Thrifty Baby: in praise of Sainsburys TU clothing

Miss Thrifty14 August 7, 2012

sainsburys baby clothes A couple of weeks ago we were minding our own business in the baby section in Marks & Spencer, when Thrifty Baby unleashed the Poopocalypse. Don’t worry: I’m not going to go into details. Suffice it to say, I had a couple of changes of clothing for him in the nappy bag, and I was pleased to be in close proximity to the M&S baby changing room. But then he went through the spare clothes, too. It was one of those horrible, strange days when the weather kept switching from stifling heat and humidity, to Arctic wind and rain, and I think his baby systems had short-circuited.

There was nothing for it: I wouldn’t usually shop in Marks & Spencer for baby basics, because nice as the baby bits are, the prices are higher than in the supermarkets. Needs must, so I bit the bullet. But do you know what has surprised me? A pack of five Marks & Spencer vests costs £11, compared to £4 for the five half-price Sainsburys TU vests featured above. Having road-tested both brands, however, I think the Sainsburys TU vests are just as good quality as their more expensive counterparts!

Remember that jubbly Sainsburys gift card I mentioned a while ago? I’ve ended up splurging a lot of it on TU baby basics: short-sleeved vests, long-sleeved vests, soft cotton trousers, sleepsuits, socks and the like. I can find some of these items at second-hand baby sales, for around 50p a pop, but it is difficult to find them at charity shops and car boots. Most of the second-hand baby clothes tend to be frilly girls’ items, which I find strange. Where are all the boys’ clothes? But I suppose the basics are washed ragged by the time people have finished with them.

I like the quality of the TU clothes. Now that I spend a bit of time on places like Mumsnet, I know that there is a certain amount of snobbery about dressing your baby in (horror!) supermarket clothes, but I really don’t know why. Like the Marks & Spencer baby clothes, the TU clothes are made from soft, thick cotton that keeps its shape and colour despite the intensive laundering. The prints and designs are fun, and draw comments when we are out and about. There is also lots of stripy stuff – and I like stripes.

The Sainsburys baby clothes are different in quality to the ones I buy from ASDA. The ASDA clothes are good value too – £2.75 for a three-pack of vests – but in my experience the cotton is thinner and tends to stretch a little in the wash, over time. That’s fine, and frankly the cooler ASDA clothes have been perfect for those hot, sticky nights, but as Thrifty Baby has been growing and I have been packing various bits and pieces away, I have noticed that the Sainsbo clothes have lasted particularly well.

Anyway, the reason I am writing this post now is that at the weekend, during a torrential thunderstorm, we took shelter in Sainsburys – and found a very good half-price sale going on in the clothing section. I have had mixed experiences with baby clothes on sale, as the discounted items tend to be  fancy little outfits that are about to become too warm or too cool for the season – unless you are prepared to buy much bigger clothes, ready for this time next year.

So I was delighted to discover a range of the baby basics on sale, and snapped up a few, as you can see above. The seven long-sleeved vests for £3.25 work out at less than 50 pence each – so less than what I would pay second-hand. The second pack of long-sleeved vests, £4 for five, are the next size up. So are the stripy cotton joggers, £2.50 for two pairs. Thrifty Baby already has these trousers in his current size, and they are comfortable and wash well, so it made sense to snap up some more for £1.25 a pair.

I’d link to these items online, but can only find a website for TU’s risible Gok Wan collection. (Well, I think it’s risible anyway: it looks great in the pictures, but naff and nasty on the rail. Sales beg to differ, so perhaps it’s just me.)

So instead, here’s Thrifty Baby striking his Blue Steel pose in various TU “pieces”:

Sainsburys baby clothing

I asked the Sainsburys sales assistant how long the half-price sale was on for, and she said that the baby clothes in the sale would stay at half-price until they were sold. I doubt the basics will hang around for long though, so if you are looking to stock up, I suggest you get down there sooner rather than later…

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14 Responses to “Thrifty Baby: in praise of Sainsburys TU clothing

Thriftwood says:

I clothed my children from sales,car boots and supermarkets and everyone said how lovely they looked. I think people are mad spending a fortune on baby clothes that they only wear for a short time … But that s just my opinion, can’t help being thrifty! xx

August 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Miss Thrifty says:

I think they are mad too – partly for the reasons you give, but also because Thrifty Baby has been so sicky, the clothes don’t stay on for long anyway. Posh ones would be well and truly wasted!

August 7, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Lesley says:

It does make you wonder though what the working conditions and wages must be for the people who grow the cotton and make the little garments, if the clothes are so cheap

August 8, 2012 at 6:20 am

Claire says:

I buy mainly all our nieces and nephews clothes there as its excellent quality, looks great, washes well and brilliant for them to be kids in! I also bought two Gok top’s there on sale that everyone at the office loved and said looked like it came from Zara! I think its silly this name brands rubbish. These days its all about affordability 🙂

August 8, 2012 at 8:10 am

mags says:

Aaaaaw! Still waiting to be a grandma so not ready for baby-clothes shopping any time soon – although I am enjoying being a great-aunty to my nieces babies – however i just wanted to say you have a gorgeous little baby Miss Thrifty! So cute:)

August 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm

bex says:

My partner love TU at Sainsburys & Florence + Fred at Tesco for dressing our little monster – the majority of his (not-secondhand) clothes were from Sainsburys in fact! We’re about to do a run on Sainsburys baby clothes as the second hand clothes we’ve been given ( bin bag upon bin bag full) no longer fit.

I’m hoping the sale will still be on when I get there!


August 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Miss Thrifty says:

@Lesley – Good question. I know that Sainsburys buys up a lot of Fairtrade cotton, but I have also tweeted the supermarket to ask for info. I’ll let you know if they come back to me.

@Claire – Ah, I suspected that I would be in a minority re. Gok. I was distinctly unimpressed though. Maybe all that fanfare guarantees a letdown…

@mags – Thanks Mags! Those pictures criss-cross a few months, so you can see him piling on the weight! He was small for his age, due to being poorly after he was born, but has caught up now.

@bex – I meant to mention Tesco / Florence+Fred, and forgot, so thanks for reminding me. I hear good things about the F+F baby clothes too – but haven’t had the chance to test them out, as there isn’t a big Tesco anywhere near here. I hope you made it to Sainsburys in time!

August 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Claire says:

I normally not one for labelled brands and find it hard to shop and my Gok clothes my partner bought me as a present for work. I was shocked as they really fitted well as I’m just terrible at finding things that fit nicely.

Oh and I forgot to add how gorgeous your boy is! hope he is surviving the heat 🙂

August 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm


Sainsbury’s TU clothing for babies and kids is great quality and good value. They hold discounted clothing sales fairly regularly too.

I know what you mean about the quality of Asda clothing – it’s a bit thin. Louise and I rank supermarket kids clothes in descending quality level as #1 Sainsburys #2 Tesco #3 Asda.

Our kids are dressed head-to-toe in Sainsbury’s TU, Next clothing (only bought during their end of season sales, which have a great range of kids clothes at knocked down prices) and H&M (great for girls’ summer dresses. M&S gets an occasional look-in but is a bit too expensive for what it is.

August 31, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Beckie says:

Have just bought a whole bunch of tops for my son from sainsburys.They had 25% off.He is 17 months and I am finding it hard to buy resonably priced clothes that fit him right now.I have noticed that he is too big for 18-24mnth clothes but then too small for 2-3. Theres no in-between.Also agree that boys clothes in many shops have about half the stock compared to girls.I do get some great buys from charity shops, alot of next jeans and coats, which I always buy and keep for later and sell on and still make a profit.Have had a few bargains from tesco but I avoid buying full priced items, just not worth it as my son grows so quick.He also has large feet for his age, size 5.5.And finding him winter boots were a nightmare untill I checked ebay and managed to get him a great pair of unworn Timberlands for a tenner!Like you, I keep my eye out for a bargain!!

November 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Sharon says:

You have helped me make up my mind miss thrifty. I’m going for TU over M&S. Thanks for your help!

November 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm

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