They only need 1-2 light coat. A jean jacket, a windbreaker, a raincoat, a sweatshirt hoodie, a church coat....they can add up. Lil has exactly 9 coats that fit her right now. They are all from goodwill, but still, EXCESS.
Buy snowpants a size big and wear them for at least two years, generally three. And get the bib kind not just the kind that goes to the waist.
GET mittens that have the attached string, OR get the mitten clips. A necessity.
Make sure all hats have lower ear flaps,when they're tiny. Otherwise, in order to cover her ears, it will be over her eyes.
Gap. Worth it. Always. Well, except at full retail price. But, scour goodwill, craigslist, friends hand me downs, gap outlet and regular gap store clearance ANYTIME you get the chance. If you have an outlet by you go once a month and check the clearance. Buy basics ahead of time, a year or so even. GAP wears the best. Of anything, ever. But don't buy one piece of a collection (red and white striped leggings or pink, brown and blue polka dot skirt) unless you already have something to match it. If not, you will always want her to wear it and never have anything to match it.
Other than Gap, my second choice of clothing brand would be Oshkosh (or Genuine Kids at Target). Target brands vary...circo is good for cheap playclothes, Cherokee is good for most anything. Walmart is great for basics, but their selection is never very large. BabyDepot (burlington) is great for cheap clothes, but very often tends to be ethic/black in style so you need to have time to sort. Gymboree recently dropped their quality AND raised their prices. Never worth it. Childrens Place tends to be obnoxious (in my opinion) for girls. Lots of loud prints, neon colors, etc. But they are great for solid color leggings and solid shirts (at outlet or on clearance). Old Navy has some good quality and some bad, some good looks and some bad....you have to look careful. Carters is GREAT for babies up to about 24m. After that, they tend to be too "cutsey" and Lil wants nothing to do with them.
For pajamas, once they're past 12m or so, you will find two types of pajamas, the skinnier kind (gap, old navy) and wider legged kinds. Get the wider ones, they will fit even chunkier babies and will fit for longer. Lil couldn't even wear the skinny ones in her size, and she was TINY.
For some reason Christmas dresses only ever come in sleeveless. Its SO annoying. Keep your eye out for anything that is long sleeved or jumper like that you could add a shirt under, so you don't have to cover up the whole dress with a sweater.
Gap shoes, cheap, not worth it, even on clearance. Stride Rite...good, but only worth it on clearance or secondhand.
Always buy white shirts, short sleeve, long sleeve, sleeveless. You will use them for all those plaid, polka dots and striped bottoms.
For every size (after 4-5 when they are walking) I get the following shoes: boots or sandals depending on the season, tennis shoes (worth spending money on only after sz 8or so), brown and black marry janes and pink dress shoes. I make sure my sandals are water worthy (not leather) or I get leather sandals AND water shoes. Crocs are awful, awful looking shoes, but are great for water and never smell.
Swimsuits always need to be a size bigger than the kid is wearing.
Dresses can usually fit still even when they move into the next size. Best investment ever...dresses that you love that aren't "super duper fancy velvet" but more "everyday dresses" because you can wear them after as "tunics" with leggings. Lil still has two 24m dresses in her room that she wearrs as shirts, when she's now wearing 4-5T.
Watch out when it comes to underwear, even for 2-3T sizes they have "bikini" and "low cut" types.
Careful when you are buying outfits ahead, for most of her life, Lillian has been a size ahead in tops than she was in pants. I find it easiest to limit what I buy ahead to solids and basics. They WILL need jeans in every size, even a pair or two for the summer. They WILL need a long and short sleeve white shirt in every size. They WILL need short and long sleeve dresses in every size. They will need plain color socks in every size. Its a safe bet you will need black and pink stretch pants in each size and pink shirts are always fine.
Skip holiday themed clothes after the first few months, a waste. Stick with solids or simple patterns that can look holiday but can be used later. A red polka dot shirt can be with a green bow for christmas, a red bow for valentine's and and a blue bow for 4th of july.