Clothes Shopping on Kwaj
I've written before about some of the difficulties of shopping on Kwaj (want to buy some groceries?) but I don't think I've talked about the fact that you can't buy clothes, especially kids clothes, here. There was a private store at the vendor mall that sold some things but the woman that ran it has moved away from Kwaj so we're back to the status quo: buy on Ebeye or shop online. While we don't have a problem shopping on Ebeye (we used to buy Sky's shoes from a store on Ebeye), we like a little more variety than can be found over there. That leaves shopping online:
Because we live in the tropics, we only need summer clothes which limits the times of the year we can buy from the stores we prefer to shop from. Try buying shorts for your 2-year-old in March: if you can find any, there will be two styles at best and you'll pay top dollar for them. The best time to buy summer clothes from American stores is right now, at the end of the summer season and just before the back to school sales start. That picture above? That's a screen shot of Sky's new wardrobe, all purchased at rock-bottom, end-of-season prices.
You might be thinking, "Sure, A, anyone can find a good sale, especially online. That's not really worth a blog post." Here's the thing: I buy ahead. All those new clothes for Sky and Fire that I just bought are in a size larger than they need. Living on Kwaj has really taught me the value of planning ahead like I never had to in the States. Now, when Fire grows out of his short-sleeve T-shirts in December, I can go to the box I keep for him in my closet and pull out some new ones that will fit. We do the same thing with shoes.
Because the clothes that I buy online go right into labeled boxes, I usually forget what I've bought for them so there's still an element of excitement, of shopping for the new clothes. So while I do miss the experience of actually shopping for clothes, I don't miss dragging the kids from store to store or having Sky break down because I won't buy her something she HAS to have.
How do you shop for your growing kids? Online or stores? Do you buy a whole wardrobe in a size at once or a few pieces as needed? Have you tried a shopping service? We tried Wittlebee but decided that there were better ways to spend that monthly fee.