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Lands’ End and the Struggle to Dress Apollo

Apollo has become very opinionated about his clothes lately. Like to the point where he refuses to wear clothes that are “ugly” and will rip them off as soon as I put them on him. He doesn’t want to wear his hand knit vest (sniff, sniff) or any long-sleeved shirts. Unfortunately, it’s not really an option in the cold weather we’ve been having here. I can’t remember having this much of a struggle dressing my old kids at this age…

Tilly posted a bunch of old photos on Facebook the other day, and I could not believe how many pictures there were of my kids in Lands’ End clothing.

Lands’ End has been our favorite clothing company for years. When I look through our family albums, they almost look like a Lands’ End catalog (minus the perfect hair. And houses). We began buying the Lands’ End play dresses and tights when Adalia was barely two years old!lands' end, lands end, lands' end kids clothes, great kids clothes, durable kids clothes, where to buy kids clothes, squall jacket, play dresses

Then we began buying the Squall jackets. We’ve had more than two dozen in our house and each one has been passed down to at least two or three younger siblings. And then to friends. We’ve had them in every color of the rainbow.lands' end, lands end, lands' end kids clothes, great kids clothes, durable kids clothes, where to buy kids clothes, squall jacket, play dresses

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Start ’em young with the wood hauling…in their Squall jackets.lands' end, lands end, lands' end kids clothes, great kids clothes, durable kids clothes, where to buy kids clothes, squall jacket, play dresses

Our boys have grown up in their flannel shirts.lands' end, lands end, lands' end kids clothes, great kids clothes, durable kids clothes, where to buy kids clothes, squall jacket, play dresses

And rugby shirts.lands' end, lands end, lands' end kids clothes, great kids clothes, durable kids clothes, where to buy kids clothes, squall jacket, play dresses

And every winter we bought new fleece zip front sleepers. My older kids still remember being filled with anticipation each fall as they got to pick their new pair out of the catalog. Every child got one new pair and any pairs that fit them from sibling who had outgrown them in years’ past. This meant the younger kids always had three or four pair. When the feet got holes (as they eventually do) we cut of the feet and got several more years out of them.

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And who could resist these adorable summer outfits? Shirts for the boys and little rompers for the toddlers? Our children wore them to church each Sunday and looked adorable. The boys all wore the Chino shorts to church in the summer until they were four or five years old.

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Even Mordecai looked cute in the play dresses!lands' end, lands end, lands' end kids clothes, great kids clothes, durable kids clothes, where to buy kids clothes, squall jacket, play dresses

Our children wore their Squall jackets to the airport when we picked up the three teens we adopted from Liberia…lands' end, lands end, lands' end kids clothes, great kids clothes, durable kids clothes, where to buy kids clothes, squall jacket, play dresses

And one of the first purchases we made when they arrived were three brand new Squall jackets for them, each in their favorite color!

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Now if I could just convince Apollo I know a thing or two about dressing kids…

What’s your favorite children’s clothing company? And is anyone else struggling to appropriately dress a kid? Please say yes. And tell me about it to make me feel better. Please?

{This post was NOT sponsored by Lands’ End or anyone else. Except maybe Apollo and his frustrating insistence on refusing to wear appropriately warm clothing.}


  1. Annie Bailey

    I love lands end – but of course my little is still too little for it – so we LIVE / LOVE hanna anderson – I scour consignment sales / stores for them – but also hit the outlet in woodinville – the style and durability is similar to lands end.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      My girls have also worn Hanna Andersson dresses as well. I prefer the Lands’ End because they are cut longer and didn’t always require leggings/tights, where I found the Hanna Andersson one’s did.

    • kat

      Adin used to rip his clothes off the minute he could when he didn’t like what he was wearing. He was VERY particular, even at 2 years old!

    • Robyn

      We love love loved Hanna for our guys when they were babies. Their “baby suits” (one piece zip up pajamas) are the best! And their baby socks actually stay on baby feet!

  2. Tara Bergeron

    Land’s End, Children’s Place and Old Navy in that order. But almost everything my children where is from those 3 (sad day when they grow out of CP). Costco is the best for church dresses that are less than $20!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I have purchased lots of Apollo’s clothes at Children’s Place and Old Navy as well and have recently discovered Crazy 8’s. I believe several of our Lands’ End dresses ended up with your girls!

  3. HollyElise (tropigothmama)

    my 2.5 year old daughter has become VERY opinionated about what she wears. i just went through her clothes and weeded out the things she consistently dislikes, actually! she still will refuse (and tear off) a shirt or bottoms if she doesn’t want to wear them that day. and she refuses long-sleeve shirts as well…
    all this to say, no help but standing with you!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      This *does* make me feel better. I’m not so worried about style as him staying warm with his health issues.

  4. Kate

    My 5 year old has sensory issues and does not wear long sleeves, we get feet of snow at a time but it never phases him, I get most of his t’s second hand but love Gymboree,crazy 8 and h and M.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Kate, I probably didn’t even notice with my other kids…but when he’s pale and his hands and arms are cold, it concerns me.

      • Kate

        oh I understand I would be also, Will he will he wear a hoodie, I am always asking Charlie if he will put a hoodie on, he also is always barefoot but he prefers it that way.

        I was coming back to add that a plus of T shirts is I buy them off season and get great deals when I do buy them at the store and to suggest maybe a pj top underneath, Pj’s are actually the only long sleeve things Charlie will consider, so I will layer one under a T if we will be out.

  5. Ruth

    My current struggle is keeping my girls’ clothed – both Esther and Carese love to take off their clothes. Recently Esther is also fascinated with dressing up – she is constantly taking off the clothes I put on her and putting Elizabeth’s Sunday dresses and Sunday shoes on a parading around like a princess – she’ll even get Carese to put on her (Esther’s) dresses…they end up tripping on the too long dresses, but man is it cute! I’m sure that soon they will be doing what all my other girls did – changing their clothes several times a day…laundry, laundry, laundry

    • Ruth

      I forgot to mention that we have a son with sensory issues, and Sunday clothes are his nemesis – sweat pants and t-shirts are what he does best. We have found some softer/more stretchy dress pants and polo shirts work for him (if we remove the labels) but even then, most Sunday’s it is a nightmare for him – too much stress. He also has issues with shoes not fitting just right, and socks feeling wrong. So getting him dressed to go anywhere can almost always involve tears….

  6. Renee

    I understand your frustration. We live In Australia but are currently in Canada for holiday and I am constantly catching my child outside in no shoes, or shirt, or both! Do kids not get it’s freezing!

  7. Ann Bowen

    Lands End has a soft spot in my heart. They sponsor Prairie Home Companion, and nearly every cousin of mine who lives in or live near to Dodgeville, WI has worked for them. They put out a quality product and a lot of care has gone into each and every piece. That’s hard to say about the quality of a lot of clothing out there. Their swim suits for those of us that gravity has forsaken are wonderful too.

  8. Ssmazxon

    I live in a cold climate in the upper peninsula of michigan! Lands end us the best in my book for quality clothes that can be passed down!

  9. upsndownsbythrees

    My 3 1/2 year old son hates clothing period. If he could he would run around in his cute little boxer briefs alone. His is more if a sensory issue though, a light touch on the skin makes him uncomfortable. His favorite thing besides nothing is his rash guard and shorts, which is not a good fit for winters/ 😛

  10. mariesutherland

    Adrienne is very opinionated about clothing. And she doesn’t seem to have any concept of ‘seasons”–such as it’s 12 degrees outside and she’s in a skirt, no leggings, no socks, and she’s taking the puppy out to potty in this wind in that skirt and no socks or shoes, no coat, nothing. I have to remind her that she might want a coat. But she says she’s “fine”. She absolutely will not wear long sleeves. Under any circumstances. If she were one of my first 3 kids, I would probably make it an issue and fight her over it. But since she’s my 5th, I don’t mind. As long as she’ll wear a coat once in awhile, I’m good.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Mordecai is like this too. I have photos of him playing in the water at Boulevard Park…In November! He doesn’t notice being hot or cold. But since he doesn’t have the underlying health issues, I don’t worry about it.

  11. Veronica

    I <3 Land's End too. Every birthday around here someone gets something from them; and they're the only place to consistently get modest girls clothing. I pick a whole lot of them second and too, my other second hand fave finds are Gymboree and Hanna Anderson.

  12. Rocky

    I don’t have a favorite clothing company except for the one that has the biggest sales :-). However, you may be able to convince Apollo that it’s cool to wear “sleeves” as my toddler calls them. We have a ton of baby legs for my little guy & more often than not these days he insists on wearing them on his arms often over a long sleeve shirt. I made a compromise by putting them under his dress shirt when I wanted him to look extra handsome one day. We ended up with so many pair of BL’s because I had a ton of short sleeve shirts & not enough LS in a certain size so we’d put the “sleeves” on. Now, as mentioned, they’re my 2 year old’s fashion statement. Baby legs might not have a long life in your house at this stage but you could probably use kids arm warmers. You could probably even knit him a couple pair. There are also tutorials on how to make them out of knee highs. If you go that route, you could let him pick out the socks (Target has inexpensive ones though it’s sometimes tricky to find masculine looking ones) which increases the chance he’ll wear them.

  13. Kara

    Owen wears his blue Skylanders T-shirts almost exclusively. The last two days he hasn’t gotten out of his flannel pajama pants since they are the warmest thing he’ll keep on. For us it isn’t really unusual though. Devon was extremely picky about her clothing, nothing rough or not pink for years. I remember driving to Seattle to find socks (our pre-internet days) she would actually wear because the toe seams bugged her so much.

    We love Land’s End clothes too mainly because they have very classic styles that last forever. We still have a coat we use as back up for Owen that has been through all five older kids AND two friends kids. It’s getting kind of beat up looking now so we only use it when the good coat is in the wash. We usually get two years of solid use out of the boots too.
    Old Navy is my favorite for jeans because they actually fit my long skinny kids.

  14. jessilee

    My 3 year old has strong opionions as well. He will be in the cart at the store and start grabbing and putting things in the basket that he likes. He’s the last baby so we stick to less expensive places like Target and Sears for clothing.
    He spends most of his time naked. We have a wind chill of -20 and he’s naked as a jaybird. He has zero interest in being dressed and just drags a blanket everywhere. Makes for easier potty training I guess. :/ Even in the car, as soon as he’s in, he starts taking off his shoes and socks. I think he’d get naked if he could figure out how to do it around the 5 point harness.

  15. Inga

    I have 2 adorable 2 yos, who can both undress themselves. The other day, I peeked in on them during nap time. My grand-daughter was asleep with her legs up in the air resting on the window. Her diaper was off. Did I mention she was on MY bed? My daughter was in her crib, wide awake. Her clothes and diaper were also off. She had decided it was art time, and had painted her crib with the contents of her diaper. She looked up at me, pointed at the empty diaper, and said, “POOP.” Like I needed help identifying it! Sleepers go on backwards at my house, to keep the little darlings dressed, and to avoid unauthorized art projects.

  16. Chava ~ Permafrost (@Chava53718182)

    Could Apollo be running hot, like he feels he’s hot but doesn’t register a temperature to you? My mom had a horrible time trying to keep me in appropriate warm stuff as I got older, I’d rip it off all the time. I used to drop my pants when I’d get hot as a kid. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia when I was 13 years old and that explains it.since temperature intolerance is a big issue for us.

    I used to love Arizona Jean Company but that was in the 1990s when I was a kid :D.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Chava- Apollo has always run “hot”. I think because of his body’s effort to breathe. Normally I don’t worry about him being warm enough, but it is really cold here right now and we heat with wood only, so it is chilly in here. Even my kids who never gets cold (Judah) is walking around in a hoodie. And Apollo is pale and cool to the touch, so I *know* he’s cold, even if he doesn’t “feel” it.

  17. Delia

    The pic of your first 4 (girls in maroon L.E. dresses & boys in Carharts) brings back a very clear memory: they were wearing those exact outfits when I first met you at a La Leche League meeting! I was especially impressed that the oldest 3 each had a baggie of homemade trail mix – it was just pretzels, nuts, raisins, cereal, etc. but I was astounded that you were able to go out with three toddlers and an infant, all nicely dressed and you even planned ahead to bring them a snack! I thought you had sooooo many kids then – HA! I rarely bought new clothing for my kids, relying on hand-me-downs and consignment stores, but when I did it was hanna andersson playdresses and their super soft cotton pj’s. Owen had the worst sensory issues – no tags, sock issues, etc. At some point in his 3rd year he picked a soft, already well-worn faded red cotton t-shirt and denim shorts with an elastic waistband that he wore almost daily for about a year…for some reason he always called them “my fighting clothes.” Still not sure if it the outfit was named because he was not fighting with me about what he was wearing, or if he felt prepared to battle the world with them on, but we took him to a studio (just Wal-Mart) on his 4th birthday to have his photo taken in his “fighting clothes.”

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      You know I’m all for second hand, Delia! But we’ve found when we buy new, buying quality really pays off.

      Ah, yes, remember the days when I could dress all of the kids in co-ordinated outfits!

  18. Melpub

    H&M and Hema are pretty good for younger children, especially girls. I love rummage sales, thrift shops, second-hand stores and buy many of my own clothes and shoes there, and often things for the kids, too. Woolworth’s stll has good deals on socks and underwear and swimsuits.

  19. Margery

    We love Land’s end and Old Navy for the teens. I would say it might be more of a control issue, what clothing he wears is something he can control and have a choice with, a lot of kids show it in their eating choices at that age. I had one who would only eat round food, odd I know but then my kids have always been odd.

    He can’t control Doctors, or eating, or how he feels, so he just might be doing it with clothing. Keep offering warmer choices and before you know it, it will be summer. At least he will wear clothes I had more than one that I if you turned your back off came all the clothes.


    A few of my kids, especially my 21 yr old who has autism, hated socks with seems in the toes. Tic Tac Toes brand socks, sold at a local shoe store here, do no have toe seems. They also have grown up sizes with no toes seems in the shoe store, but not that brand. My 9 yr old wears big kids size 5.5 shoes and adult sized socks. She wil probably be tall like her oder sisters. I think my oldest is the shortest of my grown up girls and she is 5 ft 8 and has size 12 women’s feet.

  21. Laura

    My little guy is growing so fast that I’m currently in the “buying for quantity more than quality” phase, since he’s been outgrowing things far faster than they can wear out. (Seriously – the clothes he’s outgrown still look mostly new for the next kiddo.) He’s 6 months next week and we’re just moving into size 12 month clothes. Right now I like Carter’s (the brand that fits his long skinny torso the best), Jumping Beans (sold at Kohl’s), and Circo (Target). Old Navy/Gap are all right, although they have this weird 6-12 month size instead of the normal 6-9 and 9-12 sizes, so their stuff didn’t fit him for a while. I don’t care for Osh Kosh because everything I’ve tried has run wide and short. I love Babies R Us brand socks – those things stay on like no other. Land’s End is definitely on my list for when he can wear something longer than 2-3 months.

  22. Sara Maria

    I’m the oldest of seven kids and all of us have grown up on lands end clothes. We’ve probably been through 30+ play dresses of various prints and sizes and loved every single one of them!

  23. Billy

    My daughter (who is only a week or so older than Apollo) also has this thing where she doesn’t like wearing ugly clothes! LOL
    She also loves dressing and undressing and playing around with wearing the clothes differently,like pulling a shirt down her waist to make it look like a skirt, etc.
    [the majority of her clothes are hand-me-down, so we don’t have a favourite clothes shop..]

  24. Amanda

    Me myself can not tolerate 2 parts of clothes over each other. It feels like my chest is constricted and I have no blood flow to my arms. I get hot very easy. The rest of the household put on heaters then I will still be ok with a shortsleeve dress. Although my skin is cold to the touch I really don’t feel cold.
    He looks like a dresserup (don’t think there is an english word like that) anyway the socks for sleeves and funny beanies sound like it could work, especially if he could choose them himself and cut off the feet himself. Perhaps if you get him flannel baby blankets and let him wear it like a cloak or let him wear it like in the Bible Times.
    I would love to see and hear what happens next with THIS clothes issue.

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