Hiking tips

Tips for buying clothes for little girls

Dear Answer, Angel Ellen: Now that my toddler has outgrown onesies and started wearing real clothes, I find it frustrating to shop for her. The offerings are mostly pink, adorned with rainbows and unicorns. Few pants have pockets and many garments have sparkles, sequins or lace embellishments that don’t wash well and aren’t great for outdoor play. Ideas?

-Meg W.

Dear Meg: Head straight to the boys’ department. Yes, you read that right. In the boys’ department, you’ll find plenty of unisex clothing, many of which come in solid red, blue, and black colors. And the pants have pockets. While shopping at a big discount store recently, I found (on the toddler boys clearance racks) a black Snoopy t-shirt for $1.50, a set of Snoopy pajamas for $5, and a t-shirt of the NASA-branded solar system with Jupiter for $1.50. All perfect for little girls.

And another tip for buying kids clothes…

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Have you seen the prices for baby, toddler, and preschooler clothes these days? They come close to what I pay for my adult clothes. Without spending hours searching thrift stores or attempting a decent sale, how can I cut down on clothing costs for my growing kids?

— Norra B.

Dear Nora: Yes, I saw those big prizes. Here is an idea. Readers recently bragged about their bargains on Kidizen (kidizen.com). It is an online seller of top quality used (and new) children’s clothing, most of which is sold with original tags intact. You can buy and sell on the site. To minimize your research time, you can search the site by gender, size, brand, price, and condition. I found brands like Hannah Andersson, Gap, LL Bean, millie + roo and many more. Also listed are toys, books, clothes, shoes, diaper bags and all that baby stuff that costs a fortune when new. There are many other resources for children’s clothing and gear. Readers, tell me where you find good deals.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Is there an age limit for wearing intentionally ripped jeans? I hated the look, but I’m a convert. I’m a young, short 59-year-old, and when I first wore “frayed but not completely ripped” jeans, my 17-year-old son said, “Ripped jeans? Mmmmmmmmm. I wore them anyway!”

— Joann U.

Dear Joann: I’m not a fan of distressed jeans. It just seems counterintuitive to pay for clothes with intentional holes and other worn spots. But if you like the look, go for it. Don’t listen to your son or me. Your opinion is the only one that matters.

angelic readers

Readers had advice for Mary F., whose jeans (cotton with a little Spandex) are getting baggy. Candace B. writes, “The best way to keep cotton/spandex jeans from packing out is to avoid the dryer! The heat breaks down the fibers of the Spandex, and once that happens, these jeans are ready. Wash your jeans inside out in cold water, then hang them to dry. AFTER they are dry, put them in the dryer on medium heat for about 10 minutes to soften them. You can also add fabric softener. Olga W. says she’s about to turn 75 and her heavily worn jeans are like new and so are yours if you follow Candace’s recommended method although Olga says don’t use the dryer at all -laundry.

Drive Rant

From MR: “Three of the last four things I ordered from sellers on eBay, I could smell them before I even opened the outer envelope. A pair of shoes had been sprayed with fabric softener “because it’s nice”. A pair of pants came with a dryer sheet for the same reason. (When my neighbor is doing the laundry, I have to hold my breath as I walk past his house because the added laundry scents are escaping through the vents.) No one wants to receive something that smells like an ashtray or the family cats , but items that smell of something artificial. make me suspect there was something stinky that couldn’t be removed and yet the owner decided to sell it anyway!

Dissatisfied with the selections in the girls department? Head straight to the boys department.