Be Honest: Do You Let Your Kids Wear Winter Gear That's Too Small?

snowsuitsnowsuitLet this day mark the beginning of winter. No, it's not December 21st, nor is it snowing yet. I know it is the start of the season because I spent a half-hour this morning convincing my kid into his winter coat.

He was mad that the down makes it "too fluffy and big." He was not convinced the built-in fingerless gloves would make cold-weather monkey-bar tricks a breeze. He oppressed that I made him stick a knit hat in his pocket, just in case.

While all this whining was going on, I was thanking the fickle gods of children's clothes that the spendy jacket I bought last year still fit. His wrists don't hang out of the sleeves naked, the back still covers his tiny hindquarters. It's a good coat, one fit for a Midwestern winter, and I don't mind investing in that kind of necessary snow-and-sleet gear. I just would really, really like it to last more than one season.

He's an only child, so there aren't siblings to hand coats up and down to so our family can reduce waste and costs when it comes to children's clothing. Even this is not the perfect solution. I see plenty of kids on the playground from larger families who are wearing over-sized or under-sized outerwear simply because it's their turn to wear that jacket. I get it.

If my son's coat was a wee bit wee this winter, I may have really thought about making him squeeze into it. At least for a few more months until the after-holiday sales mean significant mark-downs on kids' parkas. Same goes for the gloves and hats -- a little snug isn't too bad.

I draw the line with the boots, but mostly because it's hard enough to run through big mounds of snow and slush puddles even if your shoes fit well.

My boy clearly won't be happy all bundled up in his winter gear. But at least he won't be squeezed into it. At least this week.

Do you insist your kids wear hand-me-down or last year's winter gear, even if it's too small? What's your reasoning -- the cost? the environment? because you said so?

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