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Retail Therapy - Where Do You Shop?

Do you have a favorite kids, non-big box, clothing store?  Shari asks:

I'd love to know where the other uMamas shop for kids' clothes. Any favorite stores? I tend to buy clothes for my kids at the Gap because it's easy, they sell both boys' and girls' clothes in one place, it's not as expensive as the high-end boutiques (though admittedly more expensive than places like Target). But I don't really love what I find there and am not terribly impressed with the quality. Where do the Urbanmamas go to find fun, funky, interesting and (hopefully) well-made clothes--both for boys and girls? Any favorite little boutiques, resale shops, clothing chains, etc.?


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I have made a pact with myself that I try not to spend more than $20-25 on a whole outfit for my child (8 months). Given my desire for high quality, I am constantly shopping for items on sale...and I have found that this is possibile with the frequent sale rotation at the chain shops.
In addition to Gap, I like Gymboree and Hanna Andersson. Of note, there is a babyGap outlet in Woodburn, and there is the HA outlet in Lake Oswego.

I also spend a good deal of time searching Ebay...there are people out there that make a living selling last years lines new or worn only a couple of times.

Would like to put in a plug for a new shop at Washington Square...Naartjie. Based out of South Africa, it sells very chic clothing for newborns up to age 6 or so. I like to call it a kids Anthropologie. Surprise is that price tags are reasonable...and they have an "essentials" line that are always around $10 each piece. For a view: www.naartjie.com

I found it hard to find clothes in that price range in boutique shops...although I love Zutano which is sold at Generations on Hawthorne.

I love Pollywog (SE Belmont/29th)- gorgeous clothes and very nice owners. Every few months they have a good sale to get rid of last season's clothes.

Stella & Bella (NE Broadway/36th) has used and some new kids clothes. You can definitely get a whole outfit for $20 or less.

I second Rebecca's suggestion to try Hanna Anderson's outlet. High quality, beautiful clothes are marked down because they are from last season. Even better, go when HA is having a sale. It is worth the trip to the 'burbs.

I love Wild Child (soon to be jaminga), on Alberta & 14th, across from the Tin Shed cafe. Lots of punky, funky stuff in brilliant colors and odd fabrics. She also sells arty toys and fab accessories. Here's a link:

(I may be biased toward this store, because she carries the baby t-shirts my husband and I design!)

When my kids were younger I bought almost all their clothes at re-sale shops. I like Just 4 Kids in Hollywood, and Zanzibar, right around the corner. Zanzibar is spendy, but worth it for good quality big ticket items, like Hanna winter coats at reasonable prices. Children's Exchange on Division is also good. I love looking around in Polliwog (and I'm also biased toward them since they carry my zine about motherhood!) but it's out of my price range.

Now that the kids are older and it's harder to find used stuff that isn't worn to shreds, I like to hit the Hanna Andersson twice yearly sales and stock up for next year. My boys are three years apart, both born in the winter, so I'm really invested in getting clothes that will last to be passed down. Hanna is great for that.

I love the Hannah Outlet sales for REALLY well made, cute clothes on the cheap. They are also a really socially responsible company, donating thousands of dollars worth of clothing to shelters and children's agencies every year, and they pay their workers well and all that. So you can feel good about how you're voting with your buck. I'd love to check out more of the awesome, locally owned botiques as well, but don't usually have the time.

could someone tell me where the hanna outlet is? thanks

they are also putting in a 'this little piggy wears cotton' at bridgeport village. they have super cute stuff!

for basics, i love target's yoga pants, old navy's tshirts, dresses, and long sleeve shirts, and children's place for yoga pants, too (they seem to run slightly longer and slimmer which works well for my oldest). we fill in the gaps with cute pieces from different little shops.

Stellarma, do you mind if I ask which different little shops do you like?

Outside of generous relatives, I really like Milagros. I find the items high-quality and reasonably priced for consigned items. See: http://urbanmamas.typepad.com/urbanmamas/2005/01/milagros_boutiq.html

I also like Zanzibar (on Freemont near NE 14th) for similar reasons.

Resale, resale, resale! Not only are we helping 'recycle' but these are locally/family owned businesses!

I agree that Zanzibar is a little more $$ than other resale shops but the quality is fabulous. I always find more then I need (Hanna Andersson, Gymboree, Child's Place, Gap, etc) and don't have to sort through brands that are low quality. Zanzibar is on NE Tillamook between 41st & 42nd (across from the Hollywood Library).

I also like Milagros (5429 NE 30th, near the Concordia New Seasons). They don't have as much resale as Zanzibar but they carry lots of new items, too. And they are very active in the community participating in Alberta's Last Thursdays and sponsoring other neighborhood/family events.

I've been to Sweetpea's in Sellwood (8235 SE 13th) and Piccolino (SE Clinton just up from 26th) and found a few things. And Stella-Bella on NE Broadway at about 27th (?) has resale and new, locally made clothes that are funky.

Also, for new, local and/or small-business-made stuff, try Grasshopper at 1804 NE Alberta. They have clothes and toys so the kiddos can look at toys while you look at clothes.

The Hanna Andersson Outlet in LakeO (directions and a map at http://www.hannaandersson.com/static.asp?pg=66) has those great sales twice a year but I seem to miss them most of the time -- did I miss this year's? Is it in February?

It was in February. (I missed it too this year!) You can get on the mailing list and they'll send you a postcard or e-mail about the sales. If you go the first day of a sale, prepare yourself for a serious SUV and double stroller experience...it can be a little alarming. Bring a friend.

As far as the Hanna Andersson Outlet sales go, it's absolutely crazy on the first morning of the sale. I went for the first time this year. Thinking it would be a quick stop, I stood in line for about an hour holding my then six month old (don't forget your Ergo or remember to bring a stroller). My arm was numb by the time I got up to the register. Can you believe they only have two registers open? Thankfully, my older son was quite content playing at the train table the entire time. Also, the sales are great for girl's clothing, but the selection of boy's clothing is quite sparse. The trip wasn't a complete bust since I stocked up on gift's for my husband's niece for the next year, and some great infant gifts.

There's a small kid's clothing store in Cedar Mill on the west side called "Twinkle Twinkle Little Store" (at Barnes and Cornell) that is owned by a lovely woman named Colleen. She mainly carries a South African brand called "Keedo" that I LOVE. Awesome girls dresses that are so cute and amazingly durable. Fabric really holds up and the styles are adorable. A bit spendy (though no more so than Hanna) but she does have sales quite a bit. You can get on her mailing list and she'll send out VIP sale cards pretty regularly. FYI, she carries a lot more girls clothes than boys. Sizes are infant to probably about age 10ish.

Speaking of shopping resale, does anyone have any good recommendations for maternity-wear that does not feature Peter-Pan collars? This will be my last child, so I don't want to spend too much, but I don't want to look shapeless, either....

I had a really bad experience at Zanzibar and from what I understand I am not alone. The owner can be quite nasty. In my case it was his refusal to exchange an item of clothing because I had cut the tag off before bringing it back. He refused to even acknowledge that I bought it from his store (it was only a day earlier and we had spoken for about 20 minutes). Also, a friend of mine had a terrible experience with him as well. He is known for telling people to leave and not come back for the slightest misunderstandings, and he is usually the instigator of those misunderstandings.

Generations (on Hawthorne)is great for stylish (though pricey) maternity clothes. Most of the kids resale stores also have maternity clothes as well.

The first time I went into Zanzibar, the man (owner) was not a little like Eeyore. He grumbled the entire time about how they weren't usually open at that hour, and "now look!" He was upset, apparently, that three people had wandered in through the propped-open door. I've liked what I've bought there. Note to self: never try to make a return. Sheesh.

I'm an outlet gal. We stock up at the outlets in Woodburn when we go on any road trips down south (or when we just go there, it's not far) and at Lincoln City when we go to the beach (which is about every other week! Just not yet).

Also, I have to put a plug in for Blue Eye Boy, www.BlueEyeBoy.com. Yes, my friend owns it, but for those of you who have commented on my son's array of stylish and comfy shoes, this is where I get them. Tamara is the owner. She's awesome to work with and if you can't find something she will try to get it for you if she can. The prices are not like the resale prices discussed above, but the products are all high quality and last through everything my son puts them through (even the toys!). The See Kai Shoes alone are totally worth it. I'm a little obsessed...

There's also a tiny little resale shop on SE Division between SE 33rd and 34th but I can't remember the name. I've gotten a few baby & toddler t-shirts there for super cheap and they're always nice.

And of course, there's e-Bay. :)

I have a question about fitting slim kids.
My son is so slim that all pants seem to be too huge in the waist. Gymboree has the adjustable waistband and they have slim & husky fit starting at size 5, but my son is 3 and the adjustable waist is still a bit big at the smallest setting. Does anyone have advice about clothes that run slim for boys (mostly pants)? I may have to just get good at adjusting them myself.
Any tips would be much appreciated.

A great place to shop for girls is an english store called Poppy. Its not very well known yet but I really recomend it if your looking for something unusual for little girls. There is a shop in North Yorkshire, England thats how I know about it. But recently i found there website. It great for presents and some fantstic classics in their bargain vintage section.
Look in on www.poppy-children.co.uk

I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm the new owner along with my mother of ZANZIBAR kids resale and have owned it for almost a year. We've made many changes like lowering some prices and mostly carrying name brand clothes. Like HANNA, GYMBOREE, GAP, BABY LULU, nordstrom brands...and so on. We also have womens resale clothes next door. So I hope moms can come by and check out our new and improved store..

I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm the new owner along with my mother of ZANZIBAR kids resale and have owned it for almost a year. We've made many changes like lowering some prices and mostly carrying name brand clothes. Like HANNA, GYMBOREE, GAP, BABY LULU, nordstrom brands...and so on. We also have womens resale clothes next door. So I hope moms can come by and check out our new and improved store.. We are at 4107 ne Tillamook Portland.

I admit I spend more than I should on handmade and organic and local kids stuff. But I like feeling good about the people I support with my $$ so I almost never shop at chains. I love going to Grasshopper on Alberta and 20th (?). I go to Random Order coffee house first and get my coffee then I take my daughter over there just for fun. They are *so* nice. They always welcome us warmly and by name and ask how we're doing. They encourage my daughter (2) to play with things and have lots of toys out that are just for playing. They never seem annoyed if she is touching the for-sale items either. It is such a a great vibe!! I always end up buying something even though I promise myself I won't and I know they wouldn't mind if we were to just hang out. They are such an asset to our neighborhood and have lots of affordable Wild Carrots clothes they make here in Portland. I love the stuff at Polliwog too but it is the opposite experience there. They seem to be annoyed by even having a 2 year old in the store. They seem super stressed out about the items for sale and kind of get edgy if you try things on. They herd my daughter to the back which is the official "play" section but even when she is playing there they have said things like "wow you have a lot of toys on the floor here." And they have even called out reprimands to her -- no big deal just like, "please don't touch that! [then to me] Sorry, they aren't allowed to play with those" It's fine and it's their store so they can be uptight if they want to be -- it is just not a pleasant place to go so I have stopped going back.

I know a ton of people who clothe their kids by shopping only at the Just Between Friends Children's & Maternity Consignment Sales Events--they are amazing. Anyone who likes a good bargain is in for a treat at these sales. You can find anything & everything for babies, kids, maternity & nursing. They happen twice a year (usually the end of April and the end of September) and from now on they will be held at the Portland Expo Center.

This is one of the best events I can think of for parents looking for bargains to know about. Not only can you SHOP to get great deals on clothes, toys, equipment, etc. for your kids. You can also make money by SELLING (consigning) the items your kids no longer need. You can even VOLUNTEER and get into the exclusive pre-sale to shop before the general public to get the best deals. You just have to register ahead of time if you want to consign.

The next sale dates are:

Public Sale Dates: April 25-26
Exclusive Pre-Sale: April 24
Half Price Day: April 26
Location: Portland Expo Center

Once you discover Just Between Friends, you won't want to miss a sale again.

Check out all the details at http://www.portland.jbfsale.com

If your just looking for "everyday" clothes, nothing special, try www.hippola.com. It is a local mom trying to start up an online "swap". I still shop the resale stores for cute dress up clothes, dresses, outerwear but needed a place to get run of the mill gerber, carters, faded glory, rompers, onsies, shirts, pants.....Give it a shot and email them, they are trying to start up and offering to waive shipping and meet at Portland community centers for pick up and drop off!

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