What If Clothes Could Grow With Your Kid?

The new baby is coming up on four months old and he’s already outgrown two rounds of clothing sizes.

When you’re supposed to double your weight in six months it’s not surprising that you’ll outgrow your footed pajamas every six weeks.

That’s how it goes with children, right? They keep outgrowing clothes and parents keep supplying them with the next size up.

Ashlie and Erica from Nula Kids want to change that.

These designers are launching a line of clothing for girls ages two to eight with pieces that can be adjusted for growth. The playful, sustainable and made in the USA garments can be worn for up to three years.

Here is the Tyler dress from their first collection fashioned as a romper for a baby in the first year:

And here is the Tyler dress as a three year-old would wear it:

My take: I love this idea and the pieces in the collection are very sweet and stylish. This is something I could see myself gifting to a friend.

Hopefully their next collection includes some heavier weight items for colder climates and clothes for boys.

Nula Kids is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to produce their first collection.

If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter it is an online crowd funding platform for entrepreneurs. What this means to you: if you’d like to support Ashlie and Erica’s business, and buy one of their adjustable garments, you pledge funding for the campaign. For example, the Tyler dress will be gifted to people that pledge $58 or more. You won’t be charged unless Erica and Ashley meet their entire funding goal. Go take a look at the rest of this very sweet collection of clothing on Kickstarter.

I’ve posted about adjustable clothing before as a way to make a wardrobe more versatile: dresses that can be worn seven ways, sweaters that go from long to short and t-shirts that turn into bags.

What do you think of size adjustable clothing for children? We’ve made good use of waist adjustable pants for Henry but, besides the old roll up a pant leg or sleeve, everything else has been one size. I’d be willing to spend more on garments that were sustainably made that would size up, and down, if they were made to last at least through one child.

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  • My friend has a daughters that are 3, 5, and 7, and she says that they have nearly identical measurements except for their height. Length adjustable clothing makes a lot of sense. I think it used to be commonly done in the 1800s. I made my daughter a US Civil War dress (1860s) with “growth stripes” on the hem and sleeves to let out as she gets bigger. I’ve also declared dresses to be tunic tops and then shirts as they get shorter. My mom would frequently cut off our short jeans into shorts for the summers.

    Newborns, though, are tough. Like you said, they’re quickly doubling their weight. Other than gowns, which I believe was the solution in the 1800s, I’m not sure if adjustable clothing could adjust enough to fit properly.

    • We are big fans of gowns – makes night time diaper changes a breeze! Didn’t think about how accommodating they can be for changes in size.
      You just pointed out something I had fogotten: long ago fabric was so expensive that garments were let out and taken in multiple times to fit growing children and different members of the family. So easy to forget with our cheap and easy clothing today :(

    • I was reading an old Simplicity sewing book that mentioned this technique – though I don’t remember what they called it. It even showed how to add these extra fabric tucks on the waist seam, so you could even extend the torso. It’s a pretty useful technique, I think – though you have to take care about fading, otherwise you’d have obvious stripes where you let out the tucks.

  • I looked at the collection- looks great for summer, but not fall or winter. So, you’d still need to buy new clothes for the season as kid grows. Think I’ll stick with regular clothes.

    • What we do with Fall/Winter is just add a long sleeve shirt or some leggings underneath. I’ve also had good success adding strips of fabric to the bottom & sleeves of the shirt to extend their usability.

  • I only wonder at how long they would actually last. My kids are super hard on clothes. I can’t imagine *anything* lasting 3 years.

  • I just bought a set! I think they’d be perfect paired with leggings or a shirt under them if it gets cold. How cute is the romper? I want them for myself…

  • Hmm..I looked at their Kickstarter, and I think the clothes are meant to be layered. I can see it working through winter with some leggings! Also, I can’t even handle how cute that jumpsuit is!

  • I find it easier to just buy secondhand. That’s sustainable, fits my budget and I don’t worry as much if it gets stain, torn or worn out after just one of my kids wears it. That very rarely happens, and I’m usually able to pass the clothes along after we’re done with them, so 3 or more kids can wear the same garment successively.

  • I love this idea! Here in Southern California, these adorable items could easily be worn year-round. Layering items with leggings, sweaters, etc. (like I do with my own clothes) would make them functional in colder weather as well. I’ve seen some attempts at adjustable clothing, but Nula is the best concept I’ve seen, and the only one I’d consider actually buying for my kids. I’ll definitely be supporting them on Kickstarter, and can’t wait to see what Ashlie and Erica come up with in the future!

  • I checked the Nula kids website and I think its impressive what they are doing. My girls usually get to use each others clothes now, so I save a ton this way as the wardrobes for each doesn’t need to be huge. they also use school uniforms. I don’t really have to buy them a lot of outfits except for summer time when they use regular clothes everyday and get dirty more in playgrounds. I think I might buy one of the Nula kids dresses and they both can share it and grow with it.

  • We buy used and then all clothes go through four girls (my 2 and my SILs 2) I love brands like tea company because I can buy a dress and it’ll convert to a shirt easily once it gets back from the youngest my oldest wears it as a shirt again. The fabric is fantastic too so it washes well and doesn’t stain. Now if only I could get my SIL to line dry and then they’d all last even longer!

    • I immediately thought of tea company, too. I splurged on a nice dress for my daughter when she was one, and she still wears it as a tunic/shirt with leggings (she’s 3 now). The key to this idea is definitely quality. The dress that’s now a top still looks beautiful – and my daughter is at least as hard on her clothes as her older brother. So much of the stuff available today doesn’t last for the time one child is in that size! It would be interesting to see what kinds of options Nula comes up with for boys…

  • I think this works better for girls than boys when you can do dresses/tunic tops/leggings/capris. A lot of the Hanna Andersen clothes work really well for this. Their clothes are designed to fit a wider age range than usual and for girls, it’s pretty easy to take the hem up a little and make them last longer.

  • A while back you featured an article of clothing that was made in America and could be worn as a dress, skirt, shirt etc… it has some buttons on it. What was that called and how can I get one?

  • Red thread design based in toronto has a similar dress. I had a few of them for my daughters and the youngest still wears it as a shirt.

  • This is a really cute idea. I always make sure I get good deals on my kids clothes, because they grow so fast, but I need high quality at the same time because they can be handed down and my little ones can be really rough on their clothes. I have found great prices at Berlington Coat Factory. We got the new Osh Kosh B’Gosh clothes at half what I had seen them for in the department stores.

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