5 Tips to Take Great Care of Kids Clothing

One of the ways that large families can stretch the household budget and save money on clothing is by maximizing hand-me-downs! Especially if you know a few tips on how to take great care of kids clothing so that the items still look nice by the time they make it into the 4th little person’s closet! Over the years I’ve become a master at making the most of hand-me-downs- and here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

1. Make It Easy for Kids to Keep Their Clothing Folded and Organized

If your kids are putting away their tees and shorts into over-stuffed drawers- the items themselves are taking a beating as they get pushed and pulled into place in the drawer. Things are getting wrinkled and stretched out- and this system makes it harder to rotate through what your child owns- so chances are, the same items are getting worn over and over again with other items on the bottom of the pile never seeing the light of day.

We find it much easier to use open closet shelving to hold most of the kids folded clothes rather than dresser drawers. Kids can see what they own, and can rotate through the entire pile more easily, and are more likely to put away their folded laundry in a neat and organized way which is kinder and gentler to the clothing. So yes- the way you store your clothing makes a big difference in how long it lasts!

2. Pack Away Off Season Clothing and “Clothing to Grow Into”

If you want to keep future items in good shape- it’s best to just take them out of the mix! Twice a year I spend some time with each child in his or her closet to sort through their wardrobes- putting away off-season clothing, removing items from their closet that no longer fit them, and going through the bin of clothing to grow into so we can add in the items that will now fit. I also make a list of items each child needs to get them through that season- because even with hand-me-downs, kids will still need some new items!

In fact, I kind of have a rule at my house that no child should wear a hand-me-down outfits on his or her birthday or for school pictures!

3. Make Smart Purchases

If you want it to last- you need to buy quality items. Do I spend a lot of money on clothing? Heck no! I buy name brand merchandise only when it is on sale for a significant discount, and I stock up on basics like solid colored tees and khaki shorts, jeans, and sweat pants when I can. I find that better made items (GAP, American Eagle, Polo, Tommy Hilfiger,) all hold up very well- lasting down to my 3rd or 4th wearer. Items that I purchase at Target, and Kohl’s will last a season or two- but rarely make it past the 2nd child.

However, some items are destined to be worn by one wearer and are therefore meant to purchased as inexpensively as possible- socks come to mind for sure. But also sweatpants for my boys. They cannot get through one winter without getting holes in the knees- so those never make it to the guy in line!

4. Wash Them Well

Treat stains immediately- or better yet- teach your kids how to do it! I keep stain pre-treater right on the shelf above the washing machine and my kids know that if they have spilled/dripped food or managed to slide right into a mud puddle at school- that this item does not go into their hamper. It should be placed on top of the washing machine so it can be stain treated right away.

5. Not Everything Should Be Handed Down

There are definitely things that are just not destined to be handed down. Underwear and socks come to mind for sure. But I also “tread lightly” when it comes to shoes. If a pair of shoes is an everyday pair of sneakers and a child grows out of them- those are rarely handed down unless for some reason they are in perfect condition. Shoes worn daily take on the footbed shape of the wearer and that makes them uncomfortable for anyone else. But dress shoes only worn a few times, snow boots, my girl’s fashion sandals only worn a few times are all perfectly fine to be worn later by a younger sib.

5 Mens Fashion Tips For Large Men

If you’re big and heavy and you wish to dress nicely without having to spend a lot on your wardrobe, consider these six amazing tips for dressing up with a bit of suave. Although they are basic and easy to handle, if you put all of them together, they can have a considerable effect on the way you look.

1. Minus the Belt and Switch to Suspenders

If you have a big round stomach, then belts would most certainly not work on you because of the shape of your tummy. The circular band of the stomach tapers would only make the belt slip. Just imagine fastening a belt on a basketball. Now, suspenders, on the other hand, eliminate the issue permanently and allow the trousers you are wearing to fall smoothly like a drape rather than clustering it up at the top.

2. Purchase Dress Shirts with Spread Collars

If you have a broad face, then your first priority is to make sure that your shirt’s collar matches your broadness. Brands today assign a 90o division between collar points as a ‘collar spread’. Collar spreads vary from brand to brand so make sure you find one that suits you. The benefit of wearing spread collars is that they add more proportion to your face. Plus, they also give you plenty of room to wear classy tie knots like the Windsor knot. Remember to always tie a big knot when wearing a tie because a big guy wearing tiny knotted tie looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

3. Switch to Wearing Hats

A hat can be worn with just about any outfit. That’s why they are considered a classy add-on and by wearing one with a good outfit, you’re displaying that you actually thought about what you should wear when you got up this morning and got dressed which implies that you are not a lazy person.

4. Try Some Bling On

For a big man, proportion is everything. So, the bigger you are, the larger your accessories should be. For example, instead of clipping a normal plastic ballpoint pen to your pocket, get a heavier fountain pen. If you are into watches, get one which is has a large dial. Big accessories add power to your presence.

5. Don’t Tuck Your Shirt In

A flat plane of shirt material over your belly attracts no attention as compared to a waistband complementing your bulge when you tuck in your shirt. So, in short, untucked shirts won’t accentuate your waistline. Consider getting your shirts tailored to your size and mass. Long-sleeved shirts which are designed with a collar do not need necessarily be tucked in, unless of course you are wearing one over a dress pant or a suit. But if you are wearing chinos or jeans, always keep your shirt out with your sleeves slightly over your wrists.
All in all, the fashion tips for a big man aren’t much different than it is for a normal sized individual. As a matter of fact, it all depends on your personality, your taste in clothing and your acceptance of your body.

3 Rules On Wearing Dress Shoes With Jeans

1. Make sure you are wearing the right type of jeans

jeans-dress-shoesThere are a million types of jeans out there. Well, maybe not that many – but a lot 🙂

While all jeans are casual there are some kinds that are dressier than others. Opt for the dressier variety.

Distressed jeans, jeans with holes, and jeans with a lighter wash are all ultra-casual and will NEVER go well with dress shoes.

Instead,opt for denim that fits well in the waist and the hips. Watch the length of the jeans and see to it that they are not too long and drag.

Find jeans that have a more tapered fit at the bottom. Boot cut jeans will not work with dress shoes.

Never go with a baggy fit but opt for a slim or regular cut.

As for color you will not go wrong with dark indigo jeans or even a black pair.

It may surprise you but colored denim – provided it is the right fit and length – can work with black or dark brown dress shoes.

The main thing to make sure of is that there is enough contrast between the shoes and the jeans so they do not appear to match exactly.

2. Wear the right type of dress shoes

It’s not just the jeans that play a part in making sure that your whole ensemble works.

It is equally important to be mindful of the dress shoes that you choose.

When picking out dress shoes select a pair that leans more on the casual side.

Oxford shoes are great dress shoes but they are on the more formal end of the spectrum and will therefore not work with jeans.

A better style to go with is the Blucher, Loafer or the Derby dress shoe style.

The shape, construction and vamp placement of these shoes lend a more casual vibe than compared to Oxfords.

Other options for shoes include monk straps, dessert boots, chukkas and slip-ons will work beautifully when paired with jeans.

3. Balance other elements of your outfit

Even though you’re wearing jeans – the fact you’ve thrown in dress shoes as your foundation means you need to elevate the whole look.

A t-shirt or sweatshirt just isn’t going to cut it 🙂

Balance out the look with a well-fitted collared button down or dress shirt.

Keep your accessories simple.

Consider completing your ensemble with a hat if you are confident that you can pull that off, and if wearing the above mentioned dress shirt consider a wool or woven necktie.

Make sure that every element that you bring in to your ensemble matches with your chosen dress shoe.

Warning – If you are a larger man be aware that dress shoes can make your feet appear smaller.

Tread carefully with the dress shoe and jean combination especially if you have a bigger midsection.

A solid solution would be to cover up the midsection with a beautifully cut sports jacket.

This can bring balance back into the outfit and prevent you from appearing disproportionate.


9 Tips For Dressing Sharp As A Young Man

Tip #1 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Dress Your Footwear Up

Starting from the ground up, appropriate-fitting footwear is the first step to dressing sharp.

A traditional school of thought that’s still alive and well claims you can judge a man by his shoes.

If you’ve never owned really good shoes before, brace yourself and get ready to pay a significant amount of money for well-made, classic footwear.

You may be shocked at the sticker price for well-crafted shoes, but the quality and comfort pay dividends down the road.

A good pair of dress shoes will last you years and stay good-looking with nothing more than some light cleaning and the occasional shine.

Quality leather footwear isn’t a luxury for the excessively rich — it’s a necessity for any man.

Tip #2 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Dress to Look Older

The way you dress is the way you are perceived.

If you’re still wearing clothes that scream “student days” you’re going to be treated like a boy with no experience in the real world.

Buck the trend, age your look a little, and get the respect you deserve from older men.

That means raiding your wardrobe and getting rid of the majority of your ultra-casual clothes: T-shirts, cargo pants, jean shorts, sweatshirts and sweatpants, baseball hats, and athletics.

Save a few for yardwork and exercise — but donate the rest of it to charity and start replacing it with dressier clothes that speak to your maturity.

Tip #3 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Ignore Fashion Trends.

Main-stream fashion trends change too fast to make useful wardrobe staples.

Most young men don’t have the budget to buy new pants every month or two — so stay away from pants that are only presentable during an “in” season.

Distressed or bleached jeans are a great example; several different designer labels briefly managed to sell the image on the public, and then the fad changed and left a lot of people with very expensive jeans too beat-up to wear in public.

Stick to classic clothing staples for the core of your wardobe and avoid anything that’s too far out on the cutting edge — even if you see something that makes it look good.

Tip #4 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Take Care of Your Clothing.

Generally speaking, being young means having less money to throw around.

If you’ve shelled out for a few pieces of good, quality clothing — a custom suit, a pair of expensive dress shoes, what have you — it’s worth a few bucks more to keep the clothes in good shape.

That means using good hangers for your suits, shoe trees for your shoes, and a little tender loving care with the washing machine.

Some of your clothes can come from thrift shops, if you’re lucky enough to have a reasonably common body type and some well-to-do neighborhoods nearby.

A few adjustments from a tailor can turn a five dollar thrift-store suit into your dress wardrobe staple. Just take care of it and protect your bigger investments with some proper maintenance.

Tip #5 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Have at Least One Good Suit in the Closet

No matter what your job is, you’re going to need a decent suit at some point.

If you’re in a field where you’re going to wear one regularly you should look for a variety of colors and styles; if you just need a single suit for infrequent dress occasions stick with a classic single-breasted, two-button suit in charcoal gray or navy blue.

If you’re buying off the rack take the time to have the suit adjusted.

A few department stores still offer the service, but you’ll more than likely need to find a tailor independently.

It’s worth the effort — sized suits are made to general measurements, and not all of them are going to be a perfect fit for you. A good tailor can make the small changes that take your suit from looking mediocre to perfect for you.

Tip #6 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Build from White and Blue Shirts

White and light blue cotton dress shirts are the backbone to a sharp wardrobe.

Much of this lies in the fact both of these colors make up approximately 90% of the dress shirts sold worldwide and that either color looks good on most complexions and body types.

Being so popular, these shirt fabrics are also available in a wide range of style and sizes anywhere int he world, making acquisition at a value price likely for the man on the lookout for sales and discounts.

Patterns can liven up the basic white and blue color palette, and there’s nothing wrong with branching out into some other colors as your personal style evolves. Just have a good core of white and blue dress shirts.

As long as you have one clean and hanging up in the closet, you’ll never be completely out of decent-looking things to wear.

Tip #7 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Own Dark Fitted Jeans & Know When to Wear Them

Jean styles are always changing: rips, tears, acid and bleach washing, distressed, stone washed, boot cut, wide leg, low rise, skinny; baggy.

Keep it simple with and stick to fitted jeans in a dark color, sans fading or rips.

You can wear them with a fitted T-shirt for a relaxed, casual look or dress them up with a buttoned shirt and a sport coat for a business-casual style.

Tip #8 for Sharp-Dressed Men: Look beyond Denim

Well cut and classically styled trousers will make you look a little sharper at social occasions than jeans.

They’re less common in a young crowd, so you’ll already be standing out, and a good pair of slacks has a drape and crease that looks much crisper than denim.

You can also get wool or cotton trousers much lighter than blue jeans, which is a blessing in any kind of warm weather.

Tip # 9 for Sharp-Dressed Young Men: Replace T-shirts with Polos and Sport Shirts

Wearing T-shirts to the gym or when you are performing house chores is fine.

But wearing T-shirts to social events or to work is a no-no, especially when the shirt is too big and made from a shoddy fabric advertising the company who gave it to you a decade ago.

A good polo in a simple, dark color is always presentable and always flattering if it’s fitted well.

You can also opt for buttoned short-sleeved shirts in the summer, ranging from Carhartt work shirts to seersucker dress shirts. If you do wear a T-shirt, make sure it’s new, clean, close-fitted and in a solid, dark color.