As you can imagine, shopping for kids is a lot of fun. Over the past 5 years many brands have really upped their game with their designs and you can actually purchase clothing outside of teal, purple, and hot pink. You often say to yourself, “If only this came in my size!” and feel overjoyed by all of your cute options you curated. But the sizing makes shopping for kids really challenging. It’s actually more challenging than shopping for adults if you’re dealing with kids that are 5 and under.

Kids’ sizing is all over the place. A size small in one store isn’t a small in another store, so you always have to double check what a “small” is equivalent in numerical sizes when you’re at each store. Beyond that, kids’ sizes operate on the same level of frustration as women’s jeans. You can buy the same pants in the same size from the same store and they might fit differently. I’m not sure what causes this, but it happens all of the time. You get around these sizing obstacles by bracketing your sizes. Bracketing means that if the child you are shopping for is a 4T, you should also get a 3T and a 5T. Basically, you have to shop for 3x the amount you normally do on a job with children because it must fit them.

You often don’t get to use your normal bag of styling tricks when working with children. Most little kids don’t like tags itching them, so they’re definitely not going to like a clamp or safety pin on his or her body.

Kids also have opinions. An adult can get past not liking what you dressed them in because it’s their job, but a child doesn’t understand this. You want them to feel excited in what they’re wearing because that joy will come out on set. You always need a plan B to the adorable outfit that they want to play hide and seek in, and never come out.

Lastly, always, ALWAYS call the parents to double check the sizes you receive from the agency. Kids grow like weeds and agencies often don’t pass along up-to-date sizes. You want to ask the parent their child’s age, size, height and weight. Parents tend to tell you a size above their child’s actual size because all parents shop ahead in knowing their child will grow into it. You want those clothes to fit like a glove on set and gathering all the information on the phone with the parent will help you get there.