Back to School Shopping on a Budget
As fast as they grow, keeping our kids' closets stocked with clothes that fit well can be a full-time job.
Lucky for us, there are several fully-stocked consignment and thrift shops ready and waiting with brand-name, kids' clothes that are in great condition for resale. With a little patience, parents can outfit their children in fashionable clothes for a fraction of the retail cost. Pay a visit to one of these terrific stores recommended by local moms.
One of the most impressive consignment stores in Seattle is Me ‘n Moms in the Ballard neighborhood. Colorful walls and high ceilings house a considerable amount of inventory. To cater to everyone, the store takes most items in good condition, and clothing generally ranges from $3 to $7, depending on the brand. Dressing rooms are also a plus, so kids can test out the duds before purchase.
Just one block east of University Village, Le Petit Shoppe has an avid following of parents seeking primo, gently used kids' clothes. Customers love being able to find mod European-brand clothing for around $16 apiece. Le Petit Shoppe carries brand-name girls' and boys' clothes up to size 12. The store also supports local moms by selling their barrettes, clothing and jewelry. Because of its cozy space, only the best used items are accepted, which keeps the clientele happy.
At the other end of the spectrum, Kym's Kiddy Corner in Northgate is one of the largest resale children's stores in the area. Kym's is known for its selection and value – most clothing items range between $2 and $5 – and offers an assortment of new merchandise as well. The store is packed to the rafters with clothes, mostly up to size six, toys and gear, but the staff is knowledgeable and willing to help customers find what they need.
With a new location, plus more space for merchandise, West Seattle's smallclothes is a charming store that carries impeccable high-end children's clothing up to size eight. New items at the store include organic cotton clothing, shoes and environmentally-friendly fabric food bags – perfect for guilt-free school lunches. The store is run like a boutique, and parents appreciate the customer service provided and the quality clothes for reasonable prices.
Childish Things is a worthy stop in the Crown Hill neighborhood. Parents enjoy browsing the racks of Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Lands' End, and other quality brands (clothing up to size 10) while their kids have fun or watch a movie in the play area. This store is vibrant and pleasantly spacious, and the clothes are in great condition. New merchandise includes the popular Klean Kanteens and Hatley umbrellas for those rainy mornings.
Me ‘n Moms: 2821-B N.W. Market St.; 206-781-9449; www.menmoms.com
Le Petit Shoppe: 3432 N.E. 45th St.; 206-525-0619; www.lepetitshoppe.com
Kym's Kiddy Corner: 11721 15th Ave. N.E.; 206-361-5974; www.kymskiddycorner.com
smallclothes: 3215 California Ave. S.W.; 206-923-2222; www.smallclothes.info
Childish Things: 10002 Holman Road N.W.; 206-789-1498; www.childishthingsseattle.com
More Favorites in Seattle
Again & Again: 4832 California Ave. S.W.; 206-933-2060; www.againandagain.net
Kids on 45th: 1720 N. 45th St.; 206-633-5437; www.kidson45th.wordpress.com
Sugarlump: 2709 E. Madison St.; 206-860-5083; www.sugarlumpshop.com
Sweet Pea's: 4820 Rainier Ave. S.; 206-722-1031
SOUTH KING AND PIERCE COUNTIES
Federal Way's Heaven Sent has been around for 27 years, much to the pleasure of local families. The store offers affordable clothes up to size 10 that are in superb condition, toys and equipment, as well as new shoes and an assortment of the interactive plush animals, Webkinz.
A mainstay for over 30 years, Lollipops in Burien specializes in like-new, brand-name clothing and offers a large selection of back-to-school clothes up to size 16, including coats, shoes and jeans. There are some great finds to be had, with brand names like Gap and Gymboree filling out the racks.
Blooming Kids in Tacoma, a charming little consignment shop in the heart of Tacoma's Proctor District, offers a variety of fall clothes as well as uniform coordinates. With 300 consignors, the mostly brand-name clothes, which go up to size eight, center on the $5-price point.
SugarBabies in Sumner accepts high-quality brand name maternity and children's consignment items, including clothing, furniture, strollers and more. The store also carries trendy new clothes and equipment, shower gifts and personalized goodies.
Heaven Sent: 1200 S. 324th St.; 253-946-2229; www.heavensentresale.com
Lollipops: 2038 S.W. 152nd St.; 206-243-1795; www.letsgotolollipops.com
Blooming Kids: 3810 N. 27th St.; 253-752-2027; www.blooming-kids.com
SugarBabies: 1114 Main St., Sumner; 253-299-6221; www.shopsugarbabies.com
Saturday's Child in Bothell carries a variety of children's clothes, including duds for teens and maternity wear, furniture and toys. Parents appreciate the "summer room," which offers a 50 percent discount on off-season clothes.
Tree House in Redmond, around for over 30 years, carries an assortment of consignment clothes up to size 14 and also offers Girl Scout uniforms, badges and books. The clothes range in price, depending on their brand and condition, but are approximately one-third their original cost. Be sure to keep an eye out for the store's 50-percent-off rack.
Saturday's Child: 18012 Bothell-Everett Hwy.; 425-486-6716; www.facebook.com/saturdayschildbothell
The Tree House Children's Shop: 15742 Redmond Way; 425-885-1145
More Favorites on the Eastside
Cruzin Kidz: 13336 N.E. 175th St., Woodinville; 425-939-0418; www.cruzinkidz.com
Hopscotch Children's Consignment: Bellevue Plaza Shopping Center, 136 105th Ave. N.E., Bellevue; 425-462-4751; www.hopscotchconsign.com.
Small Threads for Kids: 1480 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Issaquah; 425-427-5430; www.smallthreadsforkids.com
Mama Go Round in Everett, offers gently used children's clothes up to size 10-12 and a large selection of toys and gear. The gated play area, complete with slide and play kitchen, delights young children. Be sure to keep an eye out for their weekend tag sales, where parents can pick up clothes for a great deal.
The cozy space at City Kids in Edmonds carries girls' clothing up through adult sizes, and boys' clothing up to size eight, with some garments in size 10 and 12. Instead of focusing on brands, the store takes in high-quality, clean clothes sold at a good price – usually between $3.95 and $4.50.
Mama Go Round: 11419 19th Ave. S.E.; 425-357-8779; www.mamagoround.com
City Kids Quality Consignments: 9726 Edmonds Way; 425-775-7627
Another Favorite in Snohomish County
Hopskotch Kids: 19800 44th Ave. N.W., Lynnwood; 425-778-6200; www.hopskotchkids.com
Don't underestimate the big guys; there can be some great catches at the larger thrift stores. Both Goodwill and Value Village have several locations in the greater Seattle area (and are headquartered here). You can feel good with every purchase, as you are helping to support the local nonprofits and community programs these organizations aid.
Goodwill: 206-329-1000; www.seattlegoodwill.org/shop
Value Village: 425-462-1515; www.valuevillage.com