Thank you Old Navy for sponsoring my post today about baby and toddler styles. Old Navy is giving you 30% off everything in their baby and toddler summer collection, plus get an additional 15% off in-store.


The Bug is a ‘tweener’ toddler.



That means 18-24 month clothes are too small, and she literally can’t keep size 2 pants on. They just fall off. Belts don’t seem to help at all.



So I’m investing in one major wardrobe staple this summer:

 THE PLAY DRESS.



Affordable and cool in summer heat, the cotton play dress takes the Bug from daycare to dinner out. Throw on a pair of stretchy capri leggings and it’s playground slide ready. {{She might look like a little lady, but you bet she’ll be exploring and playing just as hard as the boys}} Add a sweater and you’re prepared for a breezy evening on the beach. Headed to the pool? Swimsuit cover — well, covered.



Depending on the cut of the play dress, it can even grow with your toddler. Some make fabulous shirts as your tyke gets taller. The Tea Collection dress featured above is one such dress. The Old Navy ruffled tiered sundress would look great as a spaghetti-strap top, too!

I also love the play dress because, unlike those fabulous preppy green plaid short you picked up, dresses can take your tot right into fall. Just throw the dresses over jeans/pants and add a cardigan. Great way to stretch the life of the item — since toddlers grow like weeds in the rain.



Pant fits are a huge problem for the Bug right now, as mentioned earlier in this post. Stretchy knit capris? Always a solid fit. Throw in a few fun tees with those dresses and capris you’re picking up and you’ve got a mix ‘n match wardrobe that doesn’t require you to take out a second mortgage.



I tend to look for pieces that are made of pima cotton or similar soft cotton for three reasons: durability, the Bug doesn’t claim it ‘itches’ and — most importantly — I don’t have to iron the items when they come out of the dryer. I am on an anti-iron mission. I don’t care how cute it is. If it comes out of the dyer in a ball, it’s not worth the investment.



At not yet 2, the Bug is becoming fiercely independent. Did I mention she’s decided to assert that independence by dressing herself? We both erupt in smiles every time she runs out of her room to show me her ‘outfit.’ But it wreaks havoc on getting up and out in the morning. The 30 seconds it would take for me to do it for her now takes more like 20 minutes.



The sanity saver in this dilemma? I don’t have to worry about whether or not she matches. I tend to buy sets of clothing by color families and then place them together in her drawers. The great thing about toddlers is they can mix and match as many patterns as they’d like and still look adorable walking out the front door provided the colors don’t clash.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.