For Best Results, Turn Your Kid's Pants Inside Out

Photo: dylan walters

Designer kids’ clothes are not cheap. And while boutique looks are adorable and all the rage for younger tots, they don’t exactly fit into our budget (or our small, small closets.) To solve both the problems of money and space, consider reversible clothing for your kids.


Based on the simple concept of one wardrobe piece with a different pattern on each side, reversible clothing is functional and very fun. Imagine getting two dresses, pants, jumpers, or dress shirts for the price of one! (This is the only way I could justify spending more than $15 for one piece of new clothing, anyway.) Here are the benefits to doing the reversible thing:


Half the wardrobe, Twice the Space – Do you seriously need that many clothes for your 2-year old? Hanging up just 3 reversible dresses gives little Sally almost a week’s worth of occasions to get dolled up for. When you have a larger family, closet realty is prime, and this is an excellent solution.


Washing, Washing, Washing – With four kids, this is all I do. Keeping up with the laundry is a major chore, and I sometimes wish it was acceptable to have my kids wear the same clothes every other day. Now it can be!


Accidents happen – Did little Billy get a smudge on his dress shirt right before your family pictures? Just turn it inside out for the clean side to show! (Note: Not recommended for really gross spills or messes. You know what I mean.)


A Jumper for all Seasons – Do we seriously need a new wardrobe every 4 months? Why not take advantage of layered, reversible looks by using the same dress, jumper, and vest year-round? Get extra wear by pairing a sleeveless dress over a long-sleeved shirt, skirt, and leggings in chilly weather.


Hand it Down, Brother – Since most kids grow out before they wear out, be sure to pass it on. And since you are paying a premium for the clothes to begin with, you might want to consider selling them on consignment or Ebay when you’re done. Invest the spare change into next year’s reversible wardrobe.



Not sure where to find reversible clothing? A simple Google search for “reversible children’s clothing” will help you find the most popular names. If you happen to know someone handy with the sewing machine, reversible duds can be a breeze to make! For more money-saving tips, check out Carrie Kirby’s article on affordable children’s clothes!

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Guest's picture

A note of caution would be that it is difficult to wash reversible clothes inside-out, to prevent wear in the washing mashine, as you normally would with all other clothes.

Linsey Knerl's picture

I never have washed my clothes inside out.. especially children's clothes.  Usually they are SO dirty that I need them facing the right side out to be sure to get all the dirt off.  But that is something to consider for people that do. Thanks!

Guest's picture

I give you that children´s clothing might be special in this respect.

But for something like shirts, sweaters and jeans the old advice (at least here in Scandinavia) that you should turn them inside out before wash is a really frugal one.

It is true that washing mashines have become more gentlte to the clothes, but they are still the biggest abusers of our clothes. It easily doubles or even triples the lives of them if you turn them inside-out before washing, making them look new-ish longer. And this of course translates into savings.

Every sweater or pair of jeans that you can keep in "active service" looking "new" just one third longer, translates into a saving of a one third. Not so bad, ha?

I´d recommend this practice for instant export! :-D

Linsey Knerl's picture

I guess I remember family from Denmark doing the same thing.  I'll have to try it on my clothes and some of the more special pieces in my kid's wardrobe.  Thanks!