Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to Shop the Children's Department

Now that my girls are growing up, I’ve realized that as much as they can wear some of my tops, I can also borrow some things from the Twincesses' closet. It might sound strange for an adult woman to shop in the children’s section, but trust me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I’m hardly a size zero, but many of the girls’ xxl and size 14-16 items fit women up to a size 4 or 6. The basic pieces seem to be the best fit and value. Pick up turtlenecks, t-shirts, cardigan sweaters, and stretchy things like yoga pants in the children’s department.  For fall and winter, the children's department is a joy with all of the knit sweaters. 

Just this weekend, I found the same exact pair of pants in the children’s department at Zara for $15 less than the women’s version. A girls’ size 13-14 fit me perfectly and I’m a pretty solid size 4.   The pants were alike in every way, down to the cuffed hem to the details at the top of the pant, to the substantial weight fabric.  Look for sizes 14 or 16 or xxl in stores.

shopping the children's department

So what brands work for women and children? Zara is incredibly fashion forward and often cuts the same styles for women and children. Target's size xxl and 14 are a good fit up to a size 4 in most cases. I’ve had good luck with sweatshirts and sweatpants from the Gap, too. Lands’ End is another fabulous resource for women who are looking to buy clothing in the children’s section. Lilly Pulitzer seems to be cutting things smaller for their size 14 these days, but you could always try it, especially for knits and sweaters. The mini Shere I just got for my minnies is hundreds less than the adult version. If you’re petite, there’s more good news. Since I’m 5’4”, the length on most of the pants is perfect, too.

Shopping in the children’s department does require a little bit of work. Usually, I like to buy things online. With children’s clothing, you have to try it on in person to make sure that the cut and the fit are correct. Even the tiniest size 00 woman would look silly in a girl’s skirt that is too short or in a shirt that rises above her waist. Other times, the arms will be too short or too high of a cut.  You have to try on the clothing in person.

Save money and have fashion forward items that your friends may not have from the children's department.

What do you think?  Have you ever shopped for yourself in the children's department?  Or the men's department?  What was your best find?



  1. I've bought many a fleece from LLBean in the kids section! So true. Great post. xoxo

  2. So fun. I have bought a few things at gap and H+M in the kids section.

  3. I do it all the time! I swear by the boys pocket tees from Crewcuts, and I graduated from college wearing the Lilly mini Adelson dress. Right now I'm wearing my Shep shirt from the Vineyard Vines boys section...snagged it on sale for $30! My tip is to stick to more basic items, as they are less likely to look juvenile on grown women. Also, if you wear a size six or smaller in shoes (I have very small feet!), you can get classic shoes from the kids dept for much cheaper! My sherry topsiders, hunter boots, and Jack Rogers Navajos are all from the kids section!



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