Buy Hanna Andersson Without Breaking the Bank

Hanna Andersson Velour Stripe Dress

Two years ago I plunged into dangerous waters, and I blame my brother. He had a son in September 2015, and, being huge fans of Christmas, we immediately made plans to have our kids take photos with Santa together. “I got Roman some cute pajamas at Hanna Andersson,” he said. “Maybe he and Sarah can match!”

I had ventured into the Hanna Andersson store about a year previously—and immediately fled, because while their clothes are cute, they are generally at least twice as expensive (or more) as Carter’s. I mean, a $65 dress? For a baby? However, their Santa pajamas were so cute. Yes I bought them. And sure, they could have my email address.

This led to the discovery that Hanna Andersson has outlets, where clothes are usually discounted by at least 20%. However, these can be hit or miss–there have been several times where I have been lured in by an email touting $7 swimsuits or somesuch, only to discover that they have maybe one cheap suit in my daughter’s size . . . and a bunch of $65 dresses at 20% off. I love my daughter, but I’m still not shelling out $52 for a dress unless it’s some magic Christmas dress that somehow solves hunger or something.

Hanna Andersson Leggings Purple

Why buy Hanna at all? First, their clothes are cute. Like, super cute. They’re made of organic cotton, they’re constructed really well, and they wear really well. They don’t ever have writing on the butt or sexist sayings like “Math Is Hard” (although I wish they had more rockets and dinosaurs for girls). They look wholesome and like you could probably eat them when the zombie apocalypse comes and get all your essential nutrients (and fiber).

I’ve gotten plenty of clothes from Carter’s that look cute until about the fifth time I wash them, and then they look faded and limp. I’m not a huge fan of shopping–I get overwhelmed easily and start second guessing myself–so my method of doing major shopping for Sarah, who is now three, twice a year works really well for me. And I love how Hanna’s colorful patterns and combinations makes it easy to coordinate everything (again, I get confused!). So my system works really well for me and I wanted to share it!

Hanna Andersson Cottage Pink Playdress

Buying Hanna Andersson on the Cheap . . . ish

So the clothes are generally expensive (see above) and the outlets can be hit or miss (again, see above). Fortunately, I’ve found that Hanna Andersson’s Black Friday Sales are fantastic. This seems to be when they take everything out of the warehouse and go nuts, so there’s a lot to choose from in Sarah’s size, and I can find at least five dresses (I love their playdresses) and five pairs of coordinating leggings for about $200. So . . . I buy Sarah a 10-item wardrobe too, I guess?!? Except my mom and other family members gift her with clothes, too, ha.

Now this is still more expensive than Carter’s or other options. But in Oregon’s rainy climate, Sarah will generally wear long sleeves/pants nine months out of the year, and each of these outfits is worn at least once a week. And if nothing untoward happens (rips, stains I just can’t get out, huge growth spurts), she can still wear them the next year and look great, or I can pass them on to a friend and feel good about it.

Hanna Andersson Leggings Red

This year I missed the Black Friday Sale in the outlets (which generally starts before Black Friday, FYI), but I did squeak into the Cyber Monday Sale last night: an extra 25% off plus free shipping. And then I got a notice that this sale has been extended today and tomorrow (although it does look like free shipping is off the table—if you have a Hanna Andersson store nearby, you can have your loot shipped there for free)! So if you’ve been a little gun-shy about spending Nordstrom money on a toddler who regularly pours soup on himself, check it out! (Note: I am not an affiliate or paid shill. I would happily be a paid shill. Call me, Hanna.)

For Sarah’s summer clothes, I shop online between spring and summer and pounce when the spring clothes are mega cheap (short-sleeved dresses and shorts). Boom, done!

Hanna Andersson Tips: Making Clothes Last

So Hanna Andersson’s clothes are well made from quality materials, but I am still a little weird about keeping them nice and I’ve learned a couple of things to pass on:

  • Be conscious of woven vs. printed patterns. Before you buy, take note of whether the colors are printed, a.k.a. a floral pattern that was dyed into the fabric, or woven, a.k.a. a stripe that was knit from different-colored fibers. (To double check, look at the “wrong” side of the fabric and it will be obvious.) I still buy both, but generally, the woven pattern will stay vibrant longer.
  • Hang them to dry. The heat from the dryer is what breaks the fibers down in clothing and fades the color, so I hang all of Sarah’s clothes on a cheap wooden fold-out rack to dry. They’re still little, so they all fit on one rack! Extra credit: wash them inside out.
  • Use a good stain remover. The benefit of hanging clothes to dry is the dryer won’t set stains permanently, so tricky ones like grease—which often don’t show until your clothes are already dry—are easier to get out.

So that’s my crazy, what’s yours? Anyone else unhealthily obsessed with premium children’s clothes? I could use the company.

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Starbucks red cup 2017

Starbucks Red Cups, Zero Waste, and the Meier & Frank Holiday Parade

Starbucks red cup 2017Starbucks red cups are here! And people are losing their minds again! Thank god. I mean, can you imagine how sad Starbucks would be if people weren’t emotionally engaged with their holiday-themed marketing product to the point where they write about how mad and disappointed they are all over social media (and incidentally spread the word far better than an ad campaign could)?

Said ad campaign:


And yet . . . Starbucks red cups are special to me. I admit it. Even though I know it’s marketing, and I know it’s wasteful to buy coffee in a disposable, non-recyclable cup with a plastic lid, just seeing it brings me back to the Meier & Frank Holiday Parade here in Portland. Beginning in the ’80s, my mom would take me and my brother to see this homespun local parade—full of floats, high school marching bands, rodeo queens, and Shriners—and we would cheer and wait to see Santa ride up at the very end, and then we’d race inside to see Santaland.

Later, it was something just me and my dad would do (Mom wanted a break, my brother was living out of state), and then all four of us would go as a family. And as adults, part of the ritual became getting white chocolate peppermint mochas (oh, I am full of embarrassing confessions today) in Starbucks holiday cups. And I would feel warm and cozy and loved, and connected to my family and my city, because we were joining together for a yearly event that we’d done for decades, and all was right with the world.

But at some point, Meier & Frank (a department store with a rich and important history in Portland) was purchased by Macy’s, and after a few years they changed the store’s name. And then it was the Macy’s Holiday Parade (but not that Macy’s Holiday Parade). And then the downtown Macy’s store (still referred to as the Meier & Frank Building) closed this year. Goodbye parade. I even missed its final year, because of kids and rain and life, because I couldn’t imagine that even with the store closing, that someone wouldn’t take on the mantle of this historic, homey, seemingly essential parade. Such is life.

But Starbucks red cups are still here! I figure that much of our modern waste is due to convenience (individually packaged pre-sliced apples?), but so much is due to nostalgia and the kind of emotional connection that can only be forged by the epic collision of personal history and ad campaign.

Whew! This is a long essay to say I figured out a way to participate in this yearly controversy while eliminating the pesky paper-and-plastic waste (mostly): I bought a reusable Starbucks red cup and yes, I broke it out today (with coffee I made at home). It’s not colorable like this year’s model, but I can take it into Starbucks and get it filled with my yearly white chocolate peppermint mochas (no judgment) and I can go visit Meier & Frank’s erstwhile Santaland at the Oregon Historical Society with my brother, and something will be sacred, and something will last, and okay I may be a little stressed out right now.

But my point is, you can reduce your waste without cutting out the rituals and traditions that bring you joy—even if they seem a little silly when you type them down. Next up: how the heck do I get around holiday wrapping paper?!? If you have any suggestions, post them below!