Make back-to-school shopping a breeze with Triona McCarthy best tips
August is here, mamas.
Which means that, whether you like it or not, start-of-school season is approaching fast – and it is yet again time to make sure the kids are kitted out with everything they will need for the year ahead.
And to take the stress out of all this planning and shopping for you, mamas, we recently caught up with savvy shopper (and mum-of-two!), Triona McCarthy, in TK Maxx (where they have just received a massive delivery of everything parents need to kit out their kids, including big brand clothing for your stylish tots and back to school accessories for a trendy new term).
When it comes to shopping for Maxi and Mini, Triona willingly dished on her do's and dont's:
1. Make a list
Before I even set off shopping, I go through both Maxi and Mini’s wardrobe and see what doesn't fit anymore and what needs to be replaced and put it all on a list. Everything in TK Maxx is organised into categories and sizes in each department, so you can focus on exactly what you’re looking for (but if you’re like me, you may be easily distracted and find exactly what you weren’t looking for!)
2. Choose a colour palette
I keep a very neutral colour palette for both of them.
With Maxi, it’s basically navy and red with a little bit of white and grey. Mini has a passion for pink and would wear only this colour if left to her own devices! I also like a little navy as well for her and again white and grey. That way, when Maxi (who is 20 months older) grows out of something, it can generally make its way into her wardrobe seamlessly. Lucky it’s not the other way around as he’d be in pink dresses full time! TK Maxx is up to 60% less than the RRP so great value means great quality – so mum’s and dad’s, you can be confident your purchases will stand up to wear and tear, through summer and beyond!
3. Quality over quantity
I always prefer quality over quantity. I simply buy clothes that are made to last in the first place. I’d rather spend a little bit more on a well-made, natural fabric item, than buy three things in a synthetic fabric that just fall apart after one wash. I’m not into ‘disposable clothes’ like I said, Maxi’s clothes get passed on to Mini and quite often they then go onto their cousins. Look for natural fibres, quality stitching and well-sewn on buttons.
4. Waste not want not
With my list and capsule wardrobe, I only end up buying what’s really needed. I also love to donate old shoes, clothes and bedding to TK Maxx, in store for their Give Up Clothes for Good campaign. Each bag of donated items is taken to an Enable Ireland store, and could raise up to €20 for children and young people with disabilities. You can donate in store all year-round.
I always buy clothes that are about 6 months older than the kids are, to get a little bit more wear out of them!
6. Devil is in the detail
I adore little details like adjustable waistbands on boy’s trousers or adjustable straps on dresses, so again, they’ll get much more wear out of them.
I always want my kids to be comfortable so that means clothes that fit well and feel good. I tend to look out for soft, cosy fabrics that I would wear myself. I adore anything that's 100% cotton.
Stick with simple pieces that are solid or striped so you can mix and match easily. Some patterns are ok but anything with lots of bows, beads, sequins, slogans or logos are not for me.
When you see something you want to buy, ask yourself the following:
- Can I match this to items in my kids’ wardrobe already?
- Will it fit well and is it a natural, comfortable fabric?
- What are the care instructions? Save money and be kind to the planet by avoiding dry-clean only items.
- Is it good quality and in good condition?
10. TA DAH!
Follow these tips and I promise you, you’ll need less clothes, so there’s less laundry and therefore more time to play with the kids!