Shopping the Kids Section - For You: Tips for Unique Fashion Steals

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My favorite sweater in current wardrobe rotation is a cozy gray cotton and cashmere blend. It's fitted and belted with wide sleeves. It's soft, it's by Stella McCartney -- and according to the tag, it was made for a 12-year old girl. It also cost under $25.

Welcome to my newest fashion secret: I shop in the kids section, for me.

I must first fully acknowledge that scoring deals for yourself in the kids section isn't an option for everybody, or for every body. As for me, however, for years, I cursed my slight, essentially chestless build, and now, as the gap between kidswear styles and adult fashion grows ever narrower, I'm finding myself with essentially untapped (and cheaper!) fashion resources at my disposal.

Some of your favorite adult lines do great kids clothing; if you can fit into the pieces, you can get a real deal. J. Crew's Crewcuts line for kids has absolutely stunning and sophisticated girls clothes for significantly less money than their adult collection; at a lower price point, H&M and Zara have an amazing selection (and rapid turnover, to boot). GapKids is great in and of itself, but wowed me (and other moms) with their limited-time Stella McCartney mini-collection (source of the aforementioned sweater). And Old Navy -- as the adorable Ali Martell discovered -- has girls jeans that fit petite grownups perfectly (after three kids, no less. Rock on, Ali!). If you're lucky enough to have itty bitty feet, even the Crewcuts shoes (which go up the equivalent of a women's size 5) can be yours. I wear a size 7, and have no plans to engage in footbinding anytime soon (THANK YOU VERY MUCH, PEARL S. BUCK), so sady, these cannot be mine. Curses!

In terms of strategy, I suggest going to the stores first, and figuring out your size (for instance, I'm a 12 at the Gap, but a 14 at Crewcuts, and an XL at Old Navy), so that you can confidently swoop in and score deals online later. My experience has been that skirts and tops offer the best, most natural fit, but every now and then, an amazing muted pink (oh, I'm sorry, "violet dust") dress will work, too.

Aside from the moneysaving aspect of shopping in the kids section, I also like that the pieces have a sweetness about them, without being childish. Best of all, though, I like having (relatively) unique pieces in my wardrobe, ones that I won't see on every other woman walking down Broadway. Well, until now. DON'T SNAG ALL THE GOOD STUFF, YOU GUYS!

What about you? Have you/would you ever shop in the kids section for yourself?

Metalia also blogs here.

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