping. I get an unhealthy high from sauntering around Target. Unfortunately, most of my shopping is of the window variety. While the shopping may be fun, building a wardrobe on a tight budget isn’t easy.

I’ve combined my shopping addiction and budget mama skillz to put together a short list of essentials for a basic fall wardrobe. Sticking to this list will help you build a complete and diverse wardrobe on a budget for your little chick. Start with just the items on this list. If you find that you need more options, add only what you need. If your little one likes to get dirty, you may find that you need more jeans or leggings. If your girl loves dresses, you might want to add a few more. You also may want to add to her wardrobe throughout the season as you get some extra money or find things you love on sale. This list is a great starting point for building a seasonal wardrobe.

I know that starting a wardrobe from scratch can be overwhelming. It’s easy to forget what you have, what you need, and how much you’ve spent. Having a checklist is a great way to simplify shopping and watch your budget. I’ve attached a customizable PDF version of this essentials list, so that you can plan out your shopping and spending.

So, here’s what I think are the essentials for a budget-friendly, varied girl's wardrobe:

3 long-sleeve tees
4 pullovers/sweaters
3 shirts
2 pairs of jeans (one blue, one colored)
2 pairs of leggings (one black, one printed)
3 pairs of tights (one white, one black, one colored)
3 dresses
2 skirts
2 cardigans
2 jackets (one hoodie)
3 pairs of shoes (one sneaker, one flat, one boot)

My favorite spots for picking up cute and budget-friendly pieces are Target, H&M, Carter’s, Old Navy, and Walmart. You can pretty much always find promotions and coupons for Target, H&M, Carter’s, and Old Navy. The Garanimals line at Walmart has lots of great basics for super cheap. I used my essentials list and put together a little fall wardrobe with only things from these five stores:

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Everything I added to this wardrobe is totally cute, but they’re also each well thought out. It’s easy to just grab up the cutest things in the store, but when you’re shopping on a budget, you need to remember that each piece is important. When planning out your little lady’s wardrobe, remember these four things:

1. Mix and match! Pick pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. You’ll get the most bang for your buck if each piece can do double (or triple!) duty.
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2. Layer! Your little one’s fall wardrobe will last from early September all the way through winter if you pick pieces that can be easily layered.
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3. Get a pair of skinny jeans! Skinny jeans can be perfectly practical for an afternoon running around in the leaves, but can also be easily dressed up for a night out with mom and dad.
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4. Include her summer clothes! Don’t pack up all of her summer clothes just yet—use them to expand her fall wardrobe.
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Being a budget mama doesn’t mean that shopping for your sweet girl can’t be fun. If you set a budget and make a plan, you can have tons of fun putting together cute outfits with no guilt or regret!

You can start your guilt-free shopping now with these coupons and deals…

Target: All infant and toddler clothes are BOGO 50% off this week!

H&M: 20% off $50 baby, toddler, and kids’ purchase in store with THIS coupon!

Carter’s: Everything is currently 50% off in stores and online, plus save an additional 25% off $40 online with code CBKC20!

Old Navy: 30% off all regular prices & 15% off all sale online with code ONSAVENOW!

PS: Don’t forget to check out your local consignment shops! I prefer shopping new sale/clearance, but you really can find some great stuff on consignment for next to nothing. Plus, this is a great way to support local business!

PPS: Boy mamas, the little dudes edition is coming next week!

Download your own fall wardrobe planner HERE and get to shoppin'!


  1. Thanks for this. I just buy things and don't think about mix and matching pieces. I need to be better about this. I buy way more then I need too. But the day care clothes get so dingy fast.

    1. That's why I love these cheap stores. The basics at Walmart aren't amazing quality, but they're cheap and will definitely last a full season. If they get dingy or messed up, no big deal. You can stock up on a bunch. Layering is great for day care too, though! Also, I spray the spots on Sadie's clothes with Oxiclean Max Force and then add a little borax into every laundry load with regular detergent - keeps everything from getting dingy!